Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. 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!


Tuesday 30 April 2024

A realistic target?

Once it became clear that Bev's medical situation was top priority, in our little world, my angling projects became nothing more than trivia in the grand scheme of things. To her credit, Bev has been extremely brave, and very positive, about the outcome so as to allow me to get out onto the bank whenever it doesn't compromise her situation. Sandwich Coarse Fishery is absolutely perfect in this respect as I can be back home within half an hour should Bev need my assistance? Under these circumstances Kevin & Ken have been superbly accomodating in the flexibility they allow me and for this I am truly grateful. I've now done eight sessions, landing eleven Carp for my efforts, with the best fish tipping the scales at 17 lbs 6 oz. Are five "twenties" really achievable before June 16th and the start of the traditional river season? To my way of thinking there is only one possible course of action if I am to get an answer. I have to keep on trying, whenever possible, and see where it leads over the coming six weeks, or so.

The "Football" fish from the flatlands.
Absolutely hideous, yet a Carp which has played a part in my angling journey.

The constant striving to discover an edge is part of my angling psyche and I simply don't know any other way. The fact that Sandwich Coarse Fishery is an extremely busy, thus successful, day ticket complex doesn't stop me from seeking answers away from the accepted norm. Indeed, one fun aspect of me choosing this venue was knowing that I wouldn't copy the tactics I saw being used. I do need to get this said, at this juncture, in no way am I wishing to belittle the other anglers at this, or any other, venue because of their choice of tackle or techniques. Everyone enjoying the outdoors by way of going fishing is fine by me, however they seek their rewards. All I know is that what they're doing doesn't fit my idea of angling enjoyment and thus, won't be employing anything too similar. Now I'm not so bloody stupid that I'll deliberately ignore the obvious because of a desire to be different. I have neither a magic wand, nor divine rights, to demand a better catch rate than any other visitor to the fishery. Nope, it is now, as it always has been, a matter of "effort equates success" and there's very little which is too much trouble for me to explore as I seek to unlock the code. To be totally honest, my binoculars are an absolute essential whilst on the bank. Not only can I do my usual bird/bug watching they also allow me to see what the other guys are doing without me having to walk around to their swims for a closer inspection.

A split cane caught Mirror from a club fishery.

Solid bags, "Spombs", catapults and copious amounts of boilies seem to be tactics used by the vast majority of anglers I've encountered at the fishery. If I take it a little further, "Ronnie rigged" fluoro pop-ups on a braided hooklink and big leads are also a regular feature in their end tackle. Of course these anglers catch a few fish with this approach, however, I do wonder how serious many of them really are in wishing to catch Carp as opposed to spending time with their mates and enjoying a "Moroccan" Woodbine, or seven? Not for a single minute is this unique to Sandwich Coarse Fishery. C&DAA venues are just as affected, as are those all along the Stour Valley.The use of recreational drugs seems to be just as important, to a faction of modern Carp anglers, as owning a Nash Titan bivvy? 

Quite possibly the best Carp (fish?) I've ever caught?
A carved mahogany Common from the flatlands

Right, time to get off the soap box and back to what I initially started writing about. Five "twenties" from Sandwich Coarse Fishery before 16th June - is it possible? Knowing the venue's stock, the answer has to be yes, if time were of no concern. Because I am governed by Bev's ongoing medical situation, plus my grand-parenting duties, time isn't quite as free as it should be now I'm retired. If I am to achieve this target I will need to up my game whenever the opportunity to visit the fishery arises. Short session angling is something I really enjoy and not having the luxury of time ensures that my need to constantly question how I approach every bankside experience is a very positive side effect. If ever a niggling doubt creeps into my thinking then I have to do something to change things. If the fish are showing in another area, which is free, then I'll happily up sticks and move even if I only have an hour left before home time.

I think it's fair to say that confidence is key under these circumstances. Absolutely nothing I do is because it works for someone else. My rigs, bait and tackle choices have all stood the test of time and proven themselves to be the best I can muster. Rig mechanics is an aspect of angling which I find fascinating. My use of tank testing has given me so much confidence in certain presentations, as to know that the first time I've used them they won't fail me. My latest experimentation has been using a pop-up on the "German" rig. Can't/shouldn't be done according to cyberspace, works like a dream if you do it my way is how it turned out. I've stripped back all of the rig components and now have also removed braided hooklink material from the equation. I use Diawa Sensor 10 lbs b.s. mono for my hooklinks, not because it is better than braid, but because it is different, thus an edge. Gardner "Rigga" (barbless) hooks are my pattern of choice and are used with Kodex bait screws, opposed to micro swivels and bait floss. Add the Nash "Bushwhacker" baiting pole to the game and I'm on to a winner? The stealth and accuracy, of my baited rig placement, that this single piece of kit provides is probably the greatest edge I have? At present I have a maximum range of 24m at my disposal, but soon to become 30m when I next visit Camo's. 

My first RMC "twenty" - April 2016

Because I use a particle mix, topped off with crumbed/chopped boilies, as my attractor I'm fairly sure that actual hook bait choice isn't particularly important. I'll try to explain my thought process here. Sandwich Coarse Fishery receives huge amounts of boilies, from untold different manufacturers, into the fishery on a regular basis. My decision to only use one, on the rig, was taken in the knowledge that Carp won't reject a good bait in order to get to another one. Having seen the agricultural application of many kilos of boilies, by certain anglers, I am very happy to use a single pop-up or wafter, over my party mix, confident that any Carp finding my offering will not associate it with danger. My results since July 2023 certainly back this up. 

My best Mirror from Sandwich Coarse Fishery, thus far.

April has proven to be quite a testing month in many ways, thus blogging has certainly taken the back seat. With Bev now on the mend, I am hopeful that things might gradually get back on track? I'm down at Sandwich tomorrow and very hopeful that May will see an upturn in my Carp angling fortunes?

Friday 26 April 2024

Good news

 Those of you who regularly visit my blog will be aware that Bev is undergoing medical treatment for breast cancer. This morning we had a meeting with Dr A.Podder, at QEQM Hospital, Margate, where we were informed that the operation had been a total success and we are now able to move on to stage two of the process. It will involve either chemo, or radio, therapy which will happen at the Kent & Canterbury Hospital, strangely enough situated in Canterbury! As yet we have no idea of the timescale involved, but are truly grateful to the staff at QEQM for their superb efforts in getting us to this point.

Thursday 25 April 2024

More "Sun-downer" success

I'd already written off my chances of casting a baited rig this week when, completely out of the blue, Bev's daughter rang at 11.30 hrs today, explaining that I didn't have to do the school run. It was, therefore, an absolute no brainer and Sandwich Coarse Fishery provided the opportunity of a short, sun-downer, session as a result. With little more than five hours at my disposal, it was a quick chat with Ken before barrowing my kit around to the same swim as I'd fished last Friday. As painful as that previous session had proved to be, wallet wise, I had caught four Carp from the area and now had a new toy which needed to be played with. In little more than four hours, the time that my rigs were actually in the water, I had three bites. The first saw me get completely "mugged off". I never felt a thing despite the bobbin smashing up to the rod. The second saw a small (low double?) Common give me the right run around before throwing the hook right at the net! To be fair, I'd certainly had my fun and the only thing missing was being able to give the fish a weight. I'll have no issues going to sleep tonight because of this loss. Finally I managed to convert my third bite into a Carp on the unhooking mat. A lovely Mirror of 16 lbs 14 oz was my prize and I was able to use the new (to me) image stabilized 18 - 55mm lens to do my self takes and I have to admit that I am well pleased with the initial results.

Another superbly conditioned Carp from Sandwich Coarse Fishery

I really enjoyed myself this afternoon. There was only one other guy on the fishery and I was able to do things my way without worrying about what my use of "The Bushwhacker" might cause. I need to prepare another batch of particle mix, as I was literally down to my last scoop when I packed up just before 18.00 hrs. 

Keeping it simple - my swim today
The gravel in the foreground is where my previous Canon EOS70d met its' end.

Saturday 20 April 2024

A very expensive day-ticket session!

 I was lucky enough to get a full day session down at Sandwich Coarse Fishery on Friday and am extremely grateful to Kevin & Ken for their understanding and support. It was a challenging session, due to the unsettled (and that's a very debatable description) conditions which dominated proceedings. I ended with four Carp falling to my 15mm Complex-T pop-ups, on German rigs. Three were doubles and all Commons. A guy fishing a couple of swims away actually landed a stunning Mirror of 31 lbs and asked if I would do some photos? 

"Snowy", from Deal, with his superb 31 lbs Mirror

It was a pretty decent time on the bank, if I'm honest, and I spent quite a while playing around with the camera kit in an attempt to get some additional blog content. It was this quest for images which was to result in disaster. I had just landed my fourth Carp of the day and set up the self-take kit in preparation of lifting the fish from the water. What happened next proved to be a catastrophe. As I lifted the landing net, containing the fish, to remove the arms from the spreader block, the handle knocked over my Benbo tripod, which was directly behind me, and smashed my camera onto the gravel swim. The result being that the rear viewing screen, which had been adjusted to allow me to see myself holding the fish, was completely disconnected from the camera body. Bollocks!! Double Bollocks!!, it was only an 11 lbs 12 oz Common that I'd landed. I didn't really need a picture, did I?

My first "double" of the day - 13 lbs 8 oz

Absolutely no way was anyone else at fault. I'd screwed up, big time, and it was me who now had to sort this out. Once the session was over, I packed up and headed for home, absolutely gutted with my stupid mistake. I recalled my calamity to Bev, once indoors, and explained that it would need a quick, yet costly, fix because being without a camera isn't an option for me.She muttered something about new wardrobes and a bathroom re-fit, yet agreed that another camera was doable. So it was just after 10.00 hrs, this morning, that we jumped into the van and headed off to West Sussex for another visit to Park Cameras in Burgess Hill. 

A bit of light rain on Friday

I am not being paid to advertise this retail outlet, yet every time I have been in the shop the staff have gone above and beyond to ensure my needs were catered for. Today all I wanted was to replace the Canon EOS 70d with another similar model. The guy who served us was obviously a very keen photographer, but didn't push sales pitch, or personal opinion, instead doing his absolute best to ensure I left the premisses with what I actually required. As it turns out, I did get another, pre-owned, EOS 70d plus a bonus "image stabilized" 18 - 55 mm lens all for £300! Advert over, all I will say is if you are ever in need of camera kit, Park Cameras is a great place to pay a visit. So whilst I'm in the promotion mood, I will also use the blog to point visitors in the direction of an upcoming publication by Medlar Press. It is a book written by my good mate Gareth (Gazza) Craddock and illustrated by the highly talented John Richardson. Forgotten Fen is about the flatlands, Gazza being far more eloquent, although maybe looking through slightly "rose-tinted" glasses, in his ability to portray the emotions aroused by simply becoming part of this environment. It is to be released in Autumn 2024 and I am certainly looking forward to getting my hands on a copy!

Friday 12 April 2024

Another day, another "double"

 A bit like "Groundhog Day". I was back down at Sandwich Coarse Fishery for a "sundowner" session, on Thursday afternoon, and managed to trip up another nicely conditioned Mirror Carp of 15 lbs 15 oz for my troubles. It would seem that my use of The Bushwhacker baiting pole is causing a few ripples in certain quarters. Basically, if I am not allowed to use it I will take my custom elsewhere. It's a commercial day ticket fishery, thus needs to attract customers, not go OTT with rules which go beyond encouraging proper fish handling and their safe return to the water? I've not had chance to chat with Kevin, as yet, so will have to wait and see how things develop.

I ran the garden moth trap overnight and caught just two individuals. Obviously conditions weren't particularly conducive for these nocturnal insects, yet the two I did attract were migrants? A SIlver Y and a Dark Sword-grass, both of which were my first of 2024.

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Afternoon delight

 I managed to grab a short, "Sun-downer", session at Sandwich Coarse Fishery this afternoon. Although it was quite chilly in the stiff SW breeze I did manage to temp a lovely Mirror Carp, of 17 lbs 3 oz, to pick up my baited rig. A really enjoyable tussle, in a tight corner swim, was just what the doctor ordered. I'd only just landed it when Ken, one of the fishery bailiffs, turned up and the regulation banter ensued. Apparently I'm a cheat! I use a baiting pole and that's not fishing, yet it doesn't contravene any of the fishery rules, so I can't be doing anything wrong? Well that is with the exception of Ken's opinion. All harmless fun and after a quick selfie session, back it went. I stayed on for another couple of hours without any further action. I hadn't blanked, so what's to moan about?.

A lovely, scaly, fish in great condition.

Friday 5 April 2024

An "Old school" Carper?

When, on that fateful afternoon of 5th July 1983, I caught my first Carp over twenty pounds it was obvious that there could be no turning back. It was a huge fish and, even though I'd already landed Pike over twenty pounds, is the one which marked the start of my specimen hunting journey. Way back then a twenty was a "big" Carp and, to my mind, still is. That there are now Carp three times bigger swimming around in UK fisheries doesn't change anything for me. If the day ever dawns when I am unable to derive enjoyment from landing a fish of this physical size, then it's time for me to take up knitting! 

21 lbs 10 oz of pure joy!
Taken on floating "Slyme", a Duncan Kay bait, using a Gerry Savage S/U 10ft Carp rod.

Watching modern anglers, usually on YouTube, glibly dismissing "big" Carp as "it's just a mid-twenty, a low thirty" is completely alien to everything fishing means to me. If I can be bothered to stick a hook in such a fish then the least I can do is place it on the scales, out of respect? That I have records of every "double" I've ever captured is part of the adventure and if that means Danny Fairbrass considers me, and all those other guys who are able to recall the early days, as folk singers, harping on about a bygone era, he's allowed that opinion. However, he'd do well to remember that, if it wasn't for us, old boys, he wouldn't have the business empire built upon the meteoric rise in the popularity of Carp angling!

27th June 1984 - Stanborough Lake, Welwyn Garden City, HERTS.
18 lbs 10 oz - it was considered a "big" Carp back then.
If I catch fish of this size, today, they are just as appreciated as they've always been

The term "Old school", in a Carp fishing context, conjures thoughts of par-boiled potatoes and silver foil rustling in the butt ring of a split cane. Whilst that certainly still holds true for a small number of Chris Yates type folk, for the vast majority of anglers who experienced this Carp fishing (r)evolution we have also embraced, at least some of, the advances in tackle and bait which have been part of the process.  As an individual, my angling journey started back in the Summer of 1963, aged seven, fishing for Minnows in the River Gade. My apprenticeship required me to sample the delights of Gudgeon, Roach and Perch from the Grand Union Canal before advancing the the lofty heights of Bream and Tench from further afield. As my angling moved from stage one, catch the most, to stage two, catch the biggest, I was extraordinarily fortunate to cross paths with many characters who assisted my learning and helped steer me in a positive direction. That lunatic period during the 1980's/early 1990's saw me embark on a ridiculous course of obsessive pursuit for specimen fish. It didn't matter if they were Chub, Catfish, Bream, Tench, Roach, Pike, Zander, Barbel or Carp, the dereliction of duty, as a father, was something about which I am now very ashamed, but cannot change. The other thing which will never alter is that same period is one in which some of the most memorable events of my life took place. If only they could teach "experience" whilst  we were still at school?

I now need to fast forward eighteen years, as that is the period which elapsed between me (and my family) moving from Hertfordshire to Kent. My obsessional behaviour quickly transferred from angling to Kent birding and was to, ultimately, result in divorce. Bev and I getting together. was a very weird quirk of fate which eventually led to me picking up the rods again for "one last cast" with my son! Well that was the plan prior to that trip back to Loch Awe in April 2011. The spark returned and, once again, angling became the dominant force in my outdoor activities. During my time away from the hobby so much had happened as to make it unrecognisable from my time as member of the Tring Syndicate. Carp fishing dominated the scene and was catered for by an amazing number of club and commercial fisheries which simply hadn't existed in 1993. I have to admit, I did have a little dabble with the species but didn't like the atmosphere created by so many, unthinking, off the shelf, Carp fishing clones. To see and hear these folk dismiss double figure Tench and Bream as nuisance fish was too much and I sought my enjoyment in other arenas. Those two seasons chasing Barbel in the Kentish Stour certainly proved to me that there was still much more to freshwater fishing than Carp.

Two thirteen pounders taken just five days apart in August 2013
The top fish went 13 lbs 14 oz and the lower one 13 lbs 5 oz
Who needs Carp?

It wasn't until July 2015 that anything particularly noteworthy, Carp wise, was to happen in my new angling adventure. Because of some EA weed cutting my Barbel plans had to be put on hold and, instead, I thought a session out on the flatlands, after Tench, would be worth a bash. This proved to be a pivotal decision as, despite not catching the species I was after, a Common Carp of 18 lbs 10 oz graced my landing net and provided the insight that they could be caught away from the crowds and their moronic, tunnel visioned, views. Just four days later I was back, this time with Carp as my target and, with the fishing gods smiling down, I landed my first "twenty" since February 1984. What a fish, absolutely stunning, like carved mahogany and probably never seen a hook in it's lifetime? There and then I knew that Carp would now play a part in my second dalliance with angling.

My first "twenty" in over thirty-one years.

Exploring the East Kent drains provided some brilliant angling experiences, plus a few decent Carp along the way. My son, Benno, pointed me in the direction of the Royal Military Canal and we both caught a couple of twenties from the section near Seabrooke as a result. However, it was the drains which continued to hold me under their spell and now, having past my sixtieth birthday, had the added factor of using a couple of 1959 B.James & Son, Dick Walker Mk IV, split cane, Carp Rods. A couple of Mitchell 300's completed the set-up and "Old School" I was indeed. There is no doubt that using this kit does anything else but raise the enjoyment of catching fish to a new level, however, there is an element of feeling a little under-gunned in certain situations so I am now rather selective about when and where I use it. Not to worry as my main choice of rods are three, 1983, Duncan Kay 11' 1 lb 10 oz t/c carbon fibre versions which were built by Ian Crawley in the St. Albans branch of Leslies of Luton. I would think that 90% of my angling is done using these rods, be that after Pike, Carp or anything else. 

I'm absolutely spoilt for reel choice with a nice blend of ancient and modern versions at my disposal. Away from the Mitchell 300's, my preference seems to be with ABU Cardinals, either 66X's or 55's. That I also have the option of sticking a Match Aerial centrepin in the mix certainly helps add something to the angling experience if a decent fish is hooked. I also own modern Whychwood, Nash and Okuma, fixed spool, models which ensures that I have got most bases covered? As with all aspects of life, with the passing of time comes experience and, for me, it was retiring in April 2021 that really lifted the lid on the potential angling options that were available without having to rub shoulders with the weekend warriors. Although it is those wild Carp of the East Kent marshes which really fire my enthusiasm, I have to admit that my recent seasons spent on both local club and commercial venues have provided some excellent angling. 

I'm now in the very comfortable position of not needing to worry about how others perceive my ability based upon my choice of tackle or tactics. This also works in reverse, as I have no requirement to understand how others derive enjoyment from their own angling. Each to their own, I guess? I am now embarked upon a very individual journey which, by definition, will be done my way. I might have my angling roots back in the "Old School" days yet am not completely oblivious to the incredible advances in tackle, techniques and bait production that I will ignore them. My apprenticeship ensured that watercraft and bankside etiquette were fundamental requirements when at a fishery. An enquiring mind-set was also a major factor in big fish angling during my formative years and hasn't diminished in importance with the passing of time. 

The past three seasons of Carp fishing has been the most productive time I've ever spent in their pursuit. My single most important edge has been the desire to do something different from the norm.and that doesn't require the IQ of Albert Einstein at the vast majority of fisheries I have visited. The "copycat" mentality of the current generation of Carp angler is on display for all to see. Just take a look at YouTube and it is quickly apparent how little thought, and effort, goes into the fishing of the vast amount of contributors on this platform. The abuse of time, with very few signs of ability, is key to their thought processes and so it's bait & wait every outing with monotonous repetition. As I stated earlier, it's not for me to judge how others derive enjoyment from their own angling experiences, I just know that it doesn't work for me. Crashing around with 3 oz plus leads plus kilos of spod mix and boilies placed noisily into the fishery via a "Spomb" using rods which guys on Ramsgate beach would consider to be heavy doesn't fit anywhere in my own approach. 

So in 2024, how does this "Old School" bloke fish for Carp? At this point I do need to make it very clear that I have no affiliation to any tackle manufacturers, so my kit is based purely upon the need for it to be able to do the job I require. This said, it was an Oli Davies, of Nash Tackle, YouTube offering which pointed me in the direction of their "Bushwhacker" baiting pole system and it has proven to be a real game changing piece of kit in my own fishing, not only for Carp! I have an original version but have purchased an additional six sections which gives me a maximum range of 24 metres of stealthy and incredibly accurate bait placement. My baiting edge is provided by a home prepared particle mix which is based upon Racing Pigeon conditioning seed, but with a few tweaks which I will keep under my hat. My choice of boilies is to stick with frozen baits, of whoever's are available in the tackle shop at the time, and to use a wafter version as my hook bait for reasons which I will expand upon shortly. 

My rigs are a mix of simple blow-back and "D" rigs, I have absolutely no desire to create a "Ronnie" rig with all that metalwork which goes with it. Although I have no issues with modern braids, be they coated or not, I am currently using 10 lbs b.s. Diawa Sensor mono for my hook links with very pleasing results. Hooks have been a real journey of discovery with many twists along the way. Korda "Widegapes" took some beating until I stumbled across the Gardner "Rigga" model. They are insane and, along with the Gardner "Mugga" pattern, provide everything I require from my hooks. I'm happy to use a lead clip system or an inline dependant upon the substrate I'm fishing over. Where allowed I prefer to use a length of leadcore leader, yet am equally confident that tungsten tubing will allow me to present my rig in very similar fashion should the fishery rules require it?  My preferred lead size is between 1 1/2 & 2 1/2 oz, although I will go heavier if conditions dictate the need. One other thing which is part of my rig presentation is the use of back leads, no matter what distance I am fishing.

So what do I do to make sure my approach is so different? Well, firstly, a kilo of boilies will probably last me over a month? I never offer them whole, they will be either halved or crushed (or both) and placed in the Bushwhacker on top of a scoop of particle mix. I think that I use about 60 kg of particles for every 1 kg of boilies. My wafter hook bait is the only whole offering I place in the swim. Out on the marshland drains and the Royal Military Canal, the challenge is provided by the Carp themselves. At the local club and commercial venues it is the other anglers which pose the biggest test. Margin fishing has been the biggest edge I can find, purely because Noddy and his mates can't use a Spomb or a catapult to deposit copious amounts of freebies at such close range, thus targeting spots at longer range where they can impress their peers with an agricultural display of bait placing prowess. The Carp associate all this disturbance with danger and head for cover where my rigs await them.

Day ticket Common of 25 lbs 4 oz

My sessions rarely exceed five hours and the kit on display is not expensive, logo covered, gear but still does the job required of it. NGT landing nets, unhooking cradle, and weigh sling, a cheap Leeda rod pod on which are Nash Siren R3 alarms (courtesy of Fujifilm awards scheme) and my choice of old rods and reels about sums it up. I do enjoy my time spent after these fish yet can't help feel that something is missing from modern angling because other species are held in such low esteem by the vast majority of those who now go fishing. A twenty pound Carp is physically a big fish and that hasn't changed despite the fact that there are specimens many, many pounds heavier swimming around in the fisheries of the UK today. So to sum it up, I probably am "Old School" because all I desire from my angling is to enjoy the experiences it provides. Big fish are still a draw, yet having experienced such a wondrous journey, certainly don't matter as much as they have done in the past.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Bits & bobs, odds & sods

The situation with Bev's medical issues all seem to be headed in the right direction, as predicted by the surgeon and cancer nurse after the operation. The biggest issue, from our perspective, is waiting for the next stage in this process. Obviously, for us, it is the top priority in our lives yet we recognise that the medical crew are dealing with so many other cases that we are, in reality, just another entry on a spreadsheet. Roll on 26th April and the consultation meeting with Dr.A. Podder to learn what happens next. 

Garden birding has been good fun, although I am really struggling to get any additions for the year list. Three pairs of Sparrowhawks are holding territory around the Newlands Farm area and I was delighted to grab a photo of a stunning adult male which perched on my neighbours fence a couple of days ago. A lone Buzzard has also taken up (temporary?) residence which is causing the local Herring Gulls quite a few issues as it goes about its' daily routine. 

I have been out with the rods, down at Sandwich Coarse Fishery, for a couple of "sundowner" sessions this week. I've caught Carp on both occasions, yet only one "double" out of three fish landed. I've got to give Kev, the site manager, a massive thumbs up for allowing me the opportunity to be a little flexible due to Bev's medical issues. Top bloke! 

The best one, thus far, at 17 lbs 6 oz 
Quite a distinctive character with a deformed tail which probably explains why it didn't
put up much of a scrap!

I saw my first Swallows of 2024, four, this afternoon and my decision to switch to centrepins provided added enjoyment from the capture of two "scamps" which fell for the tactics today.

Not quite a "double" these Sandwich Coarse Fishery Common Carp
are capable of pushing tackle to the limits.
I do have a post, in preparation, about my current stance on Carp fishing and hope to get it finished in the next couple of days. We have a busy, family based, weekend planned, so it will be placed into cyberspace when I am able to do so?