After a bit of a storm circling around us for what seemed like and eternity finally it abated,30 mph gusts now more like an asthmatic wheeze,grey skies, but warm ,about the 14 deg C , today would be a good day for some fishing on a local pond.
Of late the pond i like to fish has been really hard work,fishing the margins,smelly baits,groundbaits designer made in the kitchen all failing to get a decent catch ,I mean low single figures! From experience I know that any time now the carp will spring into life,they will be greedily scoffing like big piscatorial pigs at the trough.
I arrived at the pond relatively early owing to road closures we had to get through the town before eight thirty or face a dog leg around the mulberry bush through the village of Zeals ,one of only 3 villages beginning with a Z in England I believe,then onto Wolverton and onto the old causeway to the pond.
Two old boys I know from the same club as I am a member were already there busying themselves setting up,pleasantries exchanged it was onto the task at hand,catching fish.
First off i mixed my ground bait as per a new recipe i had been assured was a killer,then setting up my split cane rod with a Mitchell 206s,a homemade wire swimfeeder and a size 12 circle hook baited with Lidl’s Kabanossi,a very oily smokey version of a peperami at a quarter the price,I cast this across the narrow part of the lake to the reeds on the far bank,it landed about 3 feet from the reeds the swim feeder releasing groundbait in a big cloud,put on the rod rest it was a waiting game,and to keep myself occupied i set up for float fishing on the Pin.
Late last week I happened upon a nice rod to compliment the Hardy Conquest reel,a Hardy Conquest rod,a 11 foot fibreglass rod of some vintage,initially I was surprised just how light the rod was compared to other glass rods I own,Hardy were well ahead of their time back in the day,so this was set up with a homemade float I made with carping in the margins in mind and could be cast with ease using the ‘pin ,I fished at about 15 yards in a nice corner swim hook tipped with fresh Maggot.
Clearly within an hour or so there were fish in the swim,tell-tale watery contrails on the surface of the water,the odd tap on the float turned firsly into small Perch,Roach and Rudd and then quite unexpectedly a struck into something a little more solid,an F1 hybrid followed a few minutes later by a Skimmer silver bream things were off to a good start.
As my fellow piscator in the swim next to me hit into a fish my feeder rod nearly jumped off the rod rest,for a moment I assumed it was my neighbour snagging me but again the old split cane darted for the depp,i grabbed the cork handle not a moment too soon ,i raised the rod tip and felt the tell tale nod of a good carp, after a tense minute or two ,the usual Thomasine doubts ,did i tie the hook well enough , is the leader sufficient? Nothing to worry about the leviathan was soon on the soft wet spring grass,photos duly taken and the fish returned to the water none the worse for its brief ordeal.
After lunch there was a lull in the action,just a few small perch to break the boredom. About 6 swims up from my swim was a chap fishing for a couple of hours,giving up by early tea time he threw his bread in at the margins,after about 30 minutes I could hear the sweetest sound in the world the sluuuuuurp of Carp taking bread from the surface,i watched for a while and finally decided to move up to that side of the pond with surface bread fishing on my mind.
Well to say there were a few fish in the swim would be an understatement, quickly i changed hook to a Raptor carp hook of the size four kind,big bread bait squeezed around the line and hook and i cast as far as I could with the pin,surprisingly within two or three feet of the island margins,a few more morseld of Hovis treats and the fish were competing,now i had been staring at a piece of the bread on the surface for about ten minutes when my float shot under and the bread nonchalantly bobbing away on the surface,i had as i happened been watching the wrong bit of bread! I struck into a fish ,and boy did it scrap,on a vintage centrepin carping is a whole new ball game! my arms ached the reeled screamed like a thing possessed,this carp was not coming easily ,if i was to land this cyprinid i was going to have to use skill and born of many lost fish over the years,more than once the line passed the front of the swim ,deep enough that i couldn’t see the float,this battle went on for a good twenty minutes,lucky for me my ghillie Alan was at hand to net the fish.Once on the bank I looked in awe at the common carp before me,a PB from this water,with the help of Alan and Rich we put the fish on the scales,it went right around the dial and off the reading of 10lb,after deliberation and much umming and arring we settled that it was like ly 14 and a bit pounds,photos taken and the fish released back to get on with its day., me to reflect for a moment on the battle on my hardy set up,this could be considered a good christening for it.
As the day went on the skies drew darker as the sun sunk towards the horizon,my compatriots said their goodbyes and wished me well,I baited the hook again and cast mid stream and sat back to wait for another slurp.
With all the fish catching going on I had barely noticed the plethora of birds in the trees and hedges,this was the time of day that the song thrush comes out to sing to all that will listen from the tallest oak on the pond,his calls answered by other thrushes further afield,a last moment chime of goldfinches made their way along the hedgerow to my left upsetting the Robin in the blackthorn,and he certainly let them have what for too!
My attention was caught by a slurp and a tug on the line another carp on the floating crust,and another and another,fish after fish,i near lost count,almost as soon as the bread hit the water the ravenous carp were upon it like lions on gazelle.
Well what a day,my best day of catching fish since last year,clearly the spring carp were waking up with the hunger of a bear after a long hard winter.This will be one of those days i shall remember for a long while ,the day of carp in the daffodils.