Small Pit 2012

June the 16th arrived as quick as March the 15th left and I now had my night ticket for a local water that contains some stunning specimen carp. The water is around five acres and holds approximately 30 carp to high thirties. It is also an extremely weedy water with many features to fish to so suits my style of fishing to a tee. I would use my experience gained from a  similar water Keston Ponds to my advantage and fish with rigs I knew were effective in prolific weed. The key would be to find the clear patches on the “carp motorways” that thread and weave through the weed near the bottom of the lake bed. I planned to fish a three night session from 16th to the 18th of June. My son Jack was born on the 7th of June so I was pushing my luck with the misses but thankfully she understands the obsession and reluctantly let me go. Thanks Dani x
My mate Jamie and I arrived at the car park on 3pm Friday 15th June. We decided to have a look about before the draw begun at 6pm and so we strolled down to the lake. On arrival it was clear that the carp were well and truly into spawning and the reeds at the shallow end of the lake were being smashed about. I was not too disheartened with the fish spawning  and knew that when they stop they would seek food to replace the energy lost. I decided if I got the draw required I would pick the furthest swim at the shallow end of the lake but fish away from the spawning fish and try to pick of ones that were not spawning. Luckily for me I was drawn 8th and managed to get my swim. I was greeted with a strange look when I actually stated my swim choice and later found out that it was believed to be a very unproductive swim? I managed to get set up, crack open a beer whilst listening to the England game against Sweden ready to cast out come 12.00am.

I managed to find two spots by just casting a lead and having a feel about before it got dark. These were then baited with a special mix I have used to great success on many waters. Its consistency and selected additives ensures that a cloud of attraction stays in the swim for a long period of time. At 2.30am my left hand rod let out a few beeps. I stumbled out of bed and attended the rod and realised a fish was on the end weeded up. I have never had an issue with weeded fish and with some patience and consistent pressure they usually kick free. After a few minutes of persistence I dragged in a ball of weed and reached out with the net scooping up the lot. I peeled back the weed and caught a glimpse of one of the most impressive looking carp I have ever set eyes on (above right). She had apple slice plated scales covering the whole body with a dark black back and mahogany belly. This fish was one of the older carp in the lake when it was re-stocked in 95. Apparently there are no originals left but with fish like this up for grabs I was not complaining. The fish weighed 19lb 15oz and was heavily spawned out so could possible do 23lb later in the year (top right).

As the day progressed the wind picked up and my sheltered bay swim was looking even more inviting for another fish. The lake is relatively small and I find the fish prefer to sit on the back of a wind even a warm southerly. This is certainly not the case on large pits but I have had some cracking fish by employing this method on small weedy waters. Mid day arrived and I begun to cook my lunch consisting of six Richmond sausages when out of the blue my left rod screamed off. Knocking over the stove, sausages and falling over I grabbed the rod laying down and tried to direct the fish from out of the snags it had found refuge in. The carp then came straight to the surface and darted into a thick weed bed directly in front of my swim. I managed to move the fish and after another couple of runs I had a 17lb 8oz mirror in the net (above left). Although not as impressive as my first fish it was in great condition and put up a tremendous healthy fight. This was one of the younger fish  stocked more recently.

I recast the rod to the same spot the previous fish were taken and started to rescue what was left of my sausages. It must have been no longer than an hour later when the same rod ripped of again but this fish buried itself deep in the snags to the left. After a tussle and some nerving grating sensations on the line it was eventually free of danger. I managed to play the fish in open water and net it with ease.  Again this fish was different in both shape and colour to the others. It was a dumpy fat fish and when I transferred it to the mat I could clearly see milky white liquid which was a sure sign of a male fish actively spawning. I wasted no time and with a quick snap I released the fish immediately. I didn’t weigh or keep the fish out of water for more than a minute so as not to cause any harm. I go fishing because I love the wildlife and  these amazing underwater creatures so we must respect them as they are our sport and without them we would have nothing. In my opinion fish care is one of the highest priorities and you should never compromise a fishes health. I estimated the fish at around 18lb  (above right).

I was now up to three fish in less then fourteen hours so I was extremely happy. This water is not easy and I had expected to only catch a handful this whole season. After returning the other fish I settled down for the night. I was woken up a 4am by a screaming Delkim and struck into a powerful fish. The fight this carp put up was incredible and it went on numerous powerful surges testing my tackle to the limit. Eventually with my arm aching I netted another stunning heavily plated mirror. The fish went 20lb (left) and was another immaculate specimen. This was to be the last fish of an unforgettable session and start to the season. My last night ended fish less which I put down to a sudden wind change backing my theory on the effects of wind on small waters. I did lose a fish to the right rod fished half a foot from the bank but four out of five hooked fish is not bad going. It was a strange occurrence as my 15lb line actually snapped which I put down to the snags the carp bedded itself into. I will be back to catch my target and have some more amazing fish from such a beautiful venue.

29-06-12 – I decided to do a quick overnight session with my fishing buddy Jamie and see if I could pick up another small lake carp. The weather looked perfect with a slight breeze on the water and an overcast sky. I decide to fish the opposite end of the lake to where I fished at the beginning of the season. This was mainly down to me fishing with Jamie so we could have a bit of a social. After speaking to one of the bailiffs I was advised one of the big girls had been caught which was slightly disappointing but I knew my target was yet to be out.

I had been keeping an eye on one particular spot approximately 25 yards out where I had seen numerous fish cruising consistently throughout the last two weeks. I cast a single hook bait each time landing in thick weed when on about the twenty first cast the lead fell down and the rod tip sprung back confirming I had landed on a nice clear silty patch. Two hours passed when the rod cast to this spot ripped off. A weak fight commenced and I netted a lovely little plated mirror of around 10lb (above right)

The night passed uneventful until 5.30am when my left hand rod had a slow take. I lent into a fish and the water exploded with a huge bow wave. The carp took around twenty yards of line round the back of a tree but I managed to pull her free from danger. The fish then snagged me in the pads so I kept pressure on for a few minutes and luckily it kicked three. This carp was still powering away after five minutes and on one last surge it flat roded me and the hook pulled. To say I was gutted was an understatement and I am positive this was one of the larger residents in the lake. Some you win and some you lose and that’s fishing.

My mate Jamie had some success when he caught a massive 8lb 2oz personal best tench (above left)

05/09/12 – After a break from fishing due to family and work commitments I decided to head back down my local lake in search of the one I wanted. I heard the fish had been out at a weight of 38lb but the other two lumps have not yet made an appearance. I finished work and shot down to the lake for a quick evening session. No fish fell to my rods but it was great to be back by the water.

06-09-12 – Another evening session ended with the same disappointment as yesterday. I cant say I expected to catch and feel I’m getting back into the swing of things. The lake has changed a great deal and the weed is prolific. I plan to fish this weekend through to Monday so hopefully I can bank one of the small pits elusive carp.

08-09-12 – The lake has been fishing hard recently and so I decided to put in some longer sessions to get on a fish or two. I arrived at the lake looking to fish peg 1 but unfortunately it was taken so I opted to fish the far end of the lake (peg 10) where I had seen a few fish moving. I prepared and baited two margin rods in approximately four feet of water and settled in for the night. As the sun began to set It turned red for a few minutes and I managed to capture an amazing blood red sky on camera (left). The day and night ended with no fish but being on the lake in such nice conditions was worth the effort.

Day two came quickly and once I had a look around the lake I decided to go into swim one which had been vacated. I did managed to see one of the bigger fish in this bay and thought I would have a good chance of a take.

Again I placed two margins rods out tied up with little chod rigs and sat back for the night. Again the night passed uneventful and I set of home. All night the ducks had been picking up my baits and dropping them causing me to have a long broken sleep. I will be fishing the lake extremely hard until November and will hopefully catch one of the larger specimens. Packed up and ready to go home (above left)

13/09/12 – Fished another evenings session leaving the rods in until dark. I had no fish but as the sun set  I was once again introduced to an amazing scenic landscape. I jumped in the adjacent swim to take this moody picture. (right).

14/09/12 – 17/09/12 After numerous blanks I decided a long three night session would no the trick and end my dry spell. I decided to employ a different strategy this session and use the “sit and wait” baiting method that would hopefully bring the fish to me. I usually like to chase and stalk carp but having had no success for the last couple of weeks doing this I thought I would try something different.

I mixed up a huge 25kg bucket! comprising of  vitilin, layers pellets, mixed corn, hemp, boilies, condensed milk and molasses. I then used a spom to accurately spread the bait to the area I was fishing.

To cut a long story short the whole session was unproductive and not one fish fell to my revised tactics. I did manage a jet black tench of around 5lb but nothing to write home about (left). I have now had a five night blank with many other evenings not producing. This has made me more determined to catch the biggun residing in this little weedy lake. Back to the drawing board for next week session and hopefully I will have another one out. I have decided to take a completely different approach and a bait change so fingers crossed.

23/09/12 – Did a quick overnight session in swim four but awoke the next morning with nothing to show for my efforts. The following day I was greated with extreme winds and torrential rain. I got drenched.

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