It is strange to catch four carp and return home perplexed and disappointed; but that is what happened to me today, because I should have caught five carp, and the one that got away
was, I think, very much the one that got away! Allow me to explain.
Today was my first fishing session for several weeks, due to a jaw abscess which made me feel somewhat ill
and required antibiotics. I set out on the bike, nervously, at 6am, - wondering if I was up to the usual gruelling trip to the Other Pool. As it turned out, I felt fine and full of beans on arrival, at around 7am, or just after. May blossom had blown into
the dam corner, on the south side, and it didn’t take me long to find carp. They were in the margins, under and around the floating May blossom, which also contained a great many seeds from dandelion clocks; at least, that’s how they appeared.
They may have been a different kind of seed altogether.
Freelined flake did the trick, and I had the pleasure of seeing the line tighten nicely through the blossom, - scattering
it aside when the water exploded and a decent fish was ‘on’, after the strike.
About 30 minutes later, the same delightful scenario happened again, and I was pleased
to land a second fish, another common, and slightly larger than the first. All was going very much to plan. Neither of the fish fought very hard, running as they did from the margins to deep water. The battles were slow, plodding affairs, and very different
indeed to something I was to experience later on during the day.
Just after noon, I moved to the narrow bay to sight-bob prawns. I missed four or five takes, and then I caught
two very small carp in succession, and so I suppose that very small carp were the culprits. I contemplated moving, but something made me stay. Call me a romantic, or a liar, but I could sense the presence of a very large carp. The heavens opened, and I started
to doubt my eerie hunch; then the sight –bob simply twitched across the surface and vanished.
The rod went to full battle curve immediately. I had set the clutch pretty
hard, because of the near proximity of many, many sunken trees – or rather their blackened stumps. When the pool was expanded in the 1950s, these remained on the bottom – and genuine snags from Hell they are! I’ve lost a few fish now, because
of them. Despite the clutch being set pretty hard, something fast moving and heavy was taking line at a rate of knots. I didn’t mind too much. I didn’t even get to my feet, which I should have done, really, - because I was happy that the fish was
heading towards open water.
However, the pressure told, and the fish stopped. I started to pump back line furiously, but the fish was cute and simply kited, against the full
bend of the rod, down and away to the sunken, blackened boles of the long dead trees. All went solid. I slackened off, - hoping against hope that the fish was still on and that it would move, I tweaked the line, tugged the line, - felt the line for movement.
Eventually, though, I had to pull for a break. The fish had indeed gone.
Now I’m wondering what I did wrong. Now I’m thinking I must treat the whole area as a snag
swim and simply hold hard – but that is certainly not necessary with most of the fish in the pool. I’ve played several doubles out of that swim with the utmost nicety...
In truth, I don’t have a plan for this swim at present. It is the pool’s problem area: but it clearly attracts some the largest denizens of the water, even though I didn’t see my lost fish today , - I only felt its impressive, even