The Luckiest Loo Visit Ever!
Julian Cundiff makes some unusual choices and ends up enjoying a red-letter day.
Unusually a good half of my carp fishing in 2016 has been evenings, mornings and day sessions. Overnighters really need me to be at the same court two days in a row, but this year has seen me working one day in Leeds, the next day in York, then Scarborough, then the next day Northallerton...
With autumn almost upon me I decided to kill several birds with one stone. First, I was going fishing; secondly, I was going to relax rather than kill myself; and thirdly I’d agreed to do an interview for The Carp Cast and Mark Watson was due down to record an on-the-bank slot.
Up at 5am and, although I shouldn’t admit it, I was planning to fish in a swim called the Hump. On my last trip I’d seen a lot of carp there and an hour with a bare lead and a notebook had given me a head start on where to cast. I know it’s naughty deciding in advance, but anything that made it easier was fine by me.
I arrived by 6am and, although it was still dark, it felt warm and really humid. No other cars were present so no need to rush. First job was a visit to the syndicate facilities... that will teach me to have lots of vegetables the night before! Business concluded and before I got back in the Jeep I could hear carp crashing, with ripples pushing into me. Seven shows in two minutes had me changing my swim choice. With so many carp present I’d be daft to ignore them, and the Pipe swim would allow me to fish straight out of the back of the Jeep.
In no rush for a change, the single banksticks were pushed in, nets assembled, and three rods came out of the sleeves with the usual Diffusion Camo Leaders and 2oz flat pears on lead clips. A few casts revealed a lot of weed out in front of me, but the clear spots were solid and ideal for a multi-rig. Some things never change, eh?
I’d been using the Key since the spring and had started to up the feed, bringing three kilos of 15mm dumbbells and two kilos of 15mm boilies. What I didn’t use I intended to fire in when I left. As usual I’d prepped them 24 hours earlier with a covering of Key Liquid Bait Soak when I’d taken them out of the freezer. I’d also glazed the baits in Key Stick Mix and Salt with some GLM Powder too. Whenever anyone asks me what the coating is I just say, “Fairy dust”, but this additional coating really helps with an instant hit of attraction on short sessions.
I picked three areas I’d seen carp show and decided to Spomb a kilo of the glugged and glazed Key boilies on each spot. It’s not what I usually do, but the carp activity, perfect feeding conditions and 12 hours to play with meant I was very relaxed about it. A single on each spot with a pouchful of bait would probably have produced a quick bite, but I decided to go for it. Half an hour later all three spots were coated in Key barrels, with a slick of oil and Fairy dust lingering over each mark. Well, I’d either killed it or was gonna smash it big style.
All three pop-ups were fished half an inch off the deck, over weighted and holding up a hand-sharpened size 5 Twister. One was a glugged Key Airball pop-up, one a plain white pop-up and the third one a heavily soaked Citruz pop-up. One preparatory cast, line marked with electrical tape and clipped, two nuggets of Solar Foam and they all dropped on the spots first time. Lines were left to settle, then pulled tight into the clip with the reel clutches screwed as tight as I dared.
The kettle went on, but before it had boiled the middle rod was away and the water above the spot exploded as the carp attempted to leave the area sharpish – no chance! Hand over the spool, I walked back two paces and that carp was going nowhere. With the other rod tips high I played it under them without disturbing them. A nice upper double was quickly in the net and having its picture taken. The lead clip did its trick; the lead was gone and the amount of weed picked up was minimal – perfect. Three pouches of 15mm boilies were ’pulted over the spot and back out went the rod. Minutes later it was away again, and then again, and again! I’m not going to bore you with fish after fish, but by lunchtime I’d caught 15 fish including five twenties. At one stage I had to keep the rods out of the water just to sort out the carnage and make myself a drink.
Dropping the leads in the weed was ensuring that I was not losing any carp, but blimey I was going through PVA nuggets, leads and hooklinks at an alarming rate. By 3pm I had to wind in again. I’d had 20 carp including seven twenties, and was down to three leads, a few bits of foam and just three more links. With Mark due around 5pm I had to wind in, so that at least I could be fishing effectively when he arrived. Winding in to avoid more action? Madness!
As soon as Mark arrived my clipped-up rods went back out to the spots, the last of the freebies were catapulted out and the kettle went on. As he drove around the corner the rod was away again and another 20-pounder was soon ready for the camera. Down to two rods. Another one roared off mid-recording and we were down to the last rod, which finally went to give me a total of 23 carp including eight over 20lb – just incredible sport. It reminded me of an old Ian Booker interview in Carp Fisher where he had six twenties in a day, which back in the 1980s absolutely blew my mind.
It was an amazing day, and down to many factors: the fluke choice of swim due to my toilet duties, perfect feeding conditions, the gamble with the feed which paid off, and having plenty of pre-tied links and spare leads. I guess 30 carp would have been possible had I had even more gear with me, but sometimes there really are only so many carp a man should catch in a day!