Days and Ways....

A busy, blustery March day at Woodside

The weather forecast wasn't too promising yesterday and I arrived at Woodside to a downpour, which had me huddling under my brolly. The pool, which is part of a holiday site and an award-winning conservation area run by the Davies family, had changed its appearance over the winter. The pool I fish, the largest of several at about one acre in size, had undergone a degree of restoration. Gone were the extensive reed beds which made one bank virtually unfishable last year. Now the pool was altogether more open - but where to fish? I picked a bay where the gusts had brought in a mat of cut dead reeds. Surely that would be sheltering one or two carp? I didn't feel all that confident when I started off by sight-bobbing flake in around 3ft of water, just off the reed mat. I was actually huddling under my brolly still (cursing the strength of the mad March winds) when my sight-bob vanished very nicely - and I missed! I missed several more - feeling rusty after the long winter lay-off, and it was no use telling myself that these were merely takes from little rudd. I knew what they were! The water was rocking!  At the close of the day, I had managed to catch three carp on the sight-bob, using flake as both the hook-bait and the limited free offerings. But the larger carp fell to surface crust, fished by or actually among the reed mat. My best was the common shown here - 10lb10oz and my first most welcome double of the year; but I also managed a 9lb 3oz mirror; an 8lb 12oz linear and and a genuine leather of 8lbs 10oz - these are all quite big carp for Woodside, in fact, which was stocked around 14 years ago but is yet to produce a verified  twenty. My final tally was nine carp - a semi-outrageous result for this time of year; but I was painfully reminded of my shortcomings and will confess that I probably lost the largest carp I hooked yesterday through sheer stupidity. I decided to change a hook while carp were literally inches from the bank. I tied on the fresh hook with trembling hands and lowered in a hunk of crust. I didn't check the knot, however - normally I inspect every knot and give it a number of harsh tugs - this time I didn't. A large pair of lips rose and took the crust. I struck at close range  and a hefty plated mirror (which felt like a sack of spuds at the end of my line) rolled before me...and the knot failed. I least it was a barbless hook and at least I'm now sure there are one of two larger carp in the pool...but it was a harsh lesson. Before yesterday, I hadn't experienced knot failure for about nine years. However, we live and learn, don't we...? 


Afterthought... I'm wondering if it was the knot - a Hutchinson "grinner" which failed me after all. The end of the line was slightly crinkled, which made me think of knot failure, naturally; but having talked over the circumstances with my brother, Dave, I'm leaning towards his suggestion that I was broken..on 12lb line!  Of course, there could have been a fault in the line, but I tend to think now that the sheer bulk of a heavy fish rolling on the surface, immediately beneath the rod tip, might well have been enough. I remember thinking how the fish felt like a rolling sack of spuds, which probably meant the rod was already at full bend. The clutch was set properly, but I may have dropped a finger to the drum - which would have been an error. I can't be sure of this...  It all happened so quickly, of course. Apart from that, I don't know what else I might have done - but I do now think it was the line which went, which begs the question, how heavy was that fish? Will I manage to encounter it again? The pool is just one acre but well established and deep in the middle - 10ft or more. It could hold secrets.


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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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