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Wesley Lagaert's Carp Diary - July 2012

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Last Updated: 8th August 2012

I came back from Rainbow Lake and was a bit disappointed about the result, but it was time to get my fishing hat on once more. I dearly wanted to go with Alain to do some sessions on Duck Lake, but I couldn’t.  I still had quite a bit of work to do around the house and I wanted to finish that first.

The best part is, that while working I am still able to have my rods in the lake as I live right alongside it. As we had quite a bit off bait left from the Rainbow trip, I baited for two days in advance before the session started on Friday evening. While setting up I was wondering what had happened to our summer. The weather we have been faced with is more like autumn than summer, with plenty of rain and really strong southwesterly winds. It is carpy weather, but honestly I do like a bit off sun too! 

The Friday night passed without event, but at 6am on the Saturday I received my first take, which resulted in a rather strange 20lb common. Although its tail was somewhat deformed, he still managed to give me a good scrap. Soon after repositioning the rod it flew off again and a stockie mirror was the culprit. I baited with a few more spombsful of boilies, but everything stayed quite until noon when my right hand rod, placed away from the baited area, received a belting take.

It took me quite some time to get control over the fish, but eventually I could gain enough line and direct him into the margin. The carp stayed deep and tried to weed me up every time he dived to the bottom. A quick view of one of his flanks showed me that it was a common, but not a really big one. Luckily I was the winner of this particular battle, but even when he was in the folds of the net he still went ballistic. The stunning common went on the unhooking mat and I couldn’t identify him. I phoned my good mate Dirk to do the honours with the camera, which he did, but he also make out which fish it was. It had a distinctive yellow spot at his mouth and weighed 32lb. We concluded that it was an ‘unknown’ common and I was well happy!

With a good result under my belt and nothing mch happening on Saturday I was soon rebaiting the rods and casting them to the horizon. Those that have read my previous writings might be wondering why I always seem to fish at long distance and never in the margins.  Well, let me explain; A good 200m to my right is another swim which gets fished a lot. This swim has some very nice features both in the margins and at distance, but it many of the anglers, although not all off them, like to cast in front off ‘my’ swim from the one next door. I don’t know why, but there must be something they feel attracted to casting at.

That’s the main reason why I do not fish close in on this particular lake, because I do not want to be baiting up for someone else. The only way I bait up is at long range so that no one from the nearby swims can reach my spots. Sounds quite selfish doesn’t it!

Saturday night passed exactly as previous one, with nothing happening again until 6am, when two rods rattled off at the same time. I still don’t know how I did it, but at the frustrating end I still managed to land both.  A small common was immediately put back and then a 26lb mirror was photographed and returned to his watery home.

Later that day, just before noon, I managed another small common, which saw the end to quite a productive weekend. Over the weekend I spoke a few times with my mate Alain and he too had had a big success at the Duck Lake with several nice fish under his belt. Unfortunately, I was again unable to go fishing with Alain over the next two weeks. As ‘spoilt’ as it sounds, I often enjoy fishing at other lakes more than fishing ‘at home’, but the lake alongside my house is simply a great alternative.

The following week was a really busy one with appointments, work commitments and a few outings too.  With the weather still being awful I wasn’t even able to bait up, so on Friday evening an instant session was on the cards.

My four, trusted Free Spirit Hi’S’ rods were carefully placed with two rigs on top of the plateau and one on each side of it as it drops down into in deeper water. It was quite tricky to reach the spots this time, but in the end I was well happy with the line-up. With most of last week’s carp coming from deeper water I was surprised as I soon found out that now the shallow plateau was the place to be.

Part of carp angling is ‘stealing’ information with your eyes, and from what I’d seen maybe 80% of anglers fishing at the lake were using snowman setups. Well, I also like to use them, especially early in the year or during winter, but when the fish are ‘having it’ I don’t feel the need. What I do instead is using a sinking boilie and top it with a Solar Everlasting Hook Bait in 6mm or 8mm just to add that extra bit off visual attraction. By the time darkness fell the rod in the shallowest  water signaled a take. After a long and hard battle a big common surfaced, which I recognised immediately as The Pirate. This common is not easy to catch, although this was its second capture in a month. Another mate, Benjamin, had the same carp just a few weeks earlier at 45lb, so I was expecting it to be around 44lb mark. The needle on the Reuben Heatons stopped at just under 44lb (19.8kg) and I was well happy.

After that, I did not bait up anymore as I was honestly expecting more carp to follow that night. No more carp came my way, but many bream kept me busy and wide awake all night. Pretty convinced that the carp had moved through the massive bream attack I finally managed another take, which resulted in a 32lb original mirror at noon the next day.

I baited the swim a few times throughout the following week with only 24mm boilies in the hope that the bream would be looking for food elsewhere. Friday finally arrived once again and I found myself driving straight home after work and sorting the fishing tackle out. The usual spots were being attacked, baited with 3kg of 24mm and 1kg off 20mm freebies. Just after dark I had already received my first pick up, resulting in a scale-perfect common known as The Snep Common. It’s the first time it’s been out this year and at 42lb, was a very welcome start to the session. After recasting the rod and baiting up a bit it was time to relax and have a fresh beer looking out over the lake. I heard a few fish jump out and I just knew that it wouldn’t take long before another take would occur. Not even an hour later that same rod went off again resulting in a 20lb mirror, which was released immediately. Still well awake I was enjoying myself in the calm and quietness of the night.  Before I knew it, it was already 2am and about time to return to my bedchair. While falling asleep though a carp had other ideas and made me come out off bed once again. It was already my third take in just a few hours, so it was obvious that the fish were feeding well. After hooking the carp it immediately swam towards me, so I was expecting a small one to surface. Once in the margins, and after a bit off a tussle, the carp eventually went in the net first time. When I shone my torch on the fish I was happily to see a mirror that I dearly wanted to catch. Not the biggest at just 27lb, but the immense, scale pattern made it just perfect. With the rod back out, the Spomb rod and Spomb did some overtime and then I headed back to bed.

Early morning and still half asleep I found myself standing by the lake side with a bend rod in my hand. I was thinking to myself that this is going pretty well, when my other rod also signals a take. Oh boy, I set the hook on the other rod and flicked on the Baitrunner.  Then I started playing the first one pretty hard, as I knew the 101s hooks could take a lot of strain. With the first fish in the net it was time to concentrate on the other rod.  The carp had weeded me up, but luckily, after a while, the weed gave way and without any further problems this one was also netted. In each net lay a 20lb mirror… Good morning Belgium!!

Rods back out again and already three of my four rods had produced carp. The one placed away from the baited area in the deeper water hadn’t even registered a single bleep.

The weather changed in a few minutes from flat calm to windy and lots off rain. Just as it started raining, I got a take on the forth rod with line leaving the spool at an incredible rate. While picking up the rod and feeling the power of the carp taking line I just knew this had to be a good one. Playing it gently, a big mirror finally surfaced and I instantly recognized the distinctive, big scale on one off its flanks. “Single Scale,” I told to myself and started laughing. What a night, six bites and two of the lake’s known big carp. Single Scale finally went in the net and Dirk was called upon yet again for the much-needed assistance in taking the pictures. She was weighed in at 48lb+ and respectfully put back in the lake.  Although two of the captures were repeats for me, I was over the moon with a result like this. Dirk and I drank a few beers and when he left I reeled in my rods and kept smiling all day.

As it turned out, I only did one more night’s fishing in July, using just two rods, but nothing happened. As the sun came out and we received a good amount of really hot days the fishing completely switched off. With this in mind, I’ll probably leave the swim a bit to rest and I’ll work on my sun tan!

Wesley Lagaert