Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (11)
Arrival time: 15.45
Weather: Sunny at first but wind became cold and even colder when the sky clouded over.
Swim: Lily pads and NE bay.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Baits: Bread flake & Luncheon meat.
Fish: three carp, best fish 11lbs 10oz.
In my last report I said I would return and have a go at the roach. Unfortunately fishing rarely pans out as you would like. Whereas on the last occasion I was getting a bite a cast from roach using my heavier tackle, today I could hardly tempt them with a nibble using a much more appropriate set up. However, let’s start at the beginning.
I arrived late afternoon having eaten beforehand so I could stay for the evening. Although I was aiming to fish the NE bay for roach, I first went to the Lily pads swim to see of there were any carp cruising the surface, as I had brought some bread this time. Despite it being warm there were no signs of carp at the top. I dropped a large piece of flake down the margin in case there was a fish or two patrolling the shallows but nothing materialised. There were also no signs of movements in the reeds. Perhaps I should have tried for a bit longer but I decided to move to the NE bay and try for the roach, which was the original plan.
As I had set up the heavier rod I cast a piece of luncheon meat into the bay to my left and set the bait-runner on the reel. It was a standard running ledger, not a bolt rig or anything else fancy, so I needed to be able to react fairly quickly to a take. I then set up the float rod and cast to the spot where the roach were so obliging the other evening. Well, on this occasion, nothing. I plumbed the depth this time and was surprised how deep it was. I must have been fished mid to three-quarters depth on the last occasion. I tried different depths but to no avail.
After a while I stopped to eat a Mars bar and as is often the case when fishing, it was at this moment the alarm on the bait-runner rod sounded and fortunately I was close enough to quickly pick up and switch off the bait-runner, and I was into a fish. It was hooked close to the reeds and initially it was a test of will as I held it from entering the reeds. My belligerence worked and the fish went into more open water where it fought very hard, much more so than the fish I caught on the occasion before last. Eventually it came to the net. Netting was tricky as there were about four or five feet of cut-down reeds in front of me, so it was a matter of extending the net to the edge of these and steering the fish into it, then dragging the net back through the reeds. There was, of course, always the danger that the fish would plough into the reeds, but fortunately it was more intent in getting further away than coming closer. It was a nice fish of 9lb 6oz and although it seemed generally in good condition the front part of its dorsal fin was missing. [Time 17.10]
I rebaited the carp rod and this time cast out to the right of some lily pads that were just starting to break the surface, probably about 15 metres out. I went back to the roach fishing but to my surprise about 20 minutes later the bite alarm went again and a second carp was on. This felt abetter fish and also fought hard with some powerful rushes. Again netting was tricky and I had a couple of failed attempts. In fact the net was only just big enough for the fish as I don’t take my large net to this lake. Perhaps I should although it would be difficult to wield at the end of a long handle. The dorsal on this fish was also a bit ragged but at least it wasn’t missing completely. [11lb 10oz: Time 17.30]
I recast the ledger rod but it had started to feel quite cold in the wind and the sun was more and more frequently disappearing behind clouds, which were themselves becoming darker. I plodded on with the float rod trying both bread and luncheon meat but besides dozens of small roach intercepting everything at the surface I was getting absolutely nowhere. Speaking of the surface, I had tried catapulting out lumps of crust but these were devoured by smaller fish with no sign of interest from carp.
I had been casting the ledger rod to different points around the lily pads and the margin of the bay but didn’t get another run. However, at 19.20 when I was starting to think about packing up, due to the deterioration in weather conditions (it was cold and windy), my float just disappeared in one clean action. I guessed it may be something more than a roach and as it zoomed off this was confirmed. On a match rod and 5lb line I took it easy and it was a while before I actually saw the fish, which turned out to be a wild carp of 7lb 14oz. Long and streamlined, it provided quite a tussle.
I stayed on until 20.30 but the roach failed to oblige and I think three carp out of one swim (remember it’s not a heavily stocked commercial lake) was probably as many as I was going to get.
So, my idea of some roach fishing with a carp rod there just on the off-chance was turned on its head as the carp provided the sport while the roach proved illusive. As I’ve already said, fishing rarely pans out as you would like, but on this occasion I’m not complaining.