On my last post I mentioned that I'd been sussing out some places more local to me, i.e. within 20 minutes, so I could steal the odd evening without keeping BP, Shell et al in the lap of luxury. The photo of the "pod" of carp was taken at one which is literally 5 minutes away. The other place I had looked at is slightly further - 10 minutes - but I'd recently heard that there were some high 20s and even a couple of low 30s in there. It used to be popular with the kids when I last fished there about 10 - 15 years ago, hence my reluctance to go back. (I know, we were all one once.) Then, although you normally caught, the average size was around 6 - 8 lbs. Not to be sniffed at but not exactly awe-inspiring.
So yesterday I set off early doors (breaking my "somewhere for the evening" idea) and firstly stopped to have a look at the very local one. Only 1 car was in the car park and I had a quick walk around. However, something told be I should go on to the other one. When I pulled up I could see that there were already a few cars and vans parked, but as there are 3 lakes I assumed there would be plenty of choices. In fact the one I wanted to fish only had a couple of anglers set up. I walked round to the windward bank. Previously, when I'd done my recce, a couple of fishermen told me that it wasn't necessary to cast far, in fact most were coming out from the margins. With that in mind I baited 2 spots close in.
Stoneacres it's not!
My right hand rod with a balanced Source boilie was placed tight to the rushes and the left hand one was dropped as close to the tree as I dared. I had a Withy rig on this one with a pink 10mm pop up. The tree rod had only been in for about 30 minutes when the bobbin slammed into the blank and the rod tip was pulled around. I was fishing with a tight clutch and was worried that the fish would rush under the obvious escape route of the submerged branches. To my surprise it decided to head off to the the middle of the lake. Thanks. It was a powerful run, taking line steadily from my now loosened clutch. I was surprised having a fish take line as easily as this on my usual carp set-up so I thought it must be a better stamp than I was used to. I had it close in on several occasions but each time it powered off again towards the middle. Now I was sure I was looking at a good 20. After the 4th or 5th attempt at coaxing it towards the net I managed to get it over the string. All the while my bacon was burning on the stove, so while I let it rest in the margins I turned the bloody pan off.
Lifting out in the net I was now convinced it was going to be a PB. It looked a lovely smooth mirror and went 29lbs 6oz., easily beating my previous best. Apologies for the quality of the photo but my phone isn't really the dog's whatsits when it comes to taking pics in full sunlight.
Later in the day the same rod roared off again, this time wiping out my right hand rod in the process. This fight was different in that the fish really seemed to be mad at being hooked. It went mental, running right, left and off into the middle but I managed to get it into the net sooner than the first. This one was a torpedo-shaped common, also in great condition, not having the shoulders or the belly of the mirror. It went 20lbs 4oz.
Two fish for just shy of 50lbs, I was well chuffed!
The common had a rig still in it's mouth. Boilie still on the braided hair, but a short length of snapped mono which I put at 6 or 8 lbs. Not the best balanced combination of Mono/Braid I think.
PS I'm hoping our resident technical expert (JH) can do something with the fish pics as I can't Photoshop out the contrast.