Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Cheshire Return

Carp fishing has a tendency to lift you up to the heights one minute then leave you wondering why you even bother going fishing the next!. After the dizzy heights of sandhurst it was time to face reality the next weekend. For the first few days after sandy all I could think of was getting back down there again!. After a few days reality began to creep back in, the session was a holiday and it was best to treat it that way. The reality is that a northern twenty pound carp is probably harder to catch and I had to get things into perspective.
I was still on a high so I pushed the boat out and opted to do a night on a local Cheshire carp water. I was in no rush on Friday evening and I actually cooked and ate my tea before leaving for the lake. In the past I’d usually have my tea at the lake after I’d set up and I don’t know why I was being so leisurely about getting to the lake?, after all, this is the north west and it’s a busy area for carp anglers.
After an hours drive I arrived at the lake to find it rammed!, I managed to park the car in the only space I could find adjacent to the car park and went for a short walk. Every peg had a bivvy in it except one. I couldn’t believe it, one peg left on a Friday night, I really should have been a bit more hasty in getting away!. I stood in the peg and looked hard for signs of carp, it wasn’t a peg I fancied and it looked completely empty of fish. My late arrival at the lake cost me big time and reluctantly I headed back to the car and back home. I’m not one for fishing if I think I’m wasting my time, there was a stupid amount of angling pressure on the lake and it was too late in the evening to consider another lake. I’d certainly come back down to earth with a bump after sandhurst and when I got home I decided not to bother with a short day session on the Saturday, instead, I opted for a weekend away from carp fishing.

This brings me to bank holiday weekend. After finding my chosen lake rammed on the previous Friday night I stripped out my rucksack and went back to my preferred short session carping. I’d already decided on a new lake for the holiday weekend and after a quick trip to daves of middlewich for a few items of tackle I headed off to pastures new. The new lake didn’t look very inspiring, sure it was a nice enough lake and it was full of carp but it just wasn’t my type of place. I had a walk around and found a few small groups of carp clouding up in the margins. There was plenty of carp taking refuge in the extensive lily pads along one bank and they looked well up for being caught off the top as they nosed the underside of the pads looking for snails and other bits of natural food. Despite seeing enough fish to be in with a good chance of catching I got back in the car and headed to one of my usual Cheshire lakes instead. The lake I’ve been fishing these last few weeks might be busy but at least I’d be in with a shout of a decent sized fish, if I’d caught one of the carp in the new lake I’d have needed to catch the biggest I saw just to get a scraper double!.

Fortunately my usual lake was near enough empty, I couldn’t believe my luck when I pulled into the car park and saw just 2 cars present. After wasting time at the new lake the pressure was on, it was now 4pm and I was only fishing until dark. I had a quick look at the lake, I knew the carps movements very well on this lake so I opted for the shallows without even trying to locate the fish, I knew they’d be in the area somewhere and I could sit and watch for them when I was set up.

The other anglers on the lake were bivvied together on the grassy bank at the far end of the lake, they looked to be chilling out with a beer or two and I did’t have the time to pop in and say hello so I went straight to my chosen swim on the shallows. My rod pod is always fully assembled and I had a few pva mesh bags already tied so it was a simple case of putting a couple of odyssey xxx pop ups on, balancing them out in the margins and casting out.

I already knew the spots I wanted to fish and I knew I was in the right place after casting out. When the second lead weight hit the water it sent half a dozen carp bolting for cover as the rig landed straight on top of them!. I hadn’t seen the fish there because there was a stiff wind on the water but I’d certainly picked the right spot and I sat back to await the carps return. Just 10 minutes after casting out the left hand delkim signalled a slow run and I watched the monkey climber slowly pull up to the top of the needle before I hit it. Unfortunately all I hit was fresh air and I got done again by one of these heavily pressured and very crafty carp.

I recast the rod with a new pva mesh bag on and sat down again. I was concerned this time, these carp seldom hang around for long and I wondered if I’d blown my best chance of a fish. The good thing was the fact that I had at least 8 acres of water to myself with no other lines present so I was still hopeful of catching something. Another 10 minutes past when I had a drop back bite on the same rod. This time the carp was on and the rod took on a nice curve as I wound down and hit the run. The carp didn’t do anything at all, never once did it take line, it just sulked all the way to the landing net and 5 minutes later I slipped the net under a mirror that turned my scales to 14lb 2oz.

A brace of Cheshire mere carp

I was happy enough to have caught and after releasing the mirror I repositioned the rig back to the same area. I had to wait half an hour for the next action, another drop back bite saw another fish successfully hooked up and I played in my second carp of the evening. This fish gave me a slight scare when it threatened to pick up my other line for a few seconds but eventually it succumbed to steady pressure and came to the net. I had the fish secured in the water whilst I sorted out my camera and scales, it was then that my delkim sounder box signalled a very fast run on my remaining rod!. This was going to be fun, I stood next to my landing net that already contained a carp and slowly played in my next fish. This carp just sulked its way to the net just like the first one had, I netted the second fish with no trouble then got myself prepared so I could deal with both fish.
I’ve been in the position of having two fish on the bank before so I was able to get everything done with no fuss, the first fish turned out to be a 16lb 8oz common and the second an 11lb 4oz mirror. I photographed and released the fish one at a time and fortunately everything went smoothly. I’d certainly landed lucky, 3 fish in an hour was a major result on this water. Sure they weren’t massive carp but for the north west area they were certainly a good reward for an evenings carp fishing.

16lb 8oz, the biggest of the Cheshire mere carp brace

I recast both rods with new pva mesh bags on and settled down again. I had a feeling things might go quiet after banking a few fish in such a short space of time and I was right. I watched the lake for signs of fish and every time I saw a carp they seemed to be a bit further away from me as they vacated the area. I did have one more run an hour later but like the first run at the beginning of the session I got done by the carp and simply hit fresh air when I struck. I sat it out in the hope of picking up a fish that might still be milling round the area but no more action came my way. I couldn’t complain, I’d caught 3 doubles in a few hours fishing and that was certainly an improvement on going home and not fishing like I’d done the week before!.

Tight Lines

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