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Mental Break

I’ve gone on a little break from the hard, weedy water I had been fishing for the last few weeks, the water from which my latest PB came from.

It’s hard to leave a place with so much potential for a “big-un”. My imagination is constantly enticing me back there with images of big carp grazing up and down the edge of the bank; so close you can almost just net them. Reality is much different story. If the fish are there, they are there, if not it’s hard to fish confidently knowing just how much weed is out there. On my most recent visit, once the sun was up enough that I could see into the baited areas, I noticed that all the bait I deposited the night before was still there. Considering how long it had been in the water I didn’t really think the fish would be visiting this area at all and the session smelled like a blank early on. This is the cost of fishing a place like this. You have to be ready to accept a blank, even several blanks. It takes a toll on my mind and body, heck even my wallet, as ultimately there are no returns on my bait investments. With the limited time I have to fish each week and the year starting to draw to an end, I must consider if this high stakes fishing game is something I wanna keep playing. You know what? I do… I really, really do. That being said, a little sanity check every now and then is in order.

This previous week was spent on a water I hadn’t ever fished but had some idea of what to expect. Looking back at it now, it may have been slightly dumb to go to this place for the first time during a rain storm, in the dark, before the sun had come up. However, it wasn’t long after I arrived that I found a way in and I was soon slipping down the big slope that leads to this new swim, carrying my usual gear plus my Sportbrella XL for shelter. A suitable (arbitrary) spot on the bank was chosen and I set up my umbrella. I then baited an area directly ahead of me and put my rods out.

It was a quiet hour before darkness gave way to some sun and I began to see fish leaping near what appeared to be a sort of sandbar. I hadn’t even had a touch on my close in rods so I decided I had nothing to lose by putting on a small PVA bag and casting to these showing fish. After several weeks of fishing pretty much at my feet, it was nice to exercise the old casting muscles. The rod went off soon after casting but unfortunately, the fish managed to shed the hook. Out went a fresh hookbait and once again the rod was away. This time the fish made it into the net, a beautiful small mirror. By then it was time to head to work and I dragged my damp self back up the slope and to my car, feeling pretty good. I’d been looking for an “easier” water to escape to when things got hard and I think I found it. Ok maybe I don’t mean “easy” cause let’s face it, I’m no Kevin Maddocks, but at least I know there is a high density of fish there which definitely lowers the mental energy requirement.

A homebrewed mix of supermarket hemp oil + chick starter + fish pellets + crushed hemp

Two days later I was back, this time I would only fish the sandbar with small PVA bags. Once again the dark hours of the morning passed without incident before the fish began showing themselves. I quickly repositioned my rods into their general vicinity. For one reason or another, I felt the urge to fish a popup on one rod, something I rarely do and this happened to be first rod to go. As I played this fish, the second rod, a tigernut + white corn combo, was away. I did my best to play both fish but eventually the second one got snagged up and I put the rod back in the alarm incase it decided to come out. Once the first fish was in the net, I revisited the second rod, which resulted in me having to pull for a break. Incidentally, the first fish decided to swim out of a new hole in my net and cut it self loose on a rock near the margin. After that fiasco, I patched my net with some monofilament line that had been littered on the bank. For grins I decided to fish one rod to the sandbar and one rod to the right of the sandbar, closer in. Believe it or not both rods went off again! I thought I was doing a much better job this time that is until one of the fish found its way into a snag. I put the rod back in the alarm and focused on playing the first fish. What a circus! Luckily these were only small carp; I can’t imagine having to deal with two twenties. Despite loosing fish and rigs, it was really good fun and just what I needed to overcome a few long weeks. By the way, these captures mark the 11th location (if not more) I’ve caught from this year. Kinda nuts, considering just a few years ago I had no clue where to begin!

This week I am back at the weedy water though not for long. I plan on moving to a more productive location to take full advantage of the fall.

Till next time! Adios!