FILAMENTOUS algae is always a mixed blessing on ponds. In "Carp Inspirations", Hutchinson writes: "It is beloved of natural food like shrimps..but can be dangerous when an algae bloom
occurs and it becomes very deoxygenating..." I fished the farm pool I call "Clay Farm Pond" yesterday, and it was very hard going indeed. When all is well, it is not unusual to catch eight or ten carp there in one day. The carp breed there each year,
and it is very overstocked. Yesterday, something was wrong. The fish were visible on the top, but obviously pre-occupied. I finally managed to get close to three or four fish by the margins, and I noticed that they were actually eating the floating
algae - or the micro-food it contains. The one carp I did manage to catch - a chunky little fellow of 3.5lbs or so -was from this group, and it came when I drifted floating flake over its head. From that position I noticed that, on the far bank,
the farm manager had installed an oxygen monitor, and so there are clearly concerns. I decided to move on to another farm pond, where I extracted another very small common from a "jungle warfare" swim. I didn't have much time - it was a short
session due to "life pressures", and I'm sure I would have managed a few more fish with more time. The carp here were gathered in a small, reedy bay - and I only just managed to roll the fish into the net, with me at full stretch with my 36 inch
net and 6ft fibreglass pole. Playing a larger carp there would have been very tricky indeed, I think!
Seen above: Clay Farm Pond