The target for my day was a Crucian carp point in our competition (4lb 9oz bag weight). Both Pete and Danny had given this a go at Snitterfield in recent days but had failed to get amongst them.
My day fell into two discrete parts.
Section 1 - After Crucians.
I was at the reservoir and fishing by just after six this morning. The dawn was amazing and the early cool air was welcome after the heat of the weekend. The peg I was fishing on the road bank was south facing but remained in the shadow until about eight o'clock as it has a steep bank behind it.
I fished down the edge with mainly paste on the hook under a pole float.
|I could see one of Danny's roll-up butts on the floor of the peg from the day before and a huge turd in the long grass, I'm hoping the two were unrelated.|
It took twenty minutes for my first proper bite but there was a crescendo of indications of fish in the swim before it came. Snitterfield is the venue of a thousand nibbles.
I fed pellet and slurried fishmeal particles sparingly (for me).
I bumped off the first four fish hooked and decided to change my hook pattern to one with a more pronounced 'u' shape as I felt the shallow bend of the paste hook I had on was the cause.
Next fish after the change was a......... bream. However the fish after that was a crucian.
This was quickly followed by two more giving me a three fish weight of 3lb 12oz.
I then went on to catch nothing but bream and the odd roach for about the next forty five minutes. My nerves were becoming on edge.
As the sun rose in the sky the day warmed quickly. My float was now in full sunlight as was most of the pool.
As quickly as they'd left they reappeared and I landed two more crucians in successive casts. I'd just come off the phone to Pete, warming him up to the situation and wanting to share my angst with someone.
So five crucians in all for 6lb 3ozs (1-1, 1-5, 1-6, 1-1, 1-6). Not monsters but job done between 06:30 and 08:07 - result!
Section Two - Pressure off. Go after the king carp.
Once I'd succeeded in bagging the crucian point my mind turned to the king carp in the lake as I had the whole day ahead of me. I did consider switching venues but had tuned my tackle for Snit and the place was so alive with fish I could find no real reason to move.
At first I tried a zig rig for cruising carp and stepped-up the margin rod and bait to try down the edge for the bigger fish but the sun continued to rise and the temperature soared and I was soon hot, bothered and bored without action.
Owen the bailiff came round and I had a good catch up with him for twenty minutes or so. I explained I was now focusing on the king carp today and he commended the dam wall to me as a likely place for them given the heat and wind direction.
I took a walk around the lake after he'd gone and did spy two carp very close in by the pier. In addition to the carp there were thousands of roach and rudd on the surface spanning at least five year classes. Thankfully I'd bought half a loaf of bread with me so I nipped back to the car to fetch it and armed myself with a stalking outfit to try for the carp.
There were four other fisherman present by this time and so when stalking the fish on the dam wall required me to first creep and crawl up behind the solitary hawthorn bush and then for me to practically sit in it I could here the stifled guffaws. If I'm objective about it I must have looked like a total prat, but do you know what? I'm passed caring what I look like when there are large carp at my feet.
|Come fry with me, let's fry, let's fry away.|
I caught a carp from the dam pretty quickly however and the singing pin made me feel a little less self conscious when the next group of fish I stalked required me to lay completely flat to the dam wall and do an impression of one of the modified pallets used as fishing platforms. Thankfully both ruses resulted in a screaming reel.
I plucked out five king carp for 43lbs in weight after shape-shifting into various backgrounds during the red heat of the day. Here's a few:
At three o'clock and now feeling a little fried 'n' wobbly by the heat, a long fish slurped down the carefully presented bread from the surface. It was obvious once hooked that this was a good fish and something different to the other carp I'd caught. It's runs were incredibly pacey and startlingly long. It took forty yards off the reel in a flash at the outset. It stayed deep and I only really saw it five minutes into the fight. It looked chub-like in shape and I realised I had one of the grass carp the ressy holds.
It weighed 18lb 2ozs and is my pb for the species.
|........nnnnnnnnnnnnng and in mint nick.|
I finished the evening off experimenting with the sub-float zig rig and was pleased with the results. I now have a little belief in the method.
|Like my old mate Ice Cube used to say to me, 'Keith' he said, 'Today Was a Good Day'.|
Here are the current scores, although Jeff's looking likely to crack the silver bream conundrum any day now and both Danny and Pete now know how to approach the Snitterfield crucians.
I get the feeling this competition will be won in the months of June and July.