The Uks Number 1 Carp Angling Community

  • 13th January 2016
  • James Hughes
  • Blog

“From Summers Gone” by James Hughes.

With everyone's winter campaigns well under way and the mild weather giving a helping hand, success is being had all over the land. Unfortunately I cant say the same about myself, to be honest its been the worst I can remember. A mixture of not getting out as much as I'd hoped due to commitments and just simply blanking, but that's fishing and we cant win them all!! So for this blog I'm going to warm us all up, get us excited for those long warm days and tell you about a trip I had late last summer. With the weather in full boom, every man and his dog were out, day tickets heaving and all having a bash down the syndicate, I sat wondering where to go for a nice quiet session with the chance of a bend in the rod. I decided to visit the Cotswold's, my favourite area of the UK, beautiful countryside, more waters than you could shake a stick at and the fish, well they speak for themselves. I chose a small pool where really, it all started for me, so a trip down memory lane it was. I arrived at the lake and it was as if time had stood still since my last visit a few years back. Nothing had changed, the big willows swooped over the pool from the two islands, beautiful lilly-pad beds separated the pegs and the lush green grass cut to perfection like those of a golf course, pure bliss and a pleasure to be back. The lake was as usual rather quiet with only another 2 on which was perfect giving me virtually the one side of lake to myself. I dropped my gear in the first peg and went for a walk to plan my ambush and see how the others were getting on. On my way round to the others, I didn't see anything really to go at so I went to chat to the first guy, he told me I was wasting my time, "Go else where" he said, to my surprise. He continued on, saying he had done 3 nights without a single bleep and it was fishing terrible since the spawn. OK I thought, but I wasn't going to let that deter me and on I went to speak to the next guy. He also told me he was on a blank, this time 2 nights. He said he was a regular and lately it was slow. So I walked back round to where I had dumped my gear and must admit, I was thinking of repacking the car and heading down to another water nearby, that I knew would be rammed but always has a good chance of a bite or two. Not wanting to be put off I stood looking for signs of fish and there it was, the signal I was waiting for. Plenty of fizzing and clouds from the bottom being churned up just on the corner of the island. Wasting no time one rod was straight on the spot with my trusty, Nash Cultured Key Hookbait, mounted onto a size 6 Fang Twister, blow back rig. I stood back and the feeding continued, my lead hitting the water didn't bother them one bit. Within 3 or 4 minutes the rod was in meltdown and I was into my first Cotswold carp of the session. It fought well, staying deep, making big surges and with the other anglers peeping over in disbelief, the pressure was on. After giving me the run around, a nice big old warrior of a mirror wallowed into my net. I knew it was a nice one and what I had returned for!!!_20150606_145443 The day went on and as the sun got hotter the lake went very quiet with a few plodding around on the surface enjoying the sun with feeding being the last things in their mind. I knew this was the perfect time to get a bit of bait out and get the rods in position for the night ahead. I opted to put 3 kilos of Nash Baits "The Key", pretty tight to the islands corner where I had success that morning and the other rod was put out into open water towards the dam end, this time baiting with the same amount but a lot more spread in the hope of getting them competing for a multiple hit. As the sun slowly started to fade, I had the lake to myself and the carp started to give me a right show over the open water spot. One would crash, then another and another!! I knew it was a matter of time and oh how right I was. Within an hour of the first fish showing I was into another hard fighting Cotswold carp. This one was a little smaller but certainly made up for it in looks, a near fully scaled long, lean mirror. I remember looking at it in the net with a huge grin, thinking this is how I remember them, proper old English warriors. With fish still showing in the open water and the sun near gone I retained the fish to get the rod back on the spot. Photos of the near fully done, I slowly slipped her back home and as I did the same rod was in meltdown again. I couldn't believe it, I was being beat up again. After a much longer fight this time, a stunning perfect linear rolled over the net cord and I couldn't believe it, this was turning out to be one hell of a session. After that, the dark had taken over, the lake was so still, reflecting the stars like a mirror. I sat back with a cuppa, grinning like a Cheshire cat, watching the bats swoop overhead.  First light came and I was woken to my island rod screaming off, I picked up the rod and immediately the fish fought for its life, trying to take me thought the island channel to the safety of the snags, but keeping constant pressure I soon had its head turned and into the open water in front. I knew it was better than the others that I'd hooked that session and I didn't get a glimpse of it, until it decided to give up and come towards the net. It was a right lump of proper dark Cotswold common. By this point I was thinking can things get any better?_20150606_143834 With the fish weighed, photographed and back in its home I put the rod back out, topping up with a little more bait. More anglers started to turn up, so with the session being a success, I decided to start packing up and head home one happy angler! The barrow was loaded and only my rods, net and cradle were left and once again the island rod was off, I couldn't believe it, another cracking common, this time slightly smaller but stunning all the same, impressing the crowd of anglers that had just arrived. So what a session, from being told I was wasting my time, to landing 5 fish, 2 of which were proper old Cotswold lumps and another 3 equally as impressive in looks, I headed off home planning a return trip!!! Thank you for taking time to read and I hope you enjoyed my latest blog, hopefully next time I will be telling of how my winter campaign ended in success. One can only hope, in this crazy pursuit that captures us all in different ways!! Till then, good luck, take care out there and tight lines all!! All the best, James Hughes. You can also keep up to date with my recent carpy antics via instagram (HUGHESEYCARPER) and facebook (JAMES HUGHES CARP ANGLER)

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