Brian Holland

Mugged off under a full Moon

Full Moon: A lunar phase when the moon appears fully illuminated from the earth’s perspective.

Mugged Off: To be disrespected and or insulted and made to look a fool. i.e. when a fish picks up and moves your bait without hooking itself.

Bacon Sandwich: Rashers of Cure Pork Strips placed between two slices of bread.

Now winter has started to fully grip and push the temperatures further down to and past zero the search for and the capture of carp becomes harder, gone are the days of the cruising through the upper layers basking in the sun light then dropping on kilos of free offerings. We now enter the time of year where patience is sitting there watching for the slightest signs with rods tackled up, waiting to be cast at the smallest show this is now singles territory. For me high visual, glug soaked citrus flavours for maximum impact.

Arriving late Saturday afternoon I set up the rods and cast out for the night, Now this being contradictory to the first paragraph because light was fading fast so with no time to sit there and watch the lake. I knew the area I was casting to having fish here week in week out, with every intention to walk round in the morning, as you can imagine just a pub chuck bought not a bleep on the alarms.

Early Sunday I pulled the rods in and took a walk looking for signs but none were apparent, so I stayed in the swim I was in as it looked over the lake and with everyone else leaving and having the lake to myself I knew I could cover at least 70% of the lake on a cast.

With the rods now armed with a yellow pop up on one multi rig and the other a pink, I sat back and watched the lake for the slightest sign, Checking the weather forecast the pressure was average and the cloud cover should stop a drop in temperature it was also noticed that it was full moon time. Now full moons are mythical in carp fishing with top fishermen debating over the affect they have on fish; I personally am unsure but there is no point knocking anything that could give you an advantage.

I sat and watched.

After 3 hours I noticed the first little sign in the distance, marked the area in my head the first rod with the pink pop up was cast across the lake towards the opposite corner at about 60 yards. As I said being the only one on the lake this cast took out five swims across the lake. The rod was bought back up the bank and put on the alarms. Both rods are positioned on top of the bank at about 6ft off the water, this gives me the advantage of fishing over any weed that has died back beneath the surface of the water and also any run I don’t have go down a flight of muddy steps to the swim below in the middle of the night. The swim being used only for landing and weighing any captures.

Another 2 hours and another small sign across to the right-hand side over a weed bed into a swim that had been vacated early where the angler had taken two bites on Friday night. This was taken up with the yellow pop up again around the 60 yards, with light fading fast I retired back to the bivvy for coffee and dinner and hopefully the carp gods to give me that one take through the night.

4.30 in the morning the left-hand rod let go with 4 little bleeps, in seconds I was next to it watching the bobbing slowly re position itself back to its holding position. Watching with anticipation waiting for it to move or scream off, neither was to relieve me of my wanting so retiring back to the bivvy I put the kettle on. Another bleep and again I was out to see the  bobbin closer to the wet ground, turning the spool to retake the slack up seemed a lot as the bobbin kept dropping, so slowly hand retrieving the line was the realization that I had been mugged off. The last bleep was enough to establish that the lead had moved by at least a foot, I could still feel that it was on gravel so still in play as I returned once again to the bivvy in hope of another chance.

All went quite and not a bleep was to be heard for the rest of the session fortunately I had time to put on the frying pan to make a bacon sandwich or two.


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