Sunday, 30 March 2008

Carp Fishing - Spring Carping Continued

Spring Carp Fishing

After last weeks 2 day blank I was in no hurry to return to the Cheshire carp lake, it was bank holiday weekend, everybody was off work and to make matters worse the weather was truly awful. I can’t remember the last time we had snow at Easter!. The weather remained cold until mid-week, as I was off work I could afford to pick my days and when the weather forecasters gave milder conditions with wind and rain from Wednesday onwards, I made the decision to go carp fishing on Wednesday morning for a few nights, if nothing else at least I’d be a bit more comfortable.
I was back to the Cheshire carp lake by 9.30am on Wednesday morning, I must have been keen because I’m never normally awake at that time let alone packed and at the lake!. I’d arrived early to try and secure a good swim. It was raining persistently and things didn’t look too good, the best pegs were all occupied and the last of the decent pegs had just been taken by an angler who arrived 5 minutes before I did, so much for getting there early!. I wandered round both lakes in my waterproofs looking for signs of carp but I couldn’t see any, I had time on my side though so I went to have a chat with the guy who was occupying the hot swim on the main lake, known as little point. As luck would have it, straight away he mentioned he was leaving within an hour or two so I hung around like a bad smell waiting to take possession of the peg. Eventually, I managed to get the swim and I pitched my old rod hutchinson 2-man apothesis bivvy and went to get the rest of my fishing gear.

I carry quite a bit of fishing gear when I’m doing a few nights on the bank and it took me a while to get myself sorted out. The carp porter helped and by mid afternoon I was settled in with all 3 rods cast out. The fishing from little point is mostly long range casting with single baits aimed towards the far bank holding area, the far bank is out of bounds and the carp know where to go to hide. I had to wait until the wind died down before I put on my daiwa thigh waders and waded out to make my cast. In this swim, its such a distance to the far bank that any extra yards you can gain you do so. With no wind I dropped two single popup rigs at extreme range. It took me a few goes to get the timing of my casts right but when it finally clicked, my single baits flew out and seemed to hang in the air for ages before my 4oz leads finally hit the water on the far side with a loud ’thud’, both single popups where fished at ranges around 130-140 yards. Despite my best efforts these hookbaits were still short of the far bank, which, at its shortest point was 156yds!. The third rod was a bottom bait rig fished at 50yds range over 50 freebies that were scattered with a throwing stick, this was an area I’d seen carp on previous trips.

Bivvy life, my jrc stealth bedchair and trakker peachskin sleeping bag set up inside my trusty old hutchy two man apothesis.

With everything sorted out I settled down to bivvy life, everything seems to go in slow motion when bivvy fishing, I watched the coots diving for food, the grebes fishing and the geese fighting as usual. I always keep an eye on the birdlife whilst watching the water, sometimes their behaviour can give vital clues as to where the carp are and one of the geese on the far bank freezing and backing off hinted that a large carp or two might be over there, unfortunately, this was going on tight to the far bank and beyond my casting range!.

Nothing happened first night and the second day was spent bivvy bound due to persistent rain. Sat in the bivvy, I couldn’t help but feel that this was no way to spend a week off work!. I recast my baits late on the second day when the wind dropped again but I couldn’t improve on the distance I was already fishing at. Thursday night was wet and windy, I didn’t sleep very well and again I had no action. I wanted to go home on Friday morning but it was still raining, I’d have cut the session short and cleared off if it hadn’t been for that rain. By time it had gone off and my gear was dry enough to pack away, I only had about 15 hours of my session left anyway. I opted to stay on the lake and do the last night even though I didn’t feel I was enjoying it.
I still couldn’t improve on the range I was fishing at, those carp certainly knew how to make life difficult for the carp anglers trying to catch them!. Unlike the previous two nights, Friday night actually turned out to be a really dark night, I’d been staring up at the stars the previous few nights but this time the sky was grey and cloudy but without rain. I sort of sensed that this was probably the best chance of some action and I drifted off to sleep to dream about big north west carp whilst listening to Friday nights ‘school days’ on century fm.

It was 3am in the morning when my middle delkim suddenly burst into life, it was one of the long range rods fished as a single popup, the spool was ticking away nicely as I ripped open the crash zip on my sleeping bag. I was straight into my trainers and onto the rod as quickly as I could, as I struck the rod arched over and I finally had a carp on!. You can’t really tell how big a fish is when you hook it at long range, I didn’t pile the pressure on the fish, I just kept it steady and kept gaining line until the carp surfaced about 30yds out. By the sound the fish made it wasn’t very big, you can usually tell how big a carp is by how deep the sound it makes when it splashes on the surface and this one sounded and felt quite small. The carp kept coming in, I had a minor problem playing knit one, pearl one with my other lines but eventually I slipped the landing net under my first carp since new years day.

First carp of my spring fishing campaign, a 14lb common.

I got to work weighing and photographing the fish, it was a nicely proportioned common that weighed in at 14lb. Not a big fish but at least it got me off the mark as far as my spring carp fishing was concerned. With the photography all finished I released the fish and got on with the job of sorting out my rods. The popup, and the heavy metal putty holding it down were both still in place so I just cast the rig back out to the same area, reset my monkey climber then hung my unhooking mat up in the nearest tree to dry.

Fox Anti Tangle Sleeves, worth a look for the long range carp angler.

The lead arrangement I’m using for my long range carping is the helicopter rig, the hook arrangement is exactly the same as my standard rig which can be seen here. The only change I’ve made to the standard fox international helicopter rig is the addition of a fox anti tangle sleeve, these little sleeves offer superb anti tangle properties and I think they are well worth a mention here as they definitely help the long range caster avoid tangles, specially when using braided hooklengths like kryston silkworm as I do. Next time I’m out I’ll remember to take a picture of my standard helicopter rig for inclusion on here.

The last few hours of my session passed by slowly, with one carp in the bag I was hoping for another but as usual it didn’t come. By 8.30am I’d already started packing up, daytime fishing on this particular Cheshire carp water is slow to say the least and with more rain forecast for later in the day, I packed up early and left for home before I got another soaking!.

Tight Lines

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Carp Fishing - Spring Carping Begins

Before I begin this weeks entry, and for those of you looking here for the first time, I put together a small You Tube compilation of all the carp fishing pictures that are present on the site up until the beginning of march 2008. Feel free to have a look at it and if you see anything that catches your eye, you can browse this blog for the relevant text by using the ‘Blog Archive’ section that’s located on the right hand side towards the top of the page. You can browse previous entries and find information by using the drop down menus for each year and looking through the entries for each month. I’m sure there will be something of interest within these pages, specially if you’re a carp angler.

Anglers Diary, a compilation of the carp fishing photographs on this blog so far.

Well after an enforced absence from the bank I finished work for two weeks annual leave and finally managed to get out carp fishing. The lake I fished was a tricky Cheshire carp water that has some half decent fish in.
I arrived at my Cheshire carp lake just after dinner on Tuesday. This particular carp water is quite peggy and the swim I really wanted to fish, known as little point, was occupied. The next best swim was the main point which just happened to be free, the main point was also the scene of a red letter days piece I published a few weeks ago.
It had been a while since I’d last fished this swim but I knew where I needed to be, single hookbaits at extreme range was the order of the day and I’d taken my daiwa infinty x carp rods along ’just in case’. I pitched the bivvy during Tuesday afternoon and began sorting the rods out. I’m a short session carp angler and it had been nearly a year since my last full 2 day carp session. I really should have prepared myself a lot better for this fishing trip but due to work commitments I'd just grabbed my fishing gear and gone. I felt a bit rusty having not actually fished since new years day and it showed too.
After one short cast to get my line wet I went straight for the big chuck to where I thought the carp would be, I obviously hadn’t wet my spools enough as the first cast birds nested and fell short. Typical, I wouldn’t mind but my timing was spot on and the bait and rig where flying until everything went pear shaped. The knot the birds nest made in my line was massive so I opted to get the rig back in then sort the other rod out so I was at least fishing with one rod. Again after a short chuck to wet the line I wound up the second rod only to crack off!. This was turning into a disaster as it was beginning to get dark, I had no choice but to put my long range rods away and just fish as far over as I could with my usual rods. I ended up fishing at 90 yards range over bait, my boilies were 20mm so I was able to reach my shortened casting range with the use of my king cobra throwing stick. I scattered 100 baits around the general area and settled down to my first night in a long time.

I’d like to say I caught but I spent two days sitting behind motionless indicators. I thought I’d at least see a carp roll but nothing happened. The days were bright and sunny and the wind was a particularly cold northerly that blew the whole time I was there. The nights were very bright, a nearly full moon beamed down on the lake both nights and I just knew I was up against it. I left sorting the infinity carp rods, opting instead to carry on fishing over bait. I wanted fresh line on my spools for the next trip and with hindsight, I should have dealt with this before I even went fishing rather than just ‘making do’.

After two nights fishing I abandoned the session as a dead loss and packed away. Funnily enough the guy who was fishing the peg I really wanted to be in was the only guy who caught a carp. In the early hours of Thursday morning he banked one of the lakes most sought after fish, the big common at a low but respectable 32lb plus. I’m always happy when a fellow angler catches a decent sized carp and a north west 30lb common is a superb fish, I can’t help wishing I’d got that swim though!.
I pulled off the lake Thursday morning before the bank holiday weekend anglers arrived for their easter fishing. As I’m off work for two weeks I’ll be going back late on bank holiday Monday for another crack at this particular north west carp lake.
After not fishing for so long I was really glad to be out for a session again, hopefully next time I’ll get on some carp and sneak one out. The time is certainly right, I know its March but the days are getting longer and the carp are beginning to move around more as the temperatures slowly rise, it won’t be long before the t-shirt weather is here again and I’m looking forward to some spring carp fishing and finally getting a bend in my rod again.

Tight Lines

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Carp Fishing - Red Letter Days Pt3

Burton Mere - The Capture of the Fat Common

I first started carp fishing in June 1989 on some local ponds and pits, it wasn’t long before other anglers were telling me to get myself down to Burton Mere if I wanted to catch big carp. Every week I went fishing I kept getting told the same story and within a couple of months of converting from pleasure angler to carp angler I’d paid my first visit to what local anglers thought of as Wirral’s top carp venue.
My first session on Burton Mere was a story in itself, suffice to say the place caught my attention and during the rest of the 1989 season and the early 90’s up until 1994 I honed my skills as a carp angler and got myself a solid grounding in the basics of fishing for carp.

The syndicate carp lake known as Burton Mere was a lovely water, at the time, it held around 200 doubles with around 8 x 20’s up to 24lb but it was de-stocked for the 1993 season with most of the small fish being removed and around 30 of the biggest carp being left in there, a few more stockies were added and amongst these fish was a chunky fish that was affectionately known as ‘the fat common’.

Now the fat common was not a normal fish, it swam round most days with the top lobe of its tail poking out of the water. The fat common certainly made locating carp easy, this fish was rarely alone but due to the fact that he swam round on the surface regardless of the weather conditions he was always the first carp to be spotted on a trip around the lake. Most of the carp syndicate thought this particular carp had a problem with it’s swim bladder, I’m not sure what was wrong with the fish myself but it did appear to exhibit some strange behaviour on a daily basis!.
Despite the fat common being visible day after day, it actually turned out to be ‘the’ hardest carp to catch. For some unknown reason, this particular carp just didn’t acknowledge boilies as food!. Every carp in the lake came out to boilies in the first few weeks of the 1993 season except this one. By the time August came around this fish virtually had a price on its head, every day it would waddle round the lake with its tail out of the water refusing everything that was offered.

It was Tuesday 17th August 1993 when that finally changed, it was a hot day and I was bivvied up on a two day session at the time. Nothing was happening so I’d wound the rods in and taken a few bits and pieces to try some stalking up the far end of the lake. I’d done quite well stalking carp on Burton Mere and as I made my way up to the far corner of the lake the sight that greeted me suggested I might have a chance. Most of the carp in the lake were cruising round on the surface so I crept into position and fed them a single pouch of chum mixers.
The response from the carp was slow, at first they ignored the biscuits so I held off putting in any more and opted to wait and see if they’d respond. I’d gone fishing in a very loud and very bright aqua coloured t-shirt which wasn’t exactly the right sort of clothing for stalking carp, to counter act this I wore a black leather jacket to try and blend in more and make myself a bit less conspicuous!. I was roasting but I dare not move from my spot as the fish were literally just a few feet away from me.
Eventually, one of the mirrors nosed a chum mixer, it swam away, only to return a few minutes later with another two mirrors in tow, this time it ate the biscuit and over the next half an hour a few more chum mixers started getting taken. All the time this was going on the fat common was in the area but never once did it show any interest in taking a free chum mixer. Whilst watching the fish I’d decided to try a freelined mixer, the carp were happy to take a chum mixer close to the bank and I was up close and personal, so close I could flick them a freelined bait!.

The fat common came along the margins flanked by two slightly smaller mirrors, at a guess these fish were no more than two yards from the bank and I knew this was the chance I‘d been waiting for. I had a single chum mixer super glued to the back of a size 6 drennan super specialist hook which was tied directly to my 15lb big game line. There wasn’t exactly a lot of finesse in my floater setup but I was fishing next to a thick set of lily pads. I flicked the freelined hook bait out well in front of the 3 fish as they slowly made their way along the margins towards me, the fat common might not be interested in a chum mixer but I’d have been happy with either of the mirrors as surface captures on the syndicate lake weren’t that common!.
My heart was in my mouth as the 3 carp approached the hook bait, I’d put my chum mixer in exactly the right place and as the fish approached the bait, the fat common was right on course to intercept my floater. I gripped the rod as it slowly waddled up to the chum mixer, for a split second I actually thought it was going to take it but at the very last second it’s mouth lowered slightly in the water and it swam straight underneath my hook bait!.

Damn it, that must have been the closest any angler on the syndicate had got to getting a hook in the fat commons mouth, so near but so far!. I watched as the fish continued underneath my hook bait, it was obvious the fat common was the leader of this group of 3 carp, when he changed direction in the water, so did the two mirrors flanking him.
The carp had moved about 6 feet past my hook bait when the fat common began to turn, it came round in a slow ark until it was on a collision course with my hook bait again, the two mirrors had come with it and again I found myself clutching the rod tightly as the fat common waddled up to my single chum mixer. At the last minute its mouth rose this time and I watched in slow motion as a big pair of rubbery lips engulfed my mixer not two yards away from me!. I paused and watched as the carps mouth closed around the hook bait and the instant those rubbery lips were sealed I rolled my wrist and struck the hook home!.
That was it, all hell broke loose as both the fat common and the two mirrors all bolted for open water!. There was a big bow wave out into the lake as he made a bid for freedom. Unfortunately for the fat common, he wasn’t built for a scrap. He was a fat fish with a small tail and I was well and truly in charge with 15lb big game line going straight to my hook!. The fight didn’t last long, once the fat common had gone 20 yards or so he pretty much gave up the fight and just waddled round in circles until he came to the landing net. I slipped the net under him and gave it one massive shout, ‘fat common’ I yelled at the top of my voice!. One of the syndicate members heard my shout and came to investigate. ‘Fat common, off the top’ I said whilst giving it the clenched fist like you do!.

Chris smiled and said ‘I’m off to get the camera’, he disappeared for a while and when he returned we weighed the fish and rattled off a few photographs on both our cameras. For the record, the fat common weighed just 16lb 4oz, this was 3-4lb lower than the average estimate from fellow syndicate members but at the time in August 1993, he was both a pb common and a pb surface capture and given how hard he was to tempt I still rate and remember this capture all these years later.

The Fat Common from Day Ticket/Syndicate Carp Water Burton Mere

I was glad to be able to unzip my leather jacket, whilst getting absorbed in the moment I’d forgotten just how hot it was!. With the pictures done I released the fat common and thanked him for making my day.

This carp had confounded everybody by avoiding capture and I’d been the only angler to get him on the bank and in spectacular fashion, I was just a little bit pleased with myself that day!.
Chris, the guy who’d helped with the photographs, he was a talented angler and he was the only other person to work out that the fat common just didn’t eat boilies. He became the next and only other angler to bank this unique carp when he caught it twice inside a couple of weeks on maggots. Apart from his two captures and my surface capture I don’t think the fat common ever saw the bank again. He continued to annoy the rest of the syndicate by swimming round on the surface every day but apart from the two captures on maggots, he never did slip up again whilst I was a member of the syndicate.

Tight Lines

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Carp Fishing - Red Letter Days Pt2

A Special Cheshire Carp.

My second instalment of red letter days is about a carp fishing trip to a local Cheshire carp water, the date of this fishing session was 3rd May 2005. Early May is always a good time to be out fishing and the first week of this particular month is traditionally a time I head south to one of the Oxfordshire gravel pits at Linear. This year I’d decided to give Linear a miss, the previous May it had been stupidly busy and I’d decided not to visit the lakes again, the prices were getting silly and the shear amount of anglers fishing meant I’d struggle to get on the fish. I’d done my fishing time in Oxfordshire and this year I’d decided to stay nearer to home.
One of my clubs had an up and coming water that was beginning to throw out some decent carp, the club has a publicity ban but in recent years it has been relaxed and pictures could be published as long as the water wasn’t named. This particular Cheshire carp water was a fair size at around 15 acres. There was a piece of bank that was out of bounds and it was here the carp would spend most of their time. The carp knew the ’no fishing’ bank was a safe area and even fishing at maximum range it was a real struggle to reach the fish, if there was any kind of wind blowing you couldn’t get near them.
Two swims in particular gave access to the ‘no fishing’ bank, both swims were ‘points’ and they were simply known as ‘big point’ and ‘little point’. The little point was my personal favourite but on this particular carp fishing session I dropped into the big point despite my favourite swim being empty. The reason for this was a nice steady wind blowing up the lake towards the car park and away from little point. I figured the carp might follow the wind but I wasn’t sure as the out of bounds bank was such a magnate for the fish so the big point was a compromise on my part.
I was set up and cast out by mid afternoon, I’d seen a few fish on the far bank so I was happy with my swim choice but I wasn’t convinced I had the range on my casting, despite having 12ft 3.5lb test curve infinity x rods it was still hard work getting a bait cast to the far bank.

3rd May 2005 was the night Liverpool knocked Chelsea out of the champions league before going on to win it. I was settled into my swim with a small radio on listening to the build up to the game. With 20 minutes before kick off a carp rolled on the far margin, I knew my bait was cast short so I decided to have a go at repositioning the rod as the wind had dropped a little. It took me a few goes for my timing to click but eventually everything fell into place and I hammered a single chick pea hookbait to the far bank, it was such a good cast I was 50/50 about it hitting the far bank itself but I resisted temptation to feather the cast and it landed as tight to the bank as I could have hoped, a distance of around 120yds with 15lb line and no shock leader. You know you get a feeling for when something is right and I knew this was the one.
With my recast rod sitting back on the pod and my delkims all back on again I settled down to listen to the game. Even through my radio you could tell Liverpool were up for the game, the commentators voice was drowned out by the kop singing ‘you’ll never walk alone’ before kick off and when the game started you could hear the crowd as loud as the commentator every time something controversial happened.

I was sitting listening to the game and watching the water for fish when the commentators voice rose up a couple of octaves, I focused on the game when I heard Yeeessssss Liverpool have scored!. I didn’t get the chance to shout yesss myself, at exactly the same time as the goal went in the recast rod just tore off!. The game had to wait, I was on the rod and into the fish straight away. I wound down and struck hard, there was a lot of mono out and I wanted to be in contact with the carp as soon as possible. When the line tightened and the rod whooped over I knew straight away that the fish was kiting to the left. There were no snags here so I could just keep a steady pressure and a bit of side strain to make sure it didn’t go too far down the lake. The carp came in slowly and it felt like a reasonable sized fish. Only when the fish was in the margins did it start to pull back a little, I spent 5 minutes trying to get the carps head up as it bored up and down the margins in front of me. At one point this carp was threatening to take out my other two rods but by this time I was able to exert enough pressure to control the situation and eventually my prize popped up for the net and went in first time.

Cheshire carp of 21lb 6oz caught at just the right time!

I secured the fish in the margins and went straight for the unhooking mat, scales and my camera gear. Once I had the camera and unhooking mat in position I lifted my fish from the water, unhooked it and got it weighed as quickly as I could. The carp weighed 21lb 6oz, not the biggest fish I’ve ever caught but I hadn’t had a 20 for quite a while at that time and the fact that it had picked up my bait just as my team scored made it a very special fish for me. I’m not sure if the fish actually has a name but to me, this particular carp will always be know as ‘luis’, after luis garcia who scored…or didn’t score?! that all important goal.

I took a few pictures and returned the carp to the water. Despite another good recast nothing else happened on the fishing front that session. Liverpool went on to beat Chelsea that night and ultimately went on to lift the European cup after that legendary comeback in Istanbul. Me, I remember the semi final just as well, knocking out Chelsea and catching a 21lb 6oz Cheshire carp made that particular session a very memorable one!.

Tight Lines

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Carp Fishing - Red Letter Days Pt1

Red letter days are those brilliant days in carp fishing when everything seems to fall into place and you get a good result, sometimes its just one carp, other times it can be a big hit of fish, either way these kind of days don’t come along very often and when they do, you remember them for years to come. My first instalment of red letter days is about my first ever carp fishing session on famous Yorkshire carp water selby 3 lakes.

I’d been travelling to linear in April/May time for a few years and fancied a change of venue. At the time, April 2001, selby 3 lakes had not long changed from syndicate to day ticket and after a chat with my mate barney we decided to have a 2 day trip to this famous Yorkshire carp water rather than our usual trip to Oxford.
Little did I know just how packed out selby 3 lakes gets, even though we’d booked a place on the lake I wasn’t expecting every single swim to be taken!. On top of it being packed, the two anglers due to leave were pulling off two dud swims on lake one which meant me and barney were going to be fishing a poor swim regardless of where we actually wanted to be.

I wasn’t happy, being herded in like sheep and having no room to move was not my idea of a fishing trip. I like to angle for my fish, I like to go looking for my carp then watch them and work out the best way to catch them, its simple fishing and the only thing that really spoils my chances of catching is other anglers occupying swims and blocking me from getting my baits on the fish. Selby 3 lakes was looking like my worst nightmare and having set up camp half way up the right hand bank from the bungalow on lake one, I had no choice but to live with it for two nights.

Once I was set up and cast out the complaining started, I had itchy feet and I wanted to move out of my dud swim to try and give myself a chance of catching. My baits were out for roughly two hours when I decided on a plan of action. I wound the rods in and did a couple of laps of the lake to try and pin down the carp. They were stacked up in lake 3 and one particular bar had fish cruising up and down it constantly. There looked to be some right lumps in lake 3 and with only two nights fishing I figured I had to get a swim in there as soon as possible. Unfortunately, nobody was going home the first day so I spent my first night about as far away from the fish as I could possibly be.

Needless to say I blanked that first night and in the morning I went for the first of several walks round the lake. I think it was on my 4th journey round that I noticed an angler on one of the cut throughs had just started to put some of his gear outside his bivvy. I stopped and enquired what he was doing and it turned out he was starting a slow pack up. That was enough for me, I virtually ran back to my swim to start moving but instead of packing up I grabbed a gas bottle and went straight back to lake 3 to lay claim to the swim. I don’t know why I did that but I was so glad I did as two anglers arrived just after I’d claimed the swim!. I went back for the rest of my gear and a couple of hours later, I was set up in a flier of a peg watching lumps cruising along a bar to my left and the odd fish in the cut through to my right. Unfortunately the new arrivals had to take the only peg left and that was my old peg!
Over half of our trip was gone but at least my persistence had got me onto some fish, a few hours later the guy on my left began to pack up too so I was straight round to barney and by nightfall we were both fishing lake 3 and on the carp.

I’d watched the fish for a few hours and decided the best plan of action was to cast one rod to the bar where the carp were cruising and the other tight to the far side of the cut though where I thought carp might pass if they decided to move from lake 3 into lake 2 or vice versa. Being a day ticket water and seeing how busy it was I opted for single hookbaits. I figured there was more than enough bait going in already and that I was probably fishing over someone else’s freebies anyway so single hookbaits seemed the logical choice.

I woke up on the last morning with nothing to show for my efforts. Looking around I noticed most anglers were recasting first thing in the morning so I left my rods alone. I was due off late afternoon anyway so it was all or nothing for me.
I’d dozed off for a while early afternoon and was awoken by a full on screamer from the rod fished in the cut through. I was on the rod straight away as instinct kicked in but it took me a few more seconds to clear my head and get focused on what I was doing. The carp ran away from the cut through and went into deep water in front of me. It felt like a solid lump and it took me quite a while to get the upper hand, once it was in front of me boring up and down the margins I knew it was a matter of time before it came to the net. The water in selby 3 lakes was quite clear and I could see the fish deep down in the margins. This made me nervous because it looked to be a decent fish. Several more minutes passed and the fish began to tire and come up in the water, by this time barney was at my side with the net and a few minutes later my first selby carp went into the net first time.

Selby 3 Lakes 25lb 8oz Mirror Carp, I felt like I'd won for a change!

I was delighted, when I’d arrived I couldn’t see anything but doom and gloom with so many carp anglers on the lake. With just an hour or so to packing up time, my hard work and tenacity in getting onto the carp had paid off. The carp was unhooked and weighed in at 25lb 8oz, a proper 3 lakes lump. The pictures followed and my mate barney did a cracking job as a small crowd of anglers looked on. Once the pictures were completed I released the fish back to lake 3 and watched it slowly disappear into the depths with a big smile on my face.
I recast my rod back to the cut through again in the hope of picking up another carp but none were forthcoming. I only fished for another hour, most of which I spent packing my gear away. I wasn’t sure about selby 3 lakes as a venue, there were some big carp in there for sure but the sheer number of anglers fishing there made it a nightmare. Despite this, the drive home was made so much easier with the thought that I’d actually won this time.

Tight Lines

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