To my shame, my peg choice on Wetlands specimen lake this week was influenced more by proximity to the stock pond than any serious attempt to locate carp. This demonstrated a blatant disregard for the fact that a south westerly wind was predicted for later during the session, a situation that normally favours pegs 6 and 7. According to the weather forecast, recent persistent heat wave conditions might at last be interrupted by intermittent showers. Upon arrival, I found that peg 9 was already taken, but I fancied a change from peg 10, so peg 1 was my remaining choice. To be honest, my mind was more taken up with the prospect of a morning removing small carp from the stock pond, at Richard's behest, transferring them to the match lake. The reason I was so focused on the task, was that I relished a spot of float fishing to satisfy some residual nostalgic urge. And, I must say that I did enjoy the experience immensely, until a careless miscast into inaccessible bushes eventually robbed me of end tackle and brought the pleasure to a premature halt.
Consequently, I found myself on peg 1, with three rods in place somewhat after midday. Naturally, before my foray to the stock pond, I'd taken the opportunity to deposit my main gear on the banks and catapult a reasonable quantity of Skretting 10mm Course pellets to likely looking areas, together with a few handfuls of Wet Baits 18mm Tuna Zest boilies. From left to right the main areas comprised the bay adjacent to mushroom island, the margin in front of central island and the cut-through channel from peg 2. Accordingly, a rod was dedicated to each location and the waiting began.
I was hoping that carp might already have moved into the pre-baited areas to mop up food, particularly as there had been no lines in the water to spook them. Regrettably, this did not appear to be the case, such that I was forced to wait until 5.00pm before any action transpired. Nevertheless, it was worth the wait, as the first contender to make its presence known on the right hand (channel) rod turned out to be one of the larger orange Koi carp. It certainly gave a good account of itself too, as it powerfully made off in the direction of peg 2. Thankfully, I managed to hold it on the very cusp of danger for what seemed like ages before it event turned and came towards me for some frantic thrashing about in the margin before finally slipping into the eagerly poised net. And what a magnificent creature it is. Richard kindly came across to do the honours with a camera, producing some magnificent shots.
At 5.40pm I received another spirited take, this time from a 16lb 10oz Mirror on the middle (island margin) rod. From the start, the culprit seemed determined to power to the right, in an attempt to get behind the intervening cigar-shaped islands. The only way I could persuade it otherwise, was to walk backwards through the wooden gate and along the bank to get a direct pull on it. To my relief, the ploy worked, such that I managed to bring it back into safer waters from whence the battle could proceed to my advantage. At 7.20pm, I received two simultaneous takes and chose to focus on that on the middle rod. Fortunately, similar tactics to the previous scenario successfully landed an 11lb 12oz Mirror, but sadly the fish on the right hander had long since discarded the hook in the overhanging branches of the tree lined channel. Regrettably, a trip in the rowing boat was needed to retrieve the snagged line.
Any fears that the unplanned nautical venture had ruined the fishing were allayed when the middle rod burst into life at 8.30pm. What followed was totally bizarre. Somehow, when I lifted the rod tip, the main line slotted into a seam in the rear plastic of my bite alarm. Worse still, when I began winding line in, the heat generated by friction caused the monofilament to melt into the casing, such that it became immovably welded in position. Thereafter, the only way I could play the carp was to hand line it in, whilst cushioning the force against the top section of my disabled rod. Miraculously, the awkward and ungainly action somehow succeeded in bringing a 14lb 0oz Common towards the net and thankfully adding it to the tally. Then at 9.10pm the right hander melted off, but I was on it quick enough to stop a 15lb 14oz Mirror in its tracks and subsequently subdue it into submission. After an uninterrupted night, I was awakened at 4.25am by another frantic take on the middle rod. To my dismay, in spite of bringing it grudgingly into open water, the hook pulled at the net, before I had raised it to surface to eyeball what was clearly a heavier fish. What's more the heavens opened up immediately before I commenced packing up, demonstrating that the waterproof properties of my summer-weight jacket are not what they used to be.
Oh well, in spite of getting soaked through, I ended up with 5 carp to 16lb 10oz, having lost 2 into the bargain. A satisfying and productive session, nonetheless.