An angler's journal

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

The next generation and a new personal best carp

A proud nephew
The start of the week saw me take my nephew you out for a few hours fishing on the Birmingham-Worcs Canal. I set him up with a 2m whip to fish down the inside. Bites soon arrived and he managed to catch almost 40 fish, mostly perch with the odd gudgeon thrown in for good measure. He was very proud of his efforts and so he should be. I'm sure he can't wait to visit in the summer with perhaps the promise of his first river fish.

Yesterday evening saw me looking to take advantage of the recent warm weather by surface fishing for carp. I visited the same pool as a few weeks ago [here] where I managed six carp, the biggest just over 14lb in an evening session. With me looking to emulate that success I set off with hopes high. I arrived at the venue and immediately saw dark shadows sunbathing just beneath the surface. I headed towards the area I had fished last time out. Although I could not see any fish, I was aware that the nearby island represents a carp magnet so remained confident. However, a breeze had started which seemed to cause the carp to be less interested in taking surface baits. I did briefly try a bottom bait but apart from a few liners there was nothing to report so I persevered feeding dog biscuits. There were carp taking them but not with the gusto they had showed on my previous visit. By now the breeze had blown all the tree pollen that had fallen on the water into the area in front of me. This made fishing very challenging since I could not spot my bait easily amongst all the other similar shaped floating objects and it made presentation tricky. I toyed with the idea of moving but two things prevented me from doing so. The first was that although the floating debris was causing problems, it also meant my line was disguised. If only I could keep a bait in the right place for long enough I was sure a fish would take the bait. The second reason, and the one that had even more bearing, was there was a sizeable fish now taking a fleeting interest in the baits. 

With the fish remaining cautious, I knew that I was only going to get one chance and finally it came. A fish approached where I believed my bait to be and it decided to take something from the surface. I have to admit I was not 100% sure whether my bait had been taken but a mixture of intuition, luck and a vague memory of possibly seeing the line move all meant I swept my rod backwards. The rod hooped over yet the fish itself didn't seem to be aware of proceedings and within seconds it was underneath the rod tip. Then without warning, just as I was reaching for the net, it took off on a blistering run towards the island resulting in the reel screaming; a sound greeted by every angler. A few more surges followed but eventually the fish was beaten and drawn over the waiting net. It looked a cracking common carp, which I knew would threaten my modest 17lb personal best. A quick check on the scales confirmed this at an ounce under 18lb. I had hoped it might be a bit bigger but I could not complain. I fished on with the carp giving my hope that another fish might be on the cards, but despite some interest in the biscuits I could not tempt another. As the light started to fade so did my chances and I left. A PB in tricky conditions, off the surface is a good result in my book and I was very pleased as I made the short trip home.  
My new PB carp at 17lb 15oz

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