Sunday, 9 August 2009

Screaming Reels Pt1

If you are a regular reader of my north west carp blog it won’t have escaped your notice that there haven’t been as many updates this year. Going back to my last winter entry, Winter Carping Pt7, I was thinking of changing waters and starting on my new syndicate early. It was the syndicate that stopped my writing in its tracks simply because there is a strict publicity ban. I did indeed ‘go syndicate’ and I’ve spent late winter, spring and most of the summer time quietly trying to get amongst some decent syndicate carp. My fortunes have been mixed, I haven’t struggled to catch fish but I have struggled to catch any of the big ones and I’ve only managed a couple of big carp since February. There has been one major milestone to happen on the syndicate and that was the capture of my first north west 30. The 30lb barrier is a target I’ve been trying to reach on 'home soil' for 13 years now and one day in July I finally slipped the net under one of the only remaining targets I actually had in my angling life. It was a special moment and one that meant a lot given the amount of time I’d been chasing this particular goal.

Following the capture of my first north west 30 I started to think about my fishing a little, after 6 months solid fishing on the syndicate I was ready for a break so I organised a bit of a social session with a couple of mates. Steve and Barry were up for a trip to a runs water so we decided to have a night on my winter runs water, it was always productive in the cold and we expected some serious action from the carp hence the ‘Screaming Reels’ title for this entry!.

It had been 6 months since I’d last visited Cheshire and I must admit I’ve missed the shire a lot, Cheshire has some stunning countryside and some nice lakes and I was happy to be back in this carp anglers paradise. My sat nav still had all my old haunts programmed in so I plotted my usual course to the lake and set off just after 1pm on Saturday 1st August. The journey to the lake was only delayed by some road works but that didn’t matter, I had the rest of the day and all night and I knew full well I wasn’t going to blank on such a prolific north west runs water.

I arrived literally a minute before Steve, as he arrived I was sitting in the car scanning the lake for signs of carp. There were plenty of fish crashing everywhere but one area in particular was looking like a Jacuzzi with all the fizzing that was going on, occasionally a carp would poke its head up and roll before a mass of bubbles would hit the surface. That area meant an easy choice of swims for us and Steve took one side of the bubbling area and I took the other.

I started off fishing just as I do in winter, a pellet bottom bait with another couple of pellets in a pva mesh bag cast right on top of the hot area. I had both rods in by 15.05pm, it had started to rain a little so I moved my tackle underneath a tree to help keep it dry, I only got my rucksack moved when the right hand delkim let out a series of bleeps, I turned round to see my monkey climber just reaching the floor so I jumped on the rod, wound down and hit it!. Sure enough I had my first carp of the day on and despite the fish being hooked 50 yards out I quickly gained control of the situation and made easy headway when it came to getting the carp into the margins, in fact my first fish didn’t fight much at all and after a few minutes I landed a nice common that looked roughly average size for the water. I got my unhooking mat, scales and camera out and quickly weighed and photographed the fish before returning my prize to the water. My first fish was a common that tipped the scales at 13lb exactly. I jokingly shouted to Steve next door that he should pull his finger out as I’d already had one within 3 minutes of getting the rods out but it turned out he’d had one too and he’d hooked his quicker than mine!.

13lb Common, my first fish of the day

With my first fish caught I quickly baited my rig with another pellet, added another pva mesh bag and whacked the rod back out again. With so many fish bubbling up in the area I was literally sitting on my hands waiting for the next run to come. It took another 45 minutes before my left hand rod rattled off, no drop back this time, just a screaming reel as the bait runner fizzed away. I was on it straight away and the carp gave me a little trouble as it kited to the left and tried to get beyond an overhanging marginal tree. I reacted to this quickly and applied some moderate side strain to keep the fish on my side of the tree and when I saw I’d accomplished this I eased off on the pressure and just played the carp in with no trouble, I saw the fish was a mirror as it slipped into the landing net and it looked a little bigger than my first fish. I quickly ran through the weigh and photograph routine and my mirror turned the scales to 14lb 8oz.

14lb 8oz Northern mirror carp

Things went a little quiet after the mirror and I actually managed to sit down for an hour or two, I got the stove out, made a brew and contemplated the night ahead. I really wanted to fish the margins during the night and I decided not to set up the brolly until I’d moved later in the evening. I planned to just leave the rods out until Barry arrived then pick a more comfortable margin swim when he was settled in. Having decided on a plan of action I just sat watching the carp bubbling away and I wondered why my third run hadn’t come, there were fish all over the area and with 2 carp caught inside the first 50 minutes I expected more. I had to wait two and a half hours for any more action and it was the left hand rod that melted away again. It was a bit like groundhog day as this fish did exactly the same as the last one trying to get the other side of the marginal tree. I was having none of it and more side strain kept the fish coming to the waiting net. It was another mirror roughly the same size as the previous 2 fish and after a quick trip to the mat I weighed it at 13lb 14oz, a very pretty mirror it was too!.

13lb 14oz Scaley cheshire mirror carp

That 13lb 14oz mirror kicked off an intense feeding period, the mirror arrived at 18.30pm and I followed it with commons of 12lb, 10lb 4oz and 10lb 6oz all in the next hour, it was getting to the stage were I couldn’t keep my rods in, I just seemed to be either playing or weighing and photographing a carp!. By 19.45pm I was knackered, luckily Barry had arrived and set up so I wound in and looked at moving swims. I felt like I needed my stealth brolly up with my bedchair under it, I’d been literally standing up for the last few hours and I really needed a base camp. With this in mind I dropped in next to Barry for the night and what a night it turned out to be!. I’ll continue with Part 2 of ‘Screaming Reels’ for my next blog entry, until then, tight lines.


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