I've had a trying week, after carp. Last Sunday, I was at the Other Pool and found it hard to settle, - managing to catch five small, beautiful commons to just over 5.5lbs or so,
but leaving disappointed and coming to the demoralising conclusion that I still don't know how to fool the handful of much larger carp which exist there. To cast into deeper water, onto the old stream bed, is to risk being instantly snagged up, and so I still
fish the margins, on the rim of the dinner plate as it were, with the view that most carp must patrol there, going round and round - but the smaller carp go round lke the bigger ones, I suspect, and the small carp vastly outnumber the larger fish. Perhaps,
as Yates suggests in a Passion for Angling, I should pin all my hopes on luck?
On Thursday I had a day off work and decided to try Hoveland again. Loud idiots in bivvies
were at the far end: casting boilies up against the biggest island, and so I fished at the other end, by a snaggy corner where a large, 'semi-aquatic" willow has just been trimmed back by the owners. The trouble is, from what I could see, a number of
branches had been left in the water, - posing formidable snag problems. The carp were there all right, however, - all day they were coming in and spooking away from my line, no matter how I tried to disguise it. The problem is, the spring-fed farm pool, which
dates back to at least early Victorian times, according to maps I've seen, is incredibly shallow - at the margins, it varies between 2ft and 3ft. Even ledgering with the line pinned down, the carp were continually spooking away. They must be under a
great deal of angling pressure, as the average size of carp in the pool is quite high. In the end, I went for an unorthodox rig. The water was somewhat cloudy, and so I used braid, putting about 2ft hard on the bottom. This was attached to a swivel and, four
feet above that, was a sight-bob. I cast so the sight bob was right against the bank and the bottom line was slanting away just a little, into the small bay which was being visited by carp. I baited up with prawns, which the carp seemed to be enjoying, albeit
not on the hook! - and for the hook bait I used flake, on a size eight, short-shanked hook, to help conceal the hook. (I don't use the hair, of course.) Towards the end of the afternoon, there was a large boil in the water, above my bait, and the bob shot
away and vanished. I was soon into a reasonable fish, which fought oddly. It could and should have powered into the submerged willow branches, but it didn't, - merely swinging out into clearer water, thumping away before me, then gunning on a long run parallel
to the smallest island. I decided to walk with it, - and the fish changed tactics by repeatedly attempting to kite in and run head first into the bank! After the third attempt at this routine, it rolled before me and I was able to net a double-figure common,
It was nicely and very firmly hooked in the roof of the mouth - which encourages me to experiment more with short-shanked hooks. Until now, I've harboured secret
and I think irrational mis-givings against short-shanked hooks, but they seem to go in a stay in very well.