Times flies past and it seems just a short time ago that I visited Clawford Vineyard in an attempt to catch the carp that reside within Tanners lake. I seldom carp fish these days partly due to the fact that there is a feeling that carp fishing requires time I cannot find. I also struggle to some extent with the commercialism that has taken over the sport.
I don’t like failing so I was determined to return to Clawford and put a fish or two on the bank. Again I elected to fish the potentially more difficult Tanners as it holds some very large fish is well matured and has a good feel to it.
I arrived at the fishery shortly after 8.00am and was both surprised and delighted to have the lake to myself once again. I headed straight for the swim on the West bank that I fished on my last visit hopeful that I would once again get the fish feeding on the surface.
I set up a pair of rods and put out a standard carp rig and boilie set up firing out a scattering of loose baits and a few catapults full of hempseed. I then sat back and proceeded to fire out a steady stream of mixers. I struggled to some extent with the trap and wait approach and lacked confidence that the bite indicators would shriek out their warning.
A kingfisher flashed past; a glimpse of electric blue on a cool dull overcast morning. I took in my surroundings over a coffee and studied the water surface carefully hoping to glimpse a feeding carp.
Some of the mixers had drifted into a back bay close by and I noticed a couple of fish eagerly taking the mixers from the surface. I immediately put together my floater rod, wound in the bottom rods and set out to stalk the carp. A decent sized common carp could be seen swimming slowly through the weeds. I dropped my bait in front of it and watched as its mouth closed around the bait. I lifted the rod smartly and watched as the bait flew out of its mouth causing the fish to swim slowly away.
Another fish appeared in the open water and I flicked a bait out close to it. This fish swan slowly and purposefully up to the bait, nudged it with is nose and turned disdainfully away as did the next two fish that emerged from the weed.
I walked by to my main swim a few yards along the bank put a bottom bait back out. I then continued catapulting out mixers. After a while carp appeared cautiously slurping down the occasional mixer. When I felt the fishes confidence had grown I put out a bait and maneuvered it close to the feeding carp. Eventually a pair of lips closed around the bait and I raised the rod. The rod lurched forward the line zipped tight and the reels clutch grudgingly yielded line. I was to some extent surprised at the power of the fish fir I have not carp fished for a while and not felt one on the line for sometime. The fish buried its self into weed and for a while I thought it was game up. Eventually it came out after a mixture of slack line and strong-arm tactics.
When the fish was eventually safely within the folds of the net I admired the prize. The scales told that it was no monster at 16lb but its beautiful golden flanks and wide rudder of a tale was a joy to behold.
An hour later I once again visited the Back Bay and this time succeeded in tempting a handsome mirror of 14lb. I will undoubtedly be back again next year hoping to land a twenty pounder or bigger. In the mean time I will be seeking other fish.