Tuesday, 6 April 2010

'Going Down The Edge Too Early'.......

Tuesday 6th April, 15:30 - 20:00. Brookfield (again). 13C arrival 9C departure. Strong S. Balmy!

..... is a phrase often uttered by match anglers, and I think refers to going onto a margin line before the fish have had chance to properly settle on the bait - hence knackering ones chances.

For me it meant wondering whether a return to a style of fishing which I have profited from greatly in the past would work so early in April, when the waters are still cool and the cyprinids still stirring. It's worth mentioning that before choosing this venue I spoke to Danny who was fishing Ryton pool the previous evening to ascertain how the fishing was there. He'd seen one tench caught but given the number of fishermen present it was in no way 'on fire'. The tench at Ryton will have to wait.

Whilst other carp anglers might cast to the horizon I've regularly found that if I'm fishing twelve inches out from the bank I've over-cast. Sitting low, twelve foot back from the windward edge using a thirteen foot float rod and centrepin especially on mixed pleasure or commercial fisheries, I've had no end of sport with carp to 25lb+ under the rod tip and on the simplest of pole float 'rigs'.

To this end I returned to Brookfield in search of ~66+lb of carp and a point in our fishing competition.

I've mentioned before how the fish have been moved around these pools to allow for recent developments, and you only need to look on a satellite view map to see which is the most 'stirred-up' after the works.

Adhering to "you can only catch what's in front of you", I wanted a ton of carp on hand.

I pushed the boat out and fished the deepest part of a thin channel between the bank and the island. The wind was into the bank I fished.

Anyone seen my giant chicken?

I fed pellets sparingly knowing that the carp in these lakes aren't a push-over. I can never be sure but I may have fallen foul of putting in too much bait in pressured waters previously, spooking wary fish with nothing more than food alone.

Wanting to disguise my hook as much as possible I lassoed two pellets on a hair then threaded a softened pellet onto the hook.

Two-lassoed and a softy to hide the hook.

The pole rig was pretty simple: a bulk shot six inches beneath the float and a single shot to keep the line pinned to the deck.

3 No.6 bulk and a single No.6 to pin down three inches from hook.

I had to wait an hour before the first proper bite - mirroring the matchman's paranoia I alluded to earlier - but once carp started visiting the swim the bites were evenly spread and close together enough to warrant sharp concentration.

I caught four carp in all totaling just under thirty pounds.

Best of the bunch - 8lbs 6oz

I lost another four due to hook pings on the strike, and missed an equal number in lighting fast bites or brushes of fish against line which resulted in huge vortices of water indicating fish exiting stage left.

Overall I was slightly rusty with the method but it still felt good to be fishing this style again.

Believe me when I say I'd love to claim the carp point with two thirty pounders in a single sitting but realistically I know that could be a lifetimes work in itself. For me building a good score this year is about striking the right compromise between weights and idealism. None of us want to fish in a barrel but, "you can only catch what's in front of you".


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