TIME, GENTLEMEN, PLEASE (Carp) – Blog entry 663

With time running out on a particular brace of venues as far as the close-season is concerned, I wanted to get some carp fishing in before the door finally shut. I did leave it late as it was, due to a combination of a cold spell and being away on vacation.

Although the former didn’t improve much, nevertheless I was determined to make the most of the final few days. A piscatorial equivalent of ‘time, gentlemen, please’. For those unaware, that’s the traditional shout from the pub landlord when he calls last orders.

The rods are out and the net's ready and waiting
The rods are out and the net’s ready and waiting

One of the pools is easier than the other and my intention on outing one was to bank a couple of carp and then move venues. However, it didn’t quite work out like that as the rods remained motionless as they stretched out on the unhooking mat.

Night fishing is not allowed so doing day-only I was able to watch them without the need for technology to alert me when I had a run. Whether it’s the noise of a bite alarm and pod set-up or the pulling round of a rod on the ground, it’s all about the excitement of game-on.

In the net and on the mat
In the net and on the mat

There from late morning I had to wait three-and-a-half hours before the 2x lobworm pop-up rod came alive. You can only catch what’s in there and on that basis with it not producing ‘monsters’ I was more than happy with the fish. What it lacked in size though it more than made up in the beauty stakes.

You can see my rig in the photograph and that’s a fixed 1.5 ounce lead, with top and tail rubbers covering the swivel and a small rubber stop creating the bolt-rig effect. It’s important that these type of rigs are safe and in this instance the stop is very loose, so much so that most casts I ended up pushing it back to the lead.

The rig - simple and safe
The rig – simple and safe

The hook pattern is an SBS Grip Tip size 6, one that I’ve become very confident in, not only for my carp fishing but also barbel and specimen bream and tench. Whether it’s bait, hooks or general tackle we can never underestimate the importance of confidence in angling. There’s more on the rig in this week’s accompanying video.

As well as the lobworm hookbait I fished loose boilies and co-ordinated pellets as well as the introduction of a dip into the proceedings. Incidentally it was squid and octopus on the other rod, which remained totally motionless throughout the outing.

You can only catch what's in there
You can only catch what’s in there

I managed other fish later in the session, confirming it was the right decision to stay on the venue and not move later in the day as per my original plan. I was already hatching a plot for my second outing though – it’s good to think ahead.

As always, I was taking in the natural world as well as enjoying my angling. They’ve been out now for a number of weeks, of course, but it was nice to see colonies of snowdrops in flower. Due to the incredibly mild winter overall that we’ve had, I’ve been encountering them since the turn of the year.

A bank of snowdrops behind the swim
A bank of snowdrops behind the swim

Joining them, but still some way off full bloom, were numerous lesser celandine. Birds seen included ravens, grey wagtail and goldcrest. I was also entertained by a dusk song thrush in full throttle. The late corvid flocks, on their way to roost, were very impressive as hundreds of birds made their way to the woods.

Unfortunately – due to circumstances beyond my control – I was unable to follow-through on Plan B. These things happen. I’m a planner, both in my mind and in a diary, but occasionally stuff crops up that causes a change of direction. At least I had a decent day out though before the venues closed. Plus there’s always next year!

Double lobworm pop-up did the trick
Double lobworm pop-up did the trick

I’m back after my favourite species, perch, next week. In fact I’m intending doing a couple of weeks on the canal before the boat traffic gets pretty hectic as we approach summer. It won’t stop me fishing though, just that I’ll change my hours to suit.

Finally, my Facebook page and Twitter account are visible on this page. In addition I also have a personal Facebook account. It’s a new one from this year. Feel free to send a friend request and you can check it out by clicking HERE. (Published March 26 2016, the 663rd consecutive Saturday I’ve done a blog entry)