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Tales From Across The Pond

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Last Updated: 23rd March 2016

It’s difficult for me to pinpoint when a year begins and ends with my angling and to be honest I wasn’t entirely sure if last year was a good year for me. However, with a few moments reflection it became apparent that it was in fact a remarkable year that will take a lot for me to surpass in the coming months; many goals were set, and a few of them became reality.

It’s a real luxury being able to sit back and write reflectively over past sessions, partly because you are able to overlook the blanks, discomfort, doubt, and large sums of money it took for the year to transpire into a positive season overall. You can reflect on the successes and the failures and with a bit of thought, put it to good use in improving the coming year.

Let me begin with my local pursuits. Mirror madness had gotten to me and my ultimate goal was to get a 30lb+ mirror, but after seeing a good friend land a 40lb+ mirror I knew that the bar had been set very high. During these sessions I was able to bank a very colorful 30lb common that appeared to have a bit of koi in it, but maybe it’s just safer to say it was a large, colorful common. On this same session I was also fortunate enough to net respected angler, Josef Raguro’s PB common. I consider myself lucky to be able to fish with a great, but small group of innovative anglers who throw around rig, bait and tactical ideas. With that in mind, in transpired that 2015 was quickly turning into the year of the balanced hook baits, with wafters, balanced pop-ups and snowman setups out fishing other presentation most of the time. Interestingly, even early on in the year, it seemed that more fish were falling to single hook baits than those coupled with a small PVA bag or stick.

The colder than normal Texas winter had me wishing for warmer months full of fire ants, alligators, melanoma-bright sunshine, and the sleepless night that come hand-in-hand with these things. As soon as spring came I was in allergy hell, producing enough snot and fluids that if it could be used as a bait or glug I would have been set. On one particularly miserable spring morning I banked a lovely, robust mid 30lb common, which made it all worthwhile. Typically, I’d stick around a bit afterwards, but due to the allergies I headed straight home after the capture and slept a crazy 16 hours.

Instead of submitting to the elements of weather that make Texas such a great state (Sarcasm) I decided to travel north to Idaho during the summer. I did manage to ‘scrape’ out a Texas mid 30lb mirror, which I was of course thrilled with and ticked that one of the year’s ‘to-do’ list, but all the while pictures of large mirrors being caught from other states saw me leave the 100+°F heat for 11 days to enjoy what has been my best session to date. For those that are unfamiliar with Texas carping, commons largely dominate the waters, with mirrors being much fewer and therefore harder to target, hence the reason I long for big mirrors.

We fished 3 different waters in Idaho and had over 100 fish ranging from doubles right up to just short of 50lb! I cannot recall the exact number of fish we caught below 30lb; but I know that at least 5 thirties were caught as well as two forties. Somehow results like this take a while sink in and to be able to bask in what a great session this was. The night that the large mirror was caught was no different to other nights and neither was the fight, a typical weed-clogged line with a lot of weight attached. The fish did not give off any suggestions it was particularly large due to amassing itself in dense weed and, if I would have known exactly what was on the end as I was playing it then I’m sure I would have eased it in a bit more carefully.

The girth of the fish was the first immediate giveaway that it was a great deal larger than the previous catches, as well as when the weeds were removed from its tail to see its overall consistently fat length. Instead of yelling in elation or giving a high five I just weighed the fish and sacked it for a short while as we prepared the necessary weighing gear, cameras etc. Due to the lack of reception on that lake my catch reports weren’t getting through to friends and family. Above all I wanted to share this special moment, but that would have to wait until I got home from the 21-hour drive (which I did without stopping for the night or sleeping). Once again I slept for 16 hours or more by the time I got back.

I do not claim to be a clairvoyant so I do not have any predictions for 2016, I will say though that I do have some special target fish in mind. I will not mention what they are though so that if I fail I can save face! That said, despite 2 blank trips so far in 2016, I have already enjoyed one real haul, an incredible session that I will share with you all in the coming weeks.

Tight lines, and until next time.