I caught fourteen carp at Woodside yesterday and lost two others due to hook pulls - which is rather too much action for me! I was exhausted by the end of play, after playing
so many carp - not that any were particularly large. The biggest, in fact, was an 8lb 10oz leather - which I also caught two weeks ago, at the same weight. This repeat capture proved to me that, despite the high numbers of carp being landed, much of the fishy
population was still holed up in one area of the pool - their winter resting ground? (I was pleased to note that, even though large beds of bulrush were grubbed out during the winter, the rushes are already growing back in force. It won't be long before the
pool shows its usual, more pleasant face.)
All of the carp, but one, fell to floating crust; the one that didn't was fooled by sight-bobbed flake. But this was barely
an option yesterday because the extensive rudd shoals had woken up for the spring. Bottom baits there can be literally drilled into the mud. The rudd target floating baits also; but the trick is to use large chunks of crusty bread, which may stand a real battering
for longer. When the carp show up, the rudd usually move off. Another reason for using floating crust was that it gave me the option of attempting to target specific carp, although this didn't happen much yesterday. There was one very large mirror in the surface
early on - I would say over 20lbs. I tried to target this fish by forcing my way through bushes with a net and rod and by making a precarious cast from (already) flattened reeds; needless to say, however, by the time my late middle-aged bulk had managed
to do this, the carp had vanished.
Woodside is a lovely camp site and conservation area and I only get to fish there by the kind permission of the Davies family, who own
it. Yesterday, there were quite a number of tents being pitched and, with the tourist season about to get going in earnest, I may have only one or two more chances this year - at least before the autumn - to target that larger fish - while the pool area
is still relatively undisturbed; but that, after all, is the nature of carp fishing. We have to take our chances while we can, don't we?