Well that’s the philosophy over with; let me now tell you about yesterday’s angling adventure, first some history though…
I learnt to catch carp at a hungry little water called ‘Champs Fishery’ in Canterbury. A days fishing could result in thirty or more fish all between three and six pounds. Four pound mainline, a quarter ounce of lead and a whole heap of fun, but inevitably the quest for bigger fish lead me elsewhere.
Fast-forward about twenty years now until last Thursday. Andrew, my bestest fishing buddy was having a christening party for his new daughter, Grace, the following Sunday. He had called to ask if I minded helping him move two tonne of crap from his driveway and replacing it with ten tonne of gravel to facilitate the parking of the guests. Every bone in my body was screaming ‘NO!!!!!’ as I replied, “No problem, mate.”
A friend in need is a bloody nuisance, trust me, and don’t be fooled into that ‘is a friend indeed’ nonsense. After slaving away all day, sweating buckets for a glass of water (he’s tee total, remember) and a doner kebab, the talk turned to fishing. He was free the following Thursday and had the urge to get a bend in his rod.
With Andrew getting married and having kids and me hitting a ‘certain age’ and chasing young blondes and trying to prove something improvable our fishing had suffered. Between us we came up with the idea of ‘Champs’ as a place we could renew our love of carp without taxing ourselves too much and have some fun into the bargain. In years gone by we would discuss a start time, I would say six, he would say five-thirty - now I will say nine, he will say, nine-thirty!
Thursday morning arrived and we set forth. Eager beavers with confidence sky-high, just to sit gnome like all morning; someone had changed the script.
I had noticed a big common (big for here, my personal best for the water stood at 10lbs. 4ozs.) in some impenetrable weed bed to my left but left well alone due to the unlandable factor. It was after four hours blanking that Andrew said we were fishing like complete ‘noddies’ and that in years gone by we would have done something to ‘make it happen’ that I thought to change my set-up.
With seventeen-pound mainline tied directly to the hook I put on a piece of crust (that’s bread to the uninitiated) and cast to the unobtainable fish. Two minutes later the familiar ‘clooping’ began in earnest as the freebies were hoovered; one bait left as the lips finally enveloped it.
I had fished a lot of ‘hit and hold’ situations in the past but the fact my line had looped around the butt ring definitely helped me. The pressure that fish put on made me backwind, a recipe for disaster ordinarily but the fact I had a huge loop of slack line between the reel and the butt ring meant I was still ‘hitting and holding’ involuntarily. The carps’ head stayed high, I freed off the tangle, and the hook held firm and soon Andrew was lifting the net under my prize.
I unfolded the net and said, “Sixteen”, Andrew laughed and said, “More like twelve!” We were out of practice; the weighing showed a fish of 14lbs. 2ozs. It was still a personal best from the lake, so la-di-da; a result.
With my obvious ‘cracking the method’ Andrew swapped to a floating bait, flake rather than crust (it’s still bread - the bait that never blows) Ten minutes later he was calling for the net.
I netted for him a huge mirror and said, “You’ve cracked the twenty, mate.”
He looked at me in disbelief, in the real ‘you nutter’ look; “That’s eighteen tops,” he exclaimed.
“More like twenty-three,” I replied. (I told you we were out of touch!)
The weighing proved me slightly less rusty as the ‘avons’ swung around to 21lbs. 6ozs.
A ‘Twenty’; a bloody twenty! We had only gone to have some fun and get a bend in the rod after a couple of years in the wilderness of matrimony for him and ageism for me. We carried on to take another dozen fish, all more towards our expectations but it proves ‘a change is as good as a rest’, but this was a change backwards rather than forwards.
If you’re struggling with the latest methods prescribed in this month’s glossy mag, remember carp were caught before Tim Paisley and his cronies told you ‘how to do it’; There are other methods
It ain't rocket science…enjoy!