The eagle has landed …
Apollo 11 landed on the moon fifty years ago this year, and to turn things somewhat on their head February’s day by the lake was “One small step for carp fishing, one giant leap for me!” [apologies to Mr Armstrong]
The Apollo program started in 1960, but it was not until ’67 that the Saturn V rocket propelled space exploration to another level, eventually putting a man on the moon in ’69.
A massive advance in two years; and that is about the same time I have been writing about my carpy adventures and I think I can now drop the ‘novice’ tag as all the lessons learnt and pieces of the puzzle dropped into place during the second session of 2019.
To continue the space analogy; the planets aligned.
The launch of the season was delayed as the lakes were frozen on my first visit of 2019 – see previous blog Sub Zero. So countdown to catching was postponed and reset for the next trip.
And then it began …
FIVE – all was not lost as the previous prep saved time. New Avid fluorocarbon leaders, Richworth Tutti Fruitti pop-ups soaked, hooks sharpened and gas and Pot Noodle (!) purchased.
FOUR – arrived at the lake; walked around and chatted to the other anglers – what had been out recently and any shows today. One fella had had one off the bottom earlier so I switched my two rod zig approach to a Ronnie and a zig. More a Reggie than Ronnie.
THREE – picked a spot where I could cast to the island that was bathed in winter sun and at the southern end of the lake where there was the least amount of pressure as the other four anglers were at the north end enjoying some sun bathing themselves.
TWO – having cast and clipped up to the island I sat down to get the Reggie out to the spot and then the zig somewhere halfway-ish in open water where the sun shone. As I sat there getting the orange pop-up secured a fish showed to my left not once but twice about twenty yards out. And following “101 carp fishing” the first rod was cast to that very spot.
ONE – twenty minutes later the Fox Mini Swinger lifted slowly as the alarm was sounded. I tighten the clutch and lifted into the first fish is 2019 – “we have life off!” After a short tussel a pristine common lay in the Sonik cradle and I was delighted.
We’d had lift off on the 2019 Carppuzzle season but it did end there. I was only an hour into the day and had until 4.30pm before the light would fade the gates locked.
I sat watching the water. The chap to my left that had also had a fish this morning moved around the lake, anti-clockwise, and “overtook” me. He dropped into a corner swim and no sooner had he done that a fish shower in that very corner.
I stuck to my line of attack for the next hour but with nothing happened I could not help but think that the fish had moved passed me, anti-clockwise around the lake – this thought was re-enforced when the chap who had moved landed one from the corner.
I kept looking at a spot to the right of the island that was to a degree on the leeward side of the island and still attracting the winter sun. With the southwesterly strengthening this looked a carpy spot. And as I was fishing off the barrow today, I quickly packed up and moved around the lake,”overtaking” the chap to my right.
With the zig not producing any reaction out went two identical Reggie presentations for the silty bottom (you are going to have to read the other blog for an explanation), plus about four complementary boilies as I notice the other chap had dropped few in before he caught. I was thinking with the weather being milder an previous weeks and bulbs now appearing perhaps the carp may be ready to feed in earnest.
Within thirty minutes I was having liners and then the left rod was away and a ghostie lay in the folds of the net. I unhooked it in the net and conscious the fish were on the spot out went the rig again after checking the hook was still sharp.
About an hour later and after an abortive take the same rod was off again and this time I lifted into something bigger and this carp proved troublesome in the margin but eventually slipped over the net cord. And at 12lb I was very happy with this capture.
Common, ghostie and now leather carp, the day could have been a Mark Pitchers Challenge!
The spot went quiet and now the sun was in the margins to my left and right. Knowing that I couldn’t move further around the lake due to other anglers I dropped the rigs left and right. Also the wind had been pushing into this side of the lake so I figured any natural food as such would be here.
With an hour to go this prepositioning of the rigs was rewarded with the left rod (again) signaling a take and quickly the smallest of the day was netted. A second common carp and the end of a great mission.
With four fish in total I was virtually walking on water, now whether you believe man walked on the moon; it is still an important moment in the history of mankind as this was a great moment in my flourishing carpy history.
Having-said-that carp fishing is hardly rocket science despite what the various people try and tell you!
Tightlines and timelines.