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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition, that was until Covid-19 intervened!. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

It had my name on it?

The alarm went off at 03.10 hrs, Bev questioning my sanity, as I slipped out of bed. "Tight lines" being her well rehearsed parting shot. Everything was already loaded in the van, just my camera bag needed before I departed into the darkness. Despite the dry forecast, it was drizzling and I was expecting to get wet as I hadn't packed any waterproof gear. Happily, as it turned out, the rain ceased by the time I arrived at my parking spot, so I managed to push the barrow across to my chosen swim without any issues. For some reason I'd chucked my chest waders onto the barrow, with the intention of clearing a few reed stems and the odd lily leaf, I guess? I was at the drain by 04.35 hrs, my baited hook in position within twenty minutes. It was a typical flatland's dawn with the sun appearing in a gap in the clouds which masked the horizon away across the English Channel.



I've already mentioned that I'm using worms as bait, in the hope of catching my target fish, but still wasn't best pleased when the bite alarm sounded and I found myself attached to yet another eel! I'd only been fishing for twenty minutes and had to sort out this snotty mess. I got it back in the water, no photos, wondering why I'd bothered getting up at silly o'clock. Another baited rig back in position, I was serenaded by three, possibly four, Greenshanks flying above the marsh but, if I'm honest, even the birds were all very predictable. It was 06.05 hrs when everything changed. The alarm screamed as the bobbin smashed against the rod and I found myself battling a fish which had no intention of visiting the bank. Fortunately, as I have alluded to in my previous posts, my gear is set up for just these scenarios and the 50 lbs b.s. braided mainline scythed through many lily stems as my unseen adversary careered along the drain. Eventually we reached stale-mate, the fish was weeded about 30 m away and, despite walking along the bank to get a different angle, nothing was moving. Swirls on the surface indicated that the fish was still attached so, opening the bale arm of the reel, I left the rod and ran back to my swim in order to get the waders on. What a bloody fiasco? Eventually I returned to the rod, waders on and landing net in hand. I waded straight into the drain, finding myself up to my chest within two steps from the reeds. I wound down and quickly established that the fish was still attached at which point it powered out of the weedy snag and dived headlong into another lily pad. This time, however, I was better positioned to counter the ruse. With the Duncan Kay bent to the handle, the fish came grudgingly towards my landing net, but it wasn't ever going to be simple. Oh no, the net was resting on lily leaves and the fish swam straight underneath it! Bollocks!!!! Next time, and due to weed on the line now covering the fish's head, I finally managed to draw my prize over the net chord. 




What a fish, what a huge adrenaline buzz. My prize being a stunning "wild" Common Carp weighing in at 22 lbs 3 oz. An absolute breeze block, of a character, with all the magnificence of true flatland royalty. Mahogany bronze, complete with real attitude and stunning surroundings, it is occasions like these when I realize exactly why the 03.10 hrs alarm call is worth the effort. I'd packed up by 08.15 hrs, with the self takes done, I was indoors before 09.45 hrs. Buzzing? You'd better believe it.

19 comments:

  1. That’s a stunning looking fish ! Well done worth one twice the size from the usual carp puddle . 👍

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    1. Thanks Ian, Every single carp I've ever taken from this network of drains is better than anything that swims in the average carp puddle.

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  2. Not sure that I've ever seen a better looking Common, Dyl. That is an absolute BELTER! Massive congrats on sticking at it and getting such a stunning reward! 😎👍

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    1. As soon as I slipped it into the net I knew it was a bit special. Obviously my time with it on the bank was rather limited plus my head was spinning. Fortunately I didn't do to badly with the self-takes and can really savour the memory gazing at the images I managed to secure. Cheers for taking time to comment - all the best - Dyl

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  3. Wow Dyl, that's a gold medal performance I would say. What a stunning fish and excellently told as well. I thought I was on the bank with you. Take care.

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    1. Extremely flattered by your comment Marc, many thanks mate.

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  4. Fantastic fish and account Dyl. Money can't buy this experience can it?

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    1. It was a good to be alive moment and, as you say, no amount of money could purchase such an outrageous experience with rod & line? Crazy thing is I'm actually chasing a tench! I've seen a fish, twice, which I'm convinced will smash my PB (9 lbs 2 oz) out of the park, hence my choice of worms as bait. I'm also really pleased to be able to blog about something other than moan & groan. Stay safe - Dyl

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  5. A good angler can catch fish; but a great angler knows how and more importantly why he has caught? I have known a few anglers who think themselves great, but who have in reality contributed very little and instead merely surfed the waves generated by others...

    I've always held a deep respect for those few pioneering anglers, cutting thier own path!

    Just rewards brother; just rewards indeed!!!!! ��

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    1. Unbelievably kind words Andy, many thanks. Great anglers have inspired me to push boundaries, but a great angler I ain't, instead just a stubborn old git who has to do it my way, or not bother. Hopefully the PAC meetings will be able to happen later in the year? If they do we'll have opportunity for a, long overdue, catch up. Many thanks for taking the time to comment - tight lines mate - Dyl

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  6. Not a carp fanatic personally, but what a stunning looking fish Dylan! on par with a 40 pounder in a puddle, and a lot healthier looking for sure! And much more fun to catch in wild surroundings, bet you were "chuffed" Fish on!

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    1. Cheers Phil, all of the wild carp from this network of drains is better than any old mud pig swimming about in a carp puddle! Hoping you are keeping well - tight lines - Dylan

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  7. Well done, Dylan- That's a superb fish. The marsh come to life in your hands! Lovely trophy photos, too. I know how much a fish like that means- Happy for you, mate- Gazza

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    1. Hi Gazza, Been a while mate but, yes, that fish does mean an awful lot to me. The crazy battle ensuring it's a fish I won't forget in a long while. Hoping everything is okay at your end? Catching any bass or have you changed targets? Dyl

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    1. Cheers BB, It's moments like this which make the blanks seem less painful. Hoping all is well with you and the gang? - Dylan

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  9. Well done Dyl! What a cracker, a lovely bronzy barrel of a fish...

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    1. Thanks Stewart, all of the wild carp I've taken from this complex of drains are superb, characterful, individuals. The richness of colour unlike anything I've seen in the carp which inhabit the local club, syndicate and commercial fisheries. - Dyl

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