Friday the 15th June saw me take my second trip to a small day ticket water in Herefordshire with a good head of carp to 30lb. The weather conditions were not in my favour at all with a strong breeze and frequent heavy thundery showers. There were no fish showing at all when I arrived at 6 am but I opted for a swim opposite some lilies to the right of the central island.
After casting a bare lead and no rig around the swim trying to get a feel for the lake bed it became apparant that deep silt and dead plant growth littered the area in front of me. I decided to fish up off the lake bed using M1 wafters with a piece of plastic pop up corn to help keep it well out of the silt. I cast one rod to my right in the margins and one out to the left under the branches of the central tree lined island as tight to the lilies as possible. Both presentations exactly the same, a KD rig constructed from Korda IQ2 of about 10 inches and a size 6 wide gape barbless with a small stick of crushed M1 Boilie and a hint of chilli hemp. I offered only a few free M1 Boilies around my hook baits as I know over baiting this venue kills it or brings in shoals of bream. Either way I hold back and offer the little and often approach.
Time seemed to pass very slowly on the Friday, storms came and went and it seemed as if the fish were not on the feed, other anglers on the lake took a bream or 2 each but no carp shown as of yet. 18.30 pm and my left hand rod screams off with a violent bend in the rod tip. A very hard fight followed, but with steady pressure a mint common of 16-06 was soon sliding over my landing net. Well at least I haven't blanked I thought to myself...
Lines out all night, the odd liner (or over ambitious Bream) but nothing worth getting out the sleeping bag for. Heavy showers continued through the night and with nothing biting I wasn't that bothered.
Saturday morning arrives and I continue with the my method refusing to change baits, M1 has ALWAYS been a very good bait for me and I rarely fail to catch. Only change of tactics is a put both rods on the same spot under the tree and back lead hard to the deck. I sit and wait on the spot and at 11.30 am my left hand rod again screams away. As I take up the slack and strike into the fish it feels very solid, it runs me around for about 10 minutes and I catch the odd glimpse of it as the muddied water boils around it. I manage to wear her out enough to gently ease her nose over the front of the landing net. It looks good and feels weighty. I laid her down and place her into the weigh sling. A stunning perfect 23lb 15 common. The biggest fish out in 2012 I am later informed!
Very happy indeed but no time to rest, both rods rebaited and back out. Around 12.30 my left hand rod screams away again, line peeling away very quickly. As I take the rod the fish feels heavy again and this one fights like mad. It takes me down the right hand side of the lilies and heads across to the margins stirring up silt and dead weed as it battles, it's a good job I have the other line pinned down! After a struggle I slide a beautiful mirror into the landing net, weighing 17-10. This fish was caught a couple of weeks back at 21lb so was carrying a lot of spawn at that time.
This was the last fish of the session but as this is a difficult lake and again I have claimed another 20 from here so I am happy. I look forward to returning there in a couple of weeks.
By: Phil Bowen