I have learnt – very quickly – with a venue the size of Alton, to expect the unexpected, and so it proved. I was back on Sunday for a 36-hour – two-night session, in the swim I mentioned last week. As I was setting up, I was convinced I was in a perfect Tench swim, and boy was I wrong haha.
Having marked up, I had two chosen areas. The first one and main line of attack, was down the middle on a nice soft sandy bottom, with a depth of 6 ½ foot, sloping away to 7 ½ foot a rod length further out. The second area was to my left, right into the bay near some small lilies and the roots of a fallen tree. I increased my initial feed from last week and put ten spods in the middle and 6 by the lilies. I had my rods out by 4pm, sat back, kettle on. Soon after Steve and Graham turned up for a coffee and chat – Graham said it’s nice having a cafe on the bank haha.
By 7pm, I hadn’t had an indication or seen a sign of fish. Just as we were discussing this, a Tench rolled about 10 yards out. Okay, I thought, fish about. Steve and Graham left around 9pm and I sat back, full of enthusiasm. With the light fading, I was expecting a fish soon.
Darkness came and still nothing, not even a small beep. I had one last check on my rods and got my head down for the night, not really knowing what to expect. I will say, by this stage, I was questioning my judgement.
Morning came and went and all I had to show for it was one bite, which produced a nice conditioned 5lb female Tench. By mid-afternoon, I needed a new tactic, or area. Remembering the tench that had rolled close in, I decided to stick with the swim and put some bait at around ten yards in 5 feet of water. I kept the rod over by the fallen tree, because it looked just too good, and brought in the rods from the middle.
Long story short, the inside line kicked off almost instantly. Over the next few hours, I had a number of decent roach to around 1lb, several skimmers up to 1 ½ lb and… AND, 3 carp, two stockies and one great mirror.
Incidentally, an interesting point, the big mirror appeared to be a similar strain to the recently stocked fish. However, unless it had more than doubled its weight over winter, it was another of those rarely captured original fish.
‘Appy dayz either way 😉
Expect the unexpected, says the accidental carp expert hahaha…
Below is the rig I used for all fish. Sorry, but it’s Kodex everything, and I just love the stuff, from their coated braid, top quality, low diameter – when stripped – and very reasonably priced, right through their kickers, swivels, and spot-on hooks. It is top draw gear at rock bottom prices, why even debate it 😉