August Bumper Blog Bonanza!
August saw me camping, yet again! And, a few sessions with my nephew. And, his PB Carp!
My nephew, Harrison is currently on his summer holidays and as I don't work Mondays - "I don't like Mondays" - we went to Birch House Lakes and fished the Horseshoe Lake. It was really quiet, and we found a peg big enough for two, with some lilies, reeds and a small island to fish to. We both float-fished red maggots on the hook and for loose feed. I fished my 12' cane rod and Mitchell Match reel.
When Harrison goes fishing with his friends they use a 'point system' based on size. Harrison had landed 9, 1 point Roach and Gudgeon before I had even scored. I soon caught up with some 1 point Roach and 2 Roach I was awarded 2 points for. After I got to 10 or 11 points I started to lose count, but Harrison kept a mental note of his score, and suddenly announced he was on 23 points! I was then back in the game when I landed a small Carp and was awarded 5 points. Harrison then caught three small Carp from near the lilies which were obviously 5 pointers so the race was won by Harrison by a mile! I never really worked out what size fish would have been a 3 or 4 pointer, and why Gudgeon and small Roach were both 1 point each, but never mind, Harrison had caught his biggest fish to-date, an un-weighed Carp of just over a pound. But read on...
The week after, I packed up my camping gear and headed to Blackbrook Lodge Campsite near Turnditch where I was booked in for two nights. There's two small lakes and a large pond, all stocked with Carp and some Roach.
Once pitched up next to the larger of the lakes, I headed to the bank with my Lee of Redditch cane rod, paired with a Mitchell Match reel and float-fish red maggots and sweetcorn on a porcupine quill. There were some children fishing and catching some nice Carp weighing a few pounds on the opposite bank. And a chap fly-fishing on the surface and also catching a few good sized Carp.
I threw in a handful of maggots and the fish rolled on the surface, so I shallowed up my float and swung out to the baited area. Within seconds I'd got a bite and they came thick and fast all afternoon, a-fish-a-chuck!
In the evening my partner came with sustenance in the form of fish and chips and we sat by the lake, mug of wine in-hand, watched the fish topping, and the ducks, geese and chickens looking for leftover bait.
The next day started early-ish with a cup of coffee, a cooked breakfast and then a cup tea, as all mornings should when camping. Once fed and watered, I headed to the shallow end of the lake and a handful of maggots and sweetcorn got the fish rolling again. The sun came out as I sat on the grassy bank, landing fin-perfect Carp and Roach, listening to the breeze rustling in the trees.
After a few hours fishing, I went back to the tent, made a cup of tea and then returned to swim for the afternoon. I listened to '100 Greatest England Cricketing Moments' on my iPod. Ah the sound of leather on willow on an English summers afternoon! That evening consisted of hotdogs and wine, and a chat with a few other campers. The next morning I prepared another cooked breakfast and packed up between light showers before heading home.
On August Bank Holiday Monday Harrison joined me again at Birch House Lakes. This time we fished the big lake in the hope for a big Carp. We both fished on the bottom with a lead with SPAM on a hair-rig, just a few rod lengths out. I fished a Mitchell 300 reel I'd reconditioned a few years ago on a Golden Green 10' fiberglass Carp rod. Harrison fished his carbon fiber, 10', telescopic rod and modern reel. After a slow start watching other people catching, and a few hook-pulls from Bream and a nice Carp, we both landed some nice Bream, then I landed a Common Carp about 5lbs. Spirits raised and another Bream or two later, Harrison hooked a fish that we both thought was a Bream due to the slow take. Suddenly the fish went out towards the middle of the lake and turned and headed for the reeds. He managed to put enough pressure on to bring the fish back towards us, along with me saying "Keep your rod tip up". He said it felt like the biggest fish he'd ever hooked. After a few more tense minutes, he slid a lovely Common Carp over the edge of the net, weighing in at 4½lbs, his new PB!
A respectable size Bream and a good month's fishing.