Carping on (and on)

Opportunities to get out have been a bit thin on the ground recently; most of my fishing has been after work jaunts either with Craig, or on my own to Atkinsons after carp. I’d really love to put a fly caught twenty pound carp on the bank this year and last year my better stamp of fish came from Cleabarrow but due to the presence of a couple of swans plus offspring any sort of surface fishing, is a complete pain in the arse, so while I’ll keep an eye on Cleabarrow, Atkinsons has been our best bet. It’s fair to say that all our fish so far have been definitely in more of the scamp class than double figure fish.

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Atkinsons – Lovely spot

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Another scamp

In a more exciting turn of events Craig and I have now access to a new carp water and last night was our first sortie to the 3 island pond. Initial impressions were not great. After a drive full of the excited chatter that only a visit to a new unknown water can provide, we pulled up to find a farm pool probably dug 5 or 6 years ago, with no bankside vegetation and water the colour of milky coffee, which is probably due to wading/drinking cattle if the amount of cow crap on the banks was anything to go by. Throw in half of north Lancashire’s population of mallards and I wasn’t enthralled.

A cutting cool breeze was coming in from the coast, putting a fair chop on the top and as we walked round, I felt that the mixers we were firing out had no chance of being detected in that choppy, coloured water. At least the ducks were keeping their distance, they have probably learnt the hard way that 2 fat blokes wearing green in a Land Rover, usually doesn’t end well for them!. We also found a lovely, older quarry water to the back of the pond, the rights to which we were unsure, subsequently we have found we can fish there too so another trip is already on the cards.

Craig had brought a couple of bait rods in addition to fly gear and after nil response to the mixers we decided to have dabble with them to at least establish the presence of carp. Chatting later we both admitted to thinking the whole exercise was a waste of time , however the wind dropped Craig suggested putting some salmon oil on the mixers to get something looking upwards and within 20 minutes we had some rather snouts poking up and sucking down mixers. “Now we’re talking, lets get some real fishing done!” fly rods were hastily assembled.

I was soon into a fish that later inspection proved had just about opened my VMC Saltwater O’Shaugnessy hook, this happened to Craig on a VMC carp 7110 onto which I tied a mixer at Atkinson’s a couple of weeks ago, so “sorry VMC my whole stock of your hooks have gone in the bin”. We all know the feeling but I was sick to my boots, it felt like a great fish and on a new water, I knew it wasn’t going to be my night.

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Craig with his 3 Island Carp

Craig had a good fish with about a hour to go which turned on his well placed cast and took without hesitation after a good scrap it was netted and provided fresh impetus, but it wasn’t to be. As the light faded the duck’s confidence grew and the carp moved out of range. Next trip we will have to have a look into the quarry.

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