Days and Ways....

A taste of winter at Hoveland

I've come to realise that I'm a short-session merchant; a long session for me is two nights in a tent, and most of my angling sessions are day sessions, in fact, of up to eight hours. As a result, most of the techniques I've developed and dabbled with over the past seven years or so - from sight bobs to the flake bomb - are meant to get quick responses from fish I have spotted already; - not for me "the setting of the traps", which usually means a long wait with self-hooking rigs;....regular readers of this site will know how I like to find my fish and, when and if a take occurs, I make the strike. Concentration, then, is everything.

This is all well and good in spring, summer and early autumn: but yesterday (November 5) at Hoveland, I almost found myself wishing for a semi-fixed bolt rig and a buzzer, as I sat on the little dam in the teeth of an Artic wind. It was so very cold (with even - believe it or not - one brief flurry of snow, totally unforecast) - a split on my upper lip began to pour with blood and a mysterious cut on my left hand took ages to stop bleeding. Winter, it is fair to say, had arrived. Needless to say, no one else was fishing.

The water was gin clear - with no signs at all that the carp had been stirring up the bloodworm beds in recent days. I could see much of the bottom at the extreme shallows - with no glimpses of carp there- and so I picked one spot off the dam which is a known feeding area and which is slightly deeper than the rest of the pool.

For a rig I used a float-ledger set up, - a bodied-waggler held down with a quarter ounce bomb. This weight was necessary because of the considerable "chop" on the water - an endless sequence of little wavelets - I say little, you could often hear the smack of the water against the dam's boulders. For bait, I used a large piece of bread-flake on a size four, and I glugged this in honey, as an added attraction.

I was so cold, and the wind was so strong, it was hard to cast with any accuracy - but I found the spot and settled down as best I could. On a few occasions, the tip of the bodied-waggler rose slightly - but was this down to rocking water, shifting the little bomb? Suddenly, the float wasn't there anymore, and I found I had struck into a fish. A miracle!

It's odd, even while I was playing that carp, I knew it would be my only fish of the day and I prayed the hook would hold, of course.  As it happened, the hook was neatly in one corner of the mouth - which, for some reason, appears to be the norm with a float-ledger rig. The common seemed quite weighty as I swung it out, and I thought it might just  be a scraper double - but the imperious scale said 9lb 7oz.

A modest reward, perhaps, for such wintry bankside suffering!

But needless to say, I was most grateful for that carp, all considered.   


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Gary | Reply 01.12.2016 11:00

I agree JAA, - but the older I get, the less I like to suffer... And to think I once did winter piking in Ireland - in heavy snow!

jaa | Reply 30.11.2016 17:33

One fish in those conditions makes your day, worth six in summer! I like float-fishing in a chop, it can hide you from carp in clear water.

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Latest comments

27.11 | 23:05

We missed you, dear nephew, we missed you...x

27.11 | 19:45

It's Ok, you guys just keep enjoying your little fishing sessions without me...we all know why

07.09 | 21:31

Yes Dave, I look forward to a Three Amigos' reunion at a carp pool. Our fishing sessions together are always a great joy.

07.09 | 20:49

Lovely account of a most enjoyable day Gary.Lets hope that Steven can join us next time.David

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