Following on from the zig rig success of my last trip, I was back to the little Shropshire pool the following Saturday and once again I was alone. When I got home the previous week I was straight onto the internet to buy a couple of adjustable zig rig kits, I had a trawl through ebay and bought both the Small Nash Zig Float and a Fox Mini Halo Zig Float Kit to go with the couple of bigger Fox Zig Kits that I already own. The gear arrived on Tuesday so I was kitted out in plenty of time for the weekend without any need to go out of my way to a specialist tackle shop. I figured the smaller versions would offer a little more finesse on what is only a small pool afterall.
As soon as I walked onto the lake I knew straight away I’d turned up with the right kit for the job, there were fish cruising round everywhere with their backs out of the water, after a couple of minutes of watching them I was already mentally adding up how many I was going to catch this week, they looked complete suckers for chum mixers!. I got myself settled down and started feeding mixers to the carp, they went bonkers for them!, literally within minutes of starting I had a group of fish confidently mopping up everything I was putting in. I couldn’t get my rod set up quick enough and I kept the mixers going in as I set up a Controller Float ready to take one off the top. I didn’t cast in straight away, I kept the mixers going in so I could build their confidence even further, I’d set up my Camera to film a carp taking off the surface and this was a huge mistake, with the film running I poked my head up to look at the view finder with the fish taking mixers not two rod lengths from me. What a schoolboy error that was!, within 10 minutes I turned a can’t fail situation into a swim empty of carp. I couldn’t believe what unfolded in front of my eyes, as soon as they got wind of me being there they were off!.
Having snatched defeat from the jaws of victory I had a quick brew from my flask and looked around, being a small water I knew the carp couldn’t have gone far and I found them again a little further up the bank and a bit further out, they were still cruising round only now the carp were firmly in zig rig territory so I set two up, one with the small nash zig float and the other with the fox mini halo zig kit, I used Drennan Double Strength Mono on both rigs and baits were both small squares of Yellow Rig Foam on a size 10 ESP Big-T Raptor hook.
I got both baits in the water without upsetting the carp any further so I adjusted both rigs so my hookbaits were 6 inches under the surface, this put my yellow foam at eye level for the carp and judging by the way the fish had gone for the mixers earlier and the way they’d investigate anything and everything that was floating on the surface, I thought I’d got it just right, all I needed to do was wait for a carp to find one of them and a chance would come. It was half an hour later when a carp bow waved on one of my baits, for that split second you never quite know if a carp has taken the bait or if it’s spooked off but a warbling Delkim and a ticking Baitrunner soon told me I was in. No need to strike hard, I just tightened down to the fish which had already hooked itself. I played the carp on a light clutch, there were no snags and you never quite know what hookhold you’re going to get with a zig rig so I took it easy, the fish fought well in the deep water in front of me but eventually it succumbed to the steady pressure and slipped into the waiting Landing Net.
I must say I was pleased to get that fish having made such a mess of things earlier. As it turned out the fish was well hooked inside the mouth and I was never going to lose it, once unhooked I quickly Weighed the fish at 13lb 6oz, another pristine looking common and a fair reward for a day’s fishing on this lake.
After returning my fish all I had to do was recast the zig rig and adjust so my bait was just under the surface again, I did this in one cast but I was casting into a swim that was empty of carp!. After the disturbance of a fish being landed they disappeared completely. I fished on into the evening and eventually they showed again but they were back in what I term a ‘safe area’ at the other end of the lake. Perhaps on another day the carp might hang around but my limited experience of these fish so far suggests that any kind of disturbance sees them disappear and I can’t help but feel lucky to have caught one given the howling mistake I’d made earlier in the day.
I’ve been looking at youtube video blogs recently and as you now know I was filming this trip so I could use the footage for a video blog. This is the first time I’ve ever filmed anything and I wanted something a little different to the usual run of the mill youtube anglers who waffle a load of crap to the camera but provide very little in the way of help or education in their films. I’ve played back my first recordings many times and I still can’t believe I managed to empty a swim of carp just because I gave my presence away adjusting a Camera but this is clearly what happened. When something you do costs you a fish you have to ask if it’s worth doing?, I still intend to put together some footage but it’s going to be a long time coming because I’ll be concentrating on the fishing and not the camera next time!.