Recently I've been a bit behind in the blogging, so I am hoping to catch up and what better way to start than with the canals elusive big Bream and Carp, the Bream probably wouldn't be many anglers first port of call but I really like how dark they are in the gin clear water, they look simply prehistoric, catching them isn't easy as I have touched on in the past where I've had varying levels of success.
About 9am..ish after finishing with an early morning client a gap in my schedule of 3 hours was going begging, that meant only one thing, it was fishing time! Oh when a plan comes together its great, all I needed was to find fish and feeding ones at that, the conditions for stalking weren't perfect but in the past I have caught in worse.
Just a small loaf of Warburton's for the walk and a stalking rod loaded with 8lb line just in case I came across a nomadic Carp on my travels. I spotted a shoal (5 or 6) of Bream cruising the far bank margin which was a sight for sore eyes, nearly three miles walked before these appeared, as soon as I spotted them the bread was flicked just in front of the advancing pod, no sooner did the bait hit the water one of the Bream arched up and sucked the bait in, a Bream off the top! I was a little shocked to tell the truth but I've seen some crazy things in my years of angling, this was just another to add to that growing collection.
The fight was non-existent as I have come to expect but it's the stealth and patience required to catch these extremely clever creatures, the most un-natural approach seems to work most of the time I've caught, on the scales she weighed 8lb 6oz and was very chuffed......but only for about twenty minutes. In that small shoal I did see a big big Bream in the middle and if I was a betting man I'd suggest it were a double, as the little shoal came back around minus the one I'd caught I cast out another piece of bread past the shoal and dragged it back into their path, as it fluttered down to about a foot under the surface the largest of the shoal (the big big fish I eluded to earlier) went straight for the flake and made no mistake in sucking it down.
The patience had paid off again, however this time I knew I was in for a treat, last season I managed a 10lb 1oz specimen but this looked bigger, but just how much?? 3oz much! boy was I happy, but in truth I did think it was a high 10, can only imagine it has dumped most of it's spawn or maybe all.
A net covered in slime, jumper covered in it, work trousers snotted up and spent the following five minutes de-snotting the line, did I care? did I hell. What a fish and what a way to achieve it, 10lb 4oz of pure wild canal slab and what a beautiful looking creature too.
|Like a breeze block, possibly never seen a hook before.|
There's not many anglers who get excited about such a fish, but I'm one of them.
Unfortunately the day did end with a sour note, after the joy of landing two magnificent Bream I finally tracked down two Carp, both Common's and both very big, the bigger of the two would have surely been pushing 30lb and it's been a target of mine for a few years now, for nearly 2 hours I watched them and put baits in front of them with nothing but the occasional flinch of fleeting interest, at one point I crushed up some crust and put it in the margins, after 30-40 minutes a Bream appeared and started to hoover up the crumb, this seemed to annoy the Carp and they swam out from under some weed and headed straight for the bait, I sent a piece of flake down straight in front of the Carp and the big Common nailed it, I struck and my rod buckled with line pissing from the spool as she made off I struggled to keep in control such was the power, my tackle wasn't light either.
A few minutes into the battle I thought I was gaining the upper hand as I had the chunk just twenty or so feet from the net, then with one huge lunge she went back up the canal and buried itself deep into a large silkweed bed and I knew straight away that I was not going to win this one, a couple of heart stopping minutes passed with me trying to ease back out but it wasn't to be, the tension dropped off and using a barbless hook it just fell out and the Carp righted herself and cruised off, I couldn't believe how unlucky I was. The Angler Strikes Back will be the next instalment.