Tag Archives: carp

Silver carp
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes, 1844)
Common carp
Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, 1758
Grass carp
Ctenopharyngodon idella (Valenciennes, 1844)
Bighead carp
Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Richardson, 1845)
Crucian carp
Carassius carassius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Catla carp (Indian carp) Cyprinus catla (Hamilton, 1822)
Mrigal carp
Cirrhinus cirrhosus (Bloch, 1795)
Black carp
Mylopharyngodon piceus (Richardson, 1846)
Mud Carp
Cirrhinus molitorella (Valenciennes, 1844)

A Different Start This Year

The start of this year’s course fishing season is somewhat different. Due to this Covid 19 pandemic, travel and certainly accommodation are still very much affected; meaning that I was not starting the season as I normally do on the banks of the lovely hidden pools of Wessex.

However, I have found a lovely little pool not too far from where I live, and this is where I resided today. This pond is tiny and some of the fish I have seen here you would really not expect with sizable Carp and Tench cruising the shallows.

I did not land my first Tench of the season today, loosing two great runs being broken each time. Although I did land a nice Perch and a lovely little Rudd.

I’ll be back here again one day for that elusive Tench.

Surface Fishing

It has been well over two years since I tried to catch a Carp from the surface of any water. I know this as it was the last time that I used this reel. A K. Dowling & Sons centre pin. Not a collectors piece by any means, but it was the first pin that I bought and I use it exclusively for surface fishing for Carp.

The lake I was fishing is the lake that I fished years ago. I had been looking forward to another trip there for some time. It was a good forty minutes drive from where I was staying in Wessex. I imagined that there would be a few fishermen there as it was a weekend and I was not wrong.  Most had not caught a thing blaming the cold weather the previous days, and the odd frost that they had in this area.  In the afternoon sunshine a couple of fisherman were trying their luck for a carp on the surface and had not yet had a bite when I arrived. It was not long before one of them tempted a good carp on bread. I, on the other hand had brought dog buscuit. A bait that I had struggled to get as it seems to be really hard to obtain. However, a trip to a local pet store armed me with fishmeal and potato flavoured dog buscuit – surely I could not fail on this.

It took quite a while to tempt fish to begin feeding on the surface. It was great fun watching fish come up to my bait and back off at the last second only to be overcome with greed until one finally took the bait. The reel screamed into life but the fish gave up really quickly. I was sure that I had foul-hooked it but when I got the net under it I had not surprisingly. I got a shock when I lifted the fish onto the unhooking mat as I could not believe how heavy it was, easily over 15lb. The cold must have semi-comatose’d it.

I lost many more during this fishing session and with the nights getting shorlter I had to pack up before I knew it.

An Odd End To The Fishing Season

It was an odd end to the fishing season this year. With the river high and coloured I ended up at a pond. Which at this time of year is not on my agenda, but it still meant that I was fishing.

Very lucky with the weather too. Rain was forecast, and although I did get light showers, the worst held off until the evening where upon it came down in rods.

Now the season is over I can look forward to spring and planting up of the allotment. Oh, and of course, the beginning of a fresh new fishing season in June.

In Search Of The Green One

It’s early July, and the first visit this new fishing season to my local pond.

I am glad, unlike most, to see that it has not been touched at all by a scythe or mower. Some swims are totally un-fishable due to the reed growth.

It would however, be possible to walk from one side of the pond too the other without getting your feet wet on the backs of all the Carp that now reside in this pond.

I chose to fish as far away from the visible “pack” as possible, right along-side an attractive bed of lillies. Just the sort of place a Tench may be hiding.

Today the Tench never materialised, but it was great to see that there are definitely more than two pairs of Kingfishers on this pond now, something I have never seen. I wonder if they are more comfortable now the pond clearly does not get fished so often?

Save

My Favorite Wessex Pond

My new season fishing trip was going well, and very hot. I had been looking forward to a trip to my favorite pond for some time. I knew that one of the ponds is surrounded on all side by trees, so I would be able to shelter from the blistering heat.

I found a lovely swim, with a nice breeze blowing on my back which was fantastically cooling, taking the temperature down a couple degrees was very welcome.

There were initially no signs at all of feeding fish, and I really did not expect to see anything, nor catch anything in these hot temperatures.

I had brought along with me my very first split cane fishing rod that I had squired, an un-restored Mark IV, and a little Aerial Popular that I had recently christened with a Roach on this trip.

The moment my first cast hit the water I was getting little bites. Piranha-like, the hook bait was gone very quickly and reeling in to a fish-less, empty hook.

Perseverance prevailed, and soon after the float shot up and laid flat on the surface. I struck lightly and was in contact with a Roach. A good Roach too.  Again I cast into the baited swim. Things were quieter now with no bites. I wasn’t paying attention to the float and was looking at the various plants that adorn this lovely lake when I heard the little Aerial Popular ‘sing’. By the time my hand was on the rod the fish had made the middle of the pond. I was convinced this was a Tench. A little disappointed that there was no resistance when I picked up the rod. However, as I reeled in it seemed that there was actually still contact. It turned out to be a big Roach that thought it was a Tench, or even a Carp. I don’t think Roach are meant to run like that? but it seems at this pond they do. This is not the first time I have experienced this phenomenon.

I cast again into the same swim and all was quiet. I sat and enjoyed the bird song which seems especially loud at this little pond. Soon after my float dithered, not a positive bite as such, but I struck anyway and made contact. It was one of the fine Crucian Carp that reside in this lovely pond, what a corker!

As the afternoon drew on, the pond took on a rather sinister feel. There were no signs of feeding fish anywhere and I had stopped getting bites. Out of the gloom, from time to time, the Grass Carp surveyed its kingdom. Nice to see, but un-catchable today.

 

One day like this a year will see me right

The new course fishing season seemed to have taken ages to come around this year. I have not been able to cast a line for a trout in the interim., I have either been too busy with work, or too busy at the allotment.

The weeks forecast ahead for the opening day was enjoyment; with high readings on the thermometer to boot. I would have to pack sunscreen along with all the fishing paraphernalia.

I arrived on the 15th at a favorite lake in Wessex, to be greeted by blistering heat. Fishing would be hard-going in these hot conditions.

I met another member who was there in advance of the glorious 16th who would be camping out in order to get the first cast at midnight.

Following a leisurely morning for me, and devouring a cooked breakfast with a large mug of tea, I arrived at the lake around 09:30. There were only two members there, which was amazing.

Temperatures rose during the day, and the fishing was tough. I had been advised to rake my swim as the lake had a fair bit of weed growth due to the recent warm weather and the low water levels. I did not like the thought of crashing a rake through the swim making so much noise and disturbance in the process. In the afternoon I gave in. I fetched the rake and began wielding it through the swim for about ten minutes dragging lots of weed out of the way. I did however pick out any oxygenating plants that I had dragged up and returned them too the water.

I could not believe it, the fish were far from scared off by all the commotion and were back feeding in the swim within half an hour.

All day I had watched what I though to be a pale mirror carp go back and forth between patches of lillies. Another member came round for a chat in the evening and we both stood and watched this fish approach my float, then stop. He said “grab your rod, hes going for it”. We could see the fish nose down and a patch of bubbles arose. Straight from the pages of Mr Crabtree  “strike!” and the lake erupted. It was immediately apparent as soon as I saw the fish briefly out of the water, that this was not a Carp, but a Golden Tench. The angling gods were indeed looking down as I had dream’t of a Tench from the very last day 14th March of the last fishing season, I could not believe it.

Christening

Christening, more like a baptism of fire.

Today I fished my local pond for the first time this season. I took along with me a new rod that I have just had made up from a blank. A rather superb Fred J. Taylor Roach Rod. My aim was to catch a Tench.

However, my lake is full of Carp, they were certainly in evidence today, cruising about in the hot sunshine just below the surface.

I set out a single grain of corn with one swan shot just about one rod length out into the margins.

Some time passed and bubbles around the float showed that fish were definitely feeding today. The float swayed side-to-side but never went under.

I reeled in and reset the hook length making it a little shorter. After around ten minutes away shot the float and the reel sang its rasping tune. I was hoping for a Tench but instead I had hooked one of the lakes ‘zoo creatures’. It put up one heck of a fight and it took all my courage with my new rod to stop it reaching snags in the middle of the lake.

Eventually I won the day but I hope I do not hook too many of these Carp on this rod.

Midsummer Madness

I have been very fortunate to get to fish another secret lake in deepest Wessex.

This midsummer day brought warm overcast conditions. Perfect fishing weather.

I lost count of the Rudd I caught, nice ones too. I was very fortunate to land these two Crucians while being kept company by all the dragon flies around the lake.

The Glorious 16th

This year I have been very fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to become a member of another very secret lake in darkest Wessex.

Driving overnight, I arrived at the lake around 11:30. Walking round the lake I looked for signs of feeding fish; there were many. I introduced myself to a couple of members who were fishing the bottom lake. Nice bunch of chaps.

I set up on the top lake, and settled down after a very long drive. It was not long before I had landed a couple of cracking Roach. Although I was very pleased with my catch of Roach, I knew that the bottom lake was famous for its Crucian Carp. I was eager to see if I could catch one on the opening day of the course fishing season.

Setting up in a corner away from everyone else, I made myself comfortable, opened my flask of tea which was luke warm, but perfectly drinkable.

From the colour of the clouds above, it was evident that a storm was brewing and I could hear the distant rumbles of thunder.

I could not believe it when as soon as my float entered the water, I would mend the line then I would be into a fish immediately. Catching well over ten lovely Rudd, I suddenly hooked something far more substantial and put up a good fight,  rolled on its side as a bream does and gave up. As I drew it up through he surface and towards the net it turned out to be my very first giant Crucian Carp, just like a huge bar of gold. Stupidly I did not weigh it, but it was well over 2lbs. I fished on for a few more hours watching storm after storm pass by without getting a single drop of rain and suddenly I hooked a train! It made for every lily pad in the vicinity until I finally had it under control. I was absolutely over-the-moon to land a Tench of around two and a half ponds on the very first day of the course fishing season. My favourite species, and a classic summer fish. Not only had I not caught a Tench all last season, but this cracker was caught on a brand new, and in mint condition Edgar Sealey Floatcaster that I was using for the first time.

Was this all a dream?

Last Day Of The Course Fishing Season

I had been looking forward to the last day of the course fishing season from September 2015, when I made my annual batch of tomato chutney. A jar of which I always put aside as a gift to celebrate the last course fishing day of the season.

Having managed a few days off work, I arrived at my location a couple of days prior to the 14th only to find the river had burst its banks, and was actually part of the surrounding fields – what a disaster!

Changing tack slightly, I met up with friends and fished a local lake. I had set myself a goal of netting a Carp from the surface. Quite a mean feat in a cold biting wind in mid March. I did take some time to get any fish on the surface, and non of them where really competing for any of the freebies, but I persevered and managed to land a good double. It came too the net quite easily and fought just as well on the bank as it did in the water. She was full of spawn as well, a really good sign of things to come when the weather warms up. Back she went very gently.

As the final day approached, the 14th, my prayers were answered by the angling gods and the river had fallen quite some height. Enough to drop a line in. I had a fantastic day on the 13th, catching upwards of 40 Gudgeon, and upwards of 20 Roach and a Dace. All very small, so the landing net hardly got a wash, but great fishing non-the-less.

On the final day I met up with friends. We all fished from before lunch, and all had a great day. We were treated to a beautiful sunny day, and, as per usual, much tea drinking and cake eating took place along with our angling exploits.

The One That Got Away

Fishing at my favourite local lake today for my first Tench of the season.

Arriving late, I found not a sole there, and so I had a choice of my favourite swims.

The day started very sunny, however in the shade it was quite cold. The tips of the reeds and grasses are just turning brown. It is clear autumn is close.

Fishing a rod length out, in the margins, very close to a small patch of lilies that I remember decimating last season when I got a carp lodged in them. It looks like they have recovered well.

Bite after bite I missed until I saw the float quiver, then dip, raising the rod and I was ‘into’ a fish. It moved nonchalantly too the left, not sure what was happening, I raised it too the surface to reveal a HUGE mirror carp, well over 15lb. I am sure it did not know at this stage that it was hooked. I put on a little pressure, turning the fish towards me. It was then when it realised what was happening. It turned again to the left and bolted off like an exorcet missile. The fish continued on its path to the left while the float sprang past me to the right. The line had not broken, but on inspection, my hook had bent, totally.

I am very pleased, in a way, that I did not have to do battle with this leviathan. My vintage Edgar Sealey has done battle with too many large Carp in its time, and is designed for a far gentler lifestyle.

 

First one this season

Due to work commitments I really haven’t had any opportunity to get too my local lake this season.

I have only managed two trips, blanking on the first attempt, and loosing a fish right at the net last time I was here.

Arriving around 06:00 I found the lake deserted. A perfect Carp Fishers dawn (Although I was really fishing for a good Tench). Fishing a single grain of corn, around one rod length from the bank. I’m not sure if my line was sitting properly, because after a short period it seemed to spook two fish that were in the swim. This is easily identifiable by a sudden underwater earthquake, followed by huge concentric ripples on the surface and more often than not, your float sitting motionless.

Non-the-less I persevered, and after about an hour the lake seemed to lift once more, but this time the Aerial reel ‘sang’. I teased the fish down the lake a little into open water as there were many snags near to where I was, steering it away from a huge reed bed where I was fishing. The fish made open water and battled well. run after run it made and when it rolled on the surface, turned out to be a good mirror carp. This was to be the only view I would get.  As it powered down again it snapped the line. Darn it!

I re-tackled with a grain of corn. re-cast, poured some tea and settled back down.

After some time the reel once again sprang into life, and the vintage rod bent over. Again after an arm-wrenching , rod creaking scrap, I eventually won the day.

What a cracking morning. The only thing to better it would have been if the Carp had been a Tench. Never mind, there is always next time.

The Net’s Too Small

Another trip to my local lake today. I fished only maybe2-3 rod lengths out but nothing was happening. One of those times when you know you need to move swims.

Moving down two swims I recast a single grain of corn a short distance, just beyond some aging rushes, scattered a handful of corn on top of my float, poured another cup of tea from my flask and sat back to relax.

With no signs of a fish feeding, my rod bucked violently in the rod rest, followed immediately by the reel screaming! At first I thought that I had hooked a really big Tench. However, when I saw it roll on the surface it was evident it was a Mirror Carp. It did fight like a Tench though, making many powerful surges towards every snag in the area. First it dived left, straight underneath all the rushes which I thought that would be it, as I was only using 5lb breaking strain hook length. Luckily for me, it swam straight out the other side and I was able to guide it back in  front of me and get some sort of control. Making yet more powerful runs toward the rushes a number of swims to my right, I was just able to stop it. Trying to constantly gain line, it would be off again. Soon I got it close, but then it saw the small patch of Lillie’s to my right which it made a direct beeline for, and found. Drat! stuck. I let the line go slack and it freed itself, again out into the middle of the lake only to dive straight back into the Lillie’s when I got it closer. This battle of too-ing and fro-ing went on for some time until I eventually got my net under it. I could not believe when I tried to lift it, it was a really good double , at least 15lb’s. Infact, it was so big, I could not take a proper picture of it in the net. I tried to capture its huge paddle-like tail, but simply could not get it in the picture. Furthermore, it was quite lively on the bank, so after a quick snap, I returned it straight away.

 

Is Autumn Round The corner?

Well, is Autumn around the corner? I was out fishing yesterday in what felt like a force 9 gale, normally very difficult using a centre pin reel. Non-the-less, I was there at the lake. I had four cracking runs, three of which I am sure were Tench, loosing every single one with bent hooks. Finally I landed a Bream. It would be fair to say that I won’t be using those hooks again, and I made a trip to my tackle shop to purchase more suitable hooks for the fish I am looking for.

This morning the wind was still high, but it was a warm morning, so I had to go fishing. Armed with my new hooks I was determined not to be broken today. Unusually, I had left the centre pin at home and had filled my old Hardy Altex with 6lb monofilament and my Sealey ‘Heavy Ledger’ rod. I have never used a fixed spool for years so it took a little getting used to again. However, it proved the right choice for the day as it was much easier casting into a wind.

Fishing as usual the ‘lift method’ with corn as bait. I fished relatively close in again but did not have any action until around 10:30 when the float bobbed and shot away. Lifting the rod gently I had a scrap of a good five minutes to reveal a lovely Tench, they might be small but fantastic sport. Quickly unhooked and a snap taken I returned this cracking fish in order that it may enjoy the rest of its Sunday morning in peace.

About an hour later, again the float shot away. Again I was sure I was into another Tench but when I got it nearer it revealed to be a mirror Carp. Again, what a scrap. It must have only been around 4lb’s but it took me ages to get it in and net it. I didn’t photograph this chap as it was as lively on the bank as it was in the water so after unhooking it I returned it immediately and it shot off in an explosion of spray discussed at being disturbed on such a nice morning.

As the sun grew even warmer the dragon flies put in an appearance, I watched in amazement at their aggressive aerial battles, each defending their own territory. I was also treated to the aerial displays of the House Martin’s that swoop down to the lake from the farmers dilapidated farm buildings close by. It always puzzles me how they never crash into one another?

Fields of Gold

Another glorious, unscheduled trip to Wessex.

Hurriedly packed the car on a Monday morning and I was off. Arrived late Monday night in order to fish my lake early Tuesday morning.

Woke up at 05:30 to leaden sky’s and torrential rain. Needless to say I did not rush out too the lake. Instead I had a spot of breakfast with a pot of tea. Around 09:00 the sky’s cleared enough for me to gain enthusiasm again to get fishing. Had a lovely morning and fished until lunch catching 4 cracking Roach in the process. And I saw a Kingfisher this morning

That evening I was kindly invited by friends to fish a small commercial fishery that I know well now.  My intention was to catch my first Carp from the surface of the season.

I had brought along with me on this trip a surprise for everyone as I had packed a pot of my ‘July Jam’ and a couple of bottles of Elderflower Champagne. I had also bought some fresh scones and a pot of the finest clotted cream, so we had a proper cream tea before the fishing began in earnest

I was very fortunate to land this double figure mirror, not the prettiest of fish but it went like fury. We fished on until after midnight and saw many shooting stars as it was very clear sky that night.

The following day saw me back at my lake.  It was amazing the amount of ‘champagne’ bubbles round my float, classic Tench, but all I kept hooking were Roach.  Although I have never experienced a Roach that ‘ran’ great fights they put up in shallow water. By lunchtime I had caught 5 in total, what a great morning.

That evening I took up the kind offer by some friends to join them at a free stretch of river to go Barbel hunting. We had a great time although non of us caught, maybe next time…

 

What A Scorcher!

 

Parked up at my local lake around 06:20 and after a ten minute walk across a couple of farmers fields I was at the waterside, where I was greeted by a mirror like, flat calm pool. There were no signs of any fish feeding at all. Normally as I trudge along the bankside, I will sometimes ‘spook’ the odd fish, but nothing today.

Presented with an azure blue sky, punctuated only by a perfectly formed cotton wool like, thick, small cloud that drifted nonchalantly towards the horizon, then out of sight.

Nobody else was present at the pond, I had it all to myself. Armed with my Edgar Sealey ‘Octofloat‘ rod today and the usual 3.5″ Aerial, I quietly tackled up and threw a handful of sweetcorn close to overhanging grasses. Fishing lay-on style, using the classic ‘lift method’, I cast a single grain of corn on top of the free offerings, sat down on my creel, and opened my flask.

Almost immediately the float lifted and I hooked a Roach.

By now it was around 07:00 and the day was getting very warm indeed. After about an hour the float lifted once more and I thought I had hooked into one of the small Carp in the lake but after a 5 second fight I knew what my prize was as a Bream came to the net like a wet cloth after a spirited 5 second battle.

Cleaning the slime of the hook link, I recast to a different area and again baited with a handful of corn.

I was joined after an hour by 2 local lads, who although they said they fished the lake, were definitely not members, non-the-less, I unusually made time for them as they were knowledgeable about their fishing. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my float ‘zipp’ away and I was in to a small carp. When I got it closer one of the lads, who was standing higher up the bank watching the action, said it was a Crucian, just then it rolled and I too could see what it was. No doubt, it was a Crucian. I could not believe it. I had no idea all the time I had fished this lake that there were Crucians’ present. I was absolutely over-the-moon with the catch.

The sun was still blazing down when I left the lake around 12:30, what a day!