Carp Fishing – Happy New Spooky Year – By Lewis Read

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Carp Fishing – Happy New Spooky Year – By Lewis Read

Happy New Year!

Long before the alarm clock bleeped I was looking pensively at the illuminated orange digital numbers – wishing my time away so it was worth getting up and getting the gear in the car. Like most anglers it’s a sound I normally hate, on any other day but a fishing day anyway….

The wife had given me the option to go fishing on New Year’s Eve, but even by my standards leaving the long suffering wife and daughter for the hogmanay celebrations would have been taking the proverbial pee! Instead I planned on being at the lake as early as I could – long before it got light to try and get in one of the pegs that are seemingly ‘the place to be’ right now on Welly…

I rushed around the lake – to the far side and ‘destiny’ – and StottGOD had (very sensibly) made sure he was there already; having fished the night before he was packed up and waiting behind the Bush one step ahead of the rest of us again (the sly silver haired fox!).

Having photographed the utterly magnificent “Small Tail Common” for Dangerous-Dave Acreman in the Grassy Swim the week before I was happy enough to be relegated to that swim, even if it has been a bit of a bogey swim for me…

The day started well – photographing another magnificent Welly whacker for Jay Goodson who had just landed Drop Scale at 51lb(!). Jay was understandably elated. What a fish! I had to waste 4 or 5 hours before I could drop into the Grassy behind Clint, so I spent the time drinking tea with Little Johnnie and looking around the rest of the lake to make utterly certain I wasn’t making a hasty decision. An abject lack of any signs anywhere else seemed to indicate that open water was probably the best place to be – after all the swims on the main lake had produced an inordinate number of big fish in December.

Oh what a difference 12 months makes! Last winter the lake had shut down in early November and not kicked in until the end of March (apart from one brief flurry of activity in mid January). This winter, if you can call it that, has been totally different though as seven different 50’s in December would attest too!

With the weather closing in I wrapped up three rods – one fished tight to the island, and two out to silty patches out in open water – and whacked out the rods feeling the leads down on the new GT-HD. They all dropped absolutely lovely with a firm thud in deeper water indicating the baits had dropped into the gullies I was aiming at. Job done!

The open water rods simple combi-links tied with 15lb soft Subterfuge Fluorocarbon and 20lb Trickster braid with a size 6 Covert Mugga. All nice and simple, and these two rods were baited with Carp Company Icelandic Red snowmen hookbaits. No freebies went out as the previous occupant had trickled a bit of bait in a few days before – after all you can always put a bit more in later…

The Island rod went out on a low pop up with a cheeky ‘S2’ (as I had an aborted take on one the week before in the swim next door) and I battened down the hatches ready for the wind and rain that was forecast for the next 48 hours.

Immediately, I had the occasional ‘out the blue’ random single bleep that I suspected would be fish mooching about the area. I was already excited when a full liner saw the Bug rise to the blank and then drop slowly back again. Signs like these in winter meant that location was spot on and shortly before 4pm one of the rods jerked up tight and then dropped back before tightening as I picked up the rod.

The rod arched over and a heavy lump hung on the end moving slowly along the island and into the Bush’s water. I called Ian and he nipped into the swim to help me don the chesties. After a short plodding fight a girt great pale lump could be seen twisting about in the clear water and within another minute we scooped the net under a whacker of a ghostie…

These fish are simply astonishing when you look at them in a net, and this thing was no exception. Stotty giggled and said it had to be nearly 50 and I was just gobsmacked to catch an absolute huge fish in January. The day had been exciting – and now it was my turn to hold one of the lakes jewels in my hands was obviously the icing on the cake…

We quickly weighed the beast and I held her aloft for the photos, as the light was fading quickly due to the heavy cloud cover and imminent sunset. We recognised the fish as a ghostie I’d been fortunate to have caught once before – back in the summer – known as the Long Ghostie. To my mind she is the prettiest of the big ghosties that reside in the lake and just like all the other fish in Welly she was absolutely mint in every way.

A couple of hours later whilst sat in Stotty’s swim drinking a fine hot beverage – he received a bite and was soon doing battle with a beastie ghostie all of his own (but that’s his story to tell)…

The weather broke – the wind and rain arrived and for two nights the door was largely down (groan) all except for a corner that allowed me to sit perched on the edge of the bed looking at my spots. The scene remained quiet until the last morning when the odd single bleep started up again. They had drifted back but time had run out and in a gap in the persistent rain I headed home still in shock at having caught a 49lb’er on January 1st!

What a wonderful lake! I can’t wait to get back for more…

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