My head has been in turmoil since the events of Monday morning, that fish; as grotesque as it was, has been catalyst to a whole series of thought trains as I look to the future and to where this split cane project is destined. I've now taken a twenty on both rods, plus a couple of back-up doubles, so although not quite as prolific, a season, as I'd envisaged, the general consensus is that everything is ticking along rather nicely. I'd originally planned to join Canterbury & District AC but, am now rather pleased I delayed that decision and haven't, their waters (excellent fisheries as they undoubtedly are) would have caused major distractions and I know how easily I become sidetracked! Benno and I are keen to focus our attentions on two, very different, types of venue. One has a proven track record, the others are a complete unknown and where I took that fish, out on the East Kent marshes.
The East Kent drains never came into the equation when I was planning this quest for a split cane caught thirty, they were just a very enjoyable and intimate challenge where watercraft and experience could pay dividends. That 20 lbs 10 oz wildie (July 10th 2015) being the "cherry on the cake" or so I thought. The events of Monday have completely thrown a spanner in the works - "how does a carp attain such a physique in water that's not saturated with HNV boilies?" Quite obviously genetics will play a key role, but if one can do it?
At the start of this, latest, angling, adventure I had envisaged a string of events culminating in the capture of a new PB carp - a thirty being the dream scenario. However, as a back up, I had also made mention of a total of forty doubles before the end of September - bloody statistics, can't get away from them - engrained in my industrial background, numbers are fundamental to everything we do! Let's see, I'm just 10% of my way to forty doubles, yet 50% towards four twenties! No disguising my dislike of competition, within a natural history context, yet I continue to set targets as a way of pushing my own limited abilities. It is not undertaken as a demonstration of "look at me - I'm better than you!" - just how hard/far can I push myself in the quest for understanding my quarry?
To this end I attempt to think like a carp, not like a carp angler. Obviously there is no way a carp is capable of logical thought processes yet, are able to recognise situations where, they use past experiences to avoid danger (capture/re-capture). The time invested in watching the ground breaking underwater footage, as produced by the Korda team, has provided me with an insight into carp behaviour in pressured venues and just how cute they can become at avoiding hook baits, whilst happily munching away on the freebies. By using this information, rather than seeing it as a simple form of entertainment, I have attempted to adapt their findings to suit my own angling situations. Rule number one - Don't fish heavily pressured venues, that's a no brainer for me. My angling challenges are undertaken on waters where fish stocks are low and any other anglers are of a similar mind-set to myself. For the majority of my time it is all about wild (unnamed/unknown ?) fish in secluded venues, my only company being Benno and Luke, in contact via the wonders of a walkie talkie.
I now find myself looking at the problem/challenge, of these carp, in a very different way. I am constantly questioning myself, why would a fish be here, is my bait/rig as I want it, is it presented where I want it? There are so many variables that my simple mind is unable to comprehend, however, I will never settle for "that'll do". If it ain't right, then I can't be confident; and confidence is 90% of my fishing. If I've done everything I can, to the very best of my ability, then the other 10% is down to luck - the more I practice, the luckier I get - and that works for me! Sorry there are no photos to accompany this nonsense - back out Friday, hopefully there'll be something to show you then.