Hoveland carp are getting more and more 'spooked'. News is spreading locally that the day ticket water has a good head of doubles and this summer has seen a sprouting of more green
mushrooms than usual at the one acre farm pond: no double peopled by serious-faced modern carpers behind batteries of buzzers. I don't really know how they've done, because I've hardly fished the place as a result of this extra angling pressure. Yesterday
was different. I arrived there expecting the pool to be packed out again but, apart from a nice family there for a weekend's camping and fishing, I had the place to myself. The kids, I noticed, were having great fun catching decent roach on light tackle, which
was good to see. Our sport needs this.
I soon realised, however, that the carp have become even more nervous than usual. Bottom baits, presented with a sight-bob, resulted
in twitch after twitch. I also noticed that surface baits were being mouthed and rejected quickly, especially in open water. In fact, it proved impossible to take a carp off the surface in open water yesterday. Something else was needed, and I suppose this
is where experience came in. Last year I had one of two good days there while "long-trotting" surface flake and crust along the line of the bank. I let the baits drift with the wind until they swing in and rest against the bank - and here they are taken by
carp. It's still a long wait for each take; and then there are plenty of frustrating "mouthings" and missed takes. However, yesterday I found it was the only way to catch carp at Hoveland. The one thing the carp there haven't realised yet is that free offerings
blown into the margins are not always safe. I managed four carp in total - to 13lb Ioz - shown here. On the whole, it was a good result, especially with another double and two high singles in the mix.