From float to Quivertip
A week off work allowed me to sneak an extra few sessions in this month, the first back at Robinwood Fishery near Swakestone, where I'd enjoyed my previous session. I settled on Lake 3, peg 19 with the Avon Quivertip rod and Daiwa 1050 reel.
As the fake corn did the trick previously I thought I'd start with that on a light ledger. The wind was blowing towards me left to right, so I cast to the right hoping the fish would follow the wind. Two anglers set up their stalls on the opposite bank, both fishing the bomb, and I noticed they weren't using any loose feed, but they regularly moved their baits around to find the fish.
The first Carp to grace my net was a nice common, about 3lb, after about half an hours fishing and was a welcome sight as the clouds started to clear and the sun made an appearance.
The anglers opposite, the wind behind them were finding fish in the shelter of the margins and by lunchtime, they'd both caught three or four. I started to move my bait around trying to find the fish and noticed the wind was dropping and moving around as the sun shone down.
I grew a bit impatient and decided on a bait change reaching for a tiger nut boilies which I shaved down a bit once on the hair rig. An underarm cast a few rod lengths out and the bait sank. Within seconds the line went tight and moved off into the middle of the lake and I was in again. Another similar sized Carp, this time a nice mirror graced the net.
The afternoon wore on and as my fishing was very slow I watched the anglers opposite continue to move their baits around and by the end of the afternoon they'd both landed several Carp each. Maybe I was missing a trick. I find it fascinating listening to and watching Carp anglers discussing their methods and baits, trying to outwit those clever, much sought-after fish with their armory of different pellets and boilies with a host of flavours from sweet to savoury and everything in-between.
The next session during my week off work was back at Longford Fishery near Ashbourne, a place I haven't been for a good few years. I decided to fish the big lake as I'd never fished it. There were plenty of available pegs as the nearest anglers were three or four pegs either side of me.
I set up my Avon Quivertip rod and Daiwa 1050 reel with a ledgered piece of fake corn again as I thought this setup would do well here. It didn't. As there was a lot of debris on the bottom I reached deep into my Carp bait bag and went with another modern bait, the humble pop-up, as they get such rave reviews on commercials. Nothing happened, and after a few hours of this and seeing anglers either side of me catching I decided to go on the float and fish a few rod lengths out with a piece of real corn. Bingo! A Bream, not very big but very welcome and saving me from a blank.
Not long after I decided to pack up and some of the other anglers told me they had been fishing with pellets and dead reds. More food for thought.
The final session that week began relatively early, for me, back at Robinwood Fishery, back on Lake 3 but this time as the wind was blowing into the corner I chose peg 12. With just one other angler opposite, I once again set up the Avon Quivertip rod but this time with my trusty Mitchell 410 reel with its torpedo, fast spin handle. I was armed with reliable red maggots and I was straight into the Roach on a size 14 hook to a good size.
Happily catching the Roach for a while I noticed the angler opposite was into the Carp, fishing his pole a few rod lengths out and also in the margins. I did see a few Carp on the top and swimming about in the corner I was fishing but I was quite happy to continue catching the fin perfect Roach on a light legered maggot.
The Roach continued to take the maggots as the sunny day passed by and another angler joined the one opposite and he also started to catch good size Carp in the margins. Was this to do with the wind or was this about bait? I heard them talking about the different sized pellets they were using, expanders and cat food. All a bit technical for a vintage angler, however, I did have some bloodwork pellets in my bait bag for Carp fishing and I found a few pellet bands I had bought a few years ago but not really had any success with. Was this the day that banded pellets might work for me?
Yes! Not too long after casting out the rod tip twitched and the 410 purred as only a Mitchell reel can and I was into something bigger than the Roach I had landed all day. Although I had enjoyed catching Roach I was grateful to have a bend in the rod and a purr from the reel. It wasn't too long before the welcome Mirror Carp slipped into my net. After a quick photo, I looked at my watch and noticed another days fishing had come to an end. I slipped the Carp back into the water and watched it swim to the depths and then put my rod and reel away happy on the warmest day of the year so far with the Spring temperatures reaching 19 degrees. and I wondered what the summer months would bring.