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Thread: random carpy stories

  1. #21
    Site Regular pennywise's Avatar
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    loving this, more please!

  2. #22
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    pt 3

    I heard a car door slam in the car park and a few minutes later I heard the sound of trolly wheels on the path. I listened as the sound faded into the distance and it was clear that someone was making their way round to the other end of the section of lake I was fishing. The feeding fish had not returned but I was sure it wasn't far away. It was by now around 5pm and as I'd mentioned, on my evening pre baiting sessions I hadn't seen any signs of carp present and fully expected the late afternoons and early evenings to be quite. I layed on my bed chair and pondered the afternoons events. During the closed season I had spent quite a few hours on various occassions watching these fish and had seen nothing that looked like the two big carp I had seen years ago. All of the bigger fish I had seen were fairly long and leathery looking, the carp that had dropped in for lunch today was quite different. A lot chunkier with those scab like scales I remembered so vividly, and certainly the biggest fish I'd seen in the lake so far.

    My thoughts were interrupted by the dreaded smack! smack! smack! of mallet on bivvy peg. I cringed at every blow and assumed any carp in the area were doing likewise. That night passed uneventfully as did the next morning, I decided to reel in and go and find mallet man. He was fishing in what must have been one of the more popular swims judging by the way the bank had been levelled out and the vegetation cut and shaped. It was a nice comfortable swim, but stuck out like a sore thumb with no bank side cover and little water between the bank and a chain of islands that ran parallel to the swim 15 yards away. Any fish passing this way was sure to see an angler present especially one set up in his manner.

    Luckily he was packing up, and to be fair to the bloke he was obviously a vey inexperienced carp angler despite his advancing years. He had fished the lake a few times the previous season for tench, but this year he was going to have a go for the carp, on one rod at least, anyway he'd enjoyed himself and I still had another two nights fishing, so all was not lost. despite no other anglers turning up, the next 48 hours proved fruitless, not a sign of carp anywhere and I found myself packing up thinking what might have been, so near yet so far. Still, it was early days and I was sure I wiuld find myself in a similar situation at some point in the season when there would be no waiting for the clock.

    Later that week my ticket for another section of the lake arrived, a long with another key, this was a much more open section of the lake with a good view of a large expanse of water, probably around 100 acres,it was on this section were I would concentrate next weeks efforts. After a few days at home I was dying for another crack at those holyfield carp and my next session couldn't come around quick enough. I had only ever been up this end of the lake a couple of times before, once was for a plumb around two years before, so I knew more or less the topography of this end of the lake, but I had no actual fish sightings to go on. I decided just to set up somewhere in the middle of this bank and keep my eyes and ears open, with all this water in front of me there was a chance I would see something during my three day stint.

    It was quite an effort lugging my tackle along this bank, there was no path and I struggled even with the wheelbarrow. I came across a couple of spots that looked like they had been fished in years gone by and after a bit of pruning and weeding I settled on one of these. I stood there, hands on hips surveying the water, my body tingling with excitement. Fishing hadn't felt like this since those first few outings with rod and line, when your heart would race at the dip of a float. Somewhere along the way in the intervening twenty odd years the magic had been dulled, but here I was on the brink of an adventure that had rekindled that old flame until it burned brighter than ever.

    Although it was another warm day, a gentle south westerly breeze lapped against the skin now and again, taking the heat out of the suns gaze. It seemed a crime to cast out in to this utopia but after a couple of hours the rods were sorted to my liking and the waiting game began. Apart from a few bream rolling in the late afternoon sun, nothing was spotted. Just after 8pm I heard the unmistakable wallop of a large carp clearing the water. It sounded some way off to my right so I legged it along the bank as fast as I could. I realised it must have been somewhere around the end of this bank which was about five hundred yards from where I was fishing.

    I made my way round to the northern bank where about fifty yards out a couple of rafts of floating weed had wedged on top of a shallow bar, one of the features I had plumbed previously. As I looked out one of the weed beds rocked, certainly no bream! I glanced at my watch... 8.20pm, an hour and a quarter of light left. I had better get my skates on! Within the hour I was back in the area with all my tackle.

    The light was diminishing fast so I settled for fishing all three rods in small gaps in the weed, just behind the bar, remembering to pin point the location of the gaps against a far tree line marker just in case a re cast after dark was required. The breeze had now died, leaving a 150 acre mill pond. My middle and right hand rods were just within easy catapult range for 18mm baits, so 20 were fired into each gap. The left hand gap was a little further, so to keep things nice and tight I fished that rod on a single hook bait. Feeling quite pleased with myself for making the effort, i set the bivvey up ( without mallet) and sorted the rest of my tackle out. By now it was quite dark and I hadn't been paying that much attention to the lake, I certainly hadn't heard anymore crashes or noticed any other movement, and to be honest I felt quite exhausted and all I wanted was a brew and a smoke. Just 20 minutes later I was contemplating turning in for the night when the right hand buzzer burst in to life. For some reason it tooka second or two to sink in that this was a take! a violent one at that. No need to strike this one, cut the spool and the rod was immediately wrenched forward. This fish was stopping no time soon, which was fine by me especially as it was running directly away from the weed bed. I knew the water behind the bar dropped off quite steeply and I was a bit worried about bieng cut off. Luckily, the bank behind me was a steep upslope and from the top of this I gained another six feet in height. After that initial run had slowed, the fish became more manageable, and it obviously had a fair bit of weed around its nut and due to my lofted position, had little trouble in keeping the fish on the surface, through the weed and over the shallow bar.

    Once on this side however, it was a different matter. The fish had shed the weedand was now charging up and down a deep gully in front of me. I made my way down to the waters edge knowing I was going to have to wade out to net the fish due to the shallow margin and the rafts of weed that had drifted up against it. I picked up the net and tossed it on top of the floating weed a few yareds out, then wading out to where the net lay I tried to keep the fish on a tight line. The shallow margin was falling away sharply, by the time I'd reached the net I was waist deep and on the edge of a steep drop off. I could go no further but the weed stretched out for another few yards. If only I could make a small channel up which to draw the fish. I loosened the clutch a little and tried to manouvre the weed with the landing net handle.

    After much frantic groping and straining I realised I was getting nowhere fast, the weed was just too far out, I was too tired to panic and decided the only thing to do was to throw the net out so that the mesh was past the weed and the end of the handle at arms length resting on the weed. When the mesh sank in the water, I could draw the fish directly over the net, throw the rod down, and quickly scoop up the fish.

    In practice this worked almost perfectly, except for the fact that the net had sank a little deeper than anticipated and I ended up pulling in half the weed bed, but luckily for me the fish was in there too. The strain was too much for the net and the quick release mechanism buckled causing the net to collapse. I bit the line and discarding what excess weed I could, stumbled back to dry land. Laying the whole lot on the mat I began peeling away the weed revealing a long slender mirror with a tail like a shovel and a weird shaped head. It was the mid 20 I'd seen up the other end, not a monster but at 27.04 I was over the moon ambition achieved and it felt very satisfying.

    As you can imagine all that mess took a fair bit of sorting out, retrieving the rod from the lake I re-tackled, cast back to the gap and fired out another 20 freebies. The first thing on the agenda was sorting out that marginal weed, just in case I recieved any more action,and with two hands to work with and an adrenaline boost I managed to clear a channel of sorts. My adrenaline rush lasted long enough for another brew and smoke but I could stay awake no longer and hit the sack a very happy man indeed.

    No sooner had I drifted off when the recast rod burst into life via another violent take. This fish was really motoring but after picking up the rod and yielding several yards of line, I was cut off. Suprisingly I wasn't that disappointed, I was on such a high, and anyway, it proved the first fish was no freak incident. After re-tackling I repeated the casting and baiting procedure and sat down for a bit of water watching. Two takes on the right hand rod and not a peep out of the other two, perhaps I would see something to cast to. Half an hour past,nothing stirred, almost as if the lake was in shock. It was now around 3am and I had to get some shut eye.

    Somewhere in the conscious world a buzzer screamed, dragging me into the well practiced routine of picking up the correct rod, cupping the spool and hanging on until eyes are focused and brains in gear. up the slope and gently ease the fish over the bar, now I feel better time to get into netting position. The fish had other ideas, every time I got this fish within ten yards of me, it charged off again on another 20 yard run. The day was waking up and every now and again I would catch a glimpse of the fish in the half light, it was very pale and didn't look that big. After a full 15minutes up and down the margins it was mine.

    I peered into the net and was slightly dissappointed to see a common (I'm not a lover of commons). Once on the mat, I took a good look at it and recognised it as the largest common I had seen in the lake. It had slightly inturned corners to either side of its mouth, a natural deformity I'm sure, because there were no signs of damage and both sides were uniform. In the water i'd guestimated 25lb, on the scales she went 24.12 but looked although she may have shed some spawn recently.By the time she was sacked and I'd sorted myself out it was quite light, but I thought I'd get a couple of hours kip before I started phoning for a photographer.

    The commion had other mideas, it was thrashing around in the sack, and I kept getting up to make sure it was ok. Although upright and orientated it just would not settle and not wanting to risk injury to the fish, and for my own peace of mind I decided to photograph the common on the mat and put her back. When I lifted the sack from the water all hell broke loose, the fish was writhing and contorting like a creature possessed, and when I bent over the fish on the mat it shook it's head and burst a blood vessel in its gills, this panicked the fish even more.

    I just picked up the mat and fish and got it into the water as quick as I could. Once in the water, the fish exploded out of my hand and back to its sanctuary, I never had time to take a snap but what could I do? the mirror was fine, sulking a couple of feet from the surface and every now and again fanning it gills. I looked at the lake and 50 yards out I saw a bow wave heading out towards open water, was this the fish I had recently returned or another fish vacating the area, who cared, I needed some sleep.

    A couple of hours later I gave my mate Jacko a ring and told him of the nights events and we were soon both admiring my prize as I slipped it back to it's watery domain. The day was turning into another hot one and there was no cover down this end of the lake. I hadn,t seen any signs of fish since the bow wave earlier in the morning and I sensed the carp had moved on. I convinced myself they would be back that night so tried to catch up on some rest. As the sun disapeared that evening there were no crashes or bow waves, nothing stirred. Even the bream activity had ceased and I knew the forth coming night would be a quite one. I awoke the following morning with my suspicions confirmed.

  3. #23
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    I slipped it back to its watery domain

  4. #24
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    with a tail like a shovel and a weird shaped head I was over the moon

  5. #25
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    luckily I caught the common again 4 years later and found out it was a male.

    final part 2morrow chaps

  6. #26
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    Pukka tales... I wish i could put my experiences into words with such ease...

  7. #27
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    I hope your typing up part 4! Nice one

  8. #28
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    Strider, jusy knowing its your story/words is enough, I wont read this...
    yet. Looks like I will be spending Christmas alone (Divorce, thank CH***T )
    so will read all the pieces at the same time... I cant wait
    Many Thanks for posting. JP ... Strider

  9. #29
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    Dear Mr Magazine Editor,

    THIS is what we all want to read!

    Superb, atmospheric stuff; looking forward to the next installment

  10. #30
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    pt 4

    By 9am the sun was unbearable,so I reeled in and went for a walk. I spent most of the day walking round thi end of the lake but didn't spot anything that looked remotely carpy. The weather had made it a tiring 48 hours, coupled with that hectic first night, now it was back to the harsh reality of fishing large understocked pits. I decided I would pack up, drive to the other end of the lake and spend a couple of hours looking round the islands, if nothing was spotted I'd go home for a few days, if I saw fish I'd spend my last night up that end.

    By the time I arrived up the other end, via the off licence and the chilled drinks cabinet, it was about 5pm. The first thing I noticed was how much weed had grown in the 5 days since I'd been up ths end of the lake. I had a good look round, climbed a few trees, checked all the spots where I'd seen fish in the closed season, but saw nothing, apart from a group of a dozen bream heading out into open water. Eventually I started making my way back to the car, still full of that warm sense of satisfaction, but tinged with the sense it was all over.

    My last port of call would be the swim where I'd started the season off the previous week, as I gazed out a gentle breeze picked up, causing a thin ripple on the waters surface. I stood there for ten minutes or so, there were a few tufties about but no signs of fish, I was just about to walk away when a carp appeared to my right bold as brass, six inches below the surface, and in the calm margin. Crouching behind the reeds I watched it cruise past and into the veiling ripple... I waited another ten minutes but nothing else showed. Now I was thinking about lugging my gear round to this awkwardy located swim and tried to tell myself it was just an odd fish passing through, there might not be another for days. Unfortunately I wasn't listening !

    After much lugging,huffing and puffing I was ready to go again. First problem was my rods, as my intention was to fish the large open end this week I was using 13ft 3.25lb rods, not the ideal tools for flicking under bushes and plopping in the margins. I decided to drop one rod on the marginal slope in front of me, at least that would save a cast, the other was flicked out to a small island to my right, from where the fish appeared earlier. Due to the tufty situation I refrained from baiting up till after dark.

    Nothing else visibly entered the swim in the remaining daylight hours and shortly after sunset I pulted 20, 18mm baits around the right hand rod and dropped some crumbed bait and pellet on the marginal slope. The breeze had died again, causing all the rafts of weed to start drifting around on the natural undercurrents, initiating the odd bleep where the weed was gathering round my lines...Sometime in the middle of the night my slumber was pierced by a one toner on the right hand rod. My first thoughts were of a swan, there had been a couple hanging about earlier in the evening, when I picked up the rod it was nearly wrenched from my hand by a very angry carp, boiling and swirling around in a mass of weed that had bottlenecked down to my right.

    I couldn't let this fish get behind the island and it was almost there. As I hung on for dear life, what can only be described as a violent battle ensued, niether adversary willing to give an inch. Eventually everything ground to a halt, the fish was weeded solid so I loosened the clutch and put down the rod. My hands were shakng, I gulped a few breaths of air and reached for a fag! ...A long minute passed...line started slowly peeling from the spool, the fish had moved off taking half the weedbed with it. I was now dragging the whole lot around and was glad of the extra power of the big rods as the combined weight f weed and fish was incredible.

    The fish was lunging around in front of me now, obviously hampered by the weed and it looked like a right lump. My troubles were far from over yet, I could get the weed into netting range, but the fish was trailing a few feet behind. I hoped that if I got into the water with net in position, I could guide the fish over the net, drop the rod and scoop up the fish, not unlike the way I landed the first mirror. This time I judged it horribly wrong ... as I lifted the net around the beast I realised it was not properly in and it lurched over the net cord and back to safety.

    I dropped the net and scrambled around to pick the rod back up, the fish had taken up the slack, I tried to gain a bit more line, but as I was winding nothing was happening. I looked down at the reel and the line was trapped behind the spool and had now been wound round several times. Realising I was one surge away from disaster and trying not to panic, I undid the spool and released the line from the spindle and replaced the spool. It was probably the longest 20 seconds of my life.

    I wound down and tried the netting again, this time the fish flopped on my side of the cord, but as the fish felt the confines of the net the water errupted, the fish was dragging me and the net into the lake. I grabbed onto the bush beside me to stop myself toppeling down the steep marginal slope and into the murky depths where this monster would surely consume net and angler. This wasn't fishing, ... this was war!

    The net had busted again, I bit the line and scrambled up the bank with what felt like a sack of potatoes. In the torch light, the fish looked enormous, it had a huge frame and I must admit my first thoughts were '40lbs'! I didnt look too closely at the fish I just wanted to get it unhooked and weighed, the hook was firmly enbedded in the middle of the bottom lip, just as well I thought. I was slightly suprised when the scales stopped at 35lbs exactly, but the weight didn't really matter. I looked again at the fish, the chunky shape, those scab like scales, we meet again after all these years.

    It was nearly 3am, and there was no way I was going to get back to sleep, I spent the next few hours smoking and drinking tea for England. At 7.30am I drove round to the North Met pit where I knew Jacko and a few of my other mates were fishing. I drove Jacko and Elliot back to holyfield where we all savoured the moment. the shutters clicked away and the fish flared its gills revealing a hidden secret "you wont believe this" I said to Jacko,"this is the fish I lost the night before last at the other end of the lake". " How can you tell"? he replied disbelievingly. I layed the fish down on the mat and opened its mouth ... there, lightly caught in the back of its throat was my rig with the swivel peeping out through its gill raker!

  11. #31
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    Ive caught bigger before and since but nothing compares to the 'beast' of holyfield.

  12. #32
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    thats all folks, hope u enjoyed

  13. #33
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    Simply superb, you really captured your moments there; more please!

  14. #34
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    Just read part one Strider!!

    You really should write a book

    Excellent stuff
    "LADDERS OBSCURED BY CARP"

  15. #35
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    thank to all, for all the kind words, if you enjoyed reading it half as much as I enjoyed writing it, then it was worth the groveling I'm going to have to do to the missus for typing it up on here for me strider .

  16. #36
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    yup .. enjoyed that
    OFW agent 33 .. Foriegn Affairs

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    Hedgehog fancier, oooo arrrrgh!

  17. #37
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    Great Stories mate.

    Bob

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennyh View Post
    see guys 2 or 3 articles like that a couple of technical pieces and a good editorial and you have the makings of a quality mag, .
    Agreed!
    I started out with nothing.... And I've still got most of it left!

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    really enjoyed that strider its got to be the best bit of writing I've read in a long long time

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