1st UK carp in 15 years

As many of you will know I recently moved back to London from Amsterdam where I had been living for the past few years. Fishing in Amsterdam was good, if you are ever considering a place as a fisherman to relocate to I heartily suggest Amsterdam.

Anyway, that is now all in the past and I am now back in London and fishing is a hell of a lot harder 🙂 gone are the lazy days sitting at the side of super easy dutch waters ( there  are harder ones but guess which ones I chose) pulling doubles and 20’s out by the fistful. Oh well a new chapter in my fishing life beckons.

As I wanted to get some serious fishing in I decelieded that there was only one plce to try Thorney Weir, I joined this syndicate a while back and I decided that as I had holiday to burn now was the time to get down to Thoeny Weir and put some hours in.

The lake was fairly empty as one would expect for a Monday morning and I was brimming with confidence. There was weed everywhere and the wind and been going around in circles for days do I thought it better to concentrate on where I could see fish rather than where I knew they had to be. The back of the island swim was vacant and as I could see fish topping and rolling I thought that this would be a good bet. Knowing that there was a large gravel patch on the left hand side of the island ( thanks Jon) I put out 2kg’s of boilie figuring that in this weather the carp would be super active and with the stocking levels as they are this would be gone in no time. The other rods I fished against a weed bed and in the margin as there was a very tasty margin along the access road where no one can fish to.

To cut a long story short..

After 3 days of precisely nothing I decided to move to the swim called river point. A quick walk around the lake in the early morning showed that there were fish aplenty cruising around and generally sitting in the weed.

The baits were placed along each of the 3 weed beds that faced the swim. As heavy baiting had not paid off I decided to swap to smaller baits namely hemp and crushed boilie and fish very tight to the weed beds. The 1st morning I got an absolutely screaming take and despite hitting and holding hard the hook straightened. Note to self ESP raptors are not hooks for weed fishing ( hopefully some barbless Fox SSC and LS’s should arrive soonish) and that was my lot… the carp then moved into pre spawning mode and were not interested in my hook baits at all no matter how hard I tried.

I then decided to swap over to Watford Piscators Rousebarn lake as I had fished one or 2 sessions and was itching to get fishing. As it was still mid week I arrived Thursday morning and had the lake all to myself. I knew it was a good move when I arrived and saw fish after fish cruising with not a weed bed in sight. This would be a bagging session… or so I thought.

Tackle swapped for the lighter weight kit

I set myself up on one of the favoured swims and began with the marker rod to find the gravel patches I had been told about and a kilo of pigeon conditioner laced with CCmoore Nguage XP was swiftly spodded out with a few boilies. As it is a 2 rod only water I chose to put Meteor on the gravel on one side and Nguage XP on the other and I settled in for the night.

As is often on a new water, there are strange noises aplently and Rousebarn was no different, the place ( like Thorney) is packed with wild life and with the town jus a barbed wire fence away you could be mistaken for thinking that you were going to have night time visitors of the drunk kind. The fence and river however, are marvelous barriers and the night passed without incident.

Apart from a few tench the 1st night the hours of darkness, no matter how brief, slipped by without incident. I was just contemplating another blank ( the negative thoughts were starting to rise) when the right hand rod had a strange take, the bobbin bounced up and down a few times and then stopped. I leaned into it, just in case,  and and felt a fish thump back. The fish ( as yet unidentified) seemed happy to come into the bank and I thought that I had another bream on the way. As the leadcore breached the surface I made an attempt to grab it ( I always unhook bream and tench in the water – unless they are massive)  and the water erupted ! I had a hard time holding the rod as line was ripped from the spool like molten graphite flowing into the lake.

Hmmm, not a bream then, was the understatement of the century going through my head as a struggled to correct my grip on the cork so that I could hang on tight. After several spirited runs the fish ( and the angler) were gasping at the surface ( well I was on the bank but you know what I mean) the carp eyeing me with one beady eye as if to say “how dare you!” It was then only a matter of time before I managed to get the fish into the net and into the sling. The common almost went 20 and at 19.14 was a welcome start to UK carping.

Apologies for the background, I normally clear it out but due to the size of the swim ( small but perfectly formed) there was not that much room for a pic and as the sun was coming from over the lake I didn’t have many options.

Over all a useful week, whilst I blanked at Thorney (well lost one) I learned a lot about where the fish are and which swims seem to have fish in there. Rousebarn was also a useful session and my advice is to definitely go mid week as it seems to get very packed in the weekend for such a small lake.

2 thoughts on “1st UK carp in 15 years”

  1. Sir you are too kind, though 5 days for 1 fish ( ignoring the tench and bream) does seem a little excessive. Note to self, never take off the hottest week of the year to fish around June as the fish *will* be in spawning mode. Still I learned a lot about the lakes in question which will help me in times to come.


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