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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


04/08/2023 - In Search Of A Wild Carp Part 2

At last a wild carp

Two days after capturing what I reckon was a wild carp, I’m back to the same water as described in part 1, when Sharon dropped me off at 0900 hrs, everything looked good, all I had to do was negotiate the long walk. Arriving at the waterside I found the wind was pushing into the bay area, it was the area I had in mind to fish, the strong wind confirmed my idea, in fact I could already see a few carp moving. Within half an hour the rain started sheeting down the wind increasing in strength, often gusting to gale force, (I learnt later there were gusts of 52 mph, the average wind speed during the day was 40 mph plus) It’s not often I find myself angling in July, under conditions more like an Autumn gale, trees were swaying in all directions, some losing the odd branch, storm clouds were increasing, I quickly pulled on my waterproofs, then scouted around to find a sheltered area, eventually I chose a swim with a dense reed bed, where I could get a little shelter from the wind, looking across the lake there was a curtain of rain, sweeping across the lake.


Seeking the shelter of some bushes way back from the waters edge I put together two rods, a 12 foot float rod with centre pin reel, attaching a float to take 3 AAA shot then a size 8 hook, this tackle I would use, hopefully to catch some nice roach rudd or perch. My other rod was my adapted Sharps with a centre pin reel with 12lb bs line, threading the line through the guides, I tied on a size 4 barbless hook, this outfit would be used for carp, my baits would be a bunch of lobs, King size prawn crust or flake. Thankfully I had got 2 large bin liners, one to put my tackle bag in, the other for rubbish, usually left by walkers, thankfully not by anglers.Some Good Roach and RuddHaving made up a bowl of ground bait, with chopped worm and prawns, also some corn, I put in 4 cricket size balls in a diamond formation, my thinking. “It doesn’t matter what direction the fish travelled in, I’d hope they would come across the food table”The next job was put on the jet boiler for a brew, five minutes later under the shelter of a big oak tree, I enjoyed my tea with two Digestive biscuits, having rested the swim after the disturbance, it was time to cast out. On the carp set up I baited with a Waitrose King size prawn, they might cost a bit more than Tesco, but the quality is excellent, I then made a long cast down the bank to my left dropping the bait alongside some bulrushes, then attached a piece of silver paper, I also had the check on as a sound indicator.


I baited the float rod with a cube of crust, then cast out. Within a minute the float lifted striking into a fish, after a brief struggle I netted a roach around the pound mark, I was more than pleased, during the next hour I must had had twenty or more rudd and roach all around the size of the first fish, it was one of the most enjoyable sessions for a long time. Still the heavy rain and gale force wind continued, there was no sign of a let up in the weather, time for a brew. Having put in some more ground bait, I set the Jetboiler going 3 minutes later I’d got my brew, then returned to float fishing. This time I chose to fish a cocktail bait of lobworm and corn, casting out I was soon in action, this time with perch, in a dozen casts I caught 9 perch, the best probably around 1.5lbs, I also had three nice roach, also another good rudd, it’s a pity the rain was still sheeting down, I wanted to use my new camera, in these wet conditions it wasn’t possible. In fact so heavy was the rain, it created bubbles all over the bay, I was feeling quite damp especially around my shoulders and wrists, the rain was so intense that within another hour the rain was getting through my water proofs.


At Last A Fish To Brighten My Day


I suppose it was around 1500 hrs, suddenly the silver paper shot up to the butt ring, the reel screeched as line was taken off the reel, striking I set the hook into an angry fish that really did know how to take line of the reel at a fast pace. Some thirty yards away, the fish briefly rolled on the surface, then kited into my right, thankfully just missing my float gear, It was trying to get in a dense reed bed, all I could do was hold the rod high and pull with as much force to my left as possible, in the hope I could turn the carp.It worked as the fish boiled on the surface some twenty feet from the reeds, it then turned towards the centre and the lilies, more pressure was exerted, grudgingly the fish started to come in my direction. After what seemed ages but was only minutes I got several glances at the fish, long and slender, hopefully a wild carp, the way it was fighting, it had the quality to be one. The runs were becoming shorter until I had the fish on the surface coming toward the net, it still had some fight as it submerge a few feet of line was taken, lifting the rod high with my right arm and holding the net in my left, I heaved the fish across the surface into the net. The water literally boiled as it tried to escape.After a couple of minutes waiting for it to calm down, I was able to take out the hook from its bottom lip, then put the net back in the water, estimating the fish around 7lbs, to make sure the fish couldn’t drag the net into the water I put a rod rest in the V of the net.


I then looked around for a sheltered area from the heavy rain, I found a spot under a large Alder tree covered in ivy, I reckon it would be a safe bet for a quick picture. Laying out the weight mat, I then switched on the camera then put it inside a large pocket of my coat, I then grabbed the net and fish, before moving quickly to the cover of the Alder, laying the net on the mat I moved the mesh away from the fish, then got two shots, switching off camera it went back in my pocket, the fish back in the water. When everything was sorted the camara was back in its case.Time to celebrate, on with Jetboiler, then with a fresh brew, a slice of fruit cake I grabbed my chair then sat under the Alder trees to enjoy a well earnt break from the strong wind and heavy rain.Fast And FuriousAs I was having my break I noticed a lot of movement from the carp, which didn’t surprise me as carp certainly follow the wind, I then chose to concentrate on the carp, putting away my float fishing gear. I fired out a dozen bits of crust and flake, within minutes the odd fish were attacking the bread, soon two or three carp were fighting over one piece of bread, things were certainly looking good.In about 3 hours I caught 11 carp mirrors and commons , non-weighed but they were between 8 and 14lbs, not big fish, but very good fun, despite the atrocious weather conditions, there was no reason to end my session, as my daughter wouldn’t be picking me up until 1900hrs, the area I was fishing I didn’t have a phone single to ask Sharon to come early if I’d wanted. When I did get home I was rather wet and cold but it had been well worth the effort.

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Martin James Fishing
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