Father and son team Ian and Greg used to fish together twenty years ago. Unusually it was Greg who had introduced his father to the sport. They were looking to get back into it after a long layoff due to family commitments.
Picks Cottage was local to them so it was the obvious place. I was slightly concerned that we might struggle in the very warm conditions, but when I fished it the day before I managed several carp quite easily.
We started with the usual tackle handling exercises on dry land, then got fishing, Ian with a swimfeeder rig and Greg with a waggler float. The first fish came straight away to Ian, in the form of one of the recently stocked small crucian carp. This species is notorious for biting very gently. We were getting subtle indications on both rods, missing most of them.
After an hour, we had still had no bites from the proper carp, so we started switching things around. We tried sweetcorn, maggots, bread and worm for bait. On the waggler we fished shallow, at mid-depth and on the bottom. No good – very different from the previous day.
Time was up but Greg was not for quitting. While Ian tried yet another bait – pellets – on the waggler, Greg and I went over to the other side of the lake to try for the carp which had congregated there. They were cruising about slowly close to the surface. It was a case of creeping up quietly and casting a piece of bread to them on a freeline rig (just a hook – no float or weight).
The first fish Greg cast to took the bait but he missed it on the strike. After that, the carp seemed to be psychically aware that we were trying to catch them – they never came anywhere near the bait!
We looked up to see Ian’s rod bending. A fish at last on the pellet waggler, which came to the net after a good scrap:
Shortly after, he hooked another. Rather sportingly he gave the rod to his son to bring it in:
So it was 3:0 to dad, but afterwards I reflected that it was due to Greg’s persistence that they fished on and had the two carp at the end. It had been quite a hard session but one that covered a few different baits and tactics.