I reckon I nearly got lynched the other day whilst out fishing. When I told my better half that she didn't seem at all surprised. Mind you she's always been of the opinion that there is a tiny part of my personality that brings out the worst in people and who am I to argue with that as she's a saint in my eyes and I nearly push her over the edge on a regular basis.
How this impromptu hanging nearly came to be was thus: I've been feeling a little pressured (by myself) to fish the rivers right up until the end of the season, but frankly they're a bit shit right now and I've been itching to check out a pool or two that I have discovered are showing some big perch potential. Anyway, a few things came together where it seemed getting to the river would be out of the question and with weather being almost conducive to still water fishing I took a chance and headed to one of the pools I wanted to investigate. The other thing I also wanted to do was finally have a go with my new Greys fifteen foot float rod which I've been gagging to use.
So after BB's swimming lesson, a pub breakfast and depositing my young at Nanny's for the weekend, I arrived around lunch time at my intended venue. As these commercial pools go it's pretty run of the mill with thirty or forty platform pegs, a couple of small barren islands and a smattering of anglers trying to catch deformed mouthed carp. There were seven or so chaps dotted around the pool and most of them were in the general vicinity of the feature I most fancied, in a quiet area behind one of the islands. On my way round the pool I chatted to a few of the residents and confirmed that only one chap had caught and that was a single small carp first put in, and the rest of them understandably disappointed by the lack of action. On a previous recce I found out about a deep channel in front of a reed bed close to where water trickles into the pool. The depth and cover along with the water entering the pool made it an obvious hot spot for any species in most weathers so that's where I pitched up camp.
One of the reasons I wanted a fifteen foot rod was so as I could use pole rigs to fish for perch as well as tench and crucians in the summer. The idea being that I can fish to a decent range out pretty much as if I was using a short pole and have all the control which that entails, without any of the pole accessories that you really need to use a pole correctly and that hamper mobility. The one pole accessory I have really pulled back into my armory is the pole pot which last year became a mainstay of my float fishing kit and this quickly came into play after I plumbed up and settled on a ledge which ran parallel to the target reed bed. Even as warm as the sun felt on my back I was cautious with the bait and potted in a half a pot of minced prawn, chopped worm and casters onto a very tight area. Moments later my lob tail hook bait sank onto the spot and I watched the yellow and red tip float cock and sink to half depth leaving only the red top showing.
If by now you hadn't figured out where this was going, then here we go. I didn't even have chance to react to the first bite as by the time it had registered that my float had gone the rod tip was bent round and I was playing what felt like a decent sized carp. Happily as described by the manufacturer, my new rod had gone from its stiff rigid state to a pleasing parabolic curve and even with a panicky carp bashing around in the shallows it felt like I had loads of power in reserve. In no time at all the fish had been subdued into my waiting net.
After netting and photographing a rather pleasing mirror I took it well away from swim to release it. It was on the way back that one chap congratulated me and his mate grumbled something about me having a secret bait. So of course the next cast I made onto spot was obviously going to produce the second carp straight away. I actually heard the grumbling chap say, "he's making us look stupid here", as I played the fish. Then as I got rid of that unwanted worm thief the chap and his mate both aired their opinions that I either knew the lake inside out or was using some mysterious illegal bait. I'd say you couldn't write what happened next, but you can and it did! Third cast and boom, third fish on and it's hard to hide fifteen feet of bent carbon on a well cropped commercial pool from seven bored anglers. I didn't hear the chap approach but I certainly heard him proclaim "worms" at the top of his voice to his mates and turned to see one of the guys standing behind me before he turned off and say "well, I know what to bring next time" as he walked away from my bait box.
Thank god the bites dried up after this and my streak that unsettled the locals evaporated with it. After this I was reluctant to bait up too much in case of drawing in more flipping carp as they seemed to be hungry even if I was the only one catching and my free bait was the special of the day. Eventually I had to bait up and when another pot of bait went in the carp again quickly found it. After catching one smallish carp I moved the rig off of the bait for a while until the carp I hoped cleared up and left. After a suitable amount of time had elapsed I slowly lowered the worm tail bait on what I hope was a spot devoid of carp, and it was. Half an hour later the float rose exposing the yellow stem under the red tip and quickly dipped away. I struck and felt an almost hard thump before the rod bent under pressure and the pressure quickly released sending the rig into the air.
I was sure the bumped off fish was a perch and thinking it might still be around I dropped the rig straight back in. A further thirty minutes without a bite and I had no choice but to roll the dice one last time. With less than an hour before I had to be off the bank I once again baited the spot with more chopped goodness and let it stew for a while before daring to cast the rig. It was an exact repeat of the previous scenario only this time the fish was on. The fight was pure joy on the new rod and quickly the fishes identity was confirmed as a big perch before it slipped into the net.
All I can say is what a stunner of a commercial fish it was! If every one I catch from this ignored little venue is this good looking then I will be back time and time again to risk a lynching from the local gobshites as fish like this are well worth the risk and more, especially as I have heard they grow to twice the size of this one in there.