The Two That Got Away (and the ones that refused to be hooked)


It’s the usual fisherman’s tale of the biggun that got away. Well not really all that big, but big enough to snap a 7lb hooklink like cotton.

It was a funny afternoon from the start. On arrival at the pond that I fished the previous week, I found that I’d forgotten my chair. On the off-chance, I texted my mate Andy, who had said he might be joining me later, to ask if he had a spare chair he could bring along. By an odd coincidence, he was in the area and had a chair in the car, so about 20 minutes after I’d contacted him, he turned up carrying the chair!

Already, carp had started to feed around my swim, bubbling up the water. I’d started casting slightly to my right, but as a large patch of bubbles appeared by the lilies on my right, I cast my float to the patch of bubbles. Within 30 seconds, the float buried and the rod top bent round as a carp shot off towards the lilies. As I put pressure on to stop its charge, the hooklink suddenly parted. I was surprised by this, as I’d used a similar hooklink last week and was able to apply quite considerable pressure when playing a 7lb carp. Later, Andy mentioned  that he’d lost a carp in a similar fashion in the same spot on a previous visit, and wondered if there was a branch or other snag that the fish went into that caused the line to part.

Half an hour later, another carp picked up my bait and rocketed off towards the lilies on my right, but I was able to turn it and bring into open water, where I was confident of winning the battle. I’d almost got the fish to the net, when it turned and went into the small lilies at my feet, and somehow immediately transferred the hook to a lily stem.

Andy arrived later, and settled into the swim next to mine. He hadn’t been there long, when I was into another carp. The take was preceded by some bubbling a couple of yards from the float, then some bubbles a bit closer, then closer still, then the float shot away. Unlike the previous two, this one was successfully landed. It was a fully scaled mirror, weighing I suppose about four pounds.

By now the sun had dropped behind the tree, and there started to be increased activity in my swim, with lots of “fizzing” going on. Most of it I think caused by tench, although there was a carp in the area too. It was obvious that the fish were rooting around for the loose feed I was putting in as the fizzing was often right around my float, but apart from an occasional bob of the float, which I suspect was caused by fish brushing the line rather than mouthing the bait, not once was there a positive bite.

I had to leave early evening (and just in time to avoid a heavy shower), which was frustrating as the fish were still active in the swim. I later learned that Andy (who’d had a couple of tench from his swim), had moved to where I’d been fishing and had an eight pound carp from it.

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