CANAL CHALLENGE – Blog entry 639 (CARP)

I knew that this was going to be one of the toughest challenges I had set myself. Targeting what at best would be a needle in a haystack and at worst chasing a wild goose, although I was confident, I was also very realistic as well. Fishing areas that are not known for carp is definitely a challenge, but I was up for it.

Nice canal but any carp in there?
Nice canal but any carp in there?

I didn’t catch a single carp in fourteen outings, which some anglers would say was a failure. However, as far as I’m concerned that, along with the word ‘success’, should always be used in inverted commas. If you enjoy your angling, then while it’s nice to get something on the bank, it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of every session.

Short session, rods laid out on the mat
Short session, rods laid out on the mat

I caught several bream and lots of chub, many of them decent fish, as you can see from the accompanying video. That told me there was nothing wrong with my rigs, presentation or bait. Ultimately the fact remains that you can only catch what is in front of you. If the carp are not there, the best angler in the world spending 365 consecutive days and nights on the bank would still blank.

No canal carp but I still enjoyed the natural world
No canal carp but I still enjoyed the natural world

On all the sessions, which were short by the way so that is a saving grace of sorts, I only encountered possible evidence of carp on one. It was into dark and there was a big fish crash. It certainly couldn’t have been any other species apart from a pike, so even then, that’s why I use the word ‘possible’.

Returning a decent chub
Returning a decent chub

I mention in the video how, on one particular session, I caught all the fish on the one rod. This happens quite a lot and often you just don’t know why. I always try and work it out as much as possible though and I think through where the baits are placed, is one a pop-up and the other a bottom bait, perhaps the colour difference is the dividing factor.

A bream that took three corn-shaped poppers
A bream that took three corn-shaped poppers

Sometimes though, the baits, rigs and everything else are identical, even next to each other, and yet the one rod produces all the action and the other blanks. You even know that they are on the same underwater terrain. That’s when you come to the conclusion that ‘it’s just one of those things’.

Jon and me waterside
Jon and me waterside

I did end up with a carp though – plus a couple of bonus chub – albeit on a different venue right at the end. Out filming for the morning with a minister friend of mine, Jon Barrett, we were doing some stuff that combined our love of angling with our faith. The cameraman, Dave Lodge, from Christian Vision for Men (Check out the website HERE) was great and we managed to produce for him, including a personal best perch of 2lb 5oz that Jon managed right at the end.

Waiting for a bite with Dave Lodge filming
Waiting for a fish, with Dave Lodge filming

Some time ago, Jon and I were instrumental in the birthing of Christian Anglers UK, although it was Jon’s vision and baby, so to speak. My faith is important to me and if I can use my angling as a platform to communicate that, then I’m definitely up for it. Check out the website HERE. And finally, while I’m giving out links, here’s my own personal Facebook HERE – feel free to send me a friend request. (Published October 10 2015)