That was my starting point sorted out, I unloaded the fishing gear from the car and walked the short distance to my peg. Having put my gear down I had a good look at the swim. Sure enough, there were signs of carp in the area, in fact there seemed to be quite a few fish present and I couldn't get the rods out quick enough. The first rod went into the area I‘d been baiting up, a gentle lob of 40 yards saw my rig and pva mesh bag land perfectly, I trapped the line and sunk the lead on a tight line then put the rod on the rod pod. I pulled a bit of slack line off the clutch and set my monkey climber into its normal postion, I still had the monkey climber in my hand when it was ripped from my grasp by a full blooded run. That’s the kind of start I was looking for! away in seconds!. I was straight into the fish and after a short scrap I netted my first winter carp of the day, it was a small common that didn't look like it was going to make double figures, a quick weighing confirmed a weight of 9lb 8oz, my smallest carp of the winter so far. I slipped the fish back without a photo and got on with the business of getting the rods out again.
My first rod went straight back onto the baited area with another pva mesh bag attached. There had been a couple of fish showing in area c on my little swim diagram so I put the second rod out to that spot, again with a pva mesh bag for good measure. Once the rods were out I settled down to watch the water. There were signs of fish all over the place and having caught one so quickly I was confident of a multiple catch. Just half an hour after the recast, the baited spot rod was away again, another short fight saw another small common slip into the net, it was bigger than the last one and on the scales it went 12lb 14oz, probably an average size carp for the water.
Two fish before midday meant I could well be in for a bumper end to the year, I dropped the rod back onto the baited spot again and at the same time I moved my right hand rod to cover a new spot further to the right, I'd seen several carp show on this spot, all in the half an hour between runs, there certainly seemed to be a few fish knocking round the new area and I sat back expecting action sooner rather than later. Just under an hour passed by with no action, a few fish had begun to show in area c again and I was kicking myself for moving the rod in the first place. I sat and pondered moving it back when a single bleep came from the right hand delkim. I watched the rod but couldn't see it twitching at all, a second bleep had me hovering over the rod waiting for it to rip off, I still couldn't see any sign of a hooked carp though, no twitch of the rod tip, no nothing?. The twitch came half a minute later when the rod wrenched round and the delkim sounder box signalled the run, I was standing next to it at the time so I was straight into the fish. It had been hooked a fair way out but despite this the fight was quite short, the fish came straight into the margins where it charged round for a few minutes before rolling into the landing net. It was another low double common, in fact it was a very low double common that weighed in at 10lb 6oz. I did a quick photo purely because it was a double and I document all my double figured winter carp.
With three carp under my belt before 1pm I wondered what was in store for what I consider to be the most productive part of the day, the mid to late afternoon. When I repositioned the right hand rod I went for area c again, I'd been pondering moving it back there anyway so it seemed logical to cover the carp that had been rolling out there. That turned out to be a smart move on my part as the right hand rod on area c was a away within five minutes of it hitting the water. Again a single bleep from the delkim had me standing beside the rods when a full blooded run developed. This fish fought a bit better than the others, probably due to the extra few pounds of weight it had, after netting it and going through the motions of weighing and photographing, my fourth carp of the day turned out to be a 14lb 10oz common, not quite a mid double but at least the fishes weights were going in the right direction, upwards!.
New years eve was turning out to be a decent day. Four fish in the first couple of hours was quite a result and after recasting the right hand rod back to the same area I decided to grab a bite to eat before anything else happened. I needed to tie a couple of spare pva mesh bags too, things had been a bit hectic and I needed to get myself sorted out. I managed to eat my sandwiches and tie those couple of spare pva bags and it was just as well I did. As I finished the last one, the right hand delkim burst into life again. This was getting silly, it wasn't even 1.30pm and I was playing my fifth carp of the day. This fish felt a bit bigger than the others and it took me a while to get it into the margins, when I did get it close in, it kept deep and made a few decent runs before finally rolling on the top and into the waiting net. It was a decent fish, certainly my biggest of the day and after going through the weighing and photography routine I returned a lovely 18lb common to the water.
Amazingly, that 18lb common turned out to be my last fish of the day, I usually expect action from 2pm onwards on this water but it was like someone had flicked a switch, all carp activity ceased and I was left runless for the rest of the day despite it usually being the most productive time. I couldn't complain, 5 carp landed on new years eve and my last fish of the year turned out to be a mint conditioned 18lb common.
That fish was a fitting end to my 2007 north west carp fishing. It had been a mixed year for me, the highlight was my first 20lb+ carp from the river dee, a capture that will remain on my mind for a long time to come. I'd ended the year on a high note too, a superb 25lb 2oz common on boxing day and a nice five fish catch on new years eve.
I hope my form continues in 2008. By the time this entry is published it will be a bit late for festive good wishes but I'll wish you them anyway. Tight lines for 2008.