Though the aquafers and underground streams needed filling up, I think we have had our quota for several months now!!!
With the wet weather we have had very mild conditions, with South Westerly winds and, for this time of year, high temperatures. This has been great for carp fishing, but not much good for anything else to be honest. A lot of lakes have been flooded and unfishable, most rivers in my area have also been unfishable and have been several fields wider than they are meant to be.
With coaching I have to be very aware of safety on the bank, and with the current conditions it has been a bit of a nightmare trying to find venues that are suitable. Because of this I have been very limited to where I could go, so having found a venue where the banks were ok and access was good, I have stuck to that for the month.
Soooooo, carp fishing has been the main thing this month. At this time of year it can be hard to get a bite at times, the venue we have been going to is a prolific winter venue with plenty of fish to have a crack at. All we had to do was find where the fish wanted to be and it would be simple……..apparently!!
I took a group of students to the venue and we went about setting up the gear. We had a south westerly wind blowing up the lake towards us into a shallow area with an island in front of us. This looked bang on for a few fish.
One of the students cast to the right of the island into 5 feet of water, 10mm pop up Amber Strawberry on the back of a size 10 Fang X. Within 3 minutes his indicator started to lift and the first fish of the day was commencing battle.
Luck was dealing us a false hope, 2 more takes in quick succession, both coming off in the fight, and that was it. All the lads worked hard, we made a few rig alterations, changed baits or size of bait, cast into likely spots. We tried zig rigs with bugs, 10mm and 15mm pop ups….all to no avail. It was like someone had turned the electricity off.
No one else was catching either, so it wasn’t just us that were suffering. A change of location was required so we could try to find the elusive fish.
I left the teacher and 3 lads there and took another lad for a walk around to see if we could find any signs. Walking out onto the island, we took a look in a very snaggy area that can only be accessed from the back of the island and we could see signs of activity.
We shot back and collected his rod, some bait, net, mat and bank sticks and went back to the spot. Firing out a handful of 10mm baits and a careful cast tight to the trees, it took about 6 minutes and the indicator slammed into the rod butt. Game on.
There seemed to be a shoal of small carp sat there sheltering from the conditions, mainly fish in the 3-6lb bracket with the odd double thrown in for good measure and to keep the lads happy. In 30 minutes he had landed 4 fish, so he went back to the teacher and the next student came over.
All the larger fish came from the margins, not that this lake has any lumps in it, but larger specimens for this venue.
From open water the average fish was around 5lb, ranging from 3lb to 8lb. Occasionally a larger fish would get caught, but the norm was 5lbish. From the margins the average fish caught was 15lb with only 2 being under 10lb, and fish up to 17lb being caught.
We sat there one day in fairly good conditions, next to a reed bed with a steep drop off. Baiting up 3 areas I thought we had a great chance of catching a few fish, 4 hours later I wondered if I had forgotten to put hooks on as we hadn’t had a touch. Just as we were about to give up, the rod tip rattled, then rattled again, then pulled round. The rod pulled round even more when the student struck and I thought he might be into one of the large perch that inhabit this venue, it has done plenty of 3 and 4lb Perch in recent times. But this wasn’t a Perch, it was a Bream that decided to give a good account of itself on the light tackle. Our only fish of the day!
Not the best start to a new year. Let’s see what February holds.