Man does not live on bread alone (Carp, entry 531) Plus video

With a few dry days – and nights – forecast I decided to get my carp head on. Not that I’m worried about rain, far from it, just that I decided to take advantage of the conditions that’s all. And with summer on the way out fast I enjoy the nights out ‘under the stars’ or at least with just an umbrella-type shelter over me.

The left-rod swim
The left-rod swim

On my first overnighter I fished a pool where I have caught carp before, but also blanked. In fact just the one fish, but weighing in at 20lb plus, so decent enough. I fished an SBS 16mm pop-up soluble boilie (pineapple) over Flumino liver groundbait and sweetcorn. That was the left rod and you can see the swim above, casting off the overhanging trees. The other one I fished off an equally overgrown clump of trees, but on an island so a double-attraction. Again SBS, but this time 2x 12mm M2 pop-ups. I used the same groundbait and added boilies as well as throwing some out by hand. It’s only a small venue but a challenging one. And that was the case this time, as I blanked.

Fishing towards the island
Fishing towards the island

My second overnighter was back to a lake that has featured a few times in my recent carp sessions. If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll be aware of the venue I’m referring to. I’ve also caught reasonably well, so after the blank I was hoping I would get more of the same. I arrived quite late, had the whole place to myself, and settled back as dusk started to take over.

Soluble boilies and booster liquid
Soluble boilies and booster liquid

My bait approach was the same, and that’s a shot of the 16mm boilie and booster liquid above. I was fishing three lengths out in ten feet of water. There are no features in the area I set up in, just a gradually sloping bottom. I’ve caught fish at a variety of lengths before. The carp don’t have a limited patrol route as such and can be drawn in. That’s why I spread the bait over a reasonable area. My first action came at 2.32am when a screamer on the alarm saw me lifting into a carp. Unfortunately a few moments later I encountered the dreaded hook-pull. On the soluble boilie, I threaded a fresh one on and re-cast.

At last, a carp
At last, a carp

It was three hours later when I actually banked my first fish of the week. Caught on the pineapple, I was woken from a dream by the alarm. I owned a pet swan with learning difficulties and he was driving round my factory on a sit-down lawnmower. I was chasing him and all the workers were laughing at the antics of the swan. Dreams eh! Anyway the fish brought me back to the land of reality.

An autumnal start to the day
An autumnal start to the day

It became quite misty and damp through the night, so much that by dawn it was looking – and feeling – very autumnal. It wasn’t affecting the fish though as following a hook-pull from a tench I then landed one. Both were on the M2 thus meaning that the baits were level-pegging, even down to lost fish. Once the sun came up it burnt the mist away and it was time for me to go home. Or was it?

An early morning tench
An early morning tench

My plans were to return home, leave the gear in the car, do some work and then head off for another overnighter. But as I wasn’t scheduled for any deadline work I decided to stay and fish another night. I had no food or drink, but plenty of bait, so that meant the fish would be catered for at least.

Man does not live on bread alone and a day without feeding my stomach won’t do me any harm at all. The day itself was a scorcher and I made use of the time by exploring the natural world around my swim. There were a variety of plant species including the Common Knapweed. To many people all they see is weeds but to me they’re beautiful British wildflowers. That’s not just the knapweed, by the way, but all of them.

The common knapweed
The common knapweed

The day was quiet and I had to wait until 3.30pm when I netted a small male tench. This was followed three hours later by another. Looking forward to the night I reeled in the next morning when it was time to pack away and found I had no bait on. It was my own fault really, I had been plagued by diving tufted ducks at dusk and all those bleeps were attacks on the boilies.

Anyway it made me more determined to end the week with a carp so I returned for a final throw of the dice. But rather than go out on a high, it was more of the same as I again struggled. And not even a tench this time round. That’s fishing for you though and as always I always include the ‘lows’ with the ‘highs’ when doing my weekly blog. At least I caught something though, so that’s good. (Published September 14 2013)

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