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The Ups And Downs Of A Thames Carper - Part 6

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Last Updated: 9th January 2014

Six days at work followed that action-packed session and they must have been the slowest days of my life as all I could think about was getting back out with the rods. I had made two, after-work trips to bait up and by the time I cold get back out I was really fired up. I was convinced that it was going to go off and a few bites were on the cards, but after two nights sat there for one bream, clearly the fish had other ideas.

I just had to keep the bait going in though, Solar’s trusty Club & Cream dumbells, as I knew the fish would not have gone far. The weed was nearly all gone and the natural food would soon not be as prolific as it had been all summer, autumn and early winter.
Friday the 13th was my next trip and after loading up the boat and going for a little social with a friend I didn’t get set up untill 11pm. There were a lot of shooting stars that night every time I looked up another one was flying across the cold, clear sky. With the rods out I was soon sparked out in bed dreaming of monster Thames mirrors.

Getting out the bag the following morning was an effort due to the harsh frost, but I was up and about early getting packed away to go and spend a few hours at home with the family until I could get back out in the afternoon.

By 3pm I had said my goodbyes to the Mrs and my daughter and was soon steering the boat towards the winter spot for another night. Hoping that the fish were going to be about, I quickly got the boat sorted as darkness was setting in fast and by 4:30pm it was darker than a witch’s hat. This spot seems to attract an array of wildlife and soon after dark I was joined by an owl in the woods behind me and the blood curdling screams in the distance of a mink making a kill made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. No matter how many times I hear that noise it still scares the life out of me when its victim lets out its last scream.

A noisy night with the wildlife, but not with the fish, and by 2am I was ready for bed, but the animals of the night had other ideas and it was gone 4am by the time I nodded off. I was woken hour or so later by a typical bream bite, the bobbin had pulled up tight and dropped back and then pulled up tight again. Cursing my luck I slipped out the warm bag and turned the buzzer off before picking up the rod and winching the fish back towards the boat. It felt heavy but was not putting up much resistance so I just kept winding until it was alongside the boat. As I bent down to unhook what I thought was a bream I got a pleasant surprise. As the fish popped up in the beam of the head torch I saw that it was a in fact a carp. Hurriedly grabbing the net I bundled the carp into the folds of the mesh before it realized what was going on. I left the fish in the net, safely off the side of the boat for an hour while I sorted the rod and found somewhere to do the pictures. It was getting light and to have taken the shots off the boat, or with certain parts of the background in view would have given too many clues as to where I was catching them from.

At 19lb 8oz I was surprised that it had given such a small account for its self, but at least it was another one on the score sheet. Winter was turning out to be better than the summer had been and I was really looking forward to the Christmas period that was fast approaching. Knowing I had some time off work I would be able to get out and hopefully keep this run going. Unfortunately the river had other ideas and on my last trip out on the 21st December the rain came, I got soaked setting up and blanked.

The rain kept coming and coming down until the river burst its banks on the 23rd and made it too unsafe to be out gallivanting in the boat after dark. Over the Christmas period I have hung the carp rods up until the river calms down and is safe to be afloat again. At the moment though, it does not look like it’s going to settle any time soon! As I sit and put the finishing touches on the piece we have had yet more rain all day, so it’s going to be at least a week or even two before the water is back within its banks and that is only if we don’t get any more rain.

Looking at the long range weather January could well be a write-off, but at least it will give me a chance to get the odd jobs done at home and once the river is safe I'll be able to hit it hard for the last few months of the season. 

Until next time - be lucky, it only takes one bite to renew your confidence!


Follow in Ben's footsteps and benefit from the awesome catching power of the Club & Cream bait range. Order yours today via Solar's official online shop - CLICK HERE to visit.


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