Tuesday, 4 July 2017

River Carp Stalking

I arrived back at the river very enthused after sighting quite a few fish on the opening day. It was not long until I had spotted a few familiar suspects from the last trip and decided to set my stalls on a few targets. I lowered my rig into a clear patch and watched as a few small commons were grubbing about. It was not long until my line had tightened and I saw one of the smaller commons slowly shake its head. It was on! After managing to horse this fish from some nasty near bank vegetation, it sadly managed to slip the hook as I started to bring its head up. It was a bit disappointing that I didn't manage to break the deadlock, but I still remained hopeful that a few fish were still about.

I made my way to another area and lowered in my rig for a potential ambush with a small trickle of feed around it. This particular spot was a certain patrol route, so I was confident that this opportunistic trap would pay off. Within minutes, a large mirror had made his way into the swim, hoovering up the bait. I watched as he came ever closer to my bait. It was one of those moments that are only minutes but feel like hours, or even days to the angler! Just as it was just inches away, a familiar suspect muscled into the swim. It was a ghost koi, mirror carp that I was also definitely keen to catch. After watching both fish absolutely tear the bottom apart, I saw a shake of the head from the ghost carp as my rod lurched forward. As I picked up the rod the fish made a powerful sprint towards a nasty snag. With my rod buckled over and mainline being tested, it was certainly a case of hit and hold. Thankfully, after deterring this fish from going any further towards danger, it charged off to shallower water. After a few final bolts under the rod tip, I finally managed to guide the battlinh culprit into the waiting net.
A beautiful ornamental, with fine scale alignment
This fish was actually my first ever mirror carp from a river, so I was certainly made up with this result. I decided as a few fish were still showing to stay in the same swim and wait it out with a little more feed. After half an hour or so, another ghost carp, this time a common, had made its way into the area. It was on the feed straight away! Once it had continued its patrol a little way upstream, I used this opportunity to lower my bait in, a little more on its favoured part of the dinner table. Within minutes, he was back and tripped up on my bait straight away! I was a bit quicker off the mark to grab the rod this time as it started to slide across the ground. It was yet again a question of keeping the rod low and hoping the hook hold would stand proud. This fish had tremendous power and slowing its runs were certainly challenging. Once I had managed to guide the fish to shallower water, it was a question of relying on the rods power to absorb those final bolts towards potential snags. A couple more desperate wallows on the surface followed, before I guided the second carp into the net.
Not a million miles away from double figure (9lbs 11oz) a lovely ghost common!
At just under 10lbs, it was a lovely common and it was absolutely fantastic watching the whole thing unfold! Following on from this, I decided to bait a couple more spots for the next few hours and waited for fish to show. Out of the corner of my eye, two dark mirrors emerged onto a baited spot. I was excited, as I knew both fish were likely to be into double figures. I could not find the perfect opportunity to lower the bait into the baited zone, therefore as they moved off the baited spot onto the rest of their patrol, I quickly, but discretely lowered the bait in their path, in a tiny clearing in the weed. The larger mirror came towards the single hookbait and slurped it in before slowly moving off. I picked up the rod and the surface erupted. Like the larger ghost carp on the session before, she properly ploughed through the streamer weed. I kept the rod high and hoped that I could quickly get its head up. With a series of persistent lunges and bolts for thick weed, I certainly was relieved once I had finally managed to get its head up and land her.
A nice long mirror at 12lbs 2oz!
At just over 12lbs (12lbs 2oz), I was very happy to have landed one of the larger mirrors I had seen. For the remaining few hours, I fished blind on a likely looking clearing, hoping that one of the carp I had seen crusing through this area would oblige. With the sun at its peak and the fish being rather lethargic, it wasn't to be for the last few hours, but it was a joy watching the beautiful wildlife. From kites soaring overhead, to kestrels hovering in search of prey, it just reiterated what is so great about the Britsh countryside.

Thanks for taking the time to read,

Tight Lines,



  1. Nice one Tom, good to see a few Carp on the bank, now time for some summer Barbel!

    1. Cheers James! Yeah they're always good fun! Definitely, can't wait to target them soon!



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