Carp excite at Allsmoor Pond

June 23, 2024 at 12:48 pm

Following a frustrating couple of hours with pike attacks ruining a fishing session at my local Jeanes Pond, I walked down to my very local Allsmoor Pond later in the week, where there are no pike, although cormorants have decimated the roach and rudd stocks this year. At least there are still common and crucian carp to catch, these being my target fish, when I arrived at 3 pm. Although part of a public recreation area, the reeds, trees and the lily beds have been left to encroach on the pond, with only a few swims now fishable. My chosen swim was a bit of a parrot cage, with little room to manouvre, hemmed in on all sides and overhead, a pole the only option to fish it.

I set up at what once was the outlet of the pond, but both it and the inlet have silted up in the last ten years, with the brook that fed it culverted around to one side. When I first fished here in 2010, the brook used to run down the middle of the pond with a flowing deeper channel, the banks then kept clear as a public amenity, unfortunately the reeds at the far end have already cut the pond in two and without attention by the council it will only get worse.

So much for the pessimism, what was it like to fish? With a high bank behind and trees above, the pole was limited to seven metres and I fed several loose balls of my groundbait, out in a line from the edge of the lillies. This was 40% liquidised bread, the same of ground pellets and ground hemp, plus an anaseed and strawberry flavoured mix. I tested the depth and it was only about half a metre, with the bread coming back coated in silkweed.

I swung out the 4 x 14 antenna rig, baited with an 8 mm pellet of punched bread on a size 14 barbless hook, placing it two metres from the lily bed and waited. Once I would have been speed fishing my way through a raft of rudd, but now the first sign of a fish came from lily pads twitching, then a bow-wave moving out in the direction of my float. The float, dipped, then came back up, twitched again, then moved and raised. “Come on take it!” The float disappeared with the line following. I was in! The elastic shot out of the pole tip, with the pole bending as the unseen fish turned back to the pads. I brought the pole round to the right, until it was buried in overhanging branches. It was a Tug of War. The bronze flank of a carp was almost in the pads, while the elastic was at full stretch. It turned and ran at full speed to the right, where the stump of an old fishing notice sits above the surface. The pole was switched round to apply opposite pressure. It kept going, then turned in an arc. Black mud was being churned up in the shallow water. This was a big carp for this pond. I shortened the pole to avoid the overhanging branches, just in time as the carp powered by. Soon the carp was wallowing on the surface, but not ready for the landing net. I shortened down to the top two joints and brought the carp closer, straight into the net and lifted it onto the unhooking mat. Phew!

The barbless hook was in the gristle of the top lip and I lifted it onto my lap to get my disgorger in play. The hook was out in seconds. A quick weigh up in the net at over 6 lb and another another photo, then it was back in the pond and away with a swirl.

Time for a cuppa.

That was a challenge in such a restricted area, but quick responses beat the carp. I had only fitted a new heavy elastic to the top two sections of the pole that morning, which was a good test with a 3 lb hook link to a size 14 barbless hook.

I put out a few more balls of ground bait and cast out again. A similar bite and I was ready for action, but a big 2 oz gudgeon was the result. I put the float back out again, this time a bobbing bite that slid under had me ready for another tiddler, but the elastic was out again and a lively fight was proved to be a crucian, that dived all over the swim, towards the pads, then into a sunken tree at my feet, before being guided to the landing net.

I felt sorry for this battered crucian carp. It had a damaged mouth due to barbed hooks, although it still had an intact dorsal fin and fought like the clappers.

A decent carp was next, which managed to reach the pads against full pressure. The hook flew out and catapulted into the trees along my bank, but the float was visible and within range of my landing net, so a bit of deft handling and branch bending had the untangled rig back in my hand.

There was a pause before the float inched away again and a firm lift had me playing a smaller carp, being able to control it with relative ease.

This carp had managed to escape a cormorant, having damage on both flanks, where the hooked beak had grabbed on, but was unable turn this near pound fish toward its throat.

After a smaller common and a couple of rudd, the mud was stirred up again with this battler, a clean undamaged common carp.

The sun was now behind me and I was fishing in the shade, which crucians prefer and a typical tap. tap, dither bite of a crucian produced the expected plunging fight. Then another minutes later.

I had said that I only would fish until 6 pm, although the crucians were now coming on the feed, so had one last cast and found myself fighting another fast moving common carp, that tested my reactions as it tried for every snag and obstical in range of the swim, but pressure from the elastic is relentless and it was soon rolling toward the net.

This image was spoiled by water splashing onto the camers lens, but worth including in the blog.

A very light antenna float and a size 14 barbless hook with an 8 mm punch of bread kept the bites coming all afternoon.