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Ian Merriott's Carp Diary - June 2015

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Last Updated: 1st July 2015

After the set back of having all my fishing equipment stolen, it has taken me long time to get my mojo back. I would like to say a massive thank you to all my friends that have leant me various bits and pieces to get me back on the bank so soon. Now, lets get on with my monthly installment.

With my work situation changing I found myself with less time to fish, but more time to prep. I chose to fish a local club water so that I could maximize my time on the bank, which was now one, maybe two, nights a week between 5pm and 6.30am. The lake in question is about three acres in size, has a small island, a couple of snaggy bays and an area of open water. The lake is crystal clear and very weedy and the stock is somewhere between 40-50 fish, of which about twenty of these are original Leney strain carp.

I initially spent a lot of time walking the lake, learning the carps’ patrol routes and identifying possible feeding areas. I decided to start introducing some bait into an area in the middle of the lake. I found a couple of clear patches in the weed and baited these with about 2kg of Candy Floss boilies every other day for a week before fishing. The areas were becoming noticeably cleaner by the day, so it was working!

Unfortunately I was only able to catch a string of tench over the next couple of weeks. During this time the weed was becoming more prevalent in an area in front of a swim called Kingfisher. I switched my attention to this area and again started to introduce some bait as close to the weed as possible, and along the margin to the left of the swim. After a week of baiting I was again sitting behind my rods full of expectation.. well, they were actually Ashley's rods that I had ‘on loan’. After a couple of tench in the early evening the rods were repositioned in anticipation of the possible night action ahead.

At 1:20am the right hand rod pulled up tight. As I lifted into the fish it bolted into a weed bed to my right. After careful persuasion the fish came free and following a spirited fight a mid-double common lay in the folds of my net and my duck was broken on this little venue. This was the last action until the morning when another tench ‘hung’ itself. I baited with another 2kg of Candy Floss boilies spread over the two spots before leaving for work.

I was back in the same swim two days later for a ‘bonus night’, as I’d managed to sneak an extra night on the bank midweek. Both rods were in position early with a scattering of 30 -40 baits around each… all 14mm Candy Floss. There was loads of bubbling over both spots well into dark, as I watched the bubbles continue in the moonlight. I was coiled like a spring, but the take didn’t come and eventually I surcomed to the lure of the sleeping bag. At 2.45am it finally happened and one of the rods burst into life as another common of 17lb was bundled into the net along with a big ball of weed. Three tench were caught between 5am and 6am before I reeled in and headed for work once more.

Over the next couple of weeks the fish started to spend more and more time in the upper layers and a few chances stated to present themselves on the surface. Shortly after the fish spawned though, and that was that.

After the hectic spawning, which happened over a weekend, I couldn’t get back down to the lake until the Thursday. With just a few hours at my disposal I took minimal gear and spent two hours stalking.  Using a trimmed down, white, 4th Rod Special Top Banana pop-up I managed to land my first mirror.

Free lining the hook bait into the weed with a PVA bag of mixers to get the short distance required, and also to avoid the attention of the geese, moorhens, coots and sea gulls that were constantly on the prowl for a free meal, a mirror that was basking in the sun among the weed quickly showed interest in the baits and soon singled out the hook bait.

The following evening again saw me employing the same approach, and again managing to hook what was clearly a better fish. After a very spirited fight, all on the surface which created plenty of disturbance, and a couple of heart-stopping moments under the rod tip, she was eventually mine. As the fish slid into the net I recognized it almost immediately. It’s a fully scaled called the Bionic Fully, and it weighed a touch over 21lb, well down in weight as it was spawned out. I was blown away by the stunning colouration and scale pattern of the fish. All memories of my tackle being stolen faded into the distance as this awesome fish powered away back into the lake no worse for her ordeal.

Until next month, be lucky.

Ian Merriott



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