These days, I rarely book a peg in advance at Wetland, preferring to give the regular paying punters first choice. Hence, many factors arelikely to influence my peg choice, not least availability on the day.
That's assuming that I fail do at least one lap of the specimen lake,scouring every inch of water for signs of carp activity. Sometimes,
it's nice to choose a peg that sits on the back of a cold wind, for noother reason than personal comfort. Occasionally, I opt for a peg thatis as far away from other anglers as possible, to hopefully capitaliseupon any carp that are minded to avoid angling pressure. However,there are times when I throw aside any logical calculations and make achoice based solely on a whim, particularly if I haven't fished a pegfor several weeks and fancy a change. Such was the case on Mondaymorning, when peg 10 was available and beckoned enticingly.
After unloading my ever expanding quota of gear, it didn't take longto work out that my spur of the moment choice might not have been awise one. The water in front of me had a foreboding air oflifelessness. Not even the tell tale signs of feeding bream disturbedthe surface. In stark contrast, the bird life was in full-on spring swing. A cacophony of rhythmic squawks and cackles filled the airalmost constantly, as pairs of geese contested and protected their elected nesting spots. A pair of coots dived persistently onto a spotthat appeared to have received a generous spread of bait over the
weekend. For once I applauded their activities, fearing that over zealous baiting might ruin my chances of a bite.
A key difference in peg 10, since the last time I fished it, is the recent installation of large diameter pipe, forming a direct
connection with peg 9. Whether the fish have started using it as a route across the man-made causeway that previously separated the two pegs, is a matter of conjecture. Nevertheless, the feature presented a potential new opportunity to hijack passing carp, that could not be ignored. Accordingly, I decided to deploy my customary bream rod as a
means of investigating the situation. Hence, a method feeder loaded with scalded pellet paste and a small krill dumb bell on a 3 inch hook link, was given an underarm cast into the deeper water adjacent to the pipe opening. My other two rods were cast to two standards spots, namely in the small bay to the left of mushroom island (middle rod)and into the right hand bay area, near the walkway (right hand rod). In each case, the bait consisted of a 15mm Nash Key boilie on a 6 inch braid hook link. A PVA mesh bag of Dynamite 4mm Robin Red pellets was nicked onto the hook, to provide additional attraction.
Weather-wise conditions were not ideal. A period of unseasonably warm sunshine over Easter had given way to much colder high pressure conditions, with grey clouds and the odd glimpse of sun. By mid afternoon, the prospects of catching seemed rather poor. What's more, I noticed that the water level had dropped quite a bit in the last few
weeks. Therefore, I decided to attach a fish finder to my bait boat and explore the depths within the swim. The decision was reinforced by the fact that a coot feeding on my baited middle spot, had merely to
upend its body in order to access the bait. The sonar device subsequently confirmed my suspicion that the water depth was less than 2 feet in the area. In consequence of my findings, I re-positioned the middle rod a little further to the right, where the depth apparently exceeded 4 feet. However, I left the right hand rod on its spot, and kept the bait boat well away, so as to avoid any unnecessary disturbance.
With no action coming during daylight hours, I pinned my hopes on a night time bite from a passing carp. Thankfully, at 02.05 am this came to fruition, when I received a slow plodding take on the middle rod.The nature of the bite was such that I could walk steadily backwards, to draw the carp away from boat house corner into open and less
hazardous water. It took several minutes for the fight to play out, as my adversary was remarkably determined to steer well clear of the poised landing net. Thankfully, it eventually succumbed, allowing me to heave it onto the bank with a celebratory exclamation of "Yes!" On the scales it recorded a welcome weight of 20lb 8oz. Even though I have recently acquired a blue tooth self-take device, I was obliged to photograph my prize on the cradle using an SLR camera, as my fingers were too cold to operate the touch screen on my smart phone. Nevertheless, I was well pleased with what turned out to be the only catch of the session and returned home with a smile on my face and a skip in my step.