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).
Carp and goose.
With the weather forecast to get colder by Friday and the possibility of a suitable tide for bass/mullet fishing on Thursday I thought I ought to take the chance for an afternoon's carping. It was a mild day although there was a stiff breeze when I arrived at the lakes. The other anglers who were already there had chosen to fish the sheltered bank of the largest lake so I began to walk round looking for carp. As usual I was freelining with a strong, size-six, debarbed hook tied direct to the end of the line. My baits were big chunks of crust. As I walked I noticed a Canada goose on the water and made a mental note of it as potential trouble.
The prospects didn't look too promising and in the first ten minutes I never saw a carp but then I arrived at the windward, sunlit, shallow end of the third lake to see a dozen or more decent fish, mostly in the teens of pounds, basking at the surface. I carefully crept to a good vantage point and poked the rod out a couple of metres over the water before lowering the crust down onto the surface. An hour later the it was still sitting in the same place - totally ignored. I flicked the crust off, rebaited and cast so that the line lay over a small clump of reeds with the line angled straight down to my baited hook. After twenty minutes of inaction I popped a free offering (one small crust) into the edge just for something to watch as I waited.
After a few minutes there was a swirl near the freebie - the excitement level increased. Nothing for a further five minutes then, with a loud slurp, the freebie disappeared. Were the fish just 'coming on'? Now I was alert (even more alert) and watched my bait for action. The reeds near to my crust began to shake as a fish approached, a pair of leathery lips appeared, the crust disappeared and the rod whanged over.
I played the fish (eight or nine pounds) and it fought quite hard until I netted it and unhooked it without lifting it out of the water. After another cast I wandered on looking for somewhere less disturbed but it was just as I was walking back to the car that I saw a swirl and a movement of some partly submerged grass stems. 'Worth another five minutes and a late tea!' I thought. I baited up and slithered down the bank before lowering the bread into the margin. Sure enough five minutes later a big mouth came up and engulfed the crust. The fish again hooked itself and this time the battle was disappointing so the carp (more than twice the size of the first one) was soon in the net unhooked and released. Then I packed in - a pleasant session.
Oh! I almost forgot. After catching the first carp the goose, presumably attracted by the splashing, came and pestered my bait. In fact I had to reel in and let it have the crust. The bird then proceeded to chase and peck at any carp it could see. Of course it never managed to touch one but it was clearly annoyed with the competition for food.
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The smaller carp.
Twice the size but less active.
Basking carp must watch out for the goose..