Yesterday (February 28) I cycled, in near freezing conditions, to a pond I call “Hob’s Eye Pool”.
It is a farm reservoir that was stocked in the early 1980s to deal with a weed problem. Now it is a popular day and match ticket water, and although it’s not really my cup of tea, because of the split fins
and damaged mouths of the carp, etc, I reasoned that it would be my best chance for action, given the carp there breed like carp, and the head of fish is pretty high. My best “bag” there, to use matchman’s parlance, was around 140lbs, but
that’s not very unusual there. As I say, it’s a place I fish when I want to test out ideas, or when conditions absolutely rule out anywhere else. In short, it is a “runs water”; not that there were many runs today.
Given Herefordshire’s snow alert, I had the pool entirely to myself: which is a most unusual state of affair at Hob’s Eye. The snow didn’t fall, but the freezing
rain did. To be honest, within one hour of arriving I considered packing up. I was damp, despite the waterproofs, and I was cold, without any form of shelter, - due to my eccentric mode of transport!
I stuck it out, however, trying out various ideas, but all to no avail. The break came, however, when a double-figure common - with clear scale damage on the shoulders- rolled immediately before me, just
3ft from the side, and as silently as a suitor in a harem.
To my right lay willows, - many with branches in the water. The carp seemed to have been facing
this direction and I decided to try flake on a size six, under a medium sight-bob, and to cast under those trees.
This worked, in that I soon caught two
small commons – not the double, alas – and I was pleased that I was able to strike firmly and cleanly, because I’ve been suffering from RSI in my right arm, on and off.
All went quiet again, until I noticed tiny bubbles under an overhanging tree to my right, and a slight but discernible “rocking” to the water.
I threw in a few handfuls of broken prawn and sweetcorn, and I baited with a broken prawn, tipped with a single golden grain.
an hour later, just as I was giving up hope, the bob twitched once then vanished. I struck into a reasonably heavy weight, but there was no screaming run. Perhaps the fish was half asleep, due to the cold? I looked at the impressive bend in my rod, and wondered
if it might just be the double I had seen. Sure enough, a decent common, with scale damage on its shoulders, rolled before me. It rolled a few more times, inbetween a few apathetic rushes, and before long it was in the net.
I removed the fang twister hook from the roof of its mouth and studied this old warrior, with its slightly damaged mouth, split fins and tatty scales. It was not a pretty fish, unlike the stunners
of “The Other Pool”; but on a day like today, I was more than pleased to have caught it.
By the way, regular readers will have noticed that the dates at the bottom of postings are"out". It's a glitch which I don't know how to fix, and so in future I shall give the dates of session in the copy itself,
to avoid confusion.