Thursday, June 17, 2021

JURASSIC PARK, Part II - By Dan Chart

Upon my return after my family holiday I had the Friday night available where I was straight into the swim Mark had had his success from. Now you could think I was jumping on the back of his hard work but I’d seen those fish a few weeks ago and wanted to go in there but wanted Mark to get a result as well as I knew he’d do the same for me.

I found a hole in the weed to the left of the swim and a couple of hard silt areas in front of the snag bushes opposite. Chod rigs were deployed to the opposite marks with a double bottom rig used for the close in spot to the left. Knowing the fish were enjoying the bait I wasn’t afraid to give them a bit and tightly baited the close in spot with a hundred freebies and at least 300 freebies scattered to the opposite marks.

01.30am saw me in a standing battle with an angry carp once more that had picked up the bottom bait on the left hand rod in the hole in the weed. With the lead breaking away early into the fight I managed to keep the fish high above the weed and bullied it into the net without the need to get the boat out as to be honest I hadn’t had that much experience in netting fish on my own with a boat and didn’t fancy it in the middle of the damn night!!

The fish went 24lb and also looked like an old warrior. When I showed the pictures to some of the regulars none of them had seen these fish before as believe it or not, its actually rare to get a carp under 30lb from there! It just went to show the unknown potential that was in this lake. I was able to fish the Saturday which was to be a first since acquiring the ticket.

Disappointed by the fact that I had not had a sniff on the chods I decided to reel in at about 11am. Both of the casts the previous night had landed on firm silt spots and I decided to fish off these spots into the softer areas opting for no feeling on the rod tip rather than the traditional donk once I cast them out. By allowing maximum travel on your top bead for the chod hooklink it is irrelevant where it lands anyway within reason.

Astonishingly I had a pull up no more than ten minutes after recasting resulting in a powerful fish firmly weeding me up. Oh dear I thought, the time has come for me to try and net a fish on my own in the boat, albeit however, I wasn’t on my own as my mate Gary was opposite absolutely pissing himself watching me going around in circles getting no where close to the fish with forty yards of line to gain!! It takes some practice believe me! God knows how I didn’t capsize the boat and lose the fish but I eventually netted a long common that was dryer than me! On the bank it weighed just over 28lb and it behaved itself for the pictures before being returned to fight another day.

I had kept my silt area going in the middle of the lake with copious amounts of G&BP boilies. I knew they really enjoyed the bait as my hook holds had all been spot on and this area also allowed me to not give my game plan away. Most pre baited spots on the lake could be viewed from the boat as small clear sand and gravel spots always look so appealing for a bite. I didn’t want my bait viewable for all to see. My silt area required you to really have to look hard which was perfect in my book. I returned to the prepared swim the following week and was now getting a more pronounced firmer feeling from the leads when I cast out indicating the area was getting worked heavily. Confident as ever that night I awoke the next morning to motionless bobbins.

Gary was also down in the blue swim opposite me, a swim I really fancied that may help me achieve a different line angle to the swim I was angling from. Just as I was sitting there with my tea in hand thinking about this plan for my next trip the right hand rod was away. Yet again the fish weeded me almost immediately only this time I was to make sure Gary wasn’t going to enjoy me to provide his early morning entertainment and netted the fish with the utmost of professionalism from the boat!! I deserved a bit of luck this time around!

Once on the bank a stunning mirror weighing 33lb 14oz was to make another day for me. Things were just getting better and better! My next trip saw me venture to the blue swim only to lose what looked like a good fish in the early hours of the morning fishing the same silt area practising a different line angle. I was gutted as although the hook pulled out I couldn’t help think I tried to bully it to the bank rather than use the boat.

Looking back I can’t help but think I was lazy and stupid but we all make mistakes every now and then. I did return to the same area again but fished it form the original swim partly so I could have a social for Mark or more like be his dogs helping him with the few fish he had that evening!

He was on fire and wrapped up a mental night of catching three fish with a blind common weighing 33lb. It was a stunning creature! I got in the action as well the next morning with the recapture of the first fish I ever caught, this time slightly bigger at 26lb. A bit early for recaptures I thought but it did make me wonder about how territorial the fish may be?

Things slowed down for the next few weeks and I struggled to learn as to what the fish were doing. I had to just continue to bait areas that looked good from previous tours with the boat and use them to my advantage returning regularly to see if the bait was still there. The area in front of the trees where I had caught the 28lb common was definitely being worked as the depth and shade of the surrounding trees makes the bottom hard to visualise but over the recent weeks you couldn’t help but see it change and resemble a sort of glow. The swim that fishes to this zone also happens to be the closest to the car, perfect for overnighters which was all I had available for the forthcoming weeks.

My next overnight trip saw me get the aforementioned swim and have the lake to myself. I had a bream in the evening forcing me to do a pub chuck but it felt alright and I retired to bed fairly confident. The baits were all fished to the far margin over the silt ten yards in front of the tree line. Using the throwing stick I deposited a good 200 G&BP boilies to the zones.

The fish kept me awake during the night throwing themselves out of the water which was a rare treat from there and I knew it was only a matter of time before I got a bite. I don’t remember the inevitable take but remember holding a rod that was connected to an angry carp at 3am. The fish was avoiding the weed enabling me to coax him towards the waiting net. It nearly took out my left hand rod so I decide to put this rod on the floor. Just after doing this I could hear the spool whizzing and it just didn’t sink in that it may have been another take?!!

Eventually after realising, I picked up the rod from the floor and pulled in to another fish whilst trying to play the fish which was now only about ten yards out. I was in trouble but I simply let the fish I’d just leant into get its head into a large weedbed allowing me to play the other fish into the awaiting net. I could see that this was good fish but had to sack this it up and get her into the safe deep margin as I knew I would need the boat to net the snagged fish.

Once this was done safely I went out in the boat to net the weeded fish that was buried very, very deep. It took me nearly an hour pulling a foot of line at a time in pitch black with only a head torch to keep me sane but I knew it was worth it as like the fish I’d already sacked up I realised it was another good fish. On the scales the first fish went 33.04 and the second 37.8. My friend Wady came all the way down to take the pictures for a very happy angler!

The summer was drawing to a rapid end but I did manage to winkle one more out at 30.01 from the same swim on the close in gravel spot to the left. I was happy with my results so far and the bait exceeded my expectations but I have always been told that Spring is the best time to fish the lake, so roll on Spring!

Cheers & tight lines

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