A Shropshire Carp Caught Between The Swans’ Necks. A Lesson In Perseverance.

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With autumn running out fast, I wanted to get a carp session in. With a couple of consecutive days working from home, it meant that I had more flexibility than normal, so I took advantage of that by heading for a lake in the county of Shropshire, that is a firm favourite of mine during the colder months of the year.

Although it’s very shallow, it fishes well in the winter. Even when the water temperature is rock bottom – as it was on this session – it still produces. However, the lack of depth on this occasion proved to be a real problem, because as soon as I arrived, a family of mute swans moved in and set up camp in the swim.

Do swans like boilies? They love them. Fishing SBS Baits’ strawberry jam (Eurostars range) on one rod and M2 (Premium range) on the other, I was watching the birds upend and then steady themselves with a boilie in the beak, which they promptly swallowed.

I’ve had numerous sessions on gravel pits where diving coots and tufted ducks have caused major issues but this was the worst that I’ve ever come across. I had several instances where the swans lifted the baits from the bed of the lake and I had to recast.

I even banked one of them. Their beaks are quite sturdy, so I slipped the hook easily enough and the bird was unharmed. I thought it would deter them but instead it shook its wings and carried on where it left off.

I was determined to catch though and in the end I had a run on the rod that was fishing 2x 12mm M2 pop-ups. I got the lovely looking fish in the net, lifted it on the unhooking mat and then noticed that the hook had come out. That was close. Very close.

I was fishing with PVA bags, and as well as loose boilies, also had M2 pellets and Multimix proactive pellets in the respective bags. Both hook baits were glugged as well, in matching dips.

There are lots of smaller fish in the venue and I do find that boilies are the difference between catching lots of those or going for quality over quantity and getting amongst the bigger carp. There aren’t any monsters in the lake, but as always, a specimen is relevant to the water.


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