After a long quiet week in work Saturday morning eventually arrived with the monotonous tone of my alarm clock echoing in my ear demanding me to rise from my slumber, slipping one foot defiantly from under the blanket revealed that the overnight temperature had dropped significantly from the previous evenings mild conditions and signalled we may be in for a tough day on the bank chasing our first proper carp on the year.
With no bait to prepare for these spring/summer trips and having enough rigs already made up from a rig tying session the previous weekend I spent the time before we set off to pick up my uncle reading over a few of our previous trip last years to our chosen venue whilst greedily devouring my breakfast of crispy bacon on toast and a cup of strong coffee.
A few of our previous trips to this venue can be found here:
With the laptop shut down and the last of my now cold coffee slurped down it was off to load the car up with the gear for the day ahead and it amazed me just how little amount of tackle we take in summer compared to our trips to the river in winter where we really struggled to fit the gear in. The car loaded it was off to pick up my uncle on route to our chosen destination, Flushing Meadows fishery.
We timed our arrival at fishery to perfection as the farmer was just opening his gates as we pulled up and we followed his 4x4 truck up along the bumpy farm track to pool 1, a small pond called Deep Merl which till Saturday we had not seen before let alone wet a line in. The pool looked very different to all the other pools on the complex in the way it looked like any natural pond you would see outside of a commercial and I am sure it is not a man made pond and was a pond that has been on this land for many years before the rest of the pools like the “snake lake” and the “island pool” where added or at least it felt that way.
I really love what the owners have done with this pool it is out of the way from the other pools and is very secluded in its own little corner of the fishery there where bird boxes in some of the trees which the local blue tits had already claimed as their nest for the next few weeks and they filled the air with their vibrant enigmatic songs all through out the day there was also plenty of other wildlife around in the form of the resident buzzards and a few firsts of the spring for us in our first bumble bees of the year and our first overseas visitors of the year in a pair of Canada geese I am sure the swallows wont be far behind.
All three of us paced around the new pool like a heron striding around a garden pond trying to decide where best to fish from and it was close to before we all settled into our pegs for the day. Me and my uncle chose corner pegs on opposite sides of the pond while my dad dropped in next to me on the other side of a very old tree which looked like it had seen in many a spring which again just added to the rustic feel of the place.
My plan of attack for the day was to fish chopped worm and castor close in along the margin and feed another line straight out in front of me at the bottom of the shelf on corn and meat while my dad chose to fish maggot and corn and my uncle maggot, corn and meat.
After feeding my main line in the middle with corn and meat I settled in over my margin line on a section of worm and waiting for my first bite of the day. My plan for the day was to try and target some of the bigger fish in these pools after spending the past two weeks bagging up on silvers and this plan of attack was mirrored by my uncle on to opposite side of the pool who started on corn.
My dad was making up for lost time on the waggler and was bagging a roach a chuck on his loose fed maggot approach in the open water while I was still waiting for that first bite of the day down the inside shelf. My uncle was first to connect with a better fish and I quickly rushed round to see him playing a lovely marked carp which gave a very good account for itself as it made hard lunges for the bank side cover but was soon under control and on the bank and marked our first proper carp of the year on the bank.
I was till persevering on the margin line and drip feeding the odd caster and chopped worm in the swim but was still to see any activity on the float and was beginning to doubt my chosen tactics and maybe I had fed the swims the wrong way round but convinced myself to remain confident and continue with my plan. My uncle was waiting a while for his bites but when they came they were decent fish and he soon had another first of the year on the bank in the form of a teddy bear eyed tench.
I was still playing the waiting game on my line and my dad was still catching a fish a chuck on the peg next to me and it was hard to resist the temptation to bag up and I was just about to try my middle line when the float disappeared slowly and I lifted into a fish that from the off put up a really good scrap even taking some elastic at some points in the fight which did surprise me as I could tell from the jagged fight it was a roach. The fish that eventually graced the net was a lovely fish of 12oz and well worth the wait and took a few moments to admire the vivid array of colours this fish had from metallic shiny scales to the electric tints of blue in its scales.
My dad and uncle now seemed to be catching with great regularity on both corn and maggot so decided to try over my middle line which instantly brought skimmer after skimmer after skimmer so much so I thought the bottom must have been lined with them. Through the next few hours we all enjoyed catching countless amounts of silver fish both shallow and on the bottom in what was another great silver fishing session on flushing meadows.
I periodically went back over my margin line hoping for a bonus carp but was only rewarded with more decent roach which you cannot really complain about, on most natural venues a day like this would be a real red letter day but on this place it has become the norm now.
As the day wore on we all connected with decent fish in the margins but it was my uncle who was first to stay connected with one and after hooking the fish on his lighter elastic an epic battle ensued that saw the fish taking a lot of elastic and making hard runs for the margins which my uncle did well to halt the fish and turn the it away from the safety of the snag infested margins. The fish on this fishery really do fight well for their size and a trip is well worth the peg fee.
I continued to pick up roach over my margin line with great regularity with the odd larger fish dotted in with some smaller fish and my dad was also picking up some better species with a few crucian carp showing up in his regular catches.
As the afternoon went on it began to look less and less likely I was going to get the carp I was after but that was until I introduced a large piece of meat right under my feet on my top two section and within 30 seconds the float was dancing across the surface and I struck into my first carp of the season which on white hydro elastic had me grabbing for extra sections of pole to follow the fish out and to try and lift the carp up of the bottom once it was beat to net the fish.
The fight from this carp on the white hydro elastic was so much fun I have this week invested in a pulla kit for this top section so I can use it more for the carp and have a chance of netting the carp once its ready to come in. The fish in this pond especially are so beautifully marked with buttery yellows and bark chestnut brown across the back a really lovely fish to catch.
We stayed on the pool till around 5pm and had a few more carp in the margins but the one fish that stuck with me from this session was the rudd shown below which scared the living day lights out of me as I brought it to hand a proper zoo creature!!
With a bank holiday weekend coming up I intend to get down the bait shop and purchase my WAA card and have a real go at catching my 10lb carp target for the spring/summer campaign and also am looking to try the last pool on the Flushing meadows complex to see what that holds, let’s just hope the weather holds.
I leave you this week with a superb roach caught by Greame, a regular reader of the blog, weighing in 2lb 4oz it is a fish of a lifetime well done mate top fish and on the pin as well makes it even better, congratulations!!!!!.
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Till next time
I wish you all