It's been a mild November so far, but this month is usually classed as the start of winter by carp fishers, and so I suppose I can legitimately claim the double figure common
I caught today, from the pool I call Hoveland, as my first winter carp of the year. In fact I caught two doubles - but a mirror came in foul-hooked in the flank, and so it cannot count, unlike the common. That fell to a critically-balanced crust rig I've been
dabbling with, with a sight bob as the float.The common took close to the branches of an overhanging willow and, immediately when hooked, rose to the surface with its dorsal raised - most impressive! I only wished the snap I took of it on the mat wasn't so
'washed out". I think my camera has seen its best days..
The fishing, however, was perhaps the least dramatic moment of a somewhat disturbing, even an upsetting day. I
arrived to find I had the pool to myself and, as per usual in such circumstances, I decided to do the rounds, to see where fish were showing etc. The water was quite clear and I was surprised to see numbers of roach in the margins, clearly gasping for oxygen.
Soon I was spotting carp doing the same, then three, then four dead carp..! I looked at the water level and saw it was very low - perhaps 1.5ft down on its usual level - and this is a pool where the average depth normally is just 3ft. I decided not to fish
but to find the lady farmer instead. She was as shocked as me and asked what should be done. I suggested an aerator but she suggested opening the pipe up for an ancient bore hole well and allowing fresh water into the pool. It is fortunate the well was there.
That spring-fed pool is old - dating back to at least very early Victorian times, and probably before then. The bore hole well is evidence of the pool's antiquity. Soon enough water was gushing down a pipe into the one acre pond. One hour later, it was as
if the crisis hadn't happened at all, aside from the floating bodies of a few carp and one or two dead roach. I didn't expect to catch but decided to fish in any case - not least because I'd been dropped off by my wife and suspected she would not appreciate
an early call back. Well, the morning turned to the afternoon. The pool had risen by at least six inches and there was evidence of carp just being carp - clouds of mud, bubbles and so forth. I decided on the pop-up approach because I was bringing back a load
of sticks and leaves on my conventional bottom rig. It was pleasing to fool that common with the pop-up rig, and once it was safely in the net and on the mat, I felt that my decision to stay had been justified after all.