Like Roger Booth has recently blogged, the carp at College Pool, although small, do not fight the way they're supposed to. I think the biggest I've ever caught there barely reached double figures, but they obviously have watched too many action movies and aspire to join Stallone, Van Damme et al.
I parked yesterday morning at about 7:30 to find no-one else there . Having this luxury, I had a walk around the pool - didn't take long! - and decided to fish the far end near the lillies.
I know from previous experience that you can't afford to be anything but alert when fishing from this peg, but still put up a quiver rod for the thousands of perch, amongst which swam some heavyweights as I found out to my delight last year.
I came "gunned up" ( is that right? I know "under-gunned".) I had my usual carp gear, a 2.75lbs TC rod, 12lbs main line, a Korda Safe Zone leader and 15lbs braid with a size 8 strong hook. A little on the heavy side? Not when you're fishing here for these loonies. Bait was double 20mm boilie inside a solid bag. I scattered a few freebie boiles in and around the lillies and overhanging tree - no need for a catapult!
Initially, I started catching perch on the quiver, in fact they were coming one a chuck. Nothing of any size; up to 3/4 lb. I was using a maggot feeder with 2 red maggots on the hook and changed to prawn to try to tempt the bigger fish. No chance. Swinging in 4 " perch with the prawn literally filling their mouths reminded me of their voracity (greedy buggers actually).
It didn't take long for the carp to start showing an interest. No twitches, no lifting of the line, just wham-bam-thank-you-mam. The first one caught me out and by the time I'd grabbed the rod it had me in the middle of the lillies. Knowing I had some strong stuff on I tried a tug of war. No result, for me at least. Then I slackened off and watched the line for a few minutes. Nothing. I went back to strong arm tactics and only managed a lilly pad.
That was it, war!
I concentrated on the carp and let the perch swim rest. The next time the reel spun I was on it in a second or so. Leaning into the fish, I was amazed at the bend in the rod. Surely a high double? No, a feisty 8lb on the nose mirror.
Not the rod I was using, just like the juxtaposition of centre pin, goose quill and fish.
A very enjoyable day finished with 5 carp hooked, 3 landed and at least 50 perch. Another result was that just as I reached the car, the heavens opened. So I remained dry, well dryish.