Monday, 11 July 2016

Carp quest- the "supermarket session"

Carp feature relatively little in my angling these days. It wasn't ever thus, for a few years they were almost my sole quarry, but in recent times smaller, but to my mind more interesting, species have monopolised my attention. As a schoolboy angler back in the early 1980's, the capture of any carp ensured several weeks of near legendary local status, but these days carp are ubiquitous, and I often find myself regarding them as something akin to "nuisance fish."
However, following my last trip to the lake at Beeby on the Christian Anglers retreat weekend, I felt I had a score to settle; despite catching rudd and perch regularly throughout the day on float fished maggot, my mini-boilie and Method "sleeper rod" had garnered no runs, and, unused to failing to catch a carp "on demand" at this particular venue I decided it was time to even things up, and so a short evening session in the company of a few friends from the Thurnby Church Anglers club was called for.
In order to make things more interesting, I set myself the challenge of spending less than £2.00 on bait, with the further twist being that all the bait used must come not from the exotic confection laden shelves of the tackle shop, but from a local supermarket. In the event, £1.54 was enough to provide  me with a tin each of chick peas, black eyed beans and sweetcorn. The battle lines had been drawn.

However, it was roach, not carp, that were the first responders. I fed heavily under a near bank tree to the left of my swim and dropped a chick pea tipped with plastic sweetcorn under its branches on a bolt rig, while floatfishing sweetcorn a rod length out on the right hand side, using a traditional quill float, over-shotted and fished "lift method" style, and it was the float line that was soon rapidly seeing action. None of the roach were giants, most, like the one pictured, round about 3 or 4 ounces but I caught them to a maximum size of about three quarters of a pound, if not in "quick succession", certainly in a steady stream.

Pete, in the swim next to me was on the Method on one rod, and floatfishing maggot on the other, and landed this lovely roach of about a pound and a half on the Method, as well as a parade of lesser roach, rudd and perch on his float line.

As late afternoon began its leisurely journey into early evening, the carp began to feed. Pete was the first to land a carp, before David picked up the mantle of "King of the Carp" landing three commons, two on surface fished dog biscuits and one on a zig rig.

Greg was also soon doing battle with a carp, a fish that gave a fight of such dogged determination and stamina, that it's comparatively modest size was something of a surprise. Several times it almost reached the sanctuary of some foreboding looking tree roots, and attempted numerous alarming dives under the wooden fishing platform. It must have been a full ten minutes before the fish succumbed, despite the 7 pound line and avon style quiver tip rod Greg was employing. A second carp at "last knockings" completed Greg's welcome brace.

After a time, I joined the carp catchers party, although it wasn't the chick peas (with which the carp were singularly unimpressed), but the sweetcorn that was responsible. As the float lifted and buried, my strike was met by a long and steady run from a powerful fish that was clearly no roach. Greg managed to capture some nice pictures of the fight, and after a short tussle a common of around 7 or 8 pound was nestling in the folds of the net expertly wielded for me by Paul. With the fish returned, and parity restored between me and the Beeby carp I was able to relax  into the rest of the session.

Paul was the only one of our party to fail to connect with a carp, but was happy with his catch of roach and rudd (including one very handsome and sizeable rudd)  on an evening  when only a curmudgeon could have failed to be lulled into a sanguine frame of mind by the lake's beauty and the peacefulness of the surroundings.

The highlight of the session, however, was when the lake's owner, John, presented me with a copy of a Noel Ford cartoon depicting an angling Vicar that had recently come into his possession, giving it to me with a grin and the catchphrase "I saw this and thought of you."  A fitting end to an idyllic evening. And the "Supermarket challenge"? Next time I'll save even more money, dispense with the chickpeas and black eyed beans, spend all of 50p and rebrand the experiment as the "Jolly Green Giant challenge." The "Sweetcorn Kid" or "Angling's Mister Scrooge"? I'll leave you to decide.

1 comment:

  1. Despite the relatively short amount of time I was there, I witnessed a great deal of excitement at this evening fish-in!

    It was excellent to have Paul join us too.