Carp make up for missing roach on the River Cut.

July 27, 2022 at 8:27 pm

When morning showers failed to materialise, I decided to try my local River Cut for an afternoon fishing, my wife Julie helping with the tackle on the long walk down to my chosen swim, where I hoped for a carp, or two. Although my knee surgery has been a success, it was good to have help getting the trolley down the bank and in position in the swim.

I was sorry to see that a couple of long branches had been  forced into the far bank bush, cutting off access to the edge, where trotting a float close to the foliage results in most bites. I tried to remove the nearest branch, but it remained firmly stuck in place. An act of vandalism, or someone with access to a grappling hook saving the swim to themselves? This is a club water, but without effective bailiffs, it is something that members must expect. I also counted three shopping trollies in the river on my way down too.

The river was very coloured, but casting the 4 No 4 ali stemmed stick float rig in, with a 6 mm punch of bread on the size 16 hook, saw an instant response, small rudd and gudgeon taking the float under repeatedly.

I had mixed up a few ounces of coarse liquidised bread, with ground hemp and ground carp pellets added, this being lightly damped down to form loose balls, which were put in upstream of the bush, in the hope of drawing fish up away from the obvious snags.

The bottom was alive with small fish, but where were the decent roach that live under the bush? Getting the float in close to the bush resulted in sailaway bites, but missed fish, or snags. My bankside was soon  covered with branches. I scaled down to a 5 mm punch and began hitting into small dace, most of which shed the hook before I could lift them clear of the water.

As my wife was getting ready to walk back to the car, to shop in the town, my float sank slowly and stayed down. “I’m in!” The twelve foot Hardy float rod bent double, as the golden shape of a carp turned over beneath the bush. I could not afford to let the carp run down further into the sunken branches and keeping the rod flat, put on full pressure. A couple more flashes of gold and it was running upstream, while I back wound to slow it. In the shallow river, it zizagged all over, while I kept on the pressure, until it was ready for the net.

Weighed in at 1 lb 12 oz, this little battler was soon returned, once Julie had done the honours with the camera. Now late for her visit to Marks and Spencers, she promised to return as soon as possible. I mixed up some fresh feed, again putting it a couple of yards above the bush. I was lucky to persuade that last one to come out.

I now began to catch small roach among the gudgeon, but nothing big again.

I had gone up to a 7 mm bread punch in the hope of another carp, spreading the bulk shot, but rudd were taking on the drop.

This rudd had predator damage on both sides. With no pike in the river, it is probably the survivor of a cormorant attack, the bush giving refuge from these hungry birds.

My wife had just returned from her shopping spree, when my lightweight Hardy was doubled over again. This carp was bigger and just as mobile, fighting hard beneath the bush, before trying to find snags along the far bank. Stirring up the mud as the runs shortened, the net was ready when the carp breached and number two was on the bank.

This chunky common carp was weighed in at 2 lb 8 oz, a 7 mm punch on a size 16 hook had done the damage, but falling out in the landing net.

Once this still fighting carp was returned to the water, it was time to pack up. This had given me an appetite and I was ready for my dinner.

Bread punch had kept the bites coming, although the chub and roach that I usually take from this swim were missing and just hope that the cormorants haven’t scoffed them all.