Sunday, 19 June 2016

River Carp: In Search of Something a Little Special.

 Carp use to be a species I targeted a lot when I was a nipper, but as I grew up I branched out into other species and never really gone back since, apart from the odd occasion on canals and Reservoir's. Since my arrival back in the UK from Asia I had a few things I wanted to do but setting my sights on a thirty pound plus river Carp was not one of them.

 Previously, river Carp were just briefly targeted if I saw them whilst on rivers for Barbel or Chub, but some of the Carp that reside in one river I know are of an impressive size, a few 20's and a couple of 30's. So not a lot to aim at but I like that, competition is still there but fairly low. Friday just gone I had gone down for my first trip of the season, I was hoping to locate some of these bigger fish and of course the outcome hopefully landing one for the camera, a 7am arrival was in order and I felt that fishing mobile with very little gear would give me the best chance of locating and catching one.

 My choice of bait was as always the trusty "breadflake", I very rarely leave home without a loaf and hoped that it would be a good choice. Nearly two hours of walking down-river I had only seen a couple of smaller fish, these weren't what I wanted to catch so I continued on and glad I did....upon creeping into a small opening amongst the 8ft tall nettles and other foliage I spotted 3 Carp grubbing around on the bottom, I slowly crept into position and flicked out a few pieces of flake upstream and watched them flutter down onto the bottom, it took all of about thirty seconds for the first of three Carp (the largest) to start hoovering up the bread, no hesitation and just what I love to see, the heart rate started to crank up a few notches as I prepared myself, bearing in mind I was tucked away in this tiny swim the humidity was almost unbearable, reminiscent to sitting in a sauna fully clothed.....not a nice feeling.

 But the uncomfortable approach to those feeding Carp was put to the back of mind whilst I concentrated of working a bait just above the fish, within a few seconds of it touching bottom the largest one came straight over and sucked up the flake instantly, with that I struck and all hell broke loose, the swim went from a peaceful aquarium to a raging foam, it was a big fish and one that I probably put at around 25-27lbs, I say probably because didn't get to get to weigh it, four or five minutes into the fight the hook pulled and with one massive stroke of it's enormous paddle it was gone. Gutting!

 I felt very sick after that, proper gut wrencher. As soon as that happened I said to myself I will come back and make it good. So that's what I did today, condition's this morning were nice, the wind was a little stiff at times but I could cope, just. I headed straight for the area where I lost the lump, in the hope I'd find some more Carp, it didn't take long! just down-stream from where I finished last time I stumbled over a solitary Carp, this one was big too, not the same Common but definitely similar size. The same tactic of freelined flake was deployed and it didn't even reach the bottom! with stepped up gear I made no mistake, the initial run was very impressive as it stripped 30-40 yards on line, the reel nearly burned out and the bow wave downstream was immense, just an absolute pleasure to have locked horns with it, this time though I wasn't to be left with a sour taste in my mouth, a few minutes later the net was bulging with this peach of a river Carp.

 25lb 6oz was the verdict......Boom.

 Well the rest of the early afternoon drifted by very nicely, I carried on but no more Carp were spotted, but a nice Rainbow Trout of 2lb 8oz made an appearance which is not something I expected, incidentally it was released back to fight another day, catch and release all the way, even if it would have tasted very nice on the BBQ. I will be back though to continue my quest for a Thirty pound river Carp, I'll sit and look at that snap very happily until that time comes. Tight Lines guys.

First Rainbow for a while.


  1. Looks mint, looks like its back has seen the sun too.Top pics too.

    1. Nearly as brown as me ;), if only all Carp looked like that, it might be something I'd do a little more often