Trip 26 Carp Fishing – 2022

They say effort equals reward – let’s hope so after the nightmare set up!

After spending nearly an hour to get here due to a couple of accidents on the main road, meaning I had to take the scenic route across the New Forest. Luck was on my side, no one was in one of the swims I fancied fishing after studying my fish deeper page this afternoon. I really needed to be in the Southwest corner I felt. I’d spoken to another member in the week and the fish had vanished (as they do)! The weather on Wednesday was turning windy (from the southwest) and rainy, one of these spots had to be the one.

Nice and Deep

This was what I’m looking for and with the swim sorted, I spombed my bucket of bait out and then started to set up the bivvy, probably not concentrating enough, snap went one of the poles. $#!+

I tried to work out how to fix it, but the inevitable journey home was coming and I’m glad I’m a bit of a hoarder where fishing tackle is concerned.

The Fox reflex is dead 😦 long live the Jrc bivvy 🙂

I’m sure I will manage to fix it somehow, don’t think Fox will have any spares after all this time.

After an hour and a bit of drive, I was back in the swim and setting up another bivvy and getting the rods out just before dusk.

All done

I could’ve come back in the morning, but why waste a night’s fishing? You never know wants going to happen, the rods are finally on the spot and the bivvy is up. It was definitely time for a drink.

Just before 2 am, the right-hand rod burst into life and I got the waders on. I like to do this first these days, the older I get, the more wobbly I am on my feet and add in a hard fighting Airfield carp trying to kite into the nearest snag (you get the picture!). Don’t laugh, but once trying to put my waders on after I’d picked up the rod, I fell over and the carp got away. I’ve not done it that way around ever since.

I grabbed the rod and pulled into thin air, the joy of fishing here. I got the rod out and tried to sleep, but it took me until about 4 am, and slept until about 8 am.

Morning World

I was hoping for an early morning bite, but that wasn’t the case. The conditions are quite favorable today and a morning fish is still on the cards. Finally, at about noontime, the left-hand rod burst into life, grabbed my waders, and slipped them on. I grabbed the rod and pulled into my first carp of the session. It was a pretty straightforward fight and soon a lovely Common was sitting in my Nsr50.

Happy now

I’m happy now, after that start, anything will do this session, now time to move on to the bigger carp.

Lovely Morning

My second night passed by with no action for me, this isn’t good, but there’s still a chance of midday take on the cards, now that the wind is picking up again. However, the sun is going to be out all day, I can only hope that the rain forecast for tonight is still correct later today and actually happens, giving me a good chance tonight.

Pest control

About 1 pm the right-hand rod rattled off, over 24 hours of being on the spot, and a scrappy Common, finally picks my bait up. Unfortunately, you can’t get to choose which fish picks your bait up. I’m quite happy that something is moving down this end, I was getting quite concerned and had thought about moving swim. However, the heat of the midday sun put me off and I’m glad it did, there’s a bit of rain coming my way tonight, I’m hoping this peps them up and bring me more carp.

This will also mean, I need to get my overwrap on as this bivvy, as it’s 18 years old, it’s started to leak a bit at the sides.

Pukka Common

Small but perfect and will grow into something special one day.

The bait is back out and it’s nearly being 2 pm. I really need to work out whether to put any more bait out or change the distance I was fishing to. I tend to bait an area in here and the fish around it hoping to pick the bigger carp off from the outside. I know it’s not quite working I hear you say, but its a good way to fish and does work a lot of the time.

I decided to stick to my original wraps, as any further out could result in a carp kiting far too much right and I could lose it in the snags, and this is not my sort of fishing – at all costs method.

The wildlife life has been active today and the geese have some young, I even spotted a little grebe, moorhen with chicks.

I was awake listening to the rolling thunder in the distance and the heavy rain on the bivvy roof when the left-hand rod belted off. I quickly got my waders on, I tried to grab my coat which had moved by itself (as they do), forget that, and out into the rain to do battle with a very hard fighting Airfield lake carp, in the pouring rain. This was made even more fun with the headtorch pointing at the rod tip checking which way the carp was heading; all the time hoping it would go left, as this was the better direction in this swim, away from any possible contact with the fallen tree to my right. It was going left and into more open water. The only danger was a hump two feet under the water that they liked going around and dumping the hook on you. If you miss that, there’s always the bay and the small island to my right. If you can get out there with you waders on and up to your belly, you can guide them around the hump, avoid them getting into the entrance of the bay and slowly walk back to the shore, to pick up your floating Nsr50 net and the simply play the fish out under the rod tip.

This fish was pretty good until the under the rod tip part when it kept powering off on the surface numerous times. It felt like a much better fish. I was determined that it wouldn’t gain enough ground and find that hump. I’m sure it was close a couple of times but I stood my ground and it abandoned that plan. Time to try another plan, this time trying for the small channel between me and the island, with a lovely collection of underwater obstructions. I had to walk towards these to put myself between them and the fish, thus forcing the fish back out into open water and ever closer to the net. Amazingly, it rolled on the surface and slipped into the net the first time. It was as if it had in an instant given up, quite straight forward after all that commotion.

I was pretty wet at this point and lightning was flashing away in the distance, I needed to get the photos done in the pooring rain. This is something I’ve not had the pleasure of for a few years!

Nice Common
26lb 5oz

That will do me. Time to dry out, write my blog, get a brew on and warm up.

Lighting strikes

The thunderstorms were out at sea, I could hear the rumbling in the distance and the flashes of lightning, it was gone four in the morning when I settled down to hopefully grab a few more hours’ sleep.

I was hoping for more carp, I had heard a few in the night crashing about, but alas that was it.  I checked the weather forecast around eight am and find out, much to my surprise, that it was going to be raining all day.  If I was quick I could get home in this lull in the rain, that was my mind made up.  After I packed up and was 5 minutes up the road from the lake when the rain arrived.  It didn’t stop until after 4 pm. I had a lucky escape. 

Until next time








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About richardhandel

I would like to give a brief snap shot of my life and introduce myself; My name is Richard Handel and was born in 1965 in Suffolk. I have worked as a UK Operation & Intermodule Manager for a shipping company. I live in Hampshire now and am married with 2 young children, both girls so I am a bit outnumbered even the cat is a girl! I have been fishing since I was about 7 years old. I started on small local rivers in Suffolk, then moved onto gravel pits and then carp fishing. My personal best is a 39.08 mirror, over recent years I have started river fishing again, on the Hampshire Avon, this is a nice break from the carp lakes. My life has turned a big corner this year, the company I was working for relocated their Operation centre to Estonia. I was offered a job at the head office in London. This would have meant a 5 day commute and working in Stratford. As a family, we did not fancy this, as I would hardly spend any time with the children (and the Mrs). So after 22.5 years, I was given a nice redundancy package and with my wife is working full time. I became the house husband. This has meant a complete turn around in my fishing, as I can pick and choose when I go. I have found a splendid new syndicate to fish this year, which includes 5 lakes and some 8 miles of river with only 150 members. It's an amazing change to the way I am able to fish. I am now trying to start my own tackle business and make a bit of a name for myself in the world of fishing, as I have retired from real work. Richard
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