It’s that time of year again when the leaves are falling and lots of low pressure’s are upon us and carpers all around the country working hard to catch their target fish in prime conditions before the cold months arrive. Lucky enough for me I had my season trophy turn up early which I am still on cloud nine about as she can be a tricky character to get on the bank. Although it was a BIG fish, size doesn’t come into it when they are as beautiful as she…..black as your hat and big plates over her ageing flanks. For me personally she is bang up there with the greatest of captures and a true honour to have caught her. Unfortunately I cannot publish the photos as its no publicity. Now lets get to the carpy stuff!!!! I cant speak for everyone but I do love a challenge and love the mystery of tricky carp and the journey along the way to the end result, this season a lot of home work had to be done as it was going to be my last year on the lake as I need to move on to pastures new. The few pictures I can put in with these few words will be more than enough for you to picture yourself there and get the thoughts going, there are lots of nooks and cranny’s to get tucked away in but if its the right place it’s a different matter. There is gravel bars and needles and snags and gullies and shelves and it goes on and on its a mans water and it is beautiful in every way you can imagine. Ok just imagine you are tucked away under some tree cover with a nice piece of water in front of you and in that area you have sunken trees and needles coating the gravel bars and reeds and rushes everywhere….MMMMM carpy!!!Plenty of weed everywhere and some lovely spots to place a baited rigs. After being up trees and observing fish visiting the area and watching what fish they where and what they was up to I decided that I had my next plan.
After some tactical baiting and seeing some very large carp not wasting any time what so ever in getting involved in some free food.I must add though it was not just a case of turning up and banging bait out and the rest is history,far from it,the time had to be the right time and to get those fish there they had to be tempted which we could possibly talk about at a later date.I should imagine that you are already picturing the scene and wanting to go fishing because i know i am!!! I had the best part of 10 weeks off the rods as we had a fish pass away that i wanted to catch dearly and i had lost this fish not long before so I was feeling heart broken to say the least,so i decided it was time to get back to it, although I wasn’t fishing i was still walking the lake and putting bait in areas and just general work towards my autumn fishing I had a few socials in the time off as most of my friends are scattered on waters everywhere and we use this time to catch up and see how we are getting on.
So back to the lake, I had walked and wondered etc I found what I was looking for, a fantastic little area but my only problem was to be fishing there without being noticed as I’ve lost count of times where I’ve had something good going for somebody to come along and spoil it. So to get to the area a journey through brambles and stingers up to your armpits and fallen trees and flood fences.
I don’t mind any of that its the fact of leaving no sign that a path has been made to get to the area.Even with baiting up I was parking a good mile from the lake and walking out of my way to go unnoticed by others. In the pictures you can see just how hidden away I could be and other anglers could be walking not far from me but would not have a clue I was there! Perfect!!!My first night was like electric! The weather and everything looked in my favor and then appeared Mr swan and he was driving me insane by constantly going down to my spots and enjoying balls of goodness layed out for the carp. The first night passed with no fish on the bank but I was confident fish would visit, its not the sort of water where your going to catch all the time but rewards are there for effort and that’s what I want.The following morning was looking good, I had seen carp travelling up and down the lake so was confident I could possibly get a visitor,what I have forgot to mention is that on the Tuesday when going to bait up I noticed there was a few fish feeding in the area and one carp in particular caught my eye as it was properly having it, not to far from the bank its tail was tipping out of the water, just the top part of its lobe but i had forgot my glasses!!! Climbing a tree as carefully as possible, I see a big old shape,not sure which one it was but it was enough for me to start shaking and then I was stuck because I had to be quick baiting up so I had no choice but to leave them to it without being disturbed by some alien throwing bait at their heads!!! I would have to make the effort and come back later once they have vacated the area. So jumping swiftly forward again to the second night, all traps were set and it was getting on late afternoon and the right hand rod without a single warning just went into complete meltdown!!!
I was all a panic as it was well out of the blue so i picked up the rod that was arcing at a massive degree on the screaming buzzer and quickly dived into my waders and took to the lake while the most angry carp tore line off my clutch at an incredible pace for a fairly tight clutch!! , I really couldn’t believe the shear power of this carp, it was going mental and me being fully aware of the snags and weed and all sorts of obstacles in harms way I had to stay in control of the carp and keep my head, I knew with no doubt in my mind that it was a big fish, so so strong and it started powering off to my right. Before I knew it the angry fish had made her bid for freedom to a huge abundance of weed!!! It slammed the power on and really got itself buried into a weedy sanctuary, I was praying the size 4 conti was going to hold and that the carp gods were shining on me. I held the rod and slightly slackened off a bit and a few seconds later(which seemed like hrs) I then pumped the fish fairly hard and she started heading out of her thick weedy sanctuary and was coming towards me,the weed up the line slid down to her head had blinded the fish !! Now there was a stroke of luck ay? I just had to play it cool and keep it coming. So much weed was up the line and now covering the fish i was really starting to shake and it was so so heavy and…little more….little more and just heading to the cord….and YES!!!! YES!!!The unbelievable epic battle was finally over, shaking like crazy now and buzzing with adrenaline pumping round my body at a million miles an hour!!Now I was saying early on about not giving my location away,but it was already over when I stepped into the lake to haul the beast from her weedy snaggy home and could see my good friend in the distance and he knew I just wanted one more of the A team and I was done. So I punched the air towards him with a thumbs up and the fire within was well and truely alight!!!!! YESSSSSSS!!! Now catching my breath slightly I started heading back towards the bank clutching my rod and a folded net stuffed with one seriously jet black ancient monster!! I stood in the edge looking down in the folds of the mesh engulfing a huge scaley warrior, I really couldn’t believe how quickly I had caught, I was just blown away with the feeling of luck and the carp gods shining down on me. I phoned a good friend of mine to see if he would be so kind to come and take the pictures and to share the moment,and being the true gent and good friend he is he answered with(course mate!!!) I mostly do self takes and keep quiet about it,(tell the …I blanked again story)but being that this could be my last capture from the lake I wanted to share it with him,so I sacked up the fish out of harms way and we had a brew and a few cigs to calm down before we set up for pictures and for the weighing of the fish and my good old pal is saying”come on come on!!”(both of us like kids in a sweet shop for the first time lol)
I ventured into the theatre of dreams to retrieve my prize and it was heavy and so big,oh my god all my Christmas had come at once,all the mat was wetted up and everything ready.As i carefully lifted the sack out of the lake checking all her fins where flat and she was safe to lift from the water I layed down the sack on the mat, she gave out some lashes of defiance so i sat her up right so she wasn’t bashing her head up and down on the mat and causing any damage to such a beautiful creature.A few seconds later and she was ready to parted from the calming sack and as i peeled the mesh back i was blown away and we both gave a WOW!!! MAN! She was stunning pure stunning…beautiful scaling all over her jet black body, a true pure fish of biblical proportion. She was so well behaved for photos and we got some stunning water shots, I was on cloud nine (again!). I was just totally blown away and sat in disbelief of what had just happened,it was one of those serious fish that you will always be looking back to and going back over the whole thing again and again.Being over the moon with this capture the unbelievable happened,i was lucky enough to have another take the following morning but unfortunately it was lost in the weed. No matter how broken and gutted i was i was still buzzing about the big girl the day before and in the back of my mind i knew that my work was done. i left the lake that morning feeling over the moon and trying to take it all in,i had a long slow walk around the lake thinking back on my adventure on such a wonderful and beautiful place of magical dreams that i will always hold close to my heart,all the working hard and build up to that capture came at cost with the shear amount of time and effort for the build up before that line went into the water, its all part of living the dream! Iv been lucky enough to have been granted permission to use this photo of the final capture.But as for my next step its time to start another path,another journey on another lake,new dreams,old carp,excited angler!!! Well until the next time stay lucky enjoy to the full and live the dream!! (Now im going angling!!)