When this is published, I’m delighted to say that I’ll be in Argentina, trying to catch golden dorado, but before I go I thought I’d nip up to see my good friend Ken near Stafford. Ken has an idyllic little fishery containing carp, a few pike and zander and lots of bits. It’s also home to my pet pike, which I’ve creatively named, ‘Pikey’.
Unfortunately Pikey didn’t show up this time but she did appear to have sent a three-pound ‘deputy’ who, whilst nowhere near as confident as the big girl, still hung around long enough to devour half a dozen free offerings of rudd, which naturally I provided. A bit disappointing really, but perhaps she had been spawning. I am sure she will be back for more later!
Anyway, the weed had started to grow a bit this time – easy to see in the gin-clear water – and it seemed to me that pop-ups would be the way forward. I turfed out two pop-ups on standard ‘in-line’ rigs to the usual productive areas, and decided to fish a ‘chod rig’ for the third rod. I will give an explanation of how to fashion this set-up in the fishing tips section very soon.
All baited up and cast out, I settled down to sort out my bedchair and sleeping bag, and had a generally tidy inside the log cabin. Before I had got very far, one of the rods was away – the chod rig. I raced out and tightened up to a decent fish, which after a shortish fight turned out to be a mirror carp of exactly 30lbs – a nice fish, last caught at 27lbs, but with a large chunk missing from its tail (possibly by an otter or mink?). That could possibly have accounted for the less-than-titanic battle to which we have become accustomed with these fish.
Nothing of note followed until it was time for bed, other than a fantastic rugby match between Northampton Saints and the Leicester Tigers, won in the last 90 seconds by a terrific try from the Saints, which I listened to on the radio!
After a great night’s sleep with my faithful doggy, Max, snoring away beside me, I was up at the crack of 8am and put the rods out again. I then made plans for a big fry-up. With perfect timing the carp waited until I had just scoffed a large plate of the usual unhealthy bacon, eggs, mushrooms, sausages and fried bread, before the same chod rig roared off once more, and after a much more familiar lengthy and dogged battle, I was able to slip the net under another lovely carp, which looked (and felt) as large as the first one, but in fact turned the scales to 24lbs. A cracking fish nevertheless and, as far as I can tell, previously uncaught.
It just could be pure chance, or positioning, but it seems that the chod rig is a useful method for combating weedy conditions. I will describe it more fully in a separate blog, but basically the lead is on the end of the rig and the pop-up boilie is on a fairly short link, helicopter-style, half-way along the lead core, and trapped in that position by a rubber bead either side of the swivel. It may sound complex, but it is in reality quite straightforward, and a good way to ensure that the bait rests on (or just above) any weed growth. More to follow when I return from South America. Send me some good vibes for a big one!!