Life can be cruel. One minute you are the happiest you have been, the next it all comes crashing down. What I didnt expect was kindness to come from it all, and which I may never have otherwise experienced, and how humbling and astonishing that has been. I always try to treat people in the way I too would wish to be treated myself, but never expect anything in return.
So when an old friend, one of the good guys, invited me on an all expenses paid weeks fishing holiday I was blown away, totally astonished and it restored some of my faith in humanity. It may not happen in the end but the thought was there.
And then there was my brother, too many wasted years when we didnt communicate but we both pursued the hobby which bound us as kids, whilst on our separate paths.
Many years later and now we fish together again sometimes and I am genuinely as pleased to see him catch as to catch myself, as it was taking young Kal fishing until his tragic unnecessary passing.
As a birthday treat for me we met up at an open access commercial lake for a bit of carping and a social. For me a bit of healing time also.
What I didnt expect was to beat species personal bests 3 times within a couple of days. But not with the target carp
In truth I thought it was a tricky time, didnt expect much. The fish had started to spawn in at least one of the lakes so we may be wasting our time. Still it would be good to catch up.
As it happens the weather had turned a little cooler, which had switched off the spawning urge for a while. But that doesnt always mean they will feed. Often they are well fed before hand, disinterested until it warms again and they can get spawning over. And if you do catch its often the smaller males.
Initially they were charging around the margins ready to spawn, but as it cooled, within 12 hours they moved out and some dropped down to feed i hoped.
What I didnt expect was within 48 hours for us both to get a number of chances. Not easy lakes with horrendous marginal snags and weed issues, recently tackled with treatment leaving a dull blue hue in the otherwise crystal clear water.
Find your fish is always the number one factor in swim choice. Dave arrived early and already found them.
This time I wasnt hard to work out where to fish as there were frequent shows from leaping fish.
On busy lakes I was aware these were probably spots vacated recently by a previous angler. They were almost certainly on their bait. The worst thing to do then is spomb out even more right on their heads…a mistake I see others making time and time again from those watching too many Youtube videos.
We didn’t think they would be feeding hard either. A cool northerly and uneaten bait not ideal to begin with. So we both fed very light but precisely. Dave using his baiting pole next to margin snags.
For me it was a little easier, rolling fish told me where I needed to be. No leading around needed. Besides I had fished the swim before.
So it was just crumbed boilie and mixed pellet in a bag to the spots, landing with a nice crack on the bottom they had cleared of weed.
I was expecting it to be hard and that I would have to find and stalk the odd feeding fish in the margins.
How wrong I was. The runs from carp when they came were screamers. Little Vortex 3 section molecule flavoured grubs the hookbait.
For 24 hours the cool wind pushed to my area giving me chances, then switched 180 degrees, seeing the carp slowly drift away to the other side. But this gave the opportunity for bream and tench to move in.
Thats where Delks are so useful. Screamers were replaced by a series of line lifts and twitches which I doubt would register on most other alarms. And you have to hit anything persistent or positive when you are on barbless hooks if you want to catch them.
My first take came early after a fishless night, the near margin rod. Unfortunately the lead release caused the fish to lift too much. It was on for ages but had threaded itself over branches just under the surface. After a while the pulling stopped, I fought through the branches to see the barbless hook neatly impaled on a thin branch in the margin, inches under the surface…how do they do that?
Time for a rethink.
Brothers swim was even worse for snags but after that we managed to pull those reaching deepest down up and out of the way for the duration of the stay… thankfully because that very spot produced nearly all of his takes.
I needn’t have worried though. The cool weather meant that the fish were more active in the middle of the day and the evening once the sun warmed the water up. Not the feed times you normally expect, but it happens in spring.
Anyway in the next 48 hours my spots produced carp in broad daylight, with just one run in the middle of the night.
Dave had mixed fortunes losing a couple to the snags, another to a hook pull, which happens when you try to bully them clear.
But he ended with a couple of nice fish landed in great condition.