Spring Has Sprung

DAN WILDBORE has finally caught a few fish, and some crackers too. Here’s how it all went.

With my spring campaign moving slower than ever and catching practically nothing, I was beginning to feel rather depleted. I had only really fished the odd overnighter and the occasional 24 hours and felt like I was not putting enough time in to succeed.

As you will know, every month we spend 48 hours with Steve Renyard for the Weekender feature. Editor Jon Bones and I take it in turns going out with him and this time it was my allocation.

With a bit of a twist, neither Steve nor I could pencil a weekend in the diary, so we had to fish the Monday to Wednesday. This is highly unusual for Steve and the Weekender series, but a nice surprise all the same.
The venue was to be Par Fishery in Essex, a lovely little four-acre that holds carp to the 38lb mark. Primarily, this is a feature and, although we are allowed to fish, the main objective is for Steve to catch.

I won’t go too much into Steve’s session because that will be described in the July issue. It was a great success and some of the fish that we had witnessed both in the water and on the bank were beautiful.

I was fishing the far margins after watching the fish constantly patrolling one particular area. A few bait scoops of maggots and hemp were placed on the clearings in the weed and I sat back to see if they would respond.
They did, and more than I could have imagined. They began to fizz heavily on the spot and show every minute or so. The area was alive and with a small solid bag of Krill powder cast among the fish I was happy that my little white pop-up was presented well.

The following morning arrived and after a surprise bite from a 24lb 10oz carp on a zig, I couldn’t believe that the solid bag had not produced a bite. I had a rethink and wound in to see what was going on.
I had cast my bag into the weed because the clear spots were only three feet deep and I didn’t want unwanted attention from the swans. Now that it was light, I decided to cast my lead to the far bank, walk around and drop the solid bag in exactly where I wanted it.

I did this and spread a few scoops of bait around the shallow spot. I walked back round and the trap was set. In no more than an hour my slack line rose quickly through the upper layers and the bobbin smashed into the butt ring.

I had changed my hooks to a size 6 Wide Gape to land the fish through the thick weed. This did the trick and, soon enough, a heavily scaled mirror was in the net. At over 22lb it was a good size and a lovely looking carp too.

The rod went straight back out there with a fresh rig and bait and I was confident of another one. The fish were evidently fizzing up and feeding hard over the bait already. Half and hour later and I was in again, this time picking the rod to feel a much more substantial weight.

Steve came round to give me a hand with the netting and before long I could see a sizeable carp surging through the upper layers. I could see the large rounded stomach and huge frame of the fish and was praying that it would stay on. It did, and Steve slid the net under it.

It was clearly a good fish and what a character too. It had a lovely sloped head, small fins and almost a grey tinge above its lateral line. At 36lb 8oz it was my first thirty for a while and I was over the moon.

We did a few snaps before safely returning her to her watery home. It was a great moment and although I didn’t get to fish as much as I would have liked, work is work and the feature always comes first. I would like to return to Par in autumn to try and catch some of the scaly carp that were swimming past me on a regular basis.  

The next couple of weeks are going to be both exiting and perhaps a bit nervous. I am angling back on my syndicate water this weekend and have the British Carp Angling Championship the following week. If that isn’t enough, I have my England trial the weekend after that. It is going to be extremely busy, but hopefully very enjoyable all the same.


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