Fields End (90)
Arrival time: 14.10
Weather: Clear sunny sky and very light E/SE breeze.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
Bait: bread and luncheon meat. All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Three carp, best 13lb 2oz, and one good crucian of 1lb 11oz.
A spell of unseasonably warm and calm weather saw me off to Fields End. I had already set my sights on the north eastern corner, to shelter from the forecast easterly breeze. There were about six people on the lake and the spot I was after was free. I set up in what I call the Reed End swim, situated at the other end of the reed bank that forms the Reed Corner.
I had taken luncheon meat and a small cut loaf. I started with bread flake and flicked in some free offerings, fishing close to the reeds, no more than about 15 feet out. The water level in the lake was well up, suggesting that Charlie had filled it since my last visit in October.
Things started slowly, which means that I didn’t get an almost immediate bite, which can often happen when fishing against the reeds. Mick, a regular, was pulling out fish from the south bank using floating dog biscuits, and another couple of chaps on the east bank seemed to have got the carp in a bit of a feeding frenzy on the top. Surface baits seem to have become de rigeur and I’m not sure whether this is affecting those of us who fish more conventionally.
At 14.55 the float finally slid away and after a bit of a fight keeping the fish out of the reeds, and a brief battle in open water, a 6lb mirror was netted. It had a fair bit of mouth damage, unfortunately.
A while later, while I glanced to look at a couple of ducks, the float sailed under and I was late to strike. The fish was already into the reeds and I lost it. I hand-lined my tackle clear of the reeds and the hook had straightened. Whether this was due to pulling it out of the reeds, or caused by the fish, I don’t know.
At 16.50 a 5lb 14oz mirror was landed, followed ten minutes later by a crucian of 1lb 11oz. I had missed a few fast bites and I think these were probably crucians.
After another hour’s wait a bite that started tentatively finally sunk away and a better fish was on. Surprisingly I turned it from the reeds quite quickly, but once in open water it felt heavy and I kept having to give line. It was a while before I actually got a sight of it. After quite a long tussle I netted a fine 13lb 2oz fully scaled carp that had superb golden colouring. I had a bit of a fight with my camera tripod and the resulting photograph involved me ducking down to get in the shot with the fish. It’s certainly not the best photo I’ve taken but, me aside, you must agree that it’s a beautiful looking fish.
It was now after 18.00 and I expected the margins to become more active. At 18.40 I took my final fish, a 5lb 2oz fully scaled carp. Conditions were now perfect; light fading, no wind. Expectations were high but, unfortunately, other than a missed bite there were no more fish.
A woman was fishing to the left of me, about two swims along. She was also surface fishing and pulled out a few fish. I say pulled out. She was using a rod that must have had at least a 3lb test curve, judging by the lack of bend when she was landing the fish. This was undoubtedly matched with strong line, which enabled her to haul in what were quite reasonable fish. I really don’t understand why such tackle is employed to fish at a range of no more than about 25 yards, an insignificant cast by any measure. She was hooking the fish in open water and if I can get a 13lb fish out from the margin reeds using a float rod, surely she could have used a lighter rod and line.
Instead the fish were muscled in and mouth damage is the usual consequence of such action.
It seems to me that, as a result of marketing, the ‘standard’ carp feeder rod, which is really designed to put big baits way out into large lakes, has now become the de facto tackle for a wide range of carp fishing, which is indeed unfortunate.