Carp Di­ary

Carpworld - - CON­TENTS - - Myles Gib­son

Spawn­ing carp at Din­ton makes Myles re­visit a venue he hasn’t fished for a decade, with some star­tling re­sults Carp Di­ary

Dur­ing a let-up in pro­ceed­ings at Din­ton, due TO THE fish SPAWN­ING, MYLES sets his sights on a venue he LAST FISHED OVER A DECADE AGO – WITH STAR­TLING RE­SULTS!

AAfter the ses­sion dur­ing which I caught The Unit again, a few days later the fish started spawn­ing. The lake was closed for four weeks and, in­stead of us­ing that time to fish lo­cally and bait Black Swan, I fan­cied a new ven­ture. Some­thing was telling me to go else­where and have a fresh take on things, es­pe­cially af­ter spend­ing a few sea­sons there. I de­cided to go back to a lake that I had pre­vi­ously fished some 10 years ago. It was a big lake, over 120-acres, with a large sail­ing club and a low stock of carp – some­where in the or­der of 70 carp to go at. You could only fish a cer­tain per­cent­age of it and, with no boats al­lowed, it is very re­stricted. With all the buoys, large weedbeds, deep water and so on, it was al­ways go­ing to be a tough ask in the short win­dow I’d af­forded my­self, but, de­spite this, there were a few shal­low bays and ar­eas where you would ex­pect to find carp in the warmer months.

Al­though I knew roughly what was in there, the big fish don’t get caught enough to re­ally be sure. Ru­mours and myths of gi­ants still did the rounds and this side of it re­ally ex­cited me. We had a hand­ful of im­ages from a few years ear­lier, but as with any lake like that, pho­tos of the carp you want to see are hard to come by.

How­ever, I re­mem­ber many years ago stand­ing on the high bank at the lake and watch­ing a few re­ally big fish. So, in re­al­ity, I didn’t need pho­tos to con­firm their pres­ence – I knew there were a few good ’uns present. There was also the known big mir­ror, which did get caught, and had been out at high 40s in the past. This was the main aim, to catch it, but any­thing from such a lake would be con­sid­ered a re­sult.

I ob­tained a ticket for the lake, even though it would only be a few weeks’ worth of fish­ing. The plan was to fish on there un­til they re-opened Din­ton, which gave me a month, at least. I ar­rived early one Sun­day morn­ing and from what I had been told, the lake had only pro­duced eight bites dur­ing the whole of the pre­vi­ous sea­son. It was never go­ing to be easy, but that buzz and chal­lenge, is what it is all about. The Mrs had her mum vis­it­ing on the Satur­day night, so I trav­elled down dur­ing the hours of dark­ness and ar­rived early hours, so that I could walk around and soak up the at­mos­phere.

I was shocked at how busy it was, with at least 15 peo­ple. A strong wind blew into the out of bounds bank and into some of the shal­low bays. By shal­low, I mean re­ally shal­low, only two feet deep and you could see the bot­tom in the gaps in the weed. In cer­tain places, there was a lot of the Po­ta­moge­ton weed about and thick ar­eas of it, which grew off the shal­low, mar­ginal shelf.

It was hot early and with a gen­tle breeze push­ing in, the bays looked prime. I stood there for a while, in hope that I could see some­thing. I didn’t see any­thing, even af­ter a few laps, and I even­tu­ally set­tled in a small bay – off a bit of a muddy track – so it was a swim, just not a pop­u­lar one.

I got the rods sorted on small clear spots, which took an age to find. Once ev­ery­thing was done, I sat back and watched, in the hope that a few fish would start push­ing in. As the af­ter­noon wore on, I started to no­tice the odd one pop­ping its back out. I only had two rods out there, but one spot in par­tic­u­lar went down with a right crack and felt per­fect. It must have been no big­ger than an un­hook­ing mat and took a few casts to land on it.

Each was baited with the cat­a­pult, just a few whole baits, mainly to keep things quiet and avoid the tench and bream that in­habit the lake. I was us­ing strong line and big hooks, just in case I did hook some­thing worth­while. Noth­ing hap­pened that night though, but as the fol­low­ing day went on, more and more carp turned up in the bay. I had my eyes on a 30lb com­mon and a cou­ple of smaller ones too – it looked so good.

A few friends popped down to say hello, when, out of nowhere, the rod fished on the re­ally small spot just burst off. There was a huge ex­plo­sion in the shal­low water and all hell broke loose. As far as we knew, this was the first fish hooked this year and it was a very nervy ex­pe­ri­ence. A big bat­tle fol­lowed,

be­fore I net­ted a very empty look­ing com­mon. It went 28lb and ounces, but the weight didn’t mat­ter, I was just buzzing to catch one and be off the mark on such a de­mand­ing lake.

I knew from past years that they liked that bay once they had spawned, so I was hope­ful of an­other chance. I got the rod back out and topped it up with an­other kilo of bait. My heart was in my mouth when, dur­ing the night, the same rod went again – but it turned out to be a tench. It took a few casts but I got the rod back out again on the spot and pro­ceeded to get some sleep.

I woke early and was on the phone to my friend around 7am, say­ing that it looked re­ally good, but that I hadn’t seen any signs of carp. The water was flat and still – you could tell that it was go­ing to be a warm day. I had a tree in my sight of the spot, so couldn’t quite make out what was go­ing on from the bed­chair, when I heard a huge erup­tion on the sur­face. The alarm let off a cou­ple of beeps and the in­di­ca­tor smashed in to the butt. I was on it in a flash, hold­ing on as a ‘hippo’ charged off through the weedbeds.

The rod was at full com­pres­sion, but even on a tight clutch it wouldn’t slow down. I kept the pres­sure on and even­tu­ally ev­ery­thing went solid. I ap­plied a bit more pres­sure and the fish slowly be­gan to move. An­other big ex­plo­sion fol­lowed, be­fore the hook flew out and it was gone. I knew it was a big fish, it was pretty ob­vi­ous, and I was ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated.

From pre­vi­ous cap­tures I knew that the big mir­ror favoured a cer­tain area. It was an arm com­ing off a large body of water and I thought that my best chance of catch­ing it was to tar­get this area. I had al­ready leaded the swim and from the first trip I had been ap­ply­ing quite a lot of pel­lets and boilies to the spot. I gave them a big hit of bait on the night be­fore I left, so as not to draw any at­ten­tion to it.

When I re­turned there were a few lads fish­ing and a lad in the swim where I had pre­vi­ously caught the 28-pounder. I nat­u­rally asked if he had man­aged any­thing, which he hadn’t, but he had seen a lot of fish out in front of him in the bay. With

An­other big ex­plo­sion fol­lowed, be­fore the hook flew out and it was gone. I knew it was a big fish, it was pretty ob­vi­ous, and I was ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated

other an­glers fish­ing this area, I knew I still had my fall back op­tion – and that was the bay that the big mir­ror had pre­vi­ously come from.

I had a good walk round, un­til lunchtime, but didn’t see a thing. I al­ways like to have a plan on the big pits and the other bay would be it. I had al­ready nipped round and baited it re­ally early, be­fore I had a walk round, so it seemed my best op­tion. I got to the swim and went for a mooch. I caught a glimpse of some carp pa­trolling down the mar­gin, maybe three fish, with one of them over 35lb too. I clocked an­other two or three fish a bit fur­ther up the bank as well, clearly telling me that there were a few here.

As I was set­ting up the con­di­tions switched in my favour, with a nice north-east­erly breeze blow­ing in. I checked the weather app and it was giv­ing the same con­di­tions for the next few days – ab­so­lutely per­fect. Off to the left of the swim, there was a shal­low, grav­elly area that I clocked the odd dark shape pass­ing over. I watched for a while and saw a num­ber of fish pass over it. I waited un­til the fol­low­ing morn­ing to get a rod on it, when the fish were clearly gone and I wouldn’t dis­turb them. I had been trick­ling bait on it for a while, so they would have been pick­ing bait up from this spot. The rods went out per­fectly and I was sit­ting, ex­pec­tantly, next to them all morn­ing.

I had changed my gear a bit af­ter hav­ing been trashed by that fish the week pre­vi­ous. I had now spooled up with the Fox Sub­merge braid. I al­ways find that braid helps when fish­ing re­ally weedy lakes and this stuff had re­ceived good re­views. To keep ev­ery­thing nice and pinned, I used a long length of the Think­ing An­glers lead core, which is nice and sup­ple, su­per strong and blends in well in the clear water. Ev­ery­thing was strong and se­cure, so that if I did hook one, my tackle wouldn’t let me down.

At around 8am and I be­gan to get a few lin­ers, and it looked bang on. I then had a funny take and was con­vinced it was from a tench. I am­bled over and it wasn’t un­til I picked the rod up that I re­alised it def­i­nitely wasn’t! The fish

took off into open water and the fight was hairy on the braid but, even­tu­ally, I landed a nice 23lb com­mon. I was ab­so­lutely buzzing to get three bites al­ready and it was only my sec­ond trip.

I whipped the rod back out there, but noth­ing else hap­pened through­out the morn­ing. That af­ter­noon I could see a few more fish creep­ing into the bay and some of them looked big fish too. Know­ing how close they were to my rig, I was full of an­tic­i­pa­tion.

An­other hour passed and then the mar­ginal rod was away – and bat­tle com­menced. The fight took the other rods out and I was in a right mess, but I could see a big mir­ror wal­low­ing on the sur­face. I scooped it in the net and rec­og­nized it as one that my mate had caught sev­eral years ago. It cer­tainly looked a lot big­ger now – a fish known as the Fam­ily Mir­ror, which nor­mally weighs around 38lb – but on this oc­ca­sion went 41lb 4oz.

She looked ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble, a huge buzz that’s for sure. Af­ter do­ing the pic­tures, I got the rods back out, fresh­ened ev­ery­thing up and gave them an­other hit of the Krill and El­lipse pel­lets. The fol­low­ing morn­ing the lin­ers started again, which re­sulted in a 28lb com­mon from the pro­duc­tive spot.

I kept ev­ery­thing re­ally quiet, not telling a soul. I didn’t even walk round the lake, which would have put me in an awk­ward po­si­tion with the other lads. I had to be like this, oth­er­wise I

would have been jumped on in­stantly. So I was left alone, and I liked it that way. I kept fish­ing it, kept the bait go­ing in, and it was all guns blaz­ing hop­ing for the big mir­ror – Leon’s.

I blanked the fol­low­ing week but was back again soon af­ter and man­aged a small com­mon and lost a few fish too. It was a night­mare los­ing fish but I was made up with a crack­ing 37lb mir­ror amongst it all. The 37-pounder was ac­tu­ally one that I’d caught sev­eral years ago at 27lb, but it looked to­tally dif­fer­ent and it was nice to cross paths again.

I wasn’t see­ing much in the cor­ner of the bay, but kept a rod down there just in case. On this par­tic­u­lar morn­ing I saw a big back pop up in the weed, right near the spot. An hour later, the rod rat­tled off and it was the fish I thought it might be – the Bream Com­mon, look­ing huge and weigh­ing 44lb 6oz. It is an in­cred­i­ble carp and cer­tainly one that I dearly wanted to catch, which made what had al­ready been a great few weeks, even bet­ter.

Din­ton was back open now, but I was to­tally en­grossed in the big pit. I couldn’t leave with­out catch­ing Leon’s – I felt I was close, and was sure it was go­ing to hap­pen if I stuck at it. Noth­ing hap­pened the fol­low­ing week – the con­di­tions weren’t right and I didn’t see many carp ei­ther. I could have looked round the lake, but I didn’t want to bump into any­one and I had in­vested so much time and bait in the swim, I knew if it was go­ing to hap­pen it would be from there.

Both the big lin­ears had been caught on the week­end Din­ton re­opened any­way, so the de­ci­sion to stay was the right one. It was al­most fate, I had to get back to the big pit!

I was down on the Sun­day and I had given the swim a huge bait up the week be­fore. Ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing in my van had gone in – around 23kg in to­tal.

The wind was blast­ing up to­wards the other end and I felt a lit­tle dis­heart­ened. I got the rods out to the spots, gave them an­other hit of bait and woke up around 4am to a bite on the main spot. It was a re­ally pow­er­ful fish and in the twi­light I could make out a big fish on the sur­face. I re­peat­edly prayed that it stayed on and when it fi­nally went in the net, I al­most laughed to my­self. It was the one I was af­ter –Leon’s was in the net and I couldn’t quite be­lieve it. It weighed 47lb 10oz – a truly mega carp and a gem that so few had seen be­fore and my short ob­ses­sive cam­paign had come to an end...

LEFT A very nice wel­come back present, in the shape of this 28lb 8oz com­mon

LEFT TOP Myles chose to bait a cou­ple of ar­eas heav­ily

LEFT BOT­TOM Su­per­charged cof­fees for the early sum­mer morn­ings

LEFT TOP The Fam­ily Mir­ror at 41lb 6oz – what a buzz

BOT­TOM She looked awe­some

LEFT An­other 28lb com­mon. This time from a new swim and a place Myles chose to con­tinue his quest from

BE­LOW Long lengths of lead-core and braided main line helped deal with the thick weed

LEFT IN­SET Big leads helped hook­ing. You cer­tainly wouldn’t get many chances

TOP The lake’s big­gest com­mon, The Bream, at over 44lb

ABOVE An­other of the lake’s gems – this time a 37lb 2oz mir­ror that had last made his ac­quain­tance some 10 years pre­vi­ously

IN­SET Myles was bait­ing heav­ily with both pel­lets and boilies

TOP Cel­e­bra­tion time!

RIGHT The awe­some Leon’s at 47lb-plus

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