Woodside is a fascinating place: the winner of ten David Bellamy awards, because it is a fine conservation area; it is also a holiday site, where people can camp and stay in chalets. No one but the
people staying there are allowed to fish; but as I have known the kindly Davies family for a number of years, they allow me to fish there occasionally, providing I phone in advance to make arrangements. The big pool there was stocked around 13 years ago, with
good quality carp, and there should be big fish swimming around by now. The pool record is 17.5lbs, but the best I have managed so far, in four or five sessions, are high singles.
didn't actually plan to fish at all this week, due to personal circumstances; but finding I had Friday free, I phoned Woodside to see if a session might be on the cards, and they agreed. My wife kindly dropped me off at around 9am. The pool looked more stirred
up than usual; but it seemed clear enough in the margins. It's a good "surface" water, really, and so I threw in crusts to see what might be about. Soon enough, they were being sipped down by carp, by the extensive reed beds, as well by as the hordes of rudd
which live there. The rudd, actually, are a bit of a problem. I think a few plump perch in the pool would not go amiss. Yesterday, I resorted to waiting for the carp to cruise in before casting out. It was noticeable how the rudd tended to flee upon the approach
of the carp.
I managed ten carp in total, to just over 7lbs - the one shown in the picture which, to an Old School mind like mine, was a leather but, as it had big scales near the tale, others
might call it a sparsely-scaled mirror. All the fish fought very well for their size, and I missed the chance of a double-figure common when I muffed the strike. I noticed how that particular fish was cruising up and down a line of reeds and I waited for it,
near a little bay, and presented a ball of floating flake, tight against the side. How I missed, I cannot even guess, - for I could see, in the clear water, how the bread had been taken entirely into its mouth; still, that is angling, and would we have it
any other way?