Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Summer Carp - Monk's Pool Revisited

We were after grass carp and a pleasant day spent fishing floaters for them but an hour spent on the chosen water observing fish rise to a stream of wind blown chum mixers revealed that the carp were a fraction of the size we'd been led to believe and that grass carp were not amongst them. So much for fishery puff. So, it was decided that a swift move was in order before we got caught for a day ticket, the destination, a venue where grass carp were not but floater fun was pretty much guaranteed and with the half chance of a half decent carp.

Martin began by lacing the surface with mixers to get the carp up top and it doesn't take long as carp seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to identifying morsels of food caught in the film between them and the sky and within half an hour we had slurping, boiling carp all around us. However, Monks Pool carp are cute and so catching them is not quite as easy as luring them toward a bait because half the time they shy away at the last second, and nearly the rest of the time they spit the bait straight out when they detect line, however it is inevitable that in the end either you will time a strike just right or one will make a mistake.

After some time of trying I was finally 'in', and half way through an arm bender of a fight so was Martin and we landed two fish at the same for a rare double trophy shot. Not big fish - mine was just under ten pounds - but as with the majority of the carp here, they were long and lean scrapping machines.

I'm no expert on carp strains but I think they may be Rhopsha carp. Whatever they are they are hard to tame, often splashing about on hooking and looking beat after a few minutes and then suddenly getting it into their heads to turn on the strop when they'll embark on a series of slow but powerful ground hugging runs that simply cannot be stopped even on stepped up gear. I was using a well-balanced light outfit of a John Wilson 1 1/4 lb test Avon with low diameter six pound line for easy casting of the freelined single pellet peeling off a silky smooth shimano clutch and tied direct to a size eight barbless hook. Beating them up was not an option, I had to play them out till they were knackered.

Part of the skill in this kind of fishing is to keep the carp going as they tend top slope off if they can't smell food, coming and going in waves, but so long as there's morsels drifting around they'll be back for them, that's assured. We caught a steady procession of fish all afternoon long between hundreds of fluffed strikes and an equal amount of fish lost to those banked because of the often flimsy hook holds inevitably got by striking at those cagey takes.

The common cap fought the hardest and the light yellow coloured ones the hardest of all I found. The two shots above could be of the same fish but there's quite a few like this out there. Proabably just the same strain and stocking.

Martin had the largest fish of the day with a thirteen pound common though as the day wore on the average size of captures rose considerably with the smaller fish either fed off or ousted from the field by the larger.

He also had the prettiest fish - a silver coloured common carp that looked like a giant roach. A truly beautiful fish this and my pictures just don't do it justice.

Last cast of the day saw my hook into a curmudgeonly fish that just would not agree with me. Eventually I had her beat and it she turned out to be the oldest looking mirror carp I have ever seen and with a pronounced kink in the tail. Luckily she had a fat belly too and gave me a day's best fish at twelve and a half pounds.

And that was it. No chance of monsters, no increase in challenge points and no chance of beating a personal best but hey, sometimes fishing is more about chasing real fish than synthetic targets.

Today was one of those days. A thoroughly enjoyable test of reflexes and arm aching fun!


  1. That last pic reminds me of "The Beauty & The Beast", not sure which is which though!

  2. Jeff that last fish came with a white stick and a zimmer frame, it was so old and deformed. As for that twin shot, I don't remember yours being bigger than mine.


  3. A memorable fish that one! Surprised such an old girl slipped up! Went back kicking though.

  4. Looks like you`ve had a downpour.

  5. Jeff I have just returned from the Cov canal after catching Zander and one hell of a lot of signal crayfish.I have read your blogs on a number of occasions and i cant remember you mentioning that you have a problem .

  6. Mervyn, I have never caught one or even had a crayfish bite though I have seen two dead in the water. Were you fishing far out of town ?

  7. Jeff.I was fishing your patch close to Tusses.Im sure they are the culprits of the missed Zander bites that I read of.