Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Change of Plan

Sitting down to write this, I can’t help thinking of the best laid plans entry I wrote a few weeks ago. In it I seem to remember saying I quite often end up somewhere else despite my plans and this week has been no exception.
I knew mid-week that my river severn barbel trip had been cancelled, things come up and a few of the lads had dropped out during the week, it was decided the barbel trip would be re-arranged at a later date.
This left me with a free Saturday and rather than head down to the river severn I decided it had to be our elusive north west carp again this weekend, I am a carp angler after all and the barbel are just a break from the norm now and again. The river dee for carp wasn’t really an option, I’d kept the prebaiting up for the last few weeks but my river dee fishing partner was carp fishing in france for the week so I decided to leave the river alone until next week.
The obvious plan was to go back to the new lake I was on last week, so far I’d had the 20 from my social session there last month but apart from that I’d done just the one 6 hour session last week which resulted in a blank.

I headed off to the lake and after an un-eventful car journey I found myself standing by the lake scanning the water for carp. Nothing showed for the short time I spent looking, I had made one observation and that was the wind direction, the wind was blowing straight into the tree line I was fishing against last week. I figured as the carp had followed the wind into an out of bounds area last week, I might as well start on the end of it this week!.
I dropped my gear in my peg and started setting up, I had my chair out, the rod pod was up and the rods were together when I just happened to look up and see a carp crash out, I was gutted, it crashed right in the back of the out of bounds area!. I focused on the area I’d seen the carp crash and sure enough over the next few minutes half a dozen other fish either rolled or crashed out of the water. Now I had a problem, should I stay put and hope there were a few carp along the tree line on the wind or should I move and try to get a little nearer to the rolling fish?. I opted to stay were I was, I figured that any carp that were not with the showing fish would be in my swim and any that decided to leave the out of bounds safety would most likely drift my way with the wind.

I set up the same as last week, chest waders on and two rods cast down the tree line to my left, the closest rod to the trees was a cracking cast, so close I half thought I might have clipped the branches, I hadn’t and my single 15mm boilie bottom bait and two bait stringer were in a perfect position. The second rod went a little further away from the trees but was still in a good position.
With the rods out I sat back to watch the water, I find short session carping requires concentration and for the 5/6 hours I’m on the bank I watch the water like a hawk, all sightings of carp are noted and if I find carp rolling or showing in the same areas repeatedly I either move if I think I have a better chance or I make a note to try the area at a later date if I can’t cover it from where I am. As I watched I began to see more and more shows, carp were actually crashing, rolling and bubbling all over the place and after an hour of watching I got the third rod out. I rigged it up the same as the other rods, a single 15mm boilie bottom bait and a two bait stringer. I spent the afternoon roving this rod around every hour or so, if I spotted a carp roll within range I’d drop a bait into the area and leave it for a while in the hope it would be picked up. Such was the carp activity, moving that rod and watching the water kept me busy most of the session but it proved fruitless in the end. Still, with only a few hours to catch a fish you have to try and make things happen.

I’d been busy watching and observing rolling carp for a few hours, I was so engrossed in it I’d actually forgotten about the rods cast along the tree line. Just after 4.15pm the closest rod to the trees (good cast!) ripped off, I was already sat in my chest waders and the rods were right next to me so I was on it and standing waist deep in the water within seconds, this gave me the upper hand and I buried the rod tip in the water and applied as much side strain as I dared. It worked and the carp came along the tree line slowly but surely, once away from the trees I was able to ease off on the pressure and play the fish out comfortably in the margins, another few minutes passed with the carp making a few attempts to get back towards the trees but eventually the pressure told and I slipped the net under a nice looking low double ghostie.

Low Double Ghost Common

It was a nice fish, you can’t really see it on the picture but it had a lovely black and yellow coloured head with hints of black on the fins, I weighed the fish at 12lb 4oz, not massive I know but a lovely looking fish none the less. I returned the fish to the water after a couple of photos, returned all my gear to it’s rightful place in my rucksack and then repositioned the rod with a fresh hookbait and pva mesh stringer.

Carp continued to roll throughout the evening, I made several casts to the areas I saw these fish rolling and one thing I began to notice was that they were showing over quite deep water, certainly 20ft plus. I may have been better fishing with a pop-up on a zig rig rather than using a standard bottom bait. I made a mental note that a zig rig might be an option for future carp sessions on this particular Cheshire carp lake.
Despite my best efforts, no more carp were forthcoming and I decided to call it a day at 7.30pm, I was a little disappointed I couldn’t pick up an extra fish, I’d spent quite a few hours chasing them round with the roving rod but it wasn’t to be.

At the moment, I’m torn between fishing this Cheshire carp lake and fishing the river dee, I’m leaning towards the river at the moment simply because it’s so unpredictable. Very few north west carp anglers have ever set foot on the banks of the dee and that really appeals to me, I’ll drop back onto this lake again for an odd trip but I think the river will occupy most of my fishing time until the end of October. I’ve found the months of September and October to be ‘big carp’ months when I fished the river weaver and I hope this proves to be the case on the river dee too.

Tight Lines

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