As I write this rather belated blog, I've been reflecting upon the fact that I declined to make my weekly vigil to Wetlands this week, on the grounds that Monday would be a Bank holiday. Normally, I avoid Bank holidays for a couple of carefully considered reasons, but I now find myself questioning the wisdom of my thought process. Firstly, as a regular visitor to the lake, I have reservations about occupying a peg when other anglers, (who do not have the luxury of being retired) might struggle to secure a peg in the holiday rush. Certainly, I have no wish to deny others the joy of putting their precious days-off-work to good use. Secondly, there is a theory that a fully booked lake might not fish anything like as well as a sparsely populated one, on account of increased angling pressure. However, I must admit that the jury is still out in that regard. Whenever I arrive at Wetlands on a Monday morning, I am keen to find out how the lake has fished over the preceding weekend. Oddly enough, any expectations that the weekend results might be poorer than mid week ones due to a crowded lake, seem to be increasingly ill founded. In fact, I have recently come to the conclusion that weather conditions are far more influential than angling pressure. Of particular interest are the splendid catch results achieved during various carp cup matches (held over extended weekend sessions) on the specimen lake.
The pairs match held on 9th to 11th August is a case in point.
The results were as follows:
1st - Paul & Lyn - Peg 8 - 173.1 lbs
2nd - Josh & Marty - Peg 1 - 80 lbs
3rd - Walsh & Ady - Peg 6 - 61.6 lbs
4th - Brian & Eugene - Peg 4 - 20.6 lbs
5th - Matt & Martin - Peg 10 - 26 lbs
6th - Ash & Ben - Peg 2 - 15.6 lbs
7th Paul & Adam - Peg 5 - 11.5 lbs.
Total number of carp banked = 23. Clearly, with 14 anglers on the banks, angling pressure was maximised, but this didn't prevent the contestants from catching well.
On Monday 12th August, when I turned up for my usual weekly session, the weather had changed from being warm and sultry to cool and showery, with inevitable consequences in terms of carp feeding activity. I opted for peg 10 without hesitation. My rationale was simply that Esmeralda (my main target fish) had been caught twice by Pat from peg 10 and once from peg 1. Furthermore, peg 10 had consistently furnished me with some great results over recent weeks, that included banking Big S at 27lb 12 oz one week, Quasi at 28lb 6oz another week, and on my last visit no less than 3 twenty pound carp in a single session. Hence, it was my intention to milk it to the limit whilst on a roll. Rod positioning followed my usual pattern, namely the left hand rod just around the point into the middle bay; my middle rod in front of mushroom island; and my right hand rod into the corner bay to the extreme right. Hook baits were double 18mm KEY boilies, each with a light scattering of Nutrabaits Trigga Ice 20mm boilies. Experience tells me that most bites come at first light, or approaching sunset. However, on this occasion, the middle rod registered a twitchy take at 2.00 pm. Once I had lifted the rod tip, the culprit made a spirited dash for the boat house inlet channel and very nearly succeeded. Thankfully, I managed to bring it back into open water, whereupon the remainder of the fight was fairly well controlled. Subsequently a 14lb Common joined me on the bank for a brief weighing exercise. No further action materialised until 6.00 am the following morning, when a 13lb Common succumbed in the right hand bay. At one point in the fight, the perpetrator managed to get round the wooden frontage of peg 10A and almost into the overhanging marginal trees, such that drastic action was required to remedy the situation. The only way to avoid a hook pull was to put the rod back in the rod rests with a tight clutch and race round with a landing net. Somehow, I managed to locate the mono filament, raise it to chest height and then hand line the carp into the waiting net. To my amazement it went into the folds at the first attempt line and I breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe two low double figure Common carp is a bit tame compared to some of my recent outstanding captures, but at least I didn't blank and the unpredictability of carp fishing is what sustains interest brings us back for more.
Best fishes, Kelvin