Winter is the season where my angling starts to come together, my target species are increasing in weight and holding up in areas you'd expect to find them. However this winter has been tougher than usual, the prospect of big Chub is far too much to pull away from even when it was fishing hard, which was most of the time, so for the last day of the season I fancied a jolly up in HMS Rudd.
An early start was in order and after spending north of ½hour to get set Brian and I took to a Fenland river in search of Rudd, conditions as usual weren't perfect, 24 hours late yet again but that seems to be how I always cut it, never stops me catching but it would help. I bought along a new acquisition in the form of a 3.5hp 2-stroke engine to speed up journey times between fishing grounds, thankfully I had my electric engine on board too, as after an hour of trying I finally learnt that without 30:1 ratio of marine engine oil added to the petrol my engine would stall, which it did four or five times before I took the hint, can not believe I didn't realise it needed it. Live and learn as they say.
Thankfully, the Swans and Gulls were not around in the numbers that the summer normally boasts which makes feeding swims easier, nothing worse than getting Rudd feeding on the surface then a gaggle of Swans hoover up your crust before the Rudd get a chance. I kept my set-up simple with a 5lb mainline and 3lb bottom, 4g pellet waggler and size 8 hook, where I would alternate the depth to find where I would get the indications.
|Not big but a photo opp! weren't many of them.
A little after midday my day was about to be brightened up by something a little special.....my float had been out for a good five minutes, slowly trundling down the gentle current, briefly I lost sight of the top of the waggler when I then started to wind down and struck, I didn't see the initial disappearance of the float but reacted within a split second and I could feel a considerable weight on the end, certainly no Rudd though. At first I thought a really big Chub but even that was unlikely, all I could think of was how lite I was fishing - luckily I was in the boat and as the fish swam past us up stream the boat turned to follow it up, we let slip of the anchor and headed up with what we then found out was a big Carp when it porpoised, showing it's large flanks. On such lite tackle it was very good fun and in fairness it didn't fight very hard as I'd expect a wild river Carp too although I feel it's a good thing it didn't or I'd have stood practically no chance in slipping it into my very small net.....
27lb 12oz, my largest river Carp for a few years now, a little special.
The margins were a pain as the Carp was too big to land, first of all the netsmen did a sterling job to get it in my net, how I don't know but he did, the next issue was getting into shore, I had to take my trainers and socks off and get into the river so I could gently release my gift from the angling gods, before then we put a number to what was a magnificent creature and took a few photographs to show me when thing's are tough how good they can be. The fact I hadn't had a Rudd after five hours of fishing didn't bother me all of a sudden, all pressure of catching was well and truly dispelled, however we had made the journey up for Rudd so it would have been good to have left with at least a couple under our belts.
And with that sunset the season was done, it had been a good one and some big fish caught along with many memorable trips.