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Another one :o. (Up to date, you'll be glad to hear)

Posted by tomhaggett , 02 December 2014 · 247 views

24th October - Berkshire Stillwater
So, after last weeks result I was naturally keen to get back down there and see if I could winkle out another one or two before the cold weather really kicked in.  The prebaiting seemed to work last time so I made the effort again but decided on a different area this time, the one that I mentioned had seen the only bit of activity over last time.
The plan was to fish it from a swim that commands a lot of water... that way I could fish one rod out between the islands where the sporadic fizzing had been going on last week, and the other rod on the spot that had produced a few fish earlier in the year (Starburst etc.)
I'd received a bait delivery at work that afternoon so took a good hit straight down there and put a good 1.5 kilos over each area.  I'd be arriving, ready to reap the rewards after work a couple of days later.
Of course work dragged the next two days but eventually I was hammering along the A34 in an attempt to make it before darkness set in and made getting the rods out that little bit more awkward in a new swim.  Thankfully our closing times at work had conveniently come down that day so I made it with a good half an hour of light left... what a luxury!
Upon arriving at the top end of the lake I couldn't help but notice a flock of seagulls dive bombing bang over the area that I'd baited.  Then I realised that someone had beaten me too it and my heart sank a little.  Sure enough after walking up there, one of the few guys that was fishing it regularly had decided to do his winter campaign in there and sure enough had caught one that morning, BANG on top of the spot I baited.  
I was left in a bit of a quandary now as I'd always bargained on getting in there and having the fish waiting for some more bait (if only).  A little deliberation later and I decided to go back in over where I'd caught from the previous session.  The fella had told me they'd fizzed over that way a fair bit that morning so without wanting to waste any more time I heaved the barrow around and set about getting the rods onto their respective spots.  
Both were fished exactly as they were before, nice long links and super slow sinking pop ups in the mucky areas of open water.  A good bit of bait was scattered over each before I sat down to chat with another mate who had been doing quite a bit of time down there.  
He'd been there 3 nights and hadn't had a thing... in fact it transpired that the only bite since my last capture was the one that morning, over my bait... they were obviously getting on it.  That shows how tricky it can be... this lad in particular had done in excess of 15 nights for 2 fish and after speaking to a few others they commented that they were really happy with their 3 fish in 12 nights.  That was the moment that I realised I'd actually done pretty well this year... every session so far I'd hooked a carp and I was fishing rushed overnighters as opposed to their 2, 3,4 and sometimes 5 nights at a time!
Despite the rods going out well I wasn't all that confident of continuing that roll, having set up in a swim that I hadn't seen anything in and that hadn't seen any bait since I spread what I had left over the spots before leaving last time.  An hour into darkness however and a fish stuck it's head out right over the productive left hand spot.  I excitedly told the lad just down the bank who replied with something like "If you catch one tonight and I blank for my 4th consecutive night I'm giving up".
Around the same time as last week the left hand rod pulled up tight and after the normal kerfuffle with my shoes I was out in the darkness doing battle with a carp.  It didn't scrap all that much to be honest, i even thought it was a tench until it had a little ruck in the margins.  Once again though it ended up in the net with the clinically sharpened size 4 Mugga embedded in it's bottom lip.  I repeated last weeks process and quickly weighed it in at 22.15 before slipping it in the sling to wait the short while for daylight.  I accidentally fell asleep again shortly afterwards and missed the first half an hour of light but took great pleasure in trotting up to the guy up the bank (who'd blanked) and summoning him to do some pictures for me.  He didn't actually believe me at first but after dragging him up there and pointing to the sling he eventually congratulated me.  Just before I got him up on the bank we both commented on the fizzing over the productive spot and I remember saying that there was plenty of time for another.  
Anyway, with the pictures done and the fish returned I was just checking through the camera when the left hand rod absolutely belted into life.  The tight clutch begrudgingly gave line while the rod was hammered almost around to test curve... I ran down in a state of panic, lifted into it and almost immediately it fell slack and the fish was gone.  Upon reeling in the limp fluro mainline I had either been cut off or for the first time in how ever many year a needle knot had failed me.  I can't see how it's possible for the knot to come undone to be honest, especially as I'd landed the fish an hour or two previously on it without any bother at all.  I was seething... this time of year is really not a time to be spurning precious chances.
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When I'd composed myself I sent a picture of the one I'd had to my ever knowledgeable mate as I didn't recognise it.  He came back instantly proclaiming it to be yet another original.  I honestly couldn't believe my luck.  There are only 6, 7 or possibly 8 in the lake I think and I'd had 3 of them that year and had had a couple of the others previously.  The big fish that I lost after it beached itself was potentially one of the others as well.
And that's it, i'm pretty much up to date.  
I fished one more night on the target water a couple of weeks ago and unfortunately broke the run of hooking a carp every trip.  I had been down to bait up a couple of days before... this time baiting the productive spot but from a different swim that gave me more options for the other rod and changed the line angles.  I'd intended to arrive at first light on a Saturday but after an impromptu night with my mates that involved me getting stuck sideways over a barbed wire fence at 3.30am, I limped down to the lake, via Mcdonalds for a hangover helping breakfast wrap, at about 10am.  There were 3 anglers on, all along the same bank, and while the swim I'd baited was free the two either side were taken, making it impossible to fish my spots while retaining any form of etiquette.  I actually fell asleep in a pile at the front of the swim until midday, the gear was still in the car for goodness sake.  Eventually I pulled myself together and after a chat to the guys they gave me the go ahead to fish the spots as it wouldn't interfere with them in any way.  I was still dubious to be honest and ignored one and fished about 10 yards this side of the other.  No carp were forthcoming, though 3 showed in the general vicinity as darkness fell.  All that I was rewarded with was a 7.9 tench at 11pm, prime bite time according to the only other guy that had been catching a few.  It was so foggy when the tench came along that I couldn't even see the rod butts from the bivvy, let alone the lake so getting the rig back on the spot and bait anywhere near it was darn difficult.  Nothing else occurred that trip and I haven't managed to get back since.
I cursed the tench at the time but it was still more than any of the others had over a combined 7 nights so I stopped moping and saw it as a positive.
Since then I've dug the lure rod out and had a couple of very half hearted cracks on the canal totaling around 2 hours.  A good few jacks have come along but no perch as yet... it's still very coloured to be honest so I think I'll get the worms out while it drains out then give the lures a good go again.             

July 2018

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