Brian Holland

Wetting a line at Asheldham

With a weather change over the weekend to a southernly wind and rain coming in this was ideal for Carp. Even though the pressure had not dropped below 1000, I was confident that they would feed.

Not going to my usual club lake Bicknacre, I opted for another smaller lake which the club owned Asheldham. On arrival at lunch time Saturday as I had been on the Chelmer in pursuit of perch in the morning to find it was empty. The car park here is higher than the banks so gives good cover to the main part of the lake, so gave protection from most of the wind as it whistled over the top of the bivvy. Asheldham is a quite picturesque lake, covered in lilies and snag areas. 

Choosing the to fish through the gap in the lilies to a tree the protrudes from the water with the left-hand rod and at the point where the lilies going into open water the right-hand rod.  To about a foot of the tree I place a 15mm hair rigged boilie and to the corner of the lilies a 15mm yellow pop-up.

As the rain was battering down, I had little choice but to zip up the bivvy and sit back waiting for the receiver to sound. At about 5 o’clock the left-hand rod started slowly beeping, Even though I was fishing semi locked up I made a quick dash to the rod as I could not afford to let the fish go around the tree.

It had not, it had gone left and was heading for overhanging snags, unfortunately I failed, and the fish went through the snags before I got there. Now even though you can fish micro-barbed, I generally fish barbless hooks when fishing to snag areas as if like the case here they get in the fish can still discard the hook. As expected, the fish had discarded the hook leaving me in the snags. By some luck I managed to retrieve all the line and hook link as the snag gave way first. I do not like pulling for breaks and would rather get a boat out to retrieve where possible.

I rebaited and place the rod back out on the original spot.  I did not have to wait long as at 6 o’clock the same rod started slowly beeping again, This time though the fish had gone right into open water and was heading for the lilies, locking up the spool had had full control had just managed to stop said fish reaching the lilies, I released the tension and slowly played the fish to the net letting it run when it had to.  This was my first fish from these lakes and a nice 14lb common was the result. After some dark photo’s, the fish was sent back to its home and the rod recast.

I now settled back again had some dinner and organising the bivvy internals for the night.

At 8.30 the right hand rod went into melt down, I was a bit slower this time getting out the bivvy, the rod had been torn out of the back bank stick as the reel was now balancing against the alarm, the rod tip being buffered by the waves of the lake. Grabbing the rod and tightening up the clutch the fish was in the lilies. I had control but the getting the fish safely through the lilies without loosing it was a very wet and careful procedure. It was no great fight but painstakingly slow. Going over the net cord was another common. It was bigger than the first, so it weighed in at 16lb.  Again, dark photos take the fish was sent back home. I now recast the rod to the same spot just of the corner of the lilies and returned to the bivvy to dry off again. Settling in for the night.

Now why is it that the smallest fish always cause the most trouble, this was now the case at 7 am when the right hand rod ripped off again into the lilies, I managed to play the fish through the lilies when trouble started. I had little control over the bloody thing as it fought to the left and then shot to the right. The rod tip was in the water trying not to let the fish go through the left-hand line, and what an epic failure that was. Knowing it had gone through the line once I released the bail arm of the left-rod and continued playing the fish again it went through the line, and again. This was ridiculous. After about 5 minutes which seemed like ten, I was in control as it had worn itself out and was slipped over the next cord.  Both rods were slackened off a placed at the ground behind the cradle so I could lift the fish safely. It looked at a guess around the 12lb mark. I unhooked it and sent it on its way as then proceeded to untangle the mess I was left with, especially as technically the left-hand rod was still fishing.  Untangled and retrieved, I set about rebaiting both rods. Well at least it had stopped raining.

The rest of the morning was quiet, so as the time changed into the afternoon I decided to slowly pack up. As with everything in life there is always a curve ball. In fishing once everything is dry and ready to be packed away you hook up again. the right-hand rod was off again.

 Another battle through the lilies ensured, this time I moved the left-hand rod out of the way to ensure that there was to be no tangles. With the fish battling left and right through the lilies it was a slow fight to the net.  Guessing that it looked like another 14lb, I unhooked it in the net taking a couple of in net photos then released it back into the lake. I pulled in both rods and carried on packing away.

So, four fish in a twenty-four-hour session I was happy. Instagram:  #the_bridge_troll

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