2018 saw me gain a ticket to Fryerning Fisheries right at the beginning of the year and as like most I was straight on the bank trying to track down a cold water carp. A few sessions had past and I had yet to see a carp let alone come close to catching one and it seemed that most other members were also suffering the same fate. the carp had simply shut up shop and totally disappeared. The first carp from of the year didn’t come until the beginning of April but what a fish it was. At over 50lb the Mommon was the first to wake from their slumber and although she didn’t fall to my rods that capture really did get the blood flowing and boosted that carp bug to the max. Although I hadn’t caught during my early sessions it didn’t mean my time was wasted each session I tried to fish a different swims slowly building a picture of the lake bed and areas to target meaning that when the carp woke up I could set up on fish and have areas to target meaning I could get fishing quick and effective without causing to much disturbance.
The fish had well and truly started respond to the change of seasons and fish were starting to get caught throughout April unfortunately for me work had become busy and my time was extremely limited and I was missing out on some serious action with some of the A-team putting in appearances. Eventually though I was back down the lake and as I drove through the gates butterfly’s fluttered around my stomach as stained my eyes to see how many anglers were on and what swims were free. To my amazement the lake wasn’t overly busy and a swim which I fancied was free so I wasted no time in getting the kit round to my chosen plot. A quick lead around to check out a few previous spots I had found where still as I remembered and I slowly set about sorting out the rods. Everything still sat on the barrow as I tied up some rigs while watching out over the water scanning for signs. With a few other swims still free I didn’t want to rush incase the carp gave away a clue.
The day wore on without much happening. It wasn’t until early evening the carp gave their location away with an impressive Ariel display but at over 200yards away they were well out of my water and reach. I quickly reeled in and had a walk round to where the carp were showing to asses the situation. As I stood and watched another carp leave the water I noticed a number of carp just shuffle in the top layers. A breeze had started to push towards my swim and I could make out the odd fish following this just under the surface and with another show further out and to the right I decided to stay put and hopefully if they continued along the same line they would end up in front of me. I wasted no time in getting the rods back out but changed one to a solid bag which was placed as tight to the island margin as possible in hope that if the carp were in the surface layers they would come across it. Rods reset and a well eared cold drink in the late afternoon sun was soon being drunk until I was rudely interrupted by a jittery take on the island rod. At first I thought a tench was the culprit as the fish swam towards me until it rolled and I could definitely tell that it was no tench and also on first sight I noticed she had very little scales if any. It was at that point my legs began to tremble slightly as the thought of the Leather flashed through my head as the fish powered off up a shallow channel. Thankfully my size 4 curve shank held firm as I guided a rather large carp towards an outstretched net. I had a quick glance and was almost positive one of my two main targets was sulking in my net and one of the rarest in the lake for bankside visits. After gathering myself together and making sure everything was ready and safe to bring the fish ashore it was time to properly get a good look at my prize, The Leather was MINE. My first bite from the lake and she was mine. Buzzing was an understatement I couldn't believe what had happened. I didn't bother with pictures on the bank instead opting to get her back in the water as quick as possible. She had obviously had a bit of a spawn without anyone noticing as she was quite a bit down in weight but at 44lb 10oz it was a new PB and one I dearly wanted to catch. I had a couple of pictures in the water and soon sent her on her way.. Buzzing was an understatement, my first fish from the venue and one of my main targets ticked off the list.
Again work had left me with limited time and my next trip down wasn’t even to fish. A mate was also on the Syndicate so on a sunny Sunday afternoon I decided to have a drive down and have a catch up before I had to go out later with family. I arrived in the car park to a fairly busy lake and made my way round to see Adam. As I got to what is called the bay I could notice a number of black shapes cruising around in the shallow water. I couldn’t really miss an opportunity so quickly told Adam I was off to grab a rod and some kit after putting a bucket in the swim. Within no time at all I was stood watching a number of carp tear the bottom up with plumes of silt giving away where they were feeding. A solid bag filled with pellet KSC oil and a KSC wafter mounted on a size 4 Curve Shank was gently flicked into a plume. I payed out some slack, laid the rod on the floor and stood back out of view as the carp were moving in close. To give you an idea of how long the take took to come Adam had left to use the Toilet just as I was tying up a solid bag and he had just got opposite me on his way back and the clutch hissed and water erupted as a carp took off. A very spirited battled followed in the shallow water but soon my prize was safely in The net. Not massive for the lakes standards but a cracking low 20 common was very much welcome. I thought the disturbance would have spooked every carp in the vicinity but I went on to catch another 2 cracking commons over the next couple of hours. I simply waited for the carp to show up start silting up and then lower a bag on the spot which was normally gone within minutes. A very enjoyable Sunday afternoon indeed although the Mrs wasn’t overly pleased as I had only popped out and turned up rather late and smelling of carp.
A few more carp fell to my rods over the next couple of session but most being the smaller stockies which had recently been introduced until I arrived one Sunday afternoon for an overnighter and found the carp in the bay once again although I tried to keep disturbance to a minimum I’m sure they knew they were being fished for and was very on edge. I gave it a couple of hours but didn’t fancy the night so moved round to a different swim where I had noticed a couple of carp show and decided it was a good bet for a bite. I knew the area so decided there rods onto of the shelf over a spread of New Test Bait MAX with matching Corkball pop ups over the top was the choice of tact.
With the late evening sun beating down I cracked open a nice cold drink, sat back and admired my surroundings. Just on dark a huge fish crashed out not far from the rods. I thought I recognised it especially with its size, I thought that maybe it could be the queen of the lake which definitely got the blood pumping and then BOOM out she came again. I was certainly buzzing with the thought of what could be. The night past uneventful and I awoke just before light ready to pack away and join the rat race on the M25. I swung my legs of the bed when the left hand rod let out a couple of bleeps followed by the right hand rod, within 10-15 minutes I had received liners on all three rods they had started to seriously get their heads down on the new bait, I slowly packed everything away and sat on the floor beside the rods knowing one just had to go. The water rocked and almost dropped as the left hand rod bucked in the rest the alarm Screamed for assistance and the tightish clutch hissed as line poured from the spool. I was on it in a flash but couldn’t slow the fish down. 20, 30 , 40 yards must have been stripped as I struggled to get the upper hand when all of a sudden the rod sprung back and line feel limp. We all know that dreaded feeling deep in your stomach when a good fish has been lost and it certainly made for a quiet long drive to work that morning I can tell you.
Until next time
Tight lines and wet nets