When is it right to "go in" for a carp? The answer must be - always, proving the water isn't too deep - when the carp is tethered. Yesterday at Woodside I found myself stripping down to my undies and going in for a carp
for only the second time in my life: while praying that the water would not be too cold, which it wasn't. I'd hooked a carp on the edge of an extensive bed of dead reeds, with another inlet 'just round the corner' as it were. Despite full lock, full bend and
low stretch specialist surface line, the carp went round the corner into this other inlet as soon as it was hooked, with an impressive burst of speed. With my line going through the reeds, I was out of direct contact with the fish which, I could see, was near
the top and tethered. I had no choice - pushing my way through trees, a little way along the bank, I made the water then tested the depths by using my landing net pole. About four feet out, in the middle of the reed bed, it was really shelving away: but luckily
I could reach my line with my landing net pole and was able to draw the line to my hand. Finally, hand-lining, I was able to draw the fish to the net. It was all quite a pantomine - but looking back, despite the possible risks, I think it was the most enjoyable
part of my day.
Woodside has extensive shoals of rudd, and they were literally drilling bottom baits into the mud yesterday. I caught four carp - each one off the top, and only by casting to visible carp - going
for a take before the rudd could get to the bait - because the rudd were ravenous on the surface too! The best carp was the one I went in for. I thought it might go double, but it was long and rather lean - accounting for its speed - and weighed in at 9lbs
1oz. I was happy with that: having endured four miserable blanks in a row during the winter. It's nice to feel the rod bending again!