Friday, 24 August 2012

A Fordwich First!!!

Following my last blog, Fordwich Frustration, I made several trips to try and catch my first Fordwich carp. Every time I fish I am learning all the time, always on the look out for fish movement, observing how that corresponds with the conditions and also take note of my own strengths and weaknesses. Over the last couple of trips instead of beating myself up about my incapability to cast particularly far I have chosen swims which a) face the wind and b) have features within my reach.
Today the wind was blowing up towards the part of the lake known as 'the deeps' and the swim known as 'dungees' fitted this description. I still found making the far bank features a little ambitious but first cast on each rod landed on the money. I only fish two rods, one was placed tight to the far bank lilies and the other between the lilies and a dead sunken tree.
The dungees
My choice of rig was a snowman combi-rig attached to a helicopter setup. There was logic behind all of these choices: when using small / standard size baits I have ended up catching bream which when not your objective can be frustrating. So the snowman solves this issue thanks to its sheer size whilst also being 'balanced' and slow sinking so I could be confident it would sit nicely above the silty bottom. The helicopter rig is simple, almost tangle free but most important of all, casts better than any other setup.
Snowman combi-rig/ helicopter rig

I put about 1kg of 20mm boilies across the two locations with a throwing stick and then settled down for the night. At 4am I was woken up by the sound of my alarm screaming at me and the rod I had cast to the lilies was bending round. The fight was strange as after I turned the fish from the snags it swam towards me until it was almost at the net so I found myself winding in frantically! However, when I submerged the net the fish made a valiant bolt away in a bid for freedom. After a short scrap the net was lifted and I was grinning from ear to ear! It didn't matter that this was not a huge fish, what mattered was that after 3 years of trying to crack Fordwich I had finally done it! I now regret making an effort to hide my ecstasy when posing for the photo. 

10lb 7oz - Not a 'monster' but an achievement!
When it was light enough for me to see what I was doing I repositioned both rods on the lilies and put out more bait with the stick. At 7am the same rod screamed off again. As I picked it up I was taken with how much more power this fish had than the last. I had to bully it away from the lilies which resulted in something of a tug of war. Normally in this situation I would give line but could not as I didn't want to loose the fish in the snags. Suddenly the fish came up high in the water and leaped out. As it made contact once more with the surface of the water I could no longer feel any resistance - it had beaten me!
Again, I was quick to get the rods back out and bait up but this time a large flock of gulls and terns took every boilie I threw in. I tried waiting until they went away but one always kept look-out and squawked to alert the others whenever I so much as picked up my throwing stick! Then tiredness and frustration started to kick in - I made a few duff casts and got a bit grumpy. I can't seem to cast so far with pva sticks or bags and I didn't have a spod with me so had no way of getting the bait out with out it being intercepted. So I decided to be wise and quit while was ahead. I am over the moon that I seem to have sussed out a way for me to be successful at Fordwich and banked my first carp from this tough water at long last!

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