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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


27/10/2023 - Another Venue Another Good Session

My first swim


Yesterday it was a slow long drive in heavy rain, with a wind often gusting to 45 mph, around 1030 hrs when my daughter dropped me off. I was hoping to catch wild carp, the strong wind was really giving the tree tops a good shaking. Leaves were falling everywhere, no doubt they could be a problem on the water surface of the pool. After a long walk, I arrived at the pitch I wanted. The wind and rain lashed water might hopefully get the fish to feed, thankfully the wind had eased slightly.

For some unknown reason, I always I seem to pick a pitch, entailing a long walk from the car, this time through a copse, then brambles and reeds, into a wood that comes down close to the water’s edge. I thought “What a nice quiet spot, with just the sound of wind rain also the water lapping the bank, caused by the wind pushing from the south. Despite the conditions I spotted two pairs of Kingfishers, there were a few duck lots of pigeons pheasants with a pair of buzzards trying to get well up in the sky Hopefully the carp will be following the wind into my area. After scattering some crusts in front of the rushes, also into the water lilies, a moorhen soon appeared, no doubt seeking a bit of bread. First things first, a fresh brew, no better way to start the day, while waiting for the water to boil, I made up the landing net, as carp sucked down a piece of crust with a quiet cloop, not even disturbing the water surface, just inches from the bank, seeing this my hopes were high.

I put together a Sharpes salmon rod, that has been converted to make it an ideal carp rod, matched with a centre pin reel holding 12 lb bs line to which attached a size 4 hook with a Palomar knot. Putting the hook in the keeper ring I leaned the rod against an oak tree. Half an hour later, a heavy downpour engulfed me, like many others who seek shelter in a bivvy or umbrella, I just sat it out in my waterproofs, putting my tackle bag and bait etc in a large bin liner carried for this purpose, also its handy to take away other peoples rubbish, as often happens. The conditions made the water surface look as if it was covered in a fine mist. Eventually the rain eased, time to cast out half a lobworm out on my float fishing outfit, soon I was getting a succession of nice rudd, nothing big the average around 12 ounces, though beautiful gold bodied with blood red fins, soon the sun was back, it seemed like a different world. I estimated, In some two hours I’d a total of 50 plus rudd roach and perch, the best perch was around 1.5lbs but nice to see. After another brew, I put the float rod away, there was so much clooping going on it was hard to ignore.

“It was carp time with crust” Moving further along the bank, to where I could get some movement from the windblown water surface, to help drift my crust under some overhanging branches, often just inches above the water. I sat holding the rod, slowly the bread drifted in the direction I wanted. Eventually it was out of sight, I now listened intently for the sound of a cloop while watching the line for any movement. Twenty or so minutes later, I heard a quiet cloop, the line moved, gripping the rod, I clamped my thumb against the rim of the reel, then setting the hook. Immediately I was forced to give line, at the same time keeping the rod low to the water so I didn’t snag the line on the low overhead branches. it was a spirited fight, as the fish sought the sanctuary of the tree roots in the water, having forced the fish away from this danger, it moved off in the direction of some lily pads to my right. Then into the open water after about ten minutes from hooking the fish it was in my net, A wild car around 6lbs I was more than happy. In the next half an hour I had two more fish of similar size. I rested the area, it was time for lunch.

After a sandwich with a mug of tea, I started again, it was about 1500 hrs, Sharon would collect me at 1630 hrs I spotted a carp taking bread off the surface, dropping in a piece of flake I waited around a minute for the fish to quietly suck in the bread, as the line moved I set the hook into what looked like a good mirror, after a spirited fight I netted a nice looking mirror about 10lbs. the last mirror I’d caught was rather horrid with an extended bellies, an odd damage scale with lots of red blotches, not a nice fish. I then had two commons both around ten pounds. Time for a piece of fruit cake. Half an hour later, I lowered a big chunk of flake, the size of a chicken egg on the surface, inches from the bank. Some later I spotted the shadow of a good fish moving slowly towards my bait. Ten minutes later the flake slowly submerged, no disturbance on the water surface, no sound of sucking all was quiet. I thought “Has the fish sucked in the bait, or has it just submerged?”. I then spotted the line move slowly, I set the hook this fish went off on a run of probably forty yards, it put up a good fight for its freedom, making several twenty thirty yard runs in various directions, as time went on, I felt a savage pull on the rod tip a split second later I said “Its off” within seconds it was off on another run towards the centre of the pool, but slowly the fight from the fish wasn’t so strong, but there could still the danger of the fish getting into the roots of the lilies or the trees. Slowly the pressure was telling, soon I had the fish in a safe area coming towards the net. A minute late the fish was enclosed in the folds of the net. Drawing the net into the bank I was able to lean down, then take out the hook. I got a reading of 14lbs 12 ounces. As the rain started again, I called it a day, slowly packing my gear, ready for the long walk to meet Sharon, another good session, but I will be back for more, but now for two days on the Ouse.


A Wildie

A good common

Another wildie

Is there a better looking coarse fish than the rudd, even when they are small

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