FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 204



Making The Most Of It
(Top) They loved the Moore’s.
(Below) When hooked, they all stayed
on.
a star-struck trance, it was apparent it
was well up for a munch and therefore capture. While I watched openmouthed, this huge carp also had its
mouth open, as it constantly fed on
the polished marginal slopes. Time
and again it grazed the shelf, moving
off then back again, with its gills
flared for more. As you can imagine,
this had me fired right up and I spent
several of my early-season trips in
that same sheltered, snaggy bay, hoping that the huge, hungry fish was still
in residence.
I had some success and even lost a
decent fish in there but I never saw
the waddling monster in there again.
The other problem was that this bay
was littered with the worst imaginable kind of snags. Before the weed
had taken hold, the sharp metal of
several cars, assorted household
machinery and a sprinkling of supermarket trolleys, were exposed to any
lines stretching through there. I had
204 FREE LINE
also made a pact with myself to give
another venue a proper go and its pull
was strong, especially as it still had an
enforced closed season, ensuring
June was the time to be there.
So I diverted my attentions in June
and really had an enjoyable and successful time. I had contacted Mike
Wilmot of Essential Baits early in the
year and asked his advice on a slight
change from the standard B5 that I
had been using. He had kindly come
up with a variation that he felt would
suit this lake and with one of the best
minds in carp bait on the case, I felt I
had a big edge before I had even
started. Sure enough, the bait had the
desired effect and almost on its own it
transformed my results. By September I had been lucky enough to have
banked 10 fish from 11 takes from this
water, which I have always said is the
most difficult venue I’ve yet fished. In
all fairness, if they like the bait you’ll
catch, but the fish are certainly fussy
as to what they’ll eat. I hadn’t really
changed my approach, I was just a
great deal more confident and I am
sure this confidence had filtered
down to every aspect of my fishing.
The other lake had never been far
from my thoughts, and in any case I
always had the spring sighting of that
massive feeding fish burned into my
memory. The main summer lake had
really seemed to shut up as August
took hold and the weed made line-lay
and presentation very tricky. I had
several trips without any success and
although determined, I simply felt the
time was right for a return. This
thought was confirmed when I went
over there early one autumn morning
for a look around.
By the time I had reached the lake
from the car I was nursing several
vicious bramble scratches across my
exposed shins, coupled with nettle
stings from the overgrown path. I was
also soaked from forcing my way
through the dew-soaked carpet of
greenery that bordered every path
and every swim. I was greeted by a
lake that looked to have more weed
than water in it. Vast areas of dense
Canadian pondweed and hornwort
covered the lake’s surface, making it
resemble an allotment more than a
fishing venue. It was almost like the
first week of the season and there
were no signs of the presence of other
anglers.
Mind made up, I began the task of
re-learning the lake’s secrets and
finding areas that I felt able to angle
to my best. There were a number of
swims that, due to the weed coverage, looked impossible to get a hookbait into, never mind get a carp out.
We do have the use of a boat on here
though, and I knew any captures
would require taking to the water to
get them in the net.
The first trip back, I had spent three
hours raking clear a 15-yard wide
channel through the largest weedbed
in the lake, so I could get my line
down and hit a productive spot
behind. This had worked well and I
had even managed to get a couple of
hooked fish out from the bank. The
technique of pulling them towards
the weed resulted in the fish changing their battle plan and moving away
from the mass of tangled green, giving me the chance to get them high in
the water and out of danger. Once the
fish had been steered to the entrance

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