My session last week was such a disaster, that I couldn't even bring myself to write about it at the time. Having set up in peg 5 for all the wrong reasons (namely, that I'd had lucrative sessions from there, in the preceding three weeks) I inevitably paid the price. In less than an hour, I received a violent take, but lost what was obviously a beast of a carp, when it attempted to go round the back of the right hand peninsula. I endured around 30 seconds of intense stalemate, with the rod at full test curve, but unfortunately the strain eventually resulted in a devastating hook pull. After that, all went quiet and even the hours of darkness failed to put a carp on the banks.
As you might expect, I arrived for this week's session determined to research fish location much more thoroughly before committing to a peg. Thankfully, the whole specimen lake was devoid of other anglers and there were visible carp aplenty in pegs 5 and 6. Unusually, we'd had a couple of days of wall to wall sunshine, with another sweltering day on the cards. Surface cruising carp were in evidence across my portion of the lake, with several fish loitering beneath the left hand, tree-lined margin. Hence, I wasted no time in getting a PVA mesh bag of Skretting Protec 4.5mm pellets out to three likely looking spots, allied to a 20mm bottom bait and 12mm pop-up (snowman style). The banker rod went to a spot down the left hand margin. The centre rod was given a gentle underarm cast out from the bank, whereas the right hander took care of a spot adjacent to the right hand mini island. Shortly after getting the rods in position, Dave arrived with a welcome supply of Wet Baits new Nutcracker boilies in 15mm size. Accordingly, I chopped them all in half and divided them between the three rods, catapulting them out in tight formation. To each concentrated spot I added a few pouch loads of Skretting pellets to increase attraction even further. In hindsight, it might have been better to place the hook baits slightly away from the baited patches, as they got absolutely hammered by shoaled bream. Each 20mm boilie became whittled down to nothing in a matter of a few hours, such that the 12mmm pop-up part of the combination became buoyant, suspending the business end 9 inches above the deck. Fortunately, I recognised what was happening and replaced the 20mm standard boilies with hardened versions.
As you might expect, I received a continuous series of false bleeps throughout the morning, as the bream played about with the end tackle. It later became apparent that all that jiggling about takes its toll on hook sharpness, requiring that each hook be re-sharpened regularly. Thankfully, at 2.30pm carp joined the party, evidenced by a jittery take on the left hand rod. I was on it in a flash, determined to prevent the offender from gaining refuge in the suspended branches, and I successfully brought it out into open water. Without any further drama, a fine 15lb 4oz Mirror subsequently visited the weighing cradle. Thereafter, action subsided until dusk. This time, at 9.10pm, a 13lb 8oz Mirror was successfully steered away from danger and netted without incident. At 10.50pm a tiny 4lb 4oz Common followed suit.
After that, I retired to my bed chair (it was far too warm and sultry to use a sleeping bag) to be awakened at 01.50am by yet another take on the left hand rod. Once again I managed to keep it away from the margin branches, but it proved stubbornly uncooperative in the margin. Having left my head torch in the bivvy, I must have struggled for several minutes before I eventually managed to coax it into the landing net. At 15lb 12oz I was well pleased with the resulting Mirror. After that, my attempts at getting back to sleep were thwarted by 3 unwanted bream. At 05.00am, what I thought might be yet another of the blighters turned out to be an 11lb 4oz Common that offered very little in the way of resistance. Oddly enough, all my captures came to the left hand rod. The other baited patches seemingly served as bream fodder alone. The next time I fish peg 6, I will make a point of exploring some different spots.
So in the end I finished up with a tally of five carp, two of them being upper doubles. Needless to say, I was well pleased with the result and very relieved to have put a previous nightmare of a session behind me.