Carp are a species that I used to fish for regularly but now being a dedicated specimen hunter they have taken a back seat and I usually only have one session for them on a small local pit. I still have a love for the species and catch plenty when targeting other fish on low stock pits but they just don’t push my buttons like they used to. August arrived and it was time for my annual carp ritual so I set off to fish a small weedy lake that contains only a handful of fish but what lovely looking fish they are. The largest in the lake is probably only 20lb odd but they are stunning, as black as your hat and a pleasure to catch.
Last year I fished this exact same lake at the same time of year and managed three in one night. I was confident that the tactics I employed before would be sufficient to bank a few this time around and so made only small changes to my initial set up. I switched the lead for an inline method feeder and buried the hook bait to ensure presentation was perfect which when fishing in such thick weed is pivotal.
The swim was caked in weed and I had to do some gardening prior to getting the rods out. I unclipped my rig and cast the method feeder out numerous times using it as a rake until the area was clear and ok to place a bait. Following this I baited up with a dozen small balls of ground bait and catapulted some pellets around the general area in order to make the fish move about. It didn’t take long before the water was fizzing up and I was confident of a bite.
As the sun began to set I was on the phone to my fiend when the right had rod ripped off. The phone went flying in the air as I put all my concentration into fighting the fish that was trying to bury its head deep in the weed. I gradually began to get the better of it and when she came up I scooped a large ball of weed in the landing net. Peeling back the mesh I finally caught a glimpse of what I had caught. A stunning black backed common weighing in at 15lb and on closer inspection a fish I had caught last year at a lower weight. What a start I thought as I chucked the rod back out onto the spot.
It didn’t take long before the same rod was away again and this time a lovely jet back mirror was in the net. I recognised this fish immediately as one I landed last year at 15lb and it was 17lb 1oz so they were obviously piling on the weight. Things were becoming a bit spooky having landed the same two fish in the exact same order at the exact same time one year apart. If I was to land a small linear next as I did one year ago that would be unbelievable. The inevitable happened and my other rod was away. I played the fish constantly thinking about another recapture and the chances of catching the same three fish in order a year later. Luckily It wasn’t to be and a new common surfaced, one that I hadn’t caught before. On the scales she went 14lb and I now had three in the bag. That night I managed one more fish, a small common and that was my yearly fill for the carp. I will have to go back next year and see what weights they are doing. It was great to get a bend in the rod and catch some beautiful fish.
Pictures: Pic 1) An old friend 17lb mirror, Pic 2) 15lb common, Pic 3) another pic of the mirror, Pic 4) 14lb common