I can hardly bring myself to write my blog this week. The plain fact is that I failed to apply the requisite amount of attention to fish location and general water craft. The inevitable outcome was that Wetlands handed me a sound 'good hiding' and I very nearly walked away with a totally blank score sheet. A productive bout on peg 4 the previous week had lulled me into a false sense of optimism and I made the mistake of blindly claiming the same peg this week, without doing a lap of the lake to find the carp. No doubt I could easily have blamed the weather, given that the forecast sporadic sunshine actually turned out to be a blazing hot afternoon, when carp seemed content to slowly cruise around, just under the surface, without showing any inclination to feed. That said, the angler in peg 2 managed a couple of takes during the day and was clearly amongst some hungry and more cooperative fish.
The first thing I did on arriving in peg 4 was to prime a couple of margin spots with a few paste balls, formed from scalded Skretting pellets (method-style). I was hoping that this would draw carp into the area and be less attractive to wildfowl. As it transpired, I was very wrong on both counts. Inevitably, a pair of swans appeared within minutes and made short work of the free offerings. Any remnants were then cleared up by a succession of mallards, coots, tufted ducks and Canada geese. What's more the anticipated carpy visitors didn't venture into the area until mid afternoon, by which time my supply of paste was exhausted.
The approach I adopted mirrored that of the successful previous week, namely: 1.) a snowman duo on a long braid rig (1 oz lead) gently dropped into the silk weed coated RHS bay, over a scattering of Skretting pellets; 2.) a combi rig bearing two Wet Baits Liver and Garlic 15 mm boilies, plus a mesh bag of pellets on a combi rig, underarm cast out to 10 yards; 3.) a duo of Wet Baits MC1 15 mm boilies on a combi rig, atop a hopper-full of matching freebies, plus two scoops of Skretting pellets, bait-boated to the area behind the snag bushes opposite.
I didn't see much in the way of resident carp until mid afternoon, when 5 carp arrived in the bay to the right. Frustratingly, they seemed content to slowly drift around sub-surface, without investigating my hook baits. Several times I re-positioned the bay rod to put a bait nearer the epicentre of movement, and in case the rig had become shrouded in silk weed, but all was to no avail. Also, my margin spots were completely ignored, even up until late evening, when Richard joined me for a customary relaxing chat.
As darkness fell, I re-cast all three rods in the same spots for the night, with the exception of the bay rod, which was re-positioned 40 yards out into mid water, amongst a scattering of 15 mm boilies. I awoke several times during the night to see motionless bite indicators. It wasn't until 5.20 am that the silence was interrupted by a bleating alarm. The 10 yard rod ripped off with much appreciated aplomb and after a few tense moments a Common of 11 lb 4 oz was finally enmeshed within my landing net. What a relief!
After returning the blank-busting fish, I re-did the rod and was about to return to my sleeping bag when I saw a large fish leap fully out of the water across the other side of the lake, in front of the tree margin of peg 6. Now what I should have done, was to wind in the 40 yard rod, prime my Century FMA distance rod and go for the long chuck across to the spot. To my shame, I shrugged my shoulders and couldn't be bothered to make the effort. Needless to say, a potential opportunity was missed and no further action ensued. As ever, lack of effort = lack of reward, and I paid the price for my lethargy. Who knows what might have occurred, if I'd summoned up the energy to go for it? Next time, I resolve to never be flagging in zeal and always go the extra mile in every aspect of my fishing.