Carp Fishing ~ Effort Equals Reward… by Lewis Read

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Carp Fishing ~ Effort Equals Reward… by Lewis Read

  • carp fishing effort equals reward

Over the last few weeks the fishing at the Park Lake has been sketchy in the extreme. With the prevalent NE wind stream that we endured, which knocked the water temperatures back all of a sudden. Those HUGE GREAT Welly CARP stopped showing and gave few (if any) clues to their whereabouts.

I found myself stepping up mobility, moving swims way too much in an attempt to pin them down (or at least get on any small active pods of fish). This meant I had to move up to half a dozen times each weekend, reacting to any little signs noticed just trying to scratch out a bite.

It’s not all been totally in vain though luckily, otherwise I would be beating myself up like a masochist freak by now! The first run around weekend I moved 6 times in a couple of days, bouncing backwards and forwards before finally settling in the little lake after seeing a couple of ‘is it, isn’t it bubblers’ that could have been a Tinca for all I know.

Luckily, that night I had a pull on the Ronnie Rig that made the old ATT ‘blippa’ bleep and I tugged and cajoled a chunk of a 45lb ghostie away from the far margin. It battled like a mad MOFO until it was unceremoniously bundled into the net…

Immediately, all that effort was more than worth it for that one bite. It’s a fine line sometimes between chasing my own tail and being mobile – and there are inevitably going to be times when I move out a swim prematurely – but on balance I am 100% certain that it buys more bites than it loses (and I do get bored sitting in the same swim for longer than about 3 hours if there isn’t anything happening!).

The following weekend was once again more of the same… This time the lake was rammo’d and despite my best (pitiful) efforts I walked away with a blanket blank cheque book and pen. Whenever I had got on fish they’d evaporate (metaphorically) off after the leads and rigs had sploshed in nearby. One opportunity stood out, when fish started showing out in the middle between ‘The Wides’ and ‘Pole Position’ – but then three of us made a ‘mid-night manoeuvres’ reaction setting up on them. That was probably 2 too many anglers in the area and once again they did the off’s…

The sketchy weather was due to improve a bit last weekend – with a nice southerly wind forecast to arrive in the evening, I arrived at the lake just before 6AM eager to wander around at dawn to try and receive a ‘gift’ from the carp god. An hour later I was sat on the floor in the Reeds surveying a lovely flat lake when a fish flopped out by the island in front of the Grassy so I ran back to my barrow and quickly wrapped up the rods up. One cast with each rod and they each went out perfect and with minimal disturbance. I elected to fish singles as I didn’t want to rain in boilies if there were active fish in front – but that was it… I sat looking at nothing else happening for three hours and as the wind started to tickle the surface, gently rippling the water’s surface in the direction of bramble bay I could take no more and shifted round to the Up and Over; a swim that’s located right on the end of the expected southerly. I’d seen a bit of bubbling in the corner so set up fully expecting some carpy traffic. I sat on my hands for the whole night bored witless looking at the effing bushes, but by 8 the following morning I had frankly had enough and piled the barrow high and headed for the Little Lake. Word on the grapevine was that fish had shown there the night before (more the night before that) and I knew the anglers in there were due to go at some point so that would do. When the fish aren’t playing ball (like the last few weeks) out in the main lake they are invariably in one of the bays – the tricky bit is pinning them down.

I set my gear behind amiable Carl in The Birches, as awesome ‘Akridman’ was hanging it out after doubling up (!!) with Betty in the main swim and I was eventually setting up in there mid-afternoon. This swim offers a great angle on the mature stand of pads in the corner to the left (much nicer angle and safer than setting up right next to them in The Pads swim IMHO). In the meantime, after Betty had departed halving the number of lines in the swim Dave had caught a cracking red cheeked 31lb common, so we knew there were still carp still loitering in the little lake. Coincidence… I think not squire – and well angled by the likable bumpkin (who is a fine angler)…

I nipped round and fed some quartered boilies and a couple of pinches of ‘crunch’ and then cast out 2 rods on spots by the pads. The third rod was flicked round towards the channel that leads in and out of the Little Lake – that you know sees loads of traffic but rarely does a bite. Maybe they are a bit flighty coming in and out… All the rods had been changed over to Mirage, simply because I knew the swim had seen a fair bit of pressure since my mate Greg had caught Little Big Head, Lordie had had the Clean Fish and Jay had caught Chestnut the weekend before on consecutive nights (the only bites on the whole lake that weekend)…

After setting the traps (‘Ronnies’ of course – fished on 25lb Ultra Skin) I was getting the odd single bleep – which is a lovely ‘tell tale’ with the Fluoro and at just past midnight one of the pad’s rods wrapped round and I had a nice 26lb 4 ounce common. As it was the night of the full moon it was bright enough to get the rod back out perfectly; and after flopping it in I chucked in another pinch of the sweet delicious crunch and a few more chops.

At 5’ish the same rod torque’d round and a much more powerful and determined fish held against the pads, thrusting powerfully in an effort to get in the stems. I just held on for dear life (like you do) and eventually it conceded enough ground for me to play it a bit more conventionally. As I gazed down at the fish in the net, illuminated by the moon, I thought ‘Nice! A mid thirty will do…’ and it wasn’t until I went to lift her into the mat that I had one of those wonderfully delicious and all too rare ‘is the net snagged moments’… It was a true beast of a Welly Whacker!

I weighed her at a stonking great 49lb 8oz and thought it may have been a recapture of the unknown – but she was identified as a relatively rare bank side visitor called The Little Two Tone. Young Alan was due to video that morning so I got him in early and we did a nice little video; but full video day plans were scuppered by the erection of a circus style marquee behind us. Good footage captured of the fish on the bank though – and I elected to take an impromptu day’s annual leave in the hope of getting another bite – which I did, only to have a hook pull in the pads. It’s one of those things but I was still gutted as it was another big fish (the main thing was the strong tackle meant I didn’t leave any tackle in it).

The last night was a work night, and despite liners in the early hours no bites were forthcoming. The fish had definitely been set on edge and even the one man hauling machine that is Jabba Jabberson (Greg) who followed me in, as I sulked away at 7AM the next morning, failed to get another bite. Those highly pressured fish reacting to the series of captures from the swim by acting very sketchily in the zone.

The lake has been amazingly kind to me this year, with a number of unbelievable fish captures. I am not being a hero (never will be) and I am not doing anything amazing or different. I’m just fishing with baits they like and rigs that work. I’ve fished a lot this year (and I mean A LOT – so thanks to Mrs Read for being patient) and consequently my casting and baiting is tuned in – if it wasn’t by now I would deserve a thorough beating. This is essentially the only thing I can put my consistency down to; that and chasing the buggers relentlessly! It’s been flippin’ fabulous – and absolutely I’m loving it…

Till next time, may your next bite be from the fish of your dreams…

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