Fishing is one of those sports where you can spend thousands of pounds or nothing and have the same results. As much as I love going fishing with all the kit including the kitchen sink, sometimes it’s just not needed. Under some circumstances, expensive rods, reels, boilies, glugs, alarms and all the other trappings can result in more fish on the bank. Sometimes it’s just not needed. Last week, I enjoyed a days stalking at my local park lake and it cost me a grand total of about £1.50.
Let’s talk bait! On the day I had about half a kilo of frozen corn which cost about 50p, and about half a kilo of pellet. There are loads of different pellets out there, but generic coarse pellets are great and when bought in bulk, good value. For hook baits, I spent about half an hour digging for worms in my mum’s flowerbed the day before. This was completely free! To keep costs down, it can be a good idea to get an annual ticket for somewhere. The annual membership for my park lake was just £60, which is a bargain if you ask me.
Armed with my corn, pellets, worms, rod and reel my mum dropped me off at the lake at about half past 7. I started as I always do when stalking, walking. I did a lap of the lake while baiting several likely looking areas in the margin before doing another couple of laps. On my third lap, I noticed fizzing over one of the spots where I’d baited so I decided to flick out my worm and wait.
My tactics were the same as I mentioned in my last blog however this time, after some advice from several fellow anglers, I fished the float dead on depth. It didn’t take long for something to slurp up my worm and pull the float under. I struck but realised I hadn’t hooked a carp. It was in fact an eel however (un)fortunately – depending on how you look at it – it came off. Undeterred, I rebaited, recast, and waited. The fizzing has died down however my float pulled under again. I struck but once again this was no carp, a perch came up to the surface before violently shaking its head, spitting the hook, and diving to the depths never to be seen again.
After standing back and giving the swim a rest for five minutes in the hope of a carp returning, I saw nothing so decided to keep walking and checking the spots I’d baited prior. After only a couple of minutes walking, I noticed some coloured water over one of the spot’s I’d baited. I adjusted the depth of my float before dropping a juicy worm over the spot. I waited longer than I expected but eventually, a carp picked up my worm and I was in. This spot is definitely the most productive for me when stalking and it didn’t fail to live up to expectations. My reward was a beautiful and plump common carp.
After that fish, I continued walking and stalking, missing a few chances. I hooked into a carp and even managed to get the bite on camera however unfortunately it came off. I also managed to catch a small eel. Despite having to re-tie my hook afterwards it was welcome because it was species number 8 for me in the species hunt.
About an hour after catching the eel, I noticed a larger carp and a small carp feeding over one of my spots. I could just about make out the shadow of their bodies and I was so excited. I lowered my worm into position and after just a couple minutes, it shot up then under. I struck, hoping that it was the bigger carp that I had spotted. Unfortunately, it was neither the big carp nor the small carp. It was in fact a new PB perch. It wasn’t massive, maybe just over a pound but it was the first proper perch I’ve ever caught so it was more than welcome.
Despite my patience and best efforts to temp them. The bigger carp didn’t return. I decided to continue my walk and to check the spots I’d baited. After an uneventful hour, I once again noticed some carp feeding on the spot where I’d caught the perch. After a little while with my worm in the water, I was into my fourth fish of the day which was another common carp. It wasn’t the biggest, but it put a smile on my face.
By now the wind was picking up and it was getting cold. The fishing was getting harder, so I decided to call it a day. All in all, it was a great days fishing and I can’t wait to return.