All this week I've been studying the weather forecasts, looking for that combination of wind direction, cloud cover and barometric pressure, attempting to pick my moment. Benno had wanted a Thursday session - all his fish, last year, came on Thursdays (how very scientific!). I fancied the Friday, but it coincided with Benno's birthday and so didn't happen. St. George's Day it would have to be, the best forecast for a while given the ridiculous temperature drop we've been threatened with.
On my own today, Benno still sulking over the football results - he's a Spurs fan (I tried my best, but school friends turned his head). I arrived just after 16.00 hrs and spent the next hour and a bit walking a two mile section looking for signs of carp. It wasn't until I was almost back to my starting point that I found what I'd been looking for. Couldn't be 100% certain that carp were responsible, but seeing reed stems being knocked about was better than nothing. Two rods out by 17.30 hrs, I had a two inch lift on my right-hander within 30 minutes. Tench? Half an hour later and I had a liner on the same rod; something was happening out there. Both rods recast and another scattering of freebies catapulted over the top I had to wait until 19.50 hrs for the next action - a screamer! Same rod again, this time there was no messing as a huge boil on the surface appeared as I picked up the rod! What a battle, I had the fish over the net only to have it swim back out. It was an epic encounter and one which left me reduced to a gibbering mess when I finally managed to draw it over the chord of the landing net. On the scales it gave the statistic of 23 lbs 5 oz - what a way to start my campaign.
|I am forever indebted to Keith for getting the photos - thanks!|