Monday, 14 June 2010

Pond Life - You've gotta have Faith

My master-plan was a return to Parker's Pool for a dawn to dusk full day blow out session involving an early ground-bait bombardment of selected swims and day long roaming style peg hopping and all in pursuit of the pond's elusive population of crucian carp.

In the event, I fell out of bed about ten o'clock in the morning, some six hours late for my appointment with Carassius carassius, my post — alcoholic attempts to get back on firm terms with the quotidian reality of things, those necessary readjustments to the pure and blissful nothingness of normality, giving Judy the opportunity for some chemically sharpened, micro-barbed observations upon my stupidity.

The pond looked very pretty upon arrival with a multitude of hovering and fluttering insects buzzing around the yellow flags and lily flowers. It was warm and still in the pre — noon sun but high above was a mackerel sky, a certain sign that later in the day the weather would surely take a turn for the worse.

I settled into the swim where I'd lost a couple of larger fish last time out, baited it with hemp corn and pellets and cast a piece of corm amongst it all. I sat for an hour without a bite, an unusual state of affairs in this water, so eventually was forced to move around to another peg but things were no different there — quite dead.

In my experience, if fish are not biting then they are probably not going to start just because you've laid a table for them — no amount of feed will induce them when they are in the mood for idling around, or hiding. I made a decision to fish another pool from the choice of four, and after a little deliberation settled on The Crater for the specimen rudd I'm convinced it contains, but have not yet seen...

I made myself very comfortable just lounging back on the grassy bank and staying as low as possible so to avoid sky-lining and spooking the fairly large rudd that were mopping up some kind of unseen floating foodstuff just over and beyond the marginal weeds. First cast brought a respectable fish requiring the net and who immediately coughed up a thoroughly soaked and undigested dog biscuit...!!??

Hmm.... Interesting...

The ponds lovely rudd came along at regular intervals on corn fished at three quarters depth, which is where I have found the best fish here to be had, but they did not seem to be feeding voraciously, just a bite here and there, a fish every ten minutes or so. After an hour of steady fishing a couple of lads turned up on the opposite bank and proceeded to arse about harmlessly with their Poundland rods and reels. Eventually they started to catch small perch and became quite serious for a time only to return to the high jinks after every few bite-less minutes!

As the afternoon progressed the weather began to turn, the wind freshening and the sky darkening in the West, just as the long vanished mackerel sky had predicted. It did no harm to the fishing though and when a foray just a few tens of yards around the pond to a very weedy swim produced a bite per cast, I upped sticks completely and settled there for good.

It was a good move. Fish came one after the other and the bites were so positive that a strike was quite unnecessary, just a lift of the rod top was enough to secure things.

The lad's dad turned up from the nearby housing estate and took firm control of the pair. A huge rotund fella turned up too; plainly an angler by the way he scrutinised the water. He engaged the lad's dad in booming conversation across the way — luckily, nowhere near my swim, which was really cooking on gas at this time.

Then, during a lull in activity, a bite came that connected with a really solid clunk, the fish tearing off in panic. A small carp perhaps? But, no, on first sight it was a rudd and clearly the kind of rudd I'd been believing in all along. It scrapped with fury and weeded itself time and again but I got the long handled net out as far as I could in the marginal undergrowth and scooped up the fish complete with a festoon of uprooted greenery.

Whoohoo! A pounder!

I know that a pound or so rudd (it was dead on) is no great shakes on a national scale but local to Coventry it is a monster of a fish (unless anyone knows of better) and truly a specimen in the best sense of the word.

The fish went in the keep-net and I returned to the swim fully expecting the realistic chance of a crack at a few more of similar size, or better still given that such fish aren't loners but usually part of a cohort of same year-class fish. Unfortunately, Lad's Dad and Mountain Man had then decided to investigate my fishing and now stood up the sloping bank and high above the swim nattering away, blithely ignorant of the disastrous effect they were having upon the confidence of the Rudd shoal out front. Needless to say that while they were around I caught very little to entertain them, and certainly none of the long vanished elder residents.

After they had gone I struggled for bites for another hour before packing down. I called the lads over, dad having departed for home, to assist with the weighing and photographing of the fish. I gave the camera over to 'Mitchell' and instructed him to take as many pics as he liked.

When the net was hoist they gasped in delight as the flapping mass of fish thrashed the water, but their jaws dropped slack when the spied the big rudd dwarfing its fellow prisoners.

"That's the biggest rudd I ever saw in my life" exclaimed Mitchell, "Can we have your old sweetcorn, as you don't need it anymore?"

Sharp. I guess it won't be the 'biggest rudd he ever saw' for long!

And Mitchell; thanks for the sterling job of photography — what I failed to mention at the time was that the rudd was not only the biggest you ever saw but also the biggest I ever saw too! It's a personal best for me and you really pulled one out of the bag for me with that artfully composed shot you see above...

The rest though, well, they were rubbish...!


  1. Nice Rudd Jeff - you beat me to the pounder!

    I had a brief session there on Saturday, but it failed to deliver anything special. I will add a report soon.

  2. I'm thinking that fish around this size must be the top of the pyramid Sean. If better fish, say 1.5 lb, were there then surely one of us would have found at least one of them by now?

    The good thing is - the fish was young and in typically fine fettle and that means they'll probably keep packing on the weight over the next few years