Those who follow this blog regularly will be aware of the fishing exploits of my younger brother Daniel, but you may not be aware of my own personal fishing target of catching a twenty pound monster! This twenty pound carp, of which has eluded me on every occasion, is not the direct subject of this particular blog; however my struggle to catch such a fish in a way it underlines all that I had forgotten about this great sport.
Over the past two years I have been on a quest (albeit not success one) to catch this monster carp, reading article after article, studying new techniques, and purchasing numerous baits; yet it was at some point during this period that I forgot what fishing was all about.
When I was ten, my Dad brought me my first fishing rod and took me to Edenbrigde where we spent hours and hours fishing for stickleback. Years past, and in time Dad and I were joined by Daniel. As the three of us navigated our way through various stretches of the Medway our fishing skills gradually improved until we were soon fishing for all species of fish on all types of venues. Looking back it’s true that we never really caught any monsters but the memories far outweigh any fish we could ever have wished to have caught. The essence of fishing is not the catching nor is it in the hours spent waiting behind a bite-alarm; the essence of fishing is simply forgetting your worries and enjoying nature in the company of those who mean more to you than any 20lb monster ever could.
We arrived at Bury Hill on a crisp summer’s morning an hour before sunrise; this was an oversight on our part but worked to our favour as we were first to a boat. We rowed out towards the far end of the Old Lake to an area known as the “Jungle”. The “Jungle” is an overgrown area of the lake with sunken trees and numerous snags only accessible by boat. As we anchored the boat just short of the snags we were greeted by two beautiful kingfishers eyeing-up the murky waters in search for the day’s breakfast! We had a coffee and set to work.
The plan was simple a bulk rig on one rod whilst float fishing sweetcorn on a second, both as tight to the snags as would allow. The trap was set and after an hour or so my bait-runner was screaming! The fish itself put up a tremendous fight mainly due to the short 8ft spinning rod I was using. Eventually the fish kicked for the last time and Daniel netted a beautiful common of 10lb. This was soon followed by a tench of around 4lb caught which Daniel caught on his float rod.
Another hour or so went by and then all of a sudden Daniel had a huge run on his ledger rod close into the snags. As Daniel sprung across the boat he grabbed the handle of the rod but as he engaged the reel his grip slipped and to our horror the fish pulled both rod and reel into the water! After some manoeuvring of our boat we eventually managed to locate the rod (on the bottom of the lake) and retrieve both rod and reel; by this point the fish was long gone, one of five which managed to “get away”.
We had six more fish over the session including a stunning 14lb common caught by Daniel again fishing close into the snags; however as we rowed towards the boat house the evening drew in and I began to reminisce about what had been a fantastic days fishing. Sure we caught some great fish but it was the peacefulness of the lake, the stunning wildlife on show and the company that made this day a great days fishing!
Until next time, tight lines!