He got back to me quickly and we had arranged to meet up within the hour, so without any time to waste I grabbed my stalking set up, arming my Nash Dwarfs with the Nash Naked Gripping Chods, with the chosen hookbaits being the White Nash Citruz in 15mm.
On arrival to the lake it was much bigger than I had imagined, it must have been over 30 acres in size and just as Andrew had said on the phone, it definitely had a lot of character and history to it. Being the mobile angler that I am, I was keen to walk around in search of the fish and it wasn’t long until Andrew and I stumbled across a number of fish feeding just off the marginal shelf. As the fish moved off the spot we lowered a few freebies onto the area we had seen them in hope that they would return and get on the feed and it wasn’t long before they did so. Without wasting any time we rushed back to the car and grabbed our gear in an attempt to make the most of the opportunity.
With the chods at the ready I was able to get my rigs into position and fishing effectively in this extremely weedy water without any hassle. Andrew and I sat patiently waiting for one of the rods to melt off but this was not to happen. An hour had passed and the fish had moved off so it was time to get on the move again. With the rods put way and on our backs we went off in search of the carp, it was literally a matter of minutes before we saw a show; once, twice, three times. That was more than enough to get the heart rate up.
The excitement of possibly hooking into one of these old, historic warriors was taking its toll on me as I struggled to apply a fresh Citruz to my chod rigs as a result of my hands shaking. Finally I managed to gain the composure to apply a new bait to my rigs, with each rod I waited for a show before punching my Dwarfs as hard as I could towards the showing fish. With both rods in place and happy that I was fishing effectively, I took the time to catch up with Andrew and learn a little about the lake and tactics which I could use to tempt some of its pre-historic residents. With the rods on the deck and a cold drink in my hand I was completely taken by surprise as my left hand rod absolutely screamed off, line being stripped from the spool as the Nash BP6’s went into meltdown. Dropping my drink I grabbed my rod and hit into my first park lake minter. As soon as a picked up into the fish it came straight to the surface, I got my first glimpse at what I hoped would be my first fish from this new water. My legs started to shake, knowing I had a long, dark common on the end of the line I was desperate to get him in the net. Keeping my cool I was able to keep constant pressure on the carp, working it through the dense weed and into the margins, it was in eyesight and almost ready to be netted but it made one last surge for freedom. The line pinged off the peck, my heart stopping for a split second as I thought I had lost the fish, it was still on. Turning the fish and getting its head out of the water I slowly walked backwards as Andrew scooped the net underneath my first park lake common in less than two hours of fishing. It was exactly as I had seen it when it surfaced; long, dark and scale perfect, what a fish! After getting some stills we slipped the fish back to fight another day.
After all the commotion of the first fish it was no surprise that the others backed off to the middle of the lake, slightly out of range for my stalking kit. With the park getting busier and busier and the fish not playing ball I decided that enough was enough, leaving with a smile on my face. What a short session to start with on what has the potential to be an extremely challenging water, happy days!