Straw­fields – May 2012

Carpworld - - MAINLINE -

Al­though I don’t have chil­dren of my own Roz has a son, Damian, and we have a grand­daugh­ter, Aaliyah, who is some­thing of a tomboy, even though she still loves her girly things. We like to have her for a cou­ple of weeks each year, and usu­ally that in­volves vis­its to theme parks, don­key sanc­tu­ar­ies and Pri­mark. How­ever, this year she de­cided she wanted to go fish­ing and, more im­por­tantly, to catch a carp. Sadly most of my wa­ters were club and syn­di­cated and guests were not al­lowed to fish. Even if they had been, the na­ture of them was def­i­nitely not suit­able for a seven-year old. As al­ways, a friend came to the res­cue and hav­ing spo­ken to my pal Matt ‘Donk’ Clarke, he put me onto a small piece of wa­ter be­tween York and Selby, just off the

A19. Ac­cord­ing to Matt, it held stacks of carp to up­per dou­bles and was his go-to win­ter wa­ter, for a bite. Surely if it fishes in win­ter it must be even kin­der in the sum­mer months?

With Wed­nes­day booked off work, I was in­formed we wouldn’t be start­ing be­fore 9am and we’d be fin­ish­ing no later than 4pm to en­sure we got a Mcdon­alds for tea. A 9am start was a pipe dream with two ladies to get ready, and it was more like 10am when the

Jeep drove through the farm gates and down the bumpy track to the pond. I gen­uinely had no idea what to ex­pect, hav­ing not seen any images of the wa­ter or its fish, but feared it would be lines of an­glers, a cafe and more rules than F1. What I did find how­ever, was a typ­i­cally un­der­fished farm pond of un­der two acres with beau­ti­ful reed-fringed mar­gins and plenty of trees. Wow, this was nice! Swim se­lec­tion was easy – I picked a swim we could drive to and one that had mar­gins that would al­low Aaliyah to land one if we were lucky enough to hook some­thing. The brolly was set up, the girls were made com­fort­able and it was down to me to get the rods out. The mar­gins were deep, real deep. Heck, I had 10 feet in the edge, and well over 15 feet, just two rod lengths out. I pre­sumed that the carp would hug the mar­gins so coated them in my favourite ‘mush’ magic mix. Crumbed Nash­bait Mon­ster Squid, with added hemp and lots of liq­uid was my fail-safe con­coc­tion and I’d fish a small pop-up over the top of it. Four large hand­fuls of mush went left and right and a pop-up was low­ered over each cloud of at­trac­tion. The leads thumped down nicely, rods on the rests, alarms on and clutches set. I’d barely stepped back be­fore the left-hand rod was away and one an­gry carp tore line off the clutch... Crikey! Even the girls were im­pressed and as I played it in and Aaliyah got ready with the net. She re­ally wanted to play it but un­til I got that first one in, she’d have to wait. Soon a nice scaly dou­ble was sat in the mesh. Roz stayed well back, whereas Aaliyah was more than happy to be in­volved in the pic­ture. The next one came min­utes later and with a lit­tle help, Aaliyah wound it in and I was merely the nets­man. Aaliyah held the fish and the day was a suc­cess al­ready. Phew, grand­dad had come good, thank­fully. By mid-af­ter­noon we’d had over a dozen carp and Aaliyah’s con­cen­tra­tion was past its sell by date; Mcdon­alds was call­ing and I was not com­plain­ing.

Post­script: I went on to have many more ses­sions at the lake mainly be­tween De­cem­ber and April when bites at other wa­ters were hard to come by. In 2015 I caught a carp off the top in ev­ery month of the year from it, sim­ply by drop­ping in af­ter work for a few hours. Sadly its prox­im­ity to rivers and dykes meant the dreaded ot­ters had a field day there. Hav­ing found enough car­casses to al­most put me off carp fish­ing full stop, it was time to leave it alone. Sad times, but what a wa­ter it was.

RIGHT TOP First time this carp has seen nail var­nish I bet

RIGHT BOT­TOM The ladies were ready... Roz, and her OK mag­a­zine

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