Saturday, March 22, 2014

A stick to beat someone with.

My mate Keith and I visited Magiscroft on Wednesday. It was a dry but very windy day so we once again sought shelter at the southern side of the fishery on one of the Birch Ponds. We decided to have one of our friendly competitions and settled on a highest combined carp length competition. As usual I set up and fished the same swim all day whilst Keith roamed around trying various spots. I began by chucking in a few balls of halibut crush groundbait containing some maggots and flavoured sweetcorn and fished double maggot on a #14 hook on the bottom using a float ledger rig. Keith opted to fish a single maggot on a #20 hook using a standard waggler setup. This soon saw him catch a load of roach before he hooked and lost a carp. I on the other hand wasn't getting many bites so after a while I decided to switch to a #18 hook and fish single maggot. This saw me start catching roach too and a skimmer. 

My second small bream from the Birch Ponds. 

By this point Keith was working his way around the pond and before long had hooked his second carp of the day. I headed over to where he was and after he carefully played the fiesty fish I netted it for him. 

Keith opens his account with a 13 1/2 inch common carp.

A few dozen roach later Keith caught a second common carp adding another 14 1/2 inches to his tally. The pressure was on and I was just starting to think I might end the day on zero inches when I finally hooked my first decent fish of the day and it was Keith's turn to net a carp for me.

I get back into the challenge with a 12 3/4 inch fish.

A chunky little F1 carp. 

Things went quiet for a while so I switched to a standard waggle setup and Keith headed off to try his luck on the Railway Pond. I persevered at my chosen peg but after a couple of gudgeon and my seventieth roach I decided to change to a piece of flavoured sweetcorn on the hook. Bites immeadiately dried up but having had my fill of roach I didn't mind and after adding a bit more groundbait my patience paid off when my float slowly slid under and I caught a second F1. Keith had the measuring tape though so I improvised, laying a stick next to it and taking a photo for later measurement but I knew it wasn't long enough to give me the lead. I new I was in with a shout when though when I caught a third F1 about fifteen minutes later. It was smaller than my second so I bent the stick I had used on my second carp and took another photo as proof of its length.

A third F1 but had it given me victory or had Keith caught anymore?

Not long after popping it back it was time to pack up and after doing so I headed around to meet up with Keith who had moved onto the main pond. When I caught up with him I asked if he had caught any more carp. No was the answer, just loads more roach, so I gleefully broke the news of my second and third carp to him, showed him the photos and got him to measure my stick. Victory was mine!

My total carp length : 39 1/4 inches.
Keith's total carp length : 28 inches.

So it's now 2 - 0 to me in the 2014 "not very serious course fishing competition" world series. I think next time we're having a smallest perch challenge. Should be fun and may come down to a few millimetres!

Tight lines, Scott.

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