Went down for my first session of the season and decided on Horseshoe as Island was rammed along the bank where the wind was blowing. (Also when I got to the walk through to Horseshoe I thought they must have changed the rules about car parking. There must have been about a dozen cars parked up against the hedge. Found out that the rules hadn't been changed but I didn't notice any angler struggling to carry his gear back to the car!!!)
Anyway, moan over. I settled in with the brisk, but warm, wind blowing into my face on the corner of the bay. While walking down to Horseshoe I spoke with a couple of guys who told me that it had been hard work lately and that there only a few had caught - I got there at about 4 ish. I must admit I used to go early but other than the occasional carp I didn't get much action until mid-late afternoon anyway.
I asked Ros if she'd seen any decent perch coming out this year and she told me that there definitely was a decent head of them but she hadn't heard of any decent-sized ones so far. I had already decided on a dual approach. A float-fished lob close to a suitably perchy-looking spot and a carp rod out to try to pick up a showing fish. For this reason I wasn't intending spodding, particularly as I would only have a few hours.
As I was tackling up, a couple of fish threw themselves out of the water about 35 yards in front of me and this continued throughout my stay. Obviously they didn't just stick to the same spot, but I plotted their course around the bay. I catapulted about a two dozen 15mm boilies on the 35 yard line about 15 yards along the supposed path, losing a couple to the inevitable ducks. Off topic, do you find that 'pulting them up high means that they shoot through the surface and sink too quickly for the ducks to dive on to them? While waiting for the carps' next cruise around I made up a waggler with a nice juicy lob on a size 10. I'd brought along some maggots to feed the perch line to hopefully pull in some of the smaller silvers to temp the perch. This rig was swung under some overhanging branches.
Either me or the perch got it wrong! I think I know who it was.
Any road up, after about an hour I had a steady take on my carp rod. Striking, the fish decided that the bay wasn't for it and set off towards the open water. I held on for a minute or so and then realised it was no beast so soon had it in the net. As with a lot of Jubilee's carp I've caught, this was a lovely long common Looked a high single.
Bit of a parrot face but no noticeable damage to its' mouth. After another couple of hours I gave up on the perch idea and wound in. Towards 8 ish I had another take but this time with much less resistance. I thought I'd lost it or maybe a bream. It came almost to the bank without much of a fight but when it saw the net it definitely had other ideas. When it went over the net I saw that it was smaller than the first but again more barbel-like, long and lean.
My in-line lead had slid about 8' up the line so maybe that confused the fish a bit hence the lack of real fight until the end? Anyway, it was a pleasant few hours and I'll be back to concentrate on the carp next time.
Sorry for the pics but I forgot my camera and had to use the phone.