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.
Picture of a Golden Tench in a vintage landing net
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.
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.
Picture of a Kelly Kellte boiling along with vintage fishing gear
Picture of a double figure Common Carp in a vintage landing net along side a mark iv split cane vintage rod
Picture of a river
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.
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.
Picture of a double figure Mirror Carp in landing net along side and Edgar Sealey split cane fishing rod and vintage Allcocks Aerial Popular reel
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.