Just of late I’ve really struggled to get the time I’d really like to dedicate to my angling. It’s one of those things and due to my work and family commitments. In turn, this has put me on a fair few blank overnighters but when you do get amongst the fish it makes it all the sweeter.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt though, is that the place where they show isn’t necessarily where you’ll catch them! On all my recent trips I’ve been on the fish and the way they’ve behaved has had me scratching my head as to why I couldn’t pick off any bites. On my last trip I found a good few of the bigger residents and decided to initially keep everything as stealthy as possible. But despite my efforts they drifted off elsewhere after a couple of hours, leaving me once again bemused and puzzled.
A fellow member, Errol and I, will often compare our findings and share information which generally helps when you’re unable to get down the pond and stay in contact with the place. The area of the lake I was fishing is one that I’ve had great success from before, but the spots I used to fish have disappeared, weeded over. After much trial and error, climbing trees, watching the fish, wading and plumbing I discovered where I could snare a few – off a gravel slope running out of a tree line.
I had a 2 nights trip and decided to set traps with different hookbaits, presentations and lead arrangements over a good helping of whole, chopped and crumbed ‘Rock Lobster’ boilie, 4mm pellet, a sprinkling of corn, chilli hemp and some red dari seed. The night passed with only a few liners and I wasn’t feeling confident. In fact I was actually putting a Plan B together whilst drinking my first tea of the morning, then with no warning whatsoever, my right ATT glowed red and the box sounded causing me to jump out of my skin! After a good scrap a low twenty went over the cord.
Finally, I’d broken my recent run of blanks and after a few pictures I returned the fish and quickly retied the rig. This comprised a Ronnie Rig, and a Specialized Hookbaits S2 White cork-balled pop up fished on a helicopter arrangement using a breakaway Drop-Out Chod Clip and a 4oz lead set to drop as soon as the fish made off from the shelf and into the nearby weed bed.
The hookbait was re-positioned with another good helping of bait, and I was just on my second cup of tea of the morning when I was away again! Only this time it was one of the really pretty scaley ones and a low 20 again.
I soon had the rod re-tied and re-positioned and once again without any warning I received the most savage take literally smashing my little Nano-Bug off its chain. After an epic knee trembling battle my mate ‘Scooba’ helped net what turned out to be an angry upper twenty mirror. Three bites and three fish landed, ending my blank run in style and putting a big smile back on my face.
I’d seen much bigger carp the day before and because of the action I had received I was reluctant to move despite the carp activity going quiet. I decided to bait up, rest the swim for a bit then re-position the rods later in hope they’d return later that night or the following morning. Typically this wasn’t to be; I think the extra pressure from new anglers arriving put the mochas on things and my allotted time soon came to a close. The search for the ‘Penny’ Common would have to continue…
A week on from my last session and I managed to tie up all the loose ends at work and get down the pond Thursday evening ready for a session straight from work. Now, last week before I left, I put in most of my remaining bait over the spot I’d had my bites from and I primed a new area that I had found after leading around before I left for home. I hoped that the free feed would help keep the spots clean and let the carp enjoy a confidence boosting free meal.
With a bucket in hand I went for a good mooch about to try and find the carp, and as luck would have it I met one of the Bailiffs going over the bridge. Being totally open with each other, he kindly said that the bulk of the residents were in the early pegs on the main lake. With a ‘thank you’ I rushed around to see for myself and as luck would have it, the peg I fished the week before was empty and holding some nice fish. In went the bucket and off I went to retrieve the rest of my gear in double quick time.
This time I was determined to get a bite off a new spot, but despite my best efforts the carp replicated the exact same behaviour and movements as the week previous, and I had to wait until the following morning before I received my only bite and only fish of the session. I was very happy with a 24lb 14oz fish, but I was happier that it was not only a nice scaley old one, but more interestingly it didn’t have any marks or bruising in its immaculate mouth – suggesting it hadn’t been caught for a long time. A rare one perhaps…
After that bite the rest of the carp shifted out into the middle of the main lake, and I stubbornly stayed put rather than move on them, anticipating their return which wasn’t to be. Observing and learning what I have from the last 2 sessions fishing on Swan, if I got back into that peg with fish in front of me I would probably drop back to 2 rods and I’d concentrate them on the same spot, so that if I received a take during the window of bite time I’d still have 1 rod fishing effectively. Alternatively, I’d fish just one rod on the spot, with minimum disturbance and less lines in the water with another rigged up ready to position immediately after a bite.
As per the last session the successful approach was a white S2 tied to a ‘Ronnie Rig’ fished rotary style on a Camflex Leadfree leader with a 4oz Bolt Bomb attached to a Drop-Out clip All attached to the immensely strong 18lb GTHD. I fished over 2kg of ABS Rock Lobster, MC nut, chilli hemp, red Dari, 4mm pellet and sweetcorn – and they loved it!!
Come on Penny!
Till next time, tight lines…