Monday 28 May 2018

T.H.P.C: Part Eight: Canal Doubles at the Double.

 With another herculean effort embarked upon, my day started off with a 11 mile journey to the starting point, from there I set off on foot to scour the canals in the vein hope to increase my already fantastic return over the last 6 weeks. Before this trip I'd only managed two carp in seven visits ( 6 blanks ) with them both over the 20lb mark (25.7 & 23.4), I would have bitten off someones arm to be offered those after just a few weeks of trying though.

 That "Thirty Pounder" is however the ultimate goal as "you" my readers will know by now. The conditions for stalking were fairly good, the wind was a little stiffer than I would have liked. I began my quest around 5am and ambled my way up the towpath, peeking into every nook and cranny or any other likely looking spot where a carp may reside.

 Hours of continuous walking didn't even yield the sight of a carp, just a solitary pike in the margins on the lookout for its next meal, that was until I reached a run of marginal reeds where I noticed a cloud of light coloured sediment up in the water. I knew there hadn't been a boat through in quite sometime, so it was likely to be a fish, bream do frequent a lot of this canal so it was possible it was one or more of them. I waited for a couple of minutes to see what emerged but nothing did, no tail patterns, no fresh sediment coming up in the water, in fact it got clearer as the sediment that was up in the water fell back down.

 I decided to leave and continue walking when about 40 yards up I noticed a tail pattern under the surface, a fish on the TOP! I exclaimed to myself, just the opportunity I had spent the last seven hours searching for! A moulded lump of flake went on and I eased it just beyond the carp and slowly teased it in the wind so it looked as natural as possible, the carp spotted the bread drifting and inhaled the bait with no hesitation, fish on and boy, did it fight! For probably 5 or 6 minutes I was being towed around, all I could do was turn its head in a bid to get the upper hand, thankfully after four or five attempts I finally got her head up and eased the lip of the net out, first time, that'll do!

Hard work is always rewarded.

 My third carp on the canals so far and at 19lb 10oz there were no complaints, these canal carp really do fight hard! The real task certainly is locating them, once you have, the skill required to catch them has to be flawless as these fish are not stupid at all. Not that I think they get targeted much, they simply don't see many anglers and natural supplies of food is their staple.

 With no other fish in sight I continued my wander up the towpath with a spring in my step, the capture of a fish does wonders for the confidence and half an hour later the sight of four carp marauding across the top got my piscatorial juices flowing!. Capturing one of these was to be quite a challenge as the bank was lined with narrow boats and barges which made casting and potentially the landing of a fish very difficult, so I moved away from the carp with one eye firmly fixed on them to a gap in the boats where I then threaded a 5SSG loafer to give me a better casting ability than a free-lined bit of floating bread.

 The plan worked an absolute treat as I punched the bait roughly onto the same line they had been working for some twenty minutes before I decided upon the float idea. Waiting for them to cruise towards my float took a bit of time but it happened, three of the carp cruised straight up to it, a common approx 20-21lb eyed it up before rejecting it, when a dark mirror sidled up beside it, slightly passing it before halting and back peddling to almost level with the flake, with one gentle suck, the bread vanished, no need to watch the float dip, the line to tighten or anything, I knew this was on!

 This mirror had a right bee in its bonnet, the first and only run was epic!, it tore off so quick I had to just admire the speed, nothing I could do to stop it or even slow it down, my only concern was the moored boats and a huge branch laced with weed which it typically headed straight for, as the carp ploughed through the snag I could feel and hear the horrible grating of the line where is was rubbing against the snag, what was worse is that the fish had gone through it entirely and was 30ft past it and my line was not sounding good, I felt at any moment that she'd come off to a line break, however the weight of the snag on the 10lb line seemed to have acted as an anchor for the carp and it stopped pulling. That was my cue to just begin gaining and hope the line would hold up.

 As I drew the carp nearer to the snag a large clump of weed covered the fish and allowed me to gain further still, as the carp came up to the branch the line flicked off and the weed fell off, I didn't know whether to be afraid now or not, thankfully the mirror had spent most of its energy and just cruised in to the awaiting net. That was close!, as I hoisted the net up and on to the mat the hook was in the net and checked the line which was completely shredded! Had that carp done anymore battling I am under no illusion I'd have lost her. This time around I got a stroke of luck.

My second of the day at 17lb 11oz, absolute stunner.

 These canals certainly do like to make the angler work! But I am only too happy to try, I know there is some absolutely special creatures in these systems somewhere and this was one of them. Nothing for seven hours or so and then two carp in thirty minutes or there abouts. I couldn't be happier with that return. I had promised the mrs I'd be back mid-afternoon so I had to keep that and left not long after the second carp and full of joy, that is what angling is all about!

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