Catching Up – By Andy Lyon
Well guys, it’s been a while! … But just thought I’d give a little write up of what I’ve been up to 😉 ……..
After what seemed to be an eternity of head down arse up, wading through mountains of end tackle and working with Mark, Carl, Tarby and Dan to get ready to launch the first items in our range, it seemed only right that after spending hours of talking about fishing tackle and looking at fishing tackle that I snook a few items into my tackle box that I liked the look of and got out on the bank and gave them a whirl! As all us every day ordinary carp anglers know, as soon as we have these thoughts life has a nasty habit of getting in the way!
Customers wanting all their work completing before Christmas, putting long hours in, and trying to spend as much time as I could with the family at this special time of year, fishing seemed to be bottom of the list.
It was in those few days between Christmas and New Year when cabin fever had well and truly set in, that opportunity arose! Whilst at my workshop rummaging around for something for home I spotted the ‘snide’ kit I keep there for emergency fishing sessions .It consists of a couple of battered old rods and a net, plus an old mat etc . It just so happened that I had my carryall with tackle box and buzzers there from my last outing, so seeing this as sign from the gods I decided it was game on ! But where to go just for a couple hours? The clay pit up the road that I liked to stalk on in the summer months seemed the obvious choice but know idea of its winter form. But time was of the essence so there it had to be! The mandatory “I’ve got held up at work love, I’ll be couple of hours” phone call was made and I was heading down the road in no time.
Arriving at the pit, a brisk westerly pushed across the surface. The water was a good couple of foot up after all the heavy rain so most swims were under water. As time was against me I chose one that gave me the best view of the lake just on the edge of the slack water. The rods were quickly set up in the flooded peg and I sat up the top of the top the bank with the rest of the gear and baited the rigs. I had couple of my favourite nylon ‘D’ rigs tied up using some sample hooks from our new range. This particular pattern really floated my boat, and was perfect for a whole range of presentations that I like to use. Hook baits used were the awesome 18mm cherry and almond shelf-life’s tipped off with a small piece of bright yellow high density zig foam that’s ultra-buoyant. This gave the rig enough ‘waft’ without floating all over the place when the fish approached the bait and added a nice sight marker without being too in your face. A small PVA stick made from liquidised Cherry n Almond, hemp ground bait and powdered betain was hooked on and we was ready to rock!
One rod was cast down the marginal shelf, hoping the sun had warmed this area enough for the carp to investigate, the other off the back of the wind into deeper water. No freebies were introduced as I wanted the hook bait to be the only feed for them, hoping to grab a quick bite.
An hour past and without seeing any movement and the sun setting rapidly I was beginning to think the carp didn’t do winter in here and may have just have to enjoy the scenery! Another 10 minutes passed and I wound the margin rod in and rebaited. As I stood in the water looking for inspiration I noticed a small fish rolling a couple of rod lengths out straight in front. A few seconds later another slightly larger fish rolled in the same area. As this was the only movement I had seen since being there and as time was running out I decided to drop a bait in the area hoping Mr Carp may investigate the small fish activity. I was sitting there beginning to think that today was not to be, when the alarm burst into life! After a spirited fight a lovely heavily scaled mirror around double figures rolled over the net cord. I unhooked my prize whilst it lay in the net and stood there feeling all smug. I was just about lift him onto the mat for a better look when the other rod roared off! Talk about busses! This one plodded about a bit more and I thought it may be a better to fish as I’d heard there was a handful of old warriors that went mid-twenties. As the fish took a gulp of air and was nearing the defeat I realised I had another problem. I had already one fish in the net, which after its time to recuperate had become rather lively! As the first fish rolled and strained against the mesh I had no choice but to go for it and try and bundle the other in and hope for the best. As I dipped the net to draw the fish over, the first one strained and waddled towards the cord. At the same moment I drew the hooked fish toward the spreader block, its smaller friend made its break for freedom and swam out! I lifted the net around the fish that was still hooked and once safely captured, with no means of escape. I had little chuckle to myself! 10 mins earlier I would have conceded a blank!
I hoisted a lovely looking mid double common up the bank then onto the mat. A few moments to admire his winter colours and almost scale perfect condition, then a quick couple of photos on the self-take gear and he was slipped back to fight again .
Within a few minutes the gear was packed down and I was heading back to the van with that buzz that only carp anglers know.
So there you go, it’s sometimes a case of ‘if opportunity knocks you’ve just gotta answer!’ ……but of course where’s there’s pleasure, pain is never far behind! This took the form of my exit from the boggy car park not going quite as planned and having to leave the van there overnight, axel deep in mud, requiring it to be winched out the following morning ….. took some explaining to the Mrs that one !
No matter where you fish, whether they’re forty or four pound, get out there, get amongst em and most of all enjoy it!
Hope fully see you on the bank some time, March On…!