Back down at the lake I have been fishing all spring, the fishing was not quite hectic yet but signs were that all was warming up nicely for a final scenario before I move on to pastures new in mid June. The skies were cloudless but a nice easterly wind was blowing, just right for some action. The carp were lying up in the shelter of the wind but I could not get to them as float anglers were dotted around the lake. Instead, after a couple of walks around, I settled for a small swim that covered a tree that was in the water, the breeze was blowing nicely against its branches; with 8 feet of water below, it seemed like a good bet.

I cast out to the tree using single small liver flavour boilies with trout pellets liberally spread around it. For the other rod, I had discovered a very small gravel bar just 30 yards out that was, it seemed, the remains of a bar that at one time was much more prominent but time and silt had broken it down. It was significant though as the majority of the lake is uniform. I put a single boilie on this bar, again, covered in trout pellets.

As the sun began to loose its strength the first fish began to roll in the ripple and, sure enough, the first couple of line bites were encountered. A carp crashed out opposite me in between some pads and a snaggy tree. This was an area that I knew a couple of carp hung around in but it was usually only good for a couple of chances so I was reluctantly holding back from fishing there. As I pondered the conundrum I was brought back from my thoughts by a fast take on the rod by the tree. Line poured off the reel, I struck but the initial power reduced to the now familiar thud, thud, of a good tench. Sure enough out in open water I glimpsed the flash of green and shortly after a nice female tench of 5lb 11oz was in the net. A gorgeous fish as usual but still no sign of the tench getting bigger with a belly full of spawn. I am now beginning to think that this will happen after June 16th when I will be long gone, oh well.

I put the tench back and settled in for a summer night, no need for the shelter this night, it would be a session under the stars. After a long wet winter this was a fantastic feeling and the way I much prefer fishing. I am much more responsive to fish rolling during the night and of course much more efficient when it comes to hitting takes. The night was not too old when the rod on the small gravel bar shot off and I struck into a good fish that charged over the bar, there was no thud, thud, this time but before I could be really certain, the culprit was gone, the 8lb line cut through on the gravel.

Cursing, I set up this rod again with a lead core leader to counter-act the gravel bar that was obviously sharper than I thought. The rest of the night was quiet but at dawn the fish started rolling again and the line bites started up. It was the rod on the bar that was away again but this time there was no cut off and after a really good scrap I landed a nice common carp of 9lb 2oz. Not exactly as big as I wanted but a welcome fish from this particular lake. As I slipped it back I glanced at my watch to find it was well past packing up time so reluctantly I left the fish to it.

A couple of days later I was back. I fought off the urge to fish the area the carp had crashed out from and instead went back to the same swim as before by the tree. It was another hot day with less of an easterly wind so the carp were more obvious on the top but again, float anglers were in the swims where they could be reached from. I wandered up the flat-calm end of the lake and found three carp under some over hanging trees. One was a ghost carp, quite possibly the same one I had lost a couple of weeks before.

The carp were quite high up in the water rather than feeding so I dropped some floaters in amongst the branches and waited to see what would happen. The answer was, basically, not a lot. The carp floated around under them and one, a small common nudged one with its lips but shortly after that all three drifted away. I trudged back to the swim by the tree and fished the same two spots as last time.

The heat here was intense and there were no fish showing at all apart from the motionless carp on top so I sat back in the sun dozing. Not until it was virtually dark did I get my first line bite by the tree but that was all, the night was in its second half before something else happened. This time it was the rod on the bar that bleeped a couple of times before the indicator dropped like a stone. I was off the bed chair in a flash and struck into a solid object. Whatever it was did not fight and soon it was in the margins, however just as it was about to break surface the hook pulled out. A bream or a foulhooked fish, one or the other.

Dawn soon arrived and on the flat surface I could see loads of bubbles showing over both baited spots, after a couple of line bites I sat by the rods and soon I had a fast take on the rod by the tree. The fish went right under the tree but soon it was under the rod tip boring away, it lacked power though so before long I netted a nice male tench a little under 5lb.

I had just put it back when the rod on the bar flew off, I expected a carp as the rod bent over but again the charge was short lived and a female tench of a similar size to the first flapped on the surface. The session was over, with just two small tench to show for it.

Next week will be my last week on the water before setting off back to some more serious carp fishing, I think I might miss the fun and action I have had this spring though. Well, until the first big carp is in the net that is!

Have fun!