Above the Surface and Below! (Part 2)
A totally different day to part one, in store was local rain showers, overcast which isn’t an awful thing. A gusty South Westerly wind was blowing so at least that was in my favour for a bit of stalking with the fish following a warm wind.
I turned up to the neglected day ticket water and it looked as if there was one angler on the Doughnut-shaped pool so got my target water pretty much to myself. Then the heavens opened! With my drench wear gear on and gear all set up I set off to see what I could find, firstly I popped to the canal pool where I saw a good ripple on the water blowing into the left hand bay. A load of grass cuttings and pollen collected over to the left which was pretty still to be sheltered by the over-hanging trees and shrubs. I made the decision to attack the neglected water first and come back later after scattering a few glugged dog biscuits. I left the canal pool with no sign of any fish feeding thinking it would be a hard day at the office. I arrived at the neglected water which was looking lovely as ever, with the wind blowing into the right hand bay so I decided to fish a swim ¾ of the way down into the bay, covered by a large chestnut tree to the left and a shrub growing out into the water to the right and open water in front of me. I fed a few biscuits both into the near margin and about 30 yards out with the throwing stick to gage whether the carp were going to be feeding in these testing conditions.
Within a couple of minutes they were onto the biscuits about 30 yards out in open water so I put some out around 15 yards in to pull them closer for casting purposes; as I was only using a single trimmed down washed out pink pop up. The carp start moving in towards the biscuits in the margin with the odd one popping up in the snags to the right of me. So I sat and waited for the carp to show themselves in the margin, up pops one then two. I managed to drop my hook bait slowly in front of a very dark greedy common. Boom! Fish on! After very lack lustre fight and she was in the net. Absolutely scale perfect common. Not too big but worth catching. Within a couple of minutes they were back at it again, even the rain couldn’t put them off. I re-tied a new surface rig and re-bait the hair with a trimmed down pop up and sit and wait for a bigger fish to show themselves. I spot a rather big mirror milling about in the right hand snag feeding on the biscuits being blown down into the left hand bay. By throwing a few biscuits in front of the snag, I tried to coax her out so I can present my hook bait. Out she came sure enough, snaffling at the freebies. I slowly lowered my hook bait in front of her and… Boom! Like a steam train she was off over to the far bank of the lake where there is a fallen tree. I tightened the clutch to try and slow her down but she wasn’t having any of it. The rod bent double so I switched to back-wind on my reel to try and gain a bit of control; but no she wanted to get to that far margin and she did. It was all over seconds, I’d lost her! AAAARRRRRGGGG! Another one lost! I was left wondering what on earth I had to do to catch the larger residents out of this lake. Keep keeping on! With the loss of that fish, and still kicking myself I went off looking for other fish as I wanted to rest swim for a bit. I walked around the lake throwing a few biscuits in the margins and snags to see if I could get any carp taking confidently. After half an hour or so looking for fish, I chose to go back to the swim I was originally fishing on. Sure enough they were back milling around; they definitely liked following the wind in this lake and following my treats I put in. So on re-tying a new surface rig and rebating I sat and waited again, I spotted a group of fish tails up grubbing around in the margin after a tasty morsel. I thought to myself I should of brought my heavier gear but hey ho sit and wait. In the spot the big mirror was when I hooked her, I could see a couple of fish about 6 inches below the surface so I lower my hook bait in the water stealthy and one comes straight up for it.
Boom! In again, a very hard fighting long fish who tried to get into the snags either side of me and stayed low in the water. After a good 15 minute scrap she was in the net; a very long good looking warrior. Not the biggest, but well chuffed with this one, a cracker! I unhooked her, weighed, photo and safely got her back to the water. After that fish I decided to go back up to the canal pool to see what we could find. Gear packed up, cradle on shoulder and bucket in hand I made tracks.
I arrived at the canal pool and spot fish milling around in the cuttings and pollen in the left hand bay. With anticipation I cast towards a common feasting on the freebies and straight away the fish swam towards my hook bait. Boom! In again with a hard fighting common, not a bad start on this pool I made the right choice to go down to the neglected water first. With the common in the net I prepared the camera and scales for the photo and weight.
Bizarrely I had got fish taking biscuits within a foot off the bank with the cuttings. I spotted a fish just off the reeds so I slowly lowered my bait in front of her and straight away I was in again. A hard fighting fish, again staying low in the water. After an arm aching 15 minutes she was in the net; a pristine looking mirror! I caught a couple of smaller commons but the elusive big fish has got away again. One day I think and they love the washed out floater so head held high I make my way back home.
SSP Team Member