Posts Tagged ‘Common Carp’

My two sons have been fishing on and off now for about 18 years. Okay, we have had a few long dry spells during that time, but the passion for angling has always been there and has grown through the years. Currently it is going through another growth spurt and they are further increasing their involvement in the sport, with No.1 son Robert primarily interested in the sea, while No.2 son Michael is hitting the freshwater big time. Both however will and do fish anywhere there is water with a chance of a bite.

Most of their current skills come from my own tuition, with an increasing amount now from other sources. I for one am grateful for this. I consider myself a confident fisherman but I am definitely not to be taken as anything other than a pleasure angler. I have passed on my meagre knowledge as best I can since the boys were around 8-10 years of age. Now they are moving into the enthusiastic stage it is up to them to continue their own angling education. This is especially necessary with the Coarse Angling scene.

The changes in equipment, rigs and methods during the past 15-20 years has been explosive and has left me well behind. Personally I think most of the new gear is designed to catch more anglers than fish and has brought an unneeded element to the banks. I am never happier than when wandering along the river bank with just a bait pouch, a few end bits in a pocket, a rod and landing net, stalking for that special Chub, Roach or Barbel. Or watching my float trundling through a smooth glide as the line peels silently from my centrepin. Tried and trusted methods that have and will always stand up to the test of time.

Now it seems that the modern angler has to bring enough equipment to collapse the bank, and have more high-tech gear and electronic gadgetry to worry the hell out of MI6. And when they start talking about spods, spombs, alarm bobbins, fly and zip rigs, I feel the urgent need to call the vice squad and have their tackle box searched for illegal Victoria’s Secret magazines and goods.

Let’s face it, in the eyes of the modern angler, I’m a bloody dinosaur and I haven’t even reached retirement age yet.

And now Michael, with his growing but admittedly limited knowledge, is occasionally  taking his girlfriend’s daughter Reeyah along to the local easy lake for a bit of fun fishing. I thought I had started the boys out young when they were 8-10 years of age, but at the time of writing this entry Reeyah is one week short of her sixth birthday. I’m to understand that Reeyah has caught fish entirely on her own but mostly requires help, and may even be a little intimidated by an initial fish strike. One of these days I’ll go with them and see for myself.

Good luck to you Michael. I know from experience you have your work cut out for you with teaching one so young. Been there, done that. But when you see images like those below, it is all well worth it.

Reeyah and Michael. The Smile Says it All.

Reeyah and Michael. The Smile Says it All.

“That’s More My Size”

Helping Michael

Helping Michael

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The previous week has been a right old mix of fortunes with the fishing proving yet again that nothing can be taken for granted in this game.

Beginning on the Friday with a group of us guys and gals lining the groynes at Sandbanks with our LRF (and MRF) gear hoping to do battle with the Mackerel and Scad shoals. These shoals have been around pretty consistently for the past two weeks. But not tonight. Total haul for the four of us was one small Pollack to me. So no fish for supper that night, and I had to make do with a box of cholesterol and chips.

Monday afternoon and evening saw myself, Dad and Number Two son head down to a club water we have not fished before. We knew prior to going that this small lake was very popular as a ‘bagging’ venue, but was also home to Carp in the twenties plus a good head of Roach, Rudd, Bream, etc. Well as it turned out they weren’t kidding. It was pretty damn hard to get the bait in the water long enough to allow for the better fish to home in on them. We probably had 25-30 fish each up to around 5lb and could have caught many more with a slight change of tactics.

Typical Small Carp from Cranborne. Loads of fun on the light gear.

Typical Small Carp from Cranborne. Loads of fun on the light gear.

But being the greedy people that we are, we persisted with baits and methods aimed at attracting the larger specimens. An enjoyable session and one of those places to go to if you just want a bit of fun (or a confidence boost). I was very impressed with the size and quality of Roach here.

Tuesday afternoon and evening – I took friend John along to Crooked Willows lake for his first coarse fishing session in 30 years or more. We blanked. And this on a lake that I very rarely blank on. Loads of good fish taking surface baits, as long as they didn’t have a hook hidden in them. C’est la vie, but it at least gave me a chance to get John back in the fold and show him a few rigs and things.

Thursday PM was the planned river session with Dad, still searching for those elusive big Chub and Barbel along some of our favourite Dorset Stour stretches at Throop Fishery. Low, fine and clear water and a bright sky was not good, though we could see plenty of fish moving around amongst the streamers and along the gravel glides. A few very quick bites which were probably small Chub or Dace, and one missed barbel bite (how did I miss that one!!!) was all we had for our efforts and we blanked for the second time in a row at this location. We need some rain to improve the height, flow and colour of the water here.

Friday PM and I took John back to Crooked Willow for a session. We were met down there by Dad and Number Two son again. Another frustrating session with many good Carp cruising around on the surface, scooping up the free offerings, but ignoring any hooked baits. John managed a couple of Bream, Number Two had the one Bream and a few missed runs in the margins, Dad snuck out a 5lb Carp with a floater tight to a lily, and I had the one Common Carp as a saver with a chunk of luncheon meat fished six inches from the bank virtually at my feet. Put up a very commendable scrap swinging back and forth between the various lily patches and refused for quite a while to be netted. Eventually bagged and out came a beautifully conditioned fish of 9lb 12oz (I’ll add the pic later).

9lb 12oz Common from Crooked Willows

9lb 12oz Common from Crooked Willows (plus a shocked looking me)

The only downside to this last session was owner Richard informing me (rubbing it in really) of a large Perch being caught during the week. I have been after the large stripeys in here for a while now and still haven’t managed to connect with one. Guess where I’ll be soon.

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