We should all be pleasure anglers (Carp, entry 533)

I recently ran a caption competition on my Facebook page, with the winner getting a chance to fish Dudmaston Hall on the Kinver Freeliners ticket as my guest for the day. There were some really funny entries, and I was glad I gave the judging to a third-party as it was a really tough one to call. Anyway the eventual winner was Paul Burke and we arranged a date.

Unfortunately something happened at the very last minute and Paul couldn’t make it (we’re going to sort out another day though). With my gear all ready I decided to still make the visit, after all it’s hardly a hardship is it, going fishing? And with a day’s carp fishing on the Seggy Pool to look forward to, I was a bit like the proverbial kid on Christmas Eve when I went to bed the night before.

Early morning on the Seggy Pool
Early morning on the Seggy Pool

The venue doesn’t contain massive carp – a double is a decent fish and a ’20’ exceptional. It’s a very pleasant place to spend a few hours though, and to borrow a well-worn phrase – sometimes fishing is more than just catching fish. On that front it was a great start to the day as I walked to the pool and came across a common toad.

I gave it a helping hand across the road – there’s a difference between interfering and intervening in the natural world. On the bank I was soon fishing, with a lobworm pop-up on one rod and a pineapple soluble on the other, again a pop-up. The former was fished over boilies and the latter over pineapple Flumino groundbait with a kilo of sweetcorn added to the mix.

Flumino groundbait and sweetcorn
Flumino groundbait and sweetcorn

It took a while but I soon had feeding bubbles in both spots. The Seggy Pool responds very well to feeding fish in that it lets you know when they have their heads down. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are carp though as tench are also in the venue. But I’m a great believer that a crowd attracts a crowd so whatever the species or size I was confident that carp wouldn’t be far away.

The opening fish caught on lobworm pop-up
The opening fish caught on lobworm pop-up

After several single bleeps and slight rises and falls on the indicator, I had a proper screamer. On the lobworm boilie, it put up a good fight, but was soon on the bank. Just prior to the run I had a sighting of a hobby in flight. Initially I caught the briefest of glimpses of an ‘oversized swift’. Being a keen birder I knew instantly what it was, and a few moments later when it appeared again, I was able to get a much more prolonged view.

The second carp of the session looked like a leather as it broke the surface during the fight. However, once I got it in the net I saw that it did have a few scales, in particular a row below the dorsal fin. Leather carp aren’t just mirrors without scales either, they are genetically different. The same as mirrors and commons, although biologically they’re the same. Regardless of genetics or biology though I was happy to land the fish.

Fish number two, again on lobworm boilie
Fish number two, again on lobworm boilie

By the time I landed my third fish, a small common, I decided to reel in the pineapple boilie as that rod hadn’t produced. Although the hair stop was in place the boilie had gone. With lots of small fish activity, being soluble it had been whittled away. That explained why I had drawn a bank – in fact I had seen that rod as my favourite one. Instead, at lunchtime, it was 3-0 down.

That quickly became 4-0 when another common hit the back of the landing net. You can see the rig below, well certainly the business end of it. The pop-up weight is from Fox and called Kwik Change. I used them some years ago and then for whatever reason I couldn’t get hold of them any more. Recently though Harris Sportsmail has been stocking them, so I’ve been happy to be reunited again.

Business end of the lobworm boilie rig
Business end of the lobworm boilie rig

The boilie rout continued as fish number five was landed. I again checked the soluble boilie to find it had done another disappearing act. I had a swim on the go that was great if you were after a net-full of small fish. As I wasn’t, however, I decided to switch both rods to the lobworm boilie. By now the regular showers throughout the day had become quite heavy persistent rain.

Fish number five on the bank
Fish number five on the bank

The sixth fish was a common, another one in the size range of the previous photos, and was caught from the ‘soluble spot’. The decision to swap to the lobworm had proved to be the right one. Venturing from under the umbrella to play the fish meant I was quite wet by the time I had completed the job, re-cast and retreated under cover.

Facing whatever conditions the weather throws at us is just part of what being a dedicated angler is all about though isn’t it? Plus every cloud has a silver lining and in this instance it meant the dog walkers were noticeable by their absence. Not that I have an issue with them walking their hounds, only when they decide to throw sticks in your swim for Rover to fetch does it become my problem.

Playing a carp
Playing a carp

This pool is particularly bad for it. It should be quite obvious to any reasonable person that you don’t throw something a few yards from where an angler is positioned. I even get people walk past and they say to their children ‘Sssh, a fisherman’. I always reply, ‘Don’t worry, it’s no problem’.

It shows though that people are actually aware of others and that some do take them into consideration though doesn’t it. Ultimately however it’s a society problem and all about respect – or lack of it. Anyway no more fish graced the net, and as you can see from the photographs, they weren’t massive. However I enjoyed the day very much and isn’t that what fishing is all about? So in that context we should all be pleasure anglers. (Published September 28 2013)

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