Angling Blog 6th March 2015

Fri 06 March 15


This week, I returned to Marketon Park in Derby, just one of the excellent waters on The Earl of Harrington’s Angling Club card, in the hope of catching another of the fine carp which reside within…

Full of confidence after my success last week, I arrived early and spent the usual few minutes watching the water to see if I could spot any fish. I couldn’t, so eventually decided to fish the opposite bank in the hope of finding a weed free spot to place my baits as I found ample silkweed last time out, and didn’t particularly want to battle with it again during a short session. I tucked into a swim giving me two island marginal spots, and also allowed me to fish one rod in open water. A quick lead around saw yet more weed foul the line, so I selected some longer Vardis Flourocarbon hook links in a vain attempt to keep the hook point clear.

Once again, my favoured Mainline Essential IB wafters were mounted on one rod, and on the second, I elected to use Mainline Salty Squid wafters, again, in an effort to get the hookbaits to settle gently atop the weed, and on the remaining rod, I chose to fish ‘the method’. I think this is one of the simplest and most effective techniques in the angler’s armoury, and I love to watch the bobbin bounce as fish try to break up the sticky ball of bait before the alarm screams as they find the hookbait! Deep inside the method ball, I’d hidden a couple of 12mm Mainline Cell baits on a short hair rig, which would hopefully tempt a double figure bream as a fallback option.

Three hours later, not a single bleep had told of any fishy interest, and I was starting to consider a change when the bobbin slowly travelled towards the rod blank and the reel spilled line from the spool… It wasn’t the screaming run of a big carp, nor was it the steady pull of a decent bream, but I lifted the rod into fairly solid resistance and commenced battle… Something didn’t feel quite right; no nodding plod or sharp runs, whatever it was just kind of flapped about inconsistently and when it surfaced, definitely wasn’t what I hoped for! My bright yellow IB bait was firmly in the scissors of a black beak which was unfortunately attached to a tufted duck; I’d noticed these greedy feathered friends some distance from my bait, but as I glanced down at my phone, this one must have slipped my notice and dived some distance away before snatching up the bait! The only way to deal with this unfortunate situation is to do so as fast as possible to reduce the amount of stress caused to the bird, so it was quickly retrieved and netted before I left it to calm down before inspecting it to see where the hook was. Unbelievably, the hook was in the net, but the duck still wouldn’t let go of the boilie! As it wasn’t damaged, I took a few seconds for a ‘selfie’ with my new friend before releasing him safely at the water’s edge to rejoin his mates. Not what I was after, but no harm done….

An hour later, and the bobbin slipped steadily towards the alarm and I lifted the rod hoping for something without feathers. The usual dopey surrender saw a decent bream hit the net after it had spent a few minutes picking at the method ball before finding the mini boilies, so at least I wasn’t facing the dreaded blank! Again, not the carp I wanted, but it was a fish!

Returning the baits to the water, I reflected on the hazards of bird life picking up a bait; I have to be honest and say that I’m lucky that I’d only ever done it once previously, and again, I released the coot without harm. It’s almost impossible to completely negate the chances of a hungry bird picking up the bait, even in depths of up to fifteen feet, especially if you can’t see the diver in the first place! They can travel surprising distances under water, so the only answer is to reduce the risk and introduce bait with a Spomb or during the hours of darkness to discourage them, and avoid concentrations of our feathered friends; not always easy if we share our space with them!

The solitary bream was sadly the last of the fishy action, but this venue has really got me hooked… I’ll be back soon and I will catch one of those double figure bream…right after I’ve had that big common carp that swims alongside them….


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