It's 3am and I'm lying here on the bedchair at the deep pit unable to sleep. Partly because I've been working nights this week and my sleep pattern is all to cock, partly because it's really hot but mostly because I'm buzzing from a capture at about midnight.
It's been tough going on here this year. Most of us are wondering what's needed to get that next bite at the moment... it really has been tricky. It often gets difficult at this time of year for some reason - the algae bloom is probably partly to blame.
The carp spawned here last Monday and I thought they could well be up for a feed this weekend. With that in mind I thought I'd give them a bit of everything and really fill it in on one spot wherever I fished. I made up a large bucket full of parti-blend, sweetcorn, 4mm betaine pellets and 3k of broken and whole boilies.
When I arrived yesterday morning some carp had clearly been in a tiny bay behind the island. The water was very white from the stirred up clay and a couple of small carp could be seen mooching about covered in clay. I put a couple of traps down the bank by the island and one just a few feet in front of me in about 7ft of water. This rod was to get the treatment - I piled the lot of bait in by hand in a small area and fished a pop-up and sight tipper over the top on a short hinged stiff rig. I then added another kilo of boilie for good measure. A proper feast in a tiny area. There must have been a mound of bait out there.
As the day went on the fish left the bay and the colour dropped out of the water as is often the case in this swim - night time takes are the norm - and I spent most of the day watching a big shoal of roach sit above all the bait.
I nodded off soon after dark but was woken just before midnight to a couple of bleeps of the buzzer and the incessant shrill of what I think is a young owl. I'm guessing it is hungry. It's still going on now 3 hours later! If I wasn't so happy it would be driving me nuts. I can't scare it away.
I turned over and put the sleeping bag over my head trying to blank out the noise but a few minutes later I had some more bleeps followed by the clicking of the clutch. I quickly slipped my shoes on and hit it. Can't hang about in this swim as it's pretty tight and they could quickly run out of the bay causing untold problems.
The fight was dour to start with just some head shaking that felt like a tench but as I pulled it towards the net it woke up a bit and I saw it was a nice-sized carp. I had to give it a bit of stick to stop it going through my other lines and then under a bush. In a brief moment when it appeared to be deciding its next move I heaved and pulled it over the net. In the half light I'd almost missed it and could just make out it was slipping the wrong side of the net cord so a big heave just as it was trying to pull back and it went in the net. Yesssss! A quick glance and it had got a bit bigger!
Anyway, I got it out after leaving it to rest for a minute or two while I sorted out the sling and stuff. It was difficult to see which one I had in the dark but I knew it was big after lifting it up the bank. Reducing this long beauty to numbers the scales read 39lb 4oz. I've since looked at the images on my camera and it's one of the known 40's down a bit after spawning. It looked in good nick though. The hook (one of the new Ace SRC (Stiff Rig Chod) hooks) was nicely an inch inside the bottom lip. Perfect.
I don't think it liked being hauled into the net and it made up for it and beat me up on the bank while doing the self-takes. It's too hot for that malarkey.
I've just tied up a new rig and put it back out with another kilo of boilie over the top...
|39lb 4oz of very long common carp|