24hr Session Peg 10 - Monday 10/09 - Tuesday 11/09
I’ve mentioned before that carp catching success at Wetlands Lakes is often dependant upon making a carefully considered peg choice. As ever, carp location is key. Regrettably, the practice of making that choice in advance, based solely on previous form is generally recipe for disappointment. Worse still, my recent peg choices have been driven principally by proximity to the stock pond rather than anything resembling the art of watercraft. Whilst I have enjoyed my time removing small home-grown carp from the stock pond and relocating them to the match lake, I have generally succumbed to sheer laziness and avoided having to walk too far back to the specimen lake after my mornings activities. Generally this equated to the choice of peg 1 or 10. However, this week it struck me that by dropping off the requisite match gear (match pole, floats, seat and nets etc.) on my way into the compound and reversing the procedure at the conclusion of my visit, I could avoid the need to carry cumbersome equipment across the site. Theoretically, this would free me to make my (specimen lake) peg choice unhindered by any transport restrictions. Nevertheless, this new approach would have to be put on hold until future sessions, as I’d already set up my bivvy on peg 10 this week and plied my favourite hot spots with a generous dose of Skretting 10mm Course Pellets and Wet Baits 18mm Tuna boilies. Naturally, the intention was to hopefully attract a few carp into the target zones, to feed undisturbed by angling pressure throughout the morning. Having said that, I did linger a little longer than usual, so that I could don waders and trim back some over hanging vegetation before making the pilgrimage to the stock pond. Once in situ, it didn’t take me long to realise that the majority of carp I was catching were miniature F1’s of 4 to 5 inches length, rather than the sought after small Commons and Mirrors around the 1lb mark. Clearly, the pattern of catching had changed significantly over the last couple of weeks, with far fewer of the target one pounders in the mix. Come to think of it, I had also witnessed a gradual change in my bream catching results on the specimen lake. Whereas, at the start I had been catching bream at 10 to 15 minute intervals on a method feeder (loaded with scalded pellet paste), this had steadily dropped off to less than 10 per session. Was it just a simple case of the target species becoming more wary and less catchable? Conversely, maybe just maybe, my persistent and prolonged campaign had actually begun to achieve its objective of reducing the number present. If so, nobody could be more pleased than me! I returned to peg 10 of the specimen lake after midday and one hour later, I had a rod on all 3 of my pre-baited spots. The left hand rod was assigned to the area to the left of 'mushroom island'; the middle rod covered a spot 3 metres off ‘boat house point’; and the right hand rod governed the far corner of the right hand bay, just beneath the overhanging trees. Each rod bore a single 18mm Wet Baits Tuna boilie and at this stage, I saw no reason to add any extra free bait. Throughout the day, I scoured the water avidly, but didn’t notice any evidence of carp presence. By 5.00pm, with no action occurring I re-did all the rods for the night and added a light scattering of free baits by throwing stick to replace those removed by the attentions of wildfowl. Given that a couple of weeks had passed since the arrival of lower temperature, I was hopeful that by now the carp had become accustomed to the change and that they might be inclined to indulge in a nocturnal snack. Thankfully, this proved to be the case. At 8.15 p.m. the left hand rod gave a couple of bleeps and the line tightened, leaving the indicator suspended at the top. As I was fishing “locked up”, I wasted no time in lifting the rod. The action was met with firm resistance as the customer attempted to power off towards peg 1. Naturally I just hung on, bracing myself against the initial burst of power, until it eased enough for me to take a few steps backwards. The current low water level meant that it could not attempt to get round the back of the mini island, so once in open water, the rest of the fight could proceed without too much drama and I soon netted a 10lb 8oz Common, thus opening my account. I have recently fitted a wooden cradle to my bait boat that allows me to attach a powerful LED torch. Furthermore, I can adjust the width of its beam, plus the angle of elevation / rotation. Hence, I was able to re-position the hook bait via bait boat in the darkness, with hitherto unachievable accuracy. Proof that the task was executed correctly came at 10.00pm with another take on the same rod. This time the carp responsible felt significantly bigger and stronger. Consequently, the battle was more strenuous and prolonged, even though it followed a similar pattern to the last one. To my delight the end result was a fine 18lb 6oz Common. Finally at 1.40am my rod in the corner of the right hand bay screamed for attention. Surprisingly, the perpetrator made no dash towards the boat house channel, preferring instead to hug the tree line. Although the line grated a bit around the woodwork of peg 10A, I still managed to ease it round the bend and thereafter into the waiting net. A Mirror of 11lb 12oz subsequently greeted the weighing mat, thus closing the action for the session. Three carp to 18lb 6oz was certainly a satisfying result, especially as they were all caught after dark. Thankfully, my lack of care in choosing a peg had not been detrimental to my results. However, next time I intend to invest more effort into the task.