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Elstow 2009 Season
and it didn’t appear to be that large.
This was confirmed once I got the
carp up onto the scales and a weight
of 22lb 2oz was recorded. After getting the carp back in the pond I got
another bait attached and sent that
out to the spot. The donk I got off the
lead when it hit the bottom told me all
I needed to know; that I had safely hit
the place I needed to be. Knowing
t h a t i t w a s m y f i n a l m o r n i n g, I
decided to stay up and just hope that
I might get another chance. After
drinking what seemed like gallons of
coffee my chance came at almost
5am after the spot had been slicking
up for almost an hour. The left hand
rod went into meltdown mode and
once again I was stood there smiling
with a nice bend in the rod. It wasn’t
too much trouble getting it in as far as
the margins; it was once it got close
in that it really tested the 13ft 3.5tc
rods to their limit.
During the previous couple of seasons I had lost a fair amount of fish,
and I had come to the conclusion that
after a protracted fight it was all too
easy to play them a tad too gently in
the margins, and this is where a lot of
carp had shed the hook. So I kept
playing the carp pretty hard, and after
almost 20 minutes a bloody big fish
was waddling in the folds of the net.
After wetting the unhooking mat and
weigh sling I transferred the carp to
the sling and attached the scales. I
was more than happy when the needle went round to 36lbs 10oz. After
taking a few pictures, I got the carp
back in the pond and said my thankyous to both the carp and the lake. A
few hours later I was all packed up,
and once again it was a fantastic feeling to have caught a few cracking
carp from a different swim. I heard a
few days later that the guy who had
come round to see me whilst I was
fishing had listened, ended up in my
favourite swim, and he had caught a
few carp – good news all round.
A few days later I was back at the
lake, and after having a good walk
around opted to fish my favourite
swim. I had been walking around the
lake for almost three hours before I
made this decision. The only carp I
had seen in numbers were in the
Reedy swim up the other end of the
lake and someone was fishing there. I
had observed a couple of carp sticking their heads out to the left of the
feature that most people fish to when
in my favourite swim. Although I have
fished this swim regularly in the past,
it is always best to get the marker out
and have a plumb around and check
the feature out for weed. Some of the
guys fish it a tad differently to me and
come further up the feature, whereas I
prefer to fish right down the back. I
settled on an area in between two
weed beds that was giving that lovely
tap, tap through the marker. It wasn’t
to be much longer before three rigs
found their way out to the spot,
shortly followed by a rather large
bucket of my spod concoction. I set
about getting everything else sorted
out, and it wasn’t too long before I
was sitting on the edge of the cliff
with a nice coffee and a ciggie on the
go, just watching the lake. Time flies
past so quick sometimes – a few more
coffees and something to eat, and
before you know it the night is closing
in really quickly and its time to get
your head down for the night.
At first light I was awoken rather
rudely by a screaming run, which was
coming through the sounder box at
full volume. Bloody hell… It was then
bed chair cover off, out of the bivvy
nearly going over the edge of the cliff
before finally waking up properly and
getting my bearings. After running
down the slope and picking the
offending rod up all I could do was
hold on as the carp powered off, taking line from a really tight clutch.
Slowly it started to ease up, but I
could tell by the heavy plodding that
it was a big fish. As is sometimes the
case it didn’t take that long to get it
into the margins, but this is when
most of the carp tend to really put you
and your gear under some serious
pressure. Couple this with margins
that are some 12 to 14ft deep and
water that is crystal clear, and you
can imagine that the fights can be
arm aching epic battles, and what‘s
more you can see every twist and turn
the carp make. I really tried not to give
it any line and only did so when it was
necessary. The pressure told and the
carp tired, and a few minutes later a
rather broad shouldered carp was
waddling in the bottom of the net.
After sorting the required equipment
out for the weighing and photos I
hoisted my prize from the water and
noticed that he was in a pretty bad
way. He was weighed at 39lbs 12oz
and I got a couple of photos of him
before treating him with loads of
Klinik and some other stuff I had with
me. I got him back into the lake and
hoped that he would be okay. That
was to be the only carp that I caught
during that session.
The remainder of next couple of
days was spent watching some pretty
peculiar behaviour from the carp. I
had noticed a particular couple of
carp show themselves in front of the
swim to my left, and after getting the
bins out I saw the same two carp
show themselves further up the other
end of the lake in front of a swim next
to the Reedy. On my final morning I
noticed quite a few fish were doing a
similar thing. I had popped next door
and fixed the line at where they were
showing briefly before I saw them
head and shouldering going back up
the other end of the lake. After getting
everything packed away and loaded
on the barrow, I started to push my
way down the path. I stopped at the
swim next door and got the marker
rod out and a rod with a rig on it and
went into the swim to have a plumb
Well, bearing in mind that I had
fished this swim on previous occasions and I had visually marked the
area where I had seen the carp showing earlier, I knew roughly where to
cast the marker. It took three casts to
find what I was looking for, and the
second time I pulled through the
weed I changed things. I pulled a fair
bit of braid off the marker rod reel and
clipped up, and after hitting the clip I
decided to point the rod at the area
and just hold the braid in my hand
and just simply pull. I could feel the
lead and marker float going through
the weed, then I felt the lead come
through the weed, I took my hand
from the braid and popped the float
up and said to myself Gotcha! Picking
my other rod up with the rig and a
lead on, I had no idea what I was
about to find. Two casts later I was
under no illusions; I was getting a
lovely donk with the lead and also
bringing in some weed with some
rather interesting little red things in it.
I also noted that the lead was coming
back covered in some not too
unpleasant smelling clay. All I knew
was that in a few days’ time I would
be coming back, and for the first time
in a while I had a good idea what the
carp were up to! I got the couple of
rods packed away and went home.
There was a nice letter and an
accompanying membership card
waiting for me on the side in the
kitchen. A couple of weeks to go


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