Angling Blog 27th February 2015
Fri 27 February 15
A better week this week, after a confidence sapping blank last time out, I chose a completely different venue to try and clear my mind and give myself a chance to have a bit of a rethink about tactics…
I arrived at The Earl of Harringtons AC controlled Marketon Park on the outskirts of Derby bright and early in the hope of catching a carp. I know the water has recently seen new additions introduced by the club, but I hoped to track down one of the older fish which have been present for some years. The water is one of five recently taken on by the club with Derby City Council relinquishing control after an agreement was made to manage the waters properly. The club committee and volunteers have been extremely proactive in their endeavours, removing a huge number of snags, improving bankside stability, installing new pegs and platforms, bailiffing the waters properly, and generally tidying up in addition to liaising with the EA and Angling Trust to review fish stocks and decide on sensible policies for future growth. The result is that much neglected waters have seen a new lease of life, overseen by anglers who care about the future and the environment; as a club angler, I can’t ask for any more than that!
I decided to set up on the carp park bank; in truth, I hadn’t seen any signs of fish, and I didn’t feel like trudging around the whole lake with a heavily laden barrow, so I chose the easy option and set up in a spacious peg with plenty of water in front of me. I had the option to fish into open water, or towards two islands, so I hoped to pick up some clues as the session progressed. Three rods were quickly rigged, and cast out accordingly; one in open water, the others towards the respective island margins, and I sat back to watch the water. After a couple of hours, a series of tiny indications indicated that something had expressed an interest, but nothing developed, so I decided to inspect the rigs… I was horrified to find that my standard bottom bait tactics had seen all three traps covered in a thick blanket of silkweed, and although all three had been cast within a pva bag, stick or had nuggets attached, I needed to change things fast!
I’ve recently joined the team of anglers at Vardis Tackle, a progressive company with plenty of options for specimen anglers, so I selected a length of Downfall Skinline, a coated braid of which I carefully (and easily!) peeled back a short section of the coating to give a couple of inches of flexibility near the hook, added a Gripper hook from the same stable, and tied a fairly long hook link before adding a wafter bait in the hope it would settle nicely on top of the extensive weed growth. Once all three rigs had been changed, they were despatched to their respective positions with the hook firmly sandwiched between two pieces of rig foam to protect the hook point and slow the descent of the bait further so it would be perfectly placed!
After three hours, I’d noticed a couple of other anglers on the far bank, but hadn’t see them catch, and I still hadn’t spotted any fish… confidence is a fragile thing and mine was close to being shattered again! A hour later though, a small indication saw my alarm give a single bleep, and I watched the bobbin twitch almost imperceptibly. A short pause… then another single bleep… then a slow spilling of line from the spool saw the bobbin climb and I lifted the rod into solid resistance! A short (and in truth, dull) fight saw a 15lb 4oz common carp hit the net which was duly weighed and returned. I was happy to have caught, especially as I’d never fished the venue before, and considered stowing the gear and returning home to get warmed up, but there is always ‘one last cast’!
The water was heavily coloured after a night of heavy rain, so I’d chosen to use a Mainline Baits Essential IB wafter.
This particular bait has a fruity scent, and it’s yellow colour makes it visible even in the murkiest of swims, so I was fairly confident that it would be the bait of choice on the day. The carp confirmed my suspicions, so the bait was quickly changed and recast, and I flicked a few more Cell baits out with a throwing stick… mainly to amuse the coots!
Whilst discussing the merits of photography with a passing bird enthusiast, the receiver in my pocket vibrated and I turned to see the same bobbin twitch again. Confusingly, it stopped, then shifted once more before remaining motionless for almost two minutes, before thumping the rod blank as the fish realised it couldn’t shift the super sharp hook! This one put up a far more spirited battle, engaging all sorts of tricks to put me off including diving into a set of nearby tree roots before it too was safely landed!
A very dark old common lay on the mat; dorsal fin torn by age old scraps, scales dulled by age, this was one of the ‘originals’ I’d come for… and I had a photographer standing right next to me! The gentleman was kind enough to oblige my request for a few catch shots, before the old warrior was weighed at 21lb 2oz and gently put back to fight another day…
By now it was late afternoon, and I’d done enough to convince myself I was doing it right after all; a nice brace of fish from a water I’d only read about, and I think I was the only angler who caught, so I had to be pleased! Confidence is now brimming again, and I can’t wait for next week!
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