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July shenanigans

This month's fishing began at Woodrows, one of the Earl of Harrington Angling Club waters. It was a sunny Monday and I had the place to myself, except for another angler fishing the River Derwent nearby.

I fished my Lee of Redditch split can rod and Hardy Altex reel on the float with red maggots on a size 14 hook. It was a lovely, quite day with just the sound of the birds, the wind in the reeds and the occasional splash of a fish. I caught loads of Perch and silvers and I felt transported back to a simpler time with a cane rod and Altex reel.

The next session was very different. I've just bought a Golden Green 10' Carp Rod with a 2lb test curve which of course, I was keen to use. I chose a local day ticket water which I haven't fished this year and know the biggest lake has lots of Carp, Bream and Tench. I set up on Kingfisher Lake at Birch House Lakes and although it was quite busy, I found an accessible peg in the corner where the wind was in my favour.

I set up my unnamed 10' carp rod with an Abu Cardinal 157 reel and two pieces of ledgered corn on the hair rigged hook, which I swung out to the right margin with some free offerings. As I was hungry I decided to have my lunch and tucked into my sandwich. I kept looking at the rod tip and bobbin for signs of interest. Suddenly, the bobbin dropped, moved right up, dropped again and the spool screamed as the line tore off.

I sit next to my rods when I ledger fish so I can react to bites quickly and so I dropped my sandwich and picked up the rod and struck into the fish. I tightened the rear clutch and put some strain on the rod to bring the fish under control. After going out towards the middle of the lake it turned and came towards me going straight for the left margin and some snaggy lilies. I managed to keep the fish out the lilies and reeds before it made a dash for the depths where it stayed for a few minutes and then came to the surface. After some more toing and froing to the left and right margins past the end of my landing net, I managed to net a very nice Common Carp which I guessed weighed over 10lbs and gave me a great fight.

After finishing my sandwich I set up the new Golden Green rod with the Abu Cardinal 654GT and the same hair-rigged sweetcorn bait and cast out into the left margin. Not much happened for a while and I noticed other anglers weren't catching either, so I read my book and drank tea as the afternoon wore on. I'm currently enjoying Carp Fever by Kevin Maddocks and as I read about huge Carp my rods fished on my behalf.

Suddenly, the left-hand rod tip swung round and the spool screamed and I was into another fish. This gave me a similar fight to the first and was eventually netted. An angry Common Carp which didn't want to be photographed so I put it straight back.

A week later I was on the windy, rainy banks of Mill Dam, another Earl of Harrington water and with yet another tin of sweetcorn. I've had mixed results with sweetcorn, but it's a great, cheap, summer bait. I wanted to ledger fish again and for this session I paired a 9'6" Daiwa rod with the Mitchell 300 I stripped down and painted earlier this year. Next to that I had a 9'6" Billy Lane Swing Tip rod and Allcocks Delmatic Mk2. Both hooks were baited with sweetcorn as I waited under my umbrella. It was a short session and both rods had action with a nice size Bream.

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