Over a decade ago I fished a 250 year old private estate lake off the beaten track, and during the summer it would be covered in stunning lilies and contained two small islands. Granted my angling ability and knowledge has far surpassed my former self some decade or so ago, but I did manage a few carp back then including the majority of the larger named residents from this particular ex monastery. The ‘daddy’ of the pond continually eluded me despite plenty of effort. He did visit the bank from time to time, but I seemed to miss out, perhaps just bad timing or maybe it just wasn’t my time.

After a dedicated campagin I moved on and fished several more waters quite intently, and during this time the lake had changed hands and become essentially a very fortuitous man’s back garden. The fishing had become limited with restrictions on angling times.

Around two weeks ago I felt my fishing had become a bit stale and I needed something to excite my carp blinkers, as I’m still waiting for my new syndicate water to open in August. I’ve been fishing waters that have become a little too familiar and the mystery had escaped me somewhat.

The morning turned into a real red letter session, with no less than thirteen bites and ten old carp were landed.

For some reason (and I’m not sure why) the estate lake cropped into my head and the search for the old boy that had evaded me for all those years ago suddenly seemed like a realistic and fitting challenge.

I had a stroll round the lake after work and spent a good thirty minutes watching a group of carp milling around behind an island in the sunshine. After formulating my best plan of attack, I decided to return at opening time the following day. I would only have 4-5 hours due to other commitments, so I made sure I was fully prepared, tied fresh rigs and reduced the amount of tackle I was taking.

On arrival, I had a quick lap of the lake and decided on a slightly overgrown area behind an island where I had stood only a day before. The morning turned into a real red letter session, with no less than thirteen bites! Ten old carp were landed ranging from a fully scaled leney to dark commons and a couple of rogue wildies and boy do they scrap! Despite the frantic action, the old boy still managed to eluded me.

The following session was spent on a different lake due to time restrictions on the estate lake and I actually wound in at 5am the following morning, as all I could think about was my target. Another morning was spent at the estate lake and during bite time and I managed four bites and landed three. Although this time some of the lakes smaller residents graced my net.

Gardner Pear Bomb.” alt=”Ian used a hinge stiff rig using a size 6 Covert Chod hook, 20lb Trip Wire, 15lb Sink Skin boom section, 45lb Heavy Plummet Leadcore and a 1.5oz Gardner Pear Bomb.” width=”776″ height=”582″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-11150″ />

A few days later I knew there was potentially an early finish at work on the cards, so an afternoon spent on the estate lake seemed very fitting and a chance to continue writing my wedding speech.

My luck was in and some twenty minutes after arriving, one of my rods fished to a rhododendron lined margin was away. The 15lb GT80+ mainline I was using held strong and withstood all the surges the mighty mirror threw at me and after the first roll I knew exactly what was attached to. I breathed a sigh of relief when I led the fish over the cord, Roy went in and suddenly my dream had come true. The weight was irrelevant as he’s an extremely old carp, believed to be some 45-50 years old. For the record he only went 21lb 4oz, which was a bit down on his former mid twenty weight. I didn’t want to catch him due to what he weighed, more because he is a historic old carp that had eluded me which made the capture far more desirable.

I could have easily packed up and gone home happy, but I still had a speech to contend with so the rods went back out and I received two further bites, of which one was a stunning ornamental.

My successful tactics was a hinge stiff rig with a coated braid boom section fished rotary style. This comprised a size 6 Covert Chod hook, 20lb Trip Wire, 15lb Sink Skin, 45lb Heavy Plummet Leadcore, 1.5oz Gardner Pear Bomb. The bait that they clearly adored was Mistral’s Leon Bartropp Day Ticket range and Mistral’s Purple Plum.

By no stretch my biggest carp buts it’s history and pedigree made it all the more special- food for thought eh…
By no stretch my biggest carp but its history and pedigree made it all the more special.