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Running around like a headless chicken

Posted by tomhaggett , 29 November 2014 · 183 views

As the title suggests, the next couple of sessions were more of a cardio session than a relaxing fishing session.  Effort = reward however... unless you're me... then it generally equals a chance that I'll find a way to mess up :).
25th July - Berkshire Stillwater
Yet another rushed after work overnighter.  The fish have seemed to become rather nomadic recently and I had to settle down for the night without seeing much to go on.  Nothing happened during the hours of darkness and once a couple of hours of light had passed with no sightings I set about going to find some fish.  10 laps of the lake later, literally... I walked and walked and walked that day finding nothing until I'd almost given up hope.  
I'd actually organised the gear onto the barrow but for some reason decided on one last check in one of the corners.  Walking up quietely, like I had numerous times already that morning, I peered over the foliage and immediately spotted a fish ghosting past, then another, this one actually flanked on the bottom... a sure sign that they are feeding in my experience.
Trying to compose myself I unpacked one of the rods, checked the rig over and, after throwing in a handful of chops to hopefully move any fish that were present off the area briefly, the 1oz lead was flicked perfectly into position with a nice solid donk as it hit the deck.
It was going to be a hit and hold tussle so I screwed the clutch up tight and sat with my hand hovering over the rod and 15 minutes or so later the rod was almost dragged in despite me being poised.  Straight into the pads it went but for once I managed not to panic and just held the pressure on until it kicked itself free and kited away from danger.  It scrapped well for 10 minutes or so in the surprisingly clear water after that but eventually succumbed, spluttering water as it went over the cord with my little orange pop up hanging from it's bottom lip.
It had a big old frame for a 24lb 8oz fish... it did look fairly well spawned out to be honest.
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The next session followed the same theme.  A blank night after seeing very, very little signs of fish at all, let alone ones that were feeding.  
It was a joy to be out that morning though, I remember sitting there with a cup of coffee at 5am feeling sorry for the thousands people that must never witness these beautiful dawns that us anglers tend to take for granted.
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Gradually the mist burned off as did my desire to sit stewing in my plot again so off around the lake I went, praying that it didn't take as long to find something as it did last time.  
Thankfully it only took a couple of laps before finding quite a few fish having a feed right up in one of the corners.  They were on a spot that's been worked quite a bit this year, one that can't be cast to unless you get in and wade up towards it.  Of course, I'd not remembered to bring my waders but after a bit of a think I figured I'd be able to cast my lead onto the bank, creep through the out of bounds area, find the lead amongst the thick trees, attach my rig and drop it in, relatively close to the corner by hand.
It wasn't exactly an easy task but second cast my lead wiggled it's way through a little gap and after 5 minutes of searching round, whilst trying not to be spotted I located the lead and manged to drop it in, within inches of the reeds, between the corner and the substantial set of pads to the left of it.  A couple of handfuls of chops, one on top of the rig and the other spread in a line from the corner and from the pads to hopefully draw the fish to my hookbait and I was clambering back over the fence to sit and wait.  
Not long after, perhaps 10 minutes, the rod screamed into life and despite me being as quick as possible and having the clutch locked up it made it into the pads.  Not to worry, I'd just do as I did last time and it would kick it's way out... or not.  A minute or two of stalemate only resulted in my lead skipping back towards me, minus a fish.  
Darn.  Oh well, I'd continued my run of at least hooking a carp every trip this year.  Not so bad when you consider most people have pulled off the lake because they thought most of the fish had escaped down the river.

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