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).
Perch and carp.
The other evening I had a little time to spare after my dinner so I thought I'd go to the river and spin for perch with my No3 Mepps. We'd had a fair amount of rain so I wasn't quite sure what to expect in the way of conditions. As it turned out the water was fine with only a hint of colour. My first few casts into the deeper water at the head of the large pool that I was fishing were fruitless but eventually a long chuck to near the far bank was greeted with the tugging bite and bumping fight of a perch. After that it was back to biteless casts so I decided to have a move down to the tail of the pool. The first cast produced a tiny perch with all three hooks inside its gaping mouth. I unhooked and released the little fish and after that it was more or less a fish a cast. The perch varied in size from and ounce or two to about one-and-a-half pounds - quite surprisin as the biggest ones could easily have eaten their smaller cousins. In the hour or so that I was fishing I lost count of how many perch I caught so when I packed in as it was getting dark I was well pleased with the session.
The following day I opted for something completely different and at about 13:00 hr I went over to the local alkes to fish for carp. My idea was to use up the remainder of the loaf that I'd bought a few days earlier. When I got to the lakes someone was already fishing on the opposite bank to where I'd intended to start so I moved on to try another spot. Although it was a relatively cool afternoon with a spot of fine drizzly rain there were definitely carp moving among the pondweed. As it turned out they showed not the slightest interest in my crust either on the hook or as free samples. After an hour or so I got the message and decided to return to the spot I'd bypassed at first.
The other angler was still seated opposite to my favoured position but he was a fair way away and didn't seem to be catching anything so I sat down and watched the lily pads to see if there was any movement. While I watched I flicked the hook baited with a big (matchbox sized) cube of crust into a small gap in the pads. After a while a few lily laves started to shudder close to where I sat so I wound in leaving the well soaked crust as a freeby to float where I'd cast it. I baited up again and dropped the new bait nearer to where I'd seen the movement. Of course the obvious happened and a couple of minutes later a huge pair of carpy lips slurped in the bread that I'd discarded. It was obviously a decent fish so I was on tenterhooks waiting for it to find my bait. After about five minutes sure enough the bait was taken and the culprit plunged into the middle of the weed bed before becoming immovable. It was soon clear that the carp had freed itself from the hook and left me attached to the stems of the plants. "Buns!!!" I thought.
Thinking that the commotion would have disturbed any other carp in the vicinity I baited up again but this time I cast to a much smaller, and less dense lily patch on my left. I threw a couple of crusts into the same area to try and stimulate any carp that might have been in residence under the leaves. To my surprise one of the spare crusts was taken within about five minutes then, shortly afterwards, the second one went the same way. It was surely only a matter of time before the one with a hook in it would be ingested. The anticipation mounted until with a lout slurping the crust disappeared and the rod was dragged around.
I staggered to my feet (in years gone by I'd have sprung), rod in hand. This carp was incredibly cooperative and as soon as it was hooked it crashed out of the lily bed and into open water. Fantastic!. It was a very powerful fish but my bass spinning rod and braid were powerful enough to prevent it returning to the vegetation on either side of where I stood. With my left hand I picked up the landing net and eased it into the water holding the handle between my knees to top it sliding further. The carp made a series of powerful plunges but it was no real match for my gear and before long a beautiful, golden common was deep in the meshes of my big net. It was certainly pushing twenty pounds and one of the best carp I've had this year so I took its picture in the net, unhooked it and rolled it out to swim away. Wonderful1 Pity I lost the one I'd hooked earlier which I'm sure was even bigger. Oh and by the way, the bloke on the opposite bank didn't even seem to notice the commotion.
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