24Hr Session, Peg 10, - Monday 29/07 to Tuesday 30/07
During last Thursday's work party, I spent several hours removing some of the submerged roots and branches from peg 1, to make it safer for fishing. However, there was still much outstanding pruning to be done, so I was keen to make a bit more progress this week before starting my fishing session. The initial plan was to make a 7.00 am start and get fishing by midday. Unfortunately, events conspired against me to significantly delay my arrival. In short, my newly acquired Land Rover (an ebay purchase, delivered only the day before) broke down on the M1, on the way to Wetlands. Consequently, it had to be towed back to Sheffield, before I could set off in our other car, with the result that I didn't arrive at Wetlands until about 11.00 am. Fortuitously, no one was fishing peg 1, so I got stuck straight into snag removal work and kept going until around 3.00 pm. Then, pleased with what had been achieved, I drove round to peg 10 and unloaded my gear. I must say though, that I wasn't in a good state of mind to invest a lot of effort into my fishing. Anxiety about the broken down 4 x 4 weighed heavily on my mind. Had I been duped into buying a "pig in a poke" and would it cost a veritable arm and a leg to restore it to a roadworthy condition? What's more, would I have to face a barrage of "I told you so" style criticism from those around me, plus the disapproval of my wife. In spite of my lack of enthusiasm, it soon became evident that my somewhat poorly considered choice of peg was actually not bad at all. Several carp were in evidence, fairly high up in the water. Even better, there were sporadic bursts of bubbling, synonymous with carp feeding activity. One smallish carp sat underneath an overhanging bush near the inlet pipe from peg 9, gently twitching its fins. Under such conditions, even the most distracted carp angler would find it hard to suppress the innate, instinctive drive get the rods out to potentially lucrative spots. Accordingly, my left hand rod was consigned to the aforementioned overhanging bush. My middle rod took charge of a spot just round the corner from the nearest island point. Finally my right hand rod delivered a baited rig to the area in front of mushroom island. In each case the bait was a double 18 mm Nash Key boilie nicked into a PVA mesh bag of matching pellets. Around each spot, I scattered a handful of Trigga Ice 20 mm boilies as free offerings. Just recently,in my experience, peg 10 seems to have been largely unproductive during daylight hours, only giving up its jewels during the night. Therefore I wasn't too optimistic about getting a daytime bite. Hence, at 8.30 pm, when the hanger on my middle rod climbed 3 inches and dropped back again three times in succession, I lifted the tip, expecting to be attached to a beam. However, this was clearly no bream! A huge tail fin slapped the surface angrily, as a sturdy carp set off towards the back corner of the middle bay, creating huge bow waves as it powered off. Determined to prevent it from reaching its intended destination, I ran over to the right hand side of the banks, immersed the rod tip below the surface and put as much side strain on as I dare. The usual scenario of a stalemate 'tug of war' ensued, until sustained pressure allowed me to start gaining line. Slowly, I eased the Mirror carp around the island point and then relaxed a bit as the beast came into open water. As usual, the shallow state of the near marginal water encouraged the carp to plough backwards and forwards, churning the water into black muddiness and taking out my other two rods in the process. Finally, I managed to ease my quarry over the net chord, but not before I had clocked the huge elevated dorsal hump characteristic of "Quasi". I left the net in the water, while I contacted Richard to request assistance with weighing and photographing my prize. Richard was quick to respond, appearing in the peg within a couple of minutes. Records show that I have captured Quasi twice before, on the 30th January 2017 and 4 Jun 2018, at weights of 22lb 4oz and 23lb 6oz, respectively. Nevertheless it is still a great privilege to hoist her great frame on the banks. The very sight of her never fails to fill me with respect and awe. Better still, after carefully deducting the weight of the sling, we recorded a weight of 28lb 6oz. Since the sad loss of 'Timms', Quasi seems to have taken over her role as 'Queen of the pond' and is rapidly catching up with her in the weight stakes. After such a thrilling experience, my emotions changed from depression to elation and I became hungry enough to consume the sandwiches that had hitherto lain uneaten in my ruck sack. Eventually, as darkness descended, I got round to re-doing the rods and settled into my bivvy for the night. I was awakened 30 minutes after midnight by a spirited run on my right hand rod, which produced an 11lb 14oz Mirror. Then at 04.05 am my middle rod went into meltdown, producing another Mirror of 14lb 12oz. What an outstanding session this had proved to be, even though I only had rods in the water for approximately 15 hours in total. Needless to say, I returned home in a much happier mood than when I arrived. Carp fishing undoubtedly provides great therapy.