What made me go fishing this week was a pending return to yateley sandhust. Having not been fishing for a while I figured I might be a bit rusty so I opted for a night on a tricky Cheshire carp water I’ve been visiting occasionally this year. If nothing else at least I’d give my fishing gear a bit of an airing ahead of my next sandhurst trip. I guess it was the thought of going back to sandy that got me out again, there are just so many big fish in the lake that you can’t help but get excited about a trip there and after my last sandhurst trip I can’t help but wish for more of the same!.
I arrived at the lake early afternoon on Saturday, the first thing I noticed was that the two best swims on the lake were taken. These swims are so consistent that at this point I’d usually be on my way to another lake straight away. What made me stop was a carp cruising round on the surface, it was very visible and I stopped to watch it for a few minutes. It’s funny but the more you watch the more you see and after 5 minutes I’d seen enough carp cruising to stay and fish one of the lesser swims, for once, the fish were stacked up somewhere else other than the two point swims that give access to the out of bounds bank.
Naturally I set up in the swim that had the most fish present, it was late afternoon when I finally got settled in with all my rods in place. I staggered a couple of rigs at 30 and 40 yards range which is where the bulk of the fish where cruising round, obviously the carp were on the top so I wasn’t expecting much action until the early hours of the morning at least. The third rod I fished just beyond my two bottom bait rigs on a zig rig with a piece of yellow foam as bait, this was fished 3 feet up from the bottom in roughly 6 feet of water.
My aqua m3 wasn’t really necessary given that it was flat calm so I left it packed away and just slept under my jrc stealth brolly, one of my mates called it ‘classic September conditions’ but as I sat there under the brolly watching a flat calm lake with a full moon beaming down I knew it was going to be a struggle.
I was a little disappointed that none of the cruising fish had shown an interest in the zig rig I’d put out, I believed the zig offered me the best chance of a fish given the conditions but I remained biteless despite my best efforts. As darkness fell I got the feeling the carp had done a runner on me and this was confirmed by the shear number of fish that were now showing in front of the out of bounds so the best I could hope for would be a chance in the early hours.
It was 5am when that chance came, a single bleep from the right hand delkim had me awake and what seemed like an age later but was probably only a few seconds, the rod ripped off to the tune of that lovely warbling sound. I’d almost forgotten how good it feels to hear your delkim going into meltdown whilst the spool of the reel is whizzing round!. I hit the rod and it arched over nicely as I made contact with the carp on the other end. The fish ran right but steady pressure brought it back to where I’d hooked it. I dropped the other rods so as not to get into trouble later in the fight as it felt like a good fish. After 5 minutes of steady pressure I hadn’t actually gained any line on the fish, it was still roughly where I’d hooked it 40 yards out and it was feeling quite heavy, the fish had made a couple of runs in different directions but I wasn’t making much headway in the fight. It was at this point I made a text book error, I increased the pressure on the fish in the hope of at least getting it moving towards me, I knew it wasn’t snagged, it was just big and I should have known better despite having not been out for over a month!. A minute after increasing the pressure on the fish I felt that sickening feeling as the line fell slack and the rod lost its battle curve, the hook had pulled out!.
I sat and reflected on what I’d just done, what a stupid mistake, it might sound daft but when playing big fish I usually take a step back to calm myself down and I run things through in my mind, I’m usually telling myself to go easy and just keep it steady but I hadn’t done that this time and I was kicking myself for loosing what was obviously a very good fish!.
I checked the rig, it was all in order and I couldn’t see any problems with it so I recast the rod and topped up with a couple of odyssey xxx boilies and returned to the bedchair to see out the rest of my session. I sort of knew there wouldn’t be another run, given the conditions I did rather well to get any kind of action at all. It was a shame I couldn’t bank a carp to boost my confidence levels prior to sandhurst but I had at least re-learnt an important lesson, never try and rush things!. If I’m fortunate enough to get a run or two at sandhurst next week I definitely won’t be putting extra pressure on any fish I hook!.
I fished on until 11am in the morning then had a bite to eat and packed up, even on the way home several hours later I was still annoyed with myself for blowing a very rare chance to catch a big fish from this tricky cheshire carp water.
Obviously there won’t be an entry for my blog next week as I’ll be down at yateley. The story of my sandhurst return will be posted on 28th September so until then, tight lines.