Catch Fish with
For anyone unfamiliar with the site always check the FRESHWATER, SALTWATER and TACK-TICS pages. The Saltwater page now extends back as a record of over several years of (mostly) sea fishing and may be a useful guide as to when to fish. The Freshwater stuff is also up to date now. I keep adding to both. These pages are effectively my diary and the latest will usually be about fishing in the previous day or two. As you see I also add the odd piece from my friends and correspondents if I've not been doing much. The Tactics pages which are chiefly 'how I do it' plus a bit of science are also updated regularly and (I think) worth a read (the earlier ones are mostly tackle and 'how to do it' stuff).
With the recent warm weather I've been thinking about going down to the coast. I did actually try one day but, sadly, it was a day for surfing rather than fishing. Despite the nice weather and lack of wind there was a huge swell which made it virtually unfishable. Anyway, the rivers have been up and down like yoyos and my one effort to catch perch on a no2 Mepps was futile apart from the odd pike. Next time I went I managed to catch a couple of baits and had two pike of round about double figures on the circle hook.
The following attempt was almost a complete failure because I couldn't even catch a bait. I tried half a dozen places, any of which will usually produce a few dace or roach but all I caught on the maggots was minnows. Pathetic! By the end of the week it was really warming up (unbelievable for the time of year) so I thought I'd have a look at one of the local lakes. I still had a few maggots so my first thoughts were to catch little rudd and try for a big perch - futile! the rudd were not going to cooperate. I don't think that my (normal) crude tactics were to blame because one chap said he had been there all day for one bite.
As I walked round the lake I saw a couple of carp basking in a reed bed, so, I picked up my four piece spinning rod, tied ona baited a size 6 barbless hook and baited it with a lump of crust. At he same time I threw three or four bits of bread onto the water at the edge of the reeds. For half-an-hour there was no action at all and I was becoming restless. Suddenly I saw a couple of smallish carp sidle up to my freebies and after making one or two swirling passes at the bread two of the crusts were taken. I baited my hook again and lobbed it out in the general vicinity of the feeding fish. They disappeared. Usually carp return to the spot where they've found food so I waited, and waited and waited.
For perhaps twenty minutes I saw nothing then suddenly a big pair of rubbery lips came up and sucked in my bait. I grabbed the rod and the fish was on. After a bit of a tussle to keep my adversary out of the reeds I had it in the net - a beautiful fully scaled mirror of about seven or eight pounds. I was chuffed.
By now it was approaching home time so I opted to walk round the lake 'fish spotting' on my way back to the car. It was at this point that I saw the 'one bite angler' with his float gear. I crept past him and as I got to the tree lined stretch of water suddenly I saw carp everywhere, some of them a good size. Clearly I'd been fishing in the wrong spot. I had a bit of white loaf left so I progged a match box sized portion on the hook and lobbed it out. I cast over the twigs of an overhanging beech tree perhaps a metre above the surface, so that when I tightened the line it was vertical and only the crust was in the water. It was only five minutes before a decent carp inspected the bait and after a couple of swirls sucked it in. I picked up the rod and the fish tore off into a sunken tree. Heavy sidestrain, with the rod tip submerged, extracted it and after that it was five minutes of hanging on as it plunged repeatedly away. When I eventually landed the carp it weighed just over twenty pounds - not bad for my first trip of the year.
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In the net