Oh boy, just think the weather forecast said heavy rain and thunder storms, so I considered the weather could be dangerous.( I’ve had a rod hit by lightning once while fly fishing, and it’s not much fun.) But I did in fact go, because the forecast has been wrong so many times, and I’ve regretted not going.
Another match on Moat made me decided to try little Croft again. The fish are smaller in this pretty little lake, but plentiful. One swim I’ve fished before has produced in the past, and with only two other anglers fishing, I got my favoured peg. The water fountains were on, but I could not see any fish on top. So I stared on the five meter line, with a small pot of corn and meat over the top.
The meat produced almost immediately and the 12-15 elastic pulled out really nice. I’d hooked a nice big common (for Croft) that took several minutes to subdue, maybe 10/11lb. A bream, Perch and Roach all followed, before a few more but smaller carp, nothing under 6lb, most around 8lb. I did not overfeed, just a small pot after each carp. I’m learning now, too much food can be the kiss of death sometimes, thanks to Jamie Hughes and his You-Tube clips.
As lunch came around, a fish were on top now, so a switch to fishing shallow was called for. But despite feeding 6m pellets for over an hour (3-4 a time) no fish came close. I was fishing a Drennan crystal inline dibber set 2′ deep. I potted a small cup of groundbait into the margins about 1pm, only to see the spot explode with carp, some big ones too. I dropped a large piece of meat over there top, and caught a nice looking mirror immediately. Then another foul hooked fish, and a change to a laid on hook link fished 8”over depth. But that didn’t really work, in fact a change back to my standard margin rig was really the best practical rig. The key it seems is leaving all bites, until the elastic pulls out of the tip. Then its almost sure a fish is hooked correctly. Its obvious how the fish have wised up, as so many times after feeding a pot, the carp would come in clear me out (in numbers) and I’d be left fish-less.
Feeding has to be right on the day. A change to feeding micros and mixed pellets was the best on this day. Fish after fish would pull the elastic out and steam off into the lake, fighting like demons until landed. (I now have a small carp matt sat under the landing net at my feet. I’ve found the bigger fish can be difficult to un-hook at times. It allows me to just rest the fish on the matt when the extra heavy ones come along, it works too, all fish are safe and unhooked without dropping them. )
I’d feed 10/12 mixed pellets 8/6/micro but with the smallest cup of groundbait to keep the carp coming back all afternoon until 6.30. I’d estimate with the fish averaging around 8lb I’d taken well over 150lb+ of carp today, amazing for such a pole novice. Maybe 3 of the 19 fish were doubles. Clearly my biggest bag ever and my best day at Hallcroft to date. By 6.30 I had the whole pool to myself and my swim was full of carp. I had half a tub of corn and meat left, so I put it in really close to the staging I was fishing from, while packing up. Next look ,tails of a dozen carp were waving me goodbye so close I could touch them.
The key today was feeding. Not over feeding and fishing for one or two fish at a time. Attract them in with groundbait, then feed enough particle to feed one fish. Tiny pots of groundbait keep them rooting, it’s nice to get it right once on a while.