Since catching my Barbel PB earlier this season something slightly odd seems to have happened to my fishing. I can't quite put my finger on it but It's not the fishing itself that's changed it's more like my attitude and approach to it which has altered slightly I feel. It's almost as if that Barbel was a catalyst or a switch which has allowed me to pass through to a new chapter in my angling journey.
Over the last few weeks my fishing has felt so much more relaxed and natural, the pressure feels well and truly off now and this has allowed me to enjoy my fishing so much more. Although I didn't realise it at the time I now see that I was putting way too much pressure on myself to catch fish, not just in the early part of this season but throughout the last 3-4years. Don't get me wrong Ive certainly enjoyed myself and caught some cracking fish but I now realise that sometimes I was taking it all a bit too seriously when there really wasn't any need for it.
Anyway, now I've got that off my chest lets get back to the fishing and,carrying on in the same vein where my last post left off, I've carried on with the carp fishing. I'll begin with an evening trip on a local club water and when I arrived I was surprised to find the place packed with other anglers. This was unusual cos normally the place is practically empty from one week to the next! As a result my swim choice was extremely limited. On this particular water I like to fish to marginal features but due to the size of the pool and the underwater topography there are only limited options and in this case there seemed to be somebody setup next to each and every one!
After a couple of laps of the lake and much deliberation I settled on a swim where casting to my marginal feature involved a tricky cast from between two bushes across the front of an overhanging tree to a few wisps of bulrushes which were in about 4ft of water. It took me a few casts to get it right but once it was there I decided that it wouldn't be moved until it either went or I packed up, I really didn't fancy trying to get it back on the money once darkness settled. The other rod was cast towards a couple of showing fish out in open water.
The hours passed by with no activity other than one or two fish crashing over the deep water in the middle. All the other anglers slowly dwindled away and before long it was dark and just myself an Phil still fishing. The activity out in the lake noticeably increased once it got dark proper and we both started to get a few liners yet couldn't understand why we both remained fishless.
As packup time fast approached I went next door to phils peg to discuss when we should reel in. As we talked I suddenly became aware of a funny hissing noise coming from somewhere in the darkness, then it clicked, it was my baitrunner, I'd forgotten to switch my alarm on! It was the margin rod and I was on it in seconds. After a steady battle a nice upper double common was soon netted.
The 24th of September was the day I reached the grand old age of 38 and as such I decided to book the day off work and head back up the a50 to the little carp pool I fished in my last blog entry. As before I had the whole lake to myself although it was a lot breezier this time around so I picked a swim with a bit of shelter from the elements which still gave me good command over a sizeable area of water.
The weed was hideous and seemed to be everywhere I cast so I switched over to choddys and had a bite within minutes. Unfortunately the hook pulled after a few seconds but I took the early action as a positive sign and was more than hopeful of a good day.
Another lost fish around half an hour later had me investigating my rig and,after changing the hook pattern and size aswell as the length of the chod slightly, I felt way more confident. This confidence was well placed because a short while later I landed my first fish of the trip and it turned out to be a repeat capture of the wood carving mirror in my last blog entry!
I fished on and over the course of the morning I went on to land four more carp aswell as losing another so all in all it was a nice productive session. I can't believe more people don't fish the pool as it's not difficult it's just very weedy but the carp are a good average size, my smallest was around 13lb.
Another quick lure session on the soar filled in the angling void between my birthday and the weekend. It was pretty tough going and although I had a couple of hefty tugs which I missed , it was a good hour before I finally hooked something. This turned out to be jack which absolutely smashed my savage gear eel.
I wasn't sure what to do on my Sunday session and it wasn't until I woke up that morning that I decided what I would go for. If truth be told I was getting slightly bored of both catching carp and lure fishing so I opted to have a morning on the Trent, Chub fishing with bread.
I had a surprise on my first put in when, within seconds, the tip slammed around and I found myself connected to a lively Barbel. It gave me the proper run-around before going to ground in the streamer weed, my 4lb hooklink never stood a chance.
After that I struggled for a bite despite trying a couple of different swims. After a dull start the sun was now out in force and the river being low and crystal clear didn't do me any favours either. Eventually a tentative pluck on the tip had me striking into solid resistance which turned out to be a sizeable Trent Bream of around 8lb.
After trying a couple more of my usual swims for nothing more than a couple of tiny taps I decided to head downstream to a much wider shallower area. This turned out to be a good decision as this was where the Chub seemed to be lying. Two decent fish in quick succession cheered me up no-end and I packed up just as the sun hit it's peak around midday.