Bread punch common carp in the winter sun

February 21, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Days of double figure temperatures and a bright sunny afternoon, promised a few hours of successful carp fishing at a council owned lake a short drive from my home this week. With a car park at the waters edge, it is ideal for the casual angler, although the shallow, silt filled water is not the easiest to fish. Being a magnet for local mums with bread to feed the many ducks and Canada geese, the carp are used to bread being readily available as feed and I arrived with only bread as bait.

The council have recently trimmed the trees opposite the top of the island and I set up a float rod to fish through a gap, out into the channel. The float is a cut down antenna pole float carrying about 3 AA, the main line 6 lb and the hook link 4 lb to a size 16 barbless hook.

I mixed up a pint of coarse processed bread, adding a teaspoon each of curry powder and the same of vanilla powder, wetting this down to form sloppy balls. With so many ducks and geese around, I waited for an obliging mum to arrive before throwing the balls in three quarters over toward the island. With the ducks preoccupied on the adjacent bank, my feed was able sink onto the silt without being gobbled up by the feathered hordes.

Casting out into the fed area, I sunk the line to avoid the wind drift, the antenna soon showing signs of interest in the double punched 6 mm bread bait fished just above the silt. The float slowly sank away trailing line and I struck hard to lift the sunken line, the rod bending over into an explosive carp, that headed back over to the island snags. This was not a big fish and I held the run without any need to backwind, the clutch staying silent as the carp dashed from side to side, being brought closer to the landing net each time.

I have netted several commons to eight pounds from this small lake in the past, but I was happy with this three pounder, my spur of the moment decision to come fishing justified.

I now managed to miss a couple of unmissable bites, then striking into a tiny common, which it seems the lake may now be infested with. Back in November I had caught several baby carp, commons and mirrors and here was another nibbling at the bait.

With a few more of these micro carp returned, I decided to mix up some feed in the hope of attracting some of their larger brothers, but the extra, instead of feeding them off, brought in a greedy shoal. Each bite had to be treated like the real thing and striking into thin air, to see a tiny carp spinning on the hook was becoming tiresome.

I had gone up to a 7 mm double punched bread pellet, but this was no deterrent, the soft bait easily sucked into their mouths. The float disappeared again and I struck into a running carp. At last. It had been two hours since the last decent fish and this one was fighting harder, making long runs against the reel, stirring up a trail of black mud in its wake, then diving under the bank into the roots, eventually rolling repeatedly to the net.

About four pounds, this wild common carp made the most of its extra weight and satisfied my desire to continue; I had been sitting in the shade all afternoon and was now feeling cold. Time to pack up and head home for a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake.