Until yesterday, I hadn’t fished The Other Pool for almost a year, and it was good to discover that, just as the bailiff had informed me, hardly anyone had walked the banks, during that period of lost time and lost opportunities.
are reclaiming many of the previously claimed swims: which suits me fine, actually. Needless to say, I fished by myself: arriving when there was still a nip in the air, after the night’s mild frost, and wondering if I’d picked the right day
for a return. I didn’t want to blank.
I crossed the dam and gazed over the stirred-up, soupy water – stirred up, no doubt, because of the recent heavy rains. By May, the water will be gin-clear. Not now, - and this made fish spotting tricky.
From the deep middle channel – up to 23ft deep, a few bubbles were rising. But I reasoned that the shallower bay would be the spot: one of my favourite areas, with an extensive bulrush bed, complete with croaking, amorous frogs. The sunlight strikes
the water early there, and it would be a relatively warm location for the carp.
Actually, there were several carp moving up and down the bulrushes and into the narrowest part of the bay, which reminds one of a country canal.
seem to be large carp, from what I could see in the soupy water; but one upended in the shallow margins, revealing an impressive red, spreading tail; and I reasoned that all I had been seeing and judging beforehand was the black or grey stripe down the backs
of the fish. There were three fish there, and the larger one seemed to be a mirror: most rare for The Other Pool.
I lobbed out a ball of floating flake and awaited events. The mirror rose immediately under the bait, - a dark shape rising, and sank back
down with the bait in its lips.
I could just make out the fish as it hovered, motionless, a foot or so below the surface, its head towards me.
I really wanted it to turn and move away, but it didn’t, it would not, for what was an agonising
wait. At last, I struck – and I pulled the flake from the mouth of that carp!
All the visible fish, naturally enough, melted away; and I decided to try a bottom bait- crayfish tail, actually, glugged in cream and betaine, and fished in conjunction
with a sight-bob. In essence, then, I was freelining with a tell-tale blob of colour on the line.
I had several takes, which I inexplicably missed – perhaps they were small fish, with eyes bigger than their bellies? However, when I examined my
cray fish tail bait, I found it had turned very rubbery in the cold water – and perhaps the hook was being prevented from taking a hold? (Needless to say, I don’t use the hair-rig).
I decided to use bread flake dipped in cream and betaine,
and this worked very well indeed, in that the ‘bob’ slid away and I was soon connected to an incredibly hard-fighting common. On the bank, I noticed it had a distinctly ‘wildie’ appearance: a torpedo of a carp with a huge, powerful
paddle at the business end….
How grand and majestic it appeared in my 30 inch Fox Predator spoon net!
It certainly fought like a wildie. I was fishing beneath brambles, close to tree roots. What I didn’t realise was how the brambles
had put out tendrils underwater. During the most dramatic rush, the carp ran alongside the bank, towards the dangerous tree roots, and as the carp rose in the water, so did the line and so did four or five of those bramble tentacles, one after the other.
I was actually badly snagged up on these brambles for a while; but the fish swing low and deep, towards the channel, and the line pulled off them, almost miraculously.
I was lucky to get that fish. The pool was stocked with Kings, around 30 years
ago – but I have found that it held carp before then? I wonder if they were wildies?
I only know, I’ve had carp twice as large from that pool, portly commons, which did not fight so hard.
My only other action for the day was another
common, which fought well enough, with a dour, barbel-like plodding up and down the channel. But there weren’t any fireworks.
In all, however, it was a most satisfying day, and not without its excitements.