No groundbait wins the day!

Kens-mirror carp

Last weekend I ventured up to my pal Ken’s fishery in Staffordshire. I went for four good reasons:

  1. Firstly because I simply love being there
  2. To meet up with my old friend
  3. To help out with the grass-cutting, which is an ever-present requirement in warmer months
  4. Last but not least, to see if my tame pike would put in an appearance. As you may recall, the last time I visited the place ‘Pikey’ didn’t show up, which was very unusual, so I was a little worried for her wellbeing!

When I arrived, I started operations on the Folly Pool (so-called because I was convinced it would never hold any fish. How wrong can you be? There are now so many rudd in there that I can catch 40 or so in 15 minutes!). True to form, I half-filled the bait can in no time. These were then lowered into the carp pool in the perforated inner cage, just in front of the log cabin. This is Pikey’s usual position and I wanted to see if I could entice her – if indeed she were still alive. To my delight, after 45 minutes or so, there she was, fins waving and staring up at me in unmistakable anticipation! I couldn’t help but smile and give her a cheerful greeting!

Before giving Pikey a couple of snacks, my plan was to put out my three carp rods, but before I could get the third one out – and just as Ken arrived – the first one was away! Unfortunately that fish came off almost immediately and, winding in, I discovered that the hook had broken (first time ever)!

No action

The next day-and-a-half saw me without any action, other than a nice perch of about a pound-and-a-half, taken on a small livebait. For the perch’s safety, I released it about 10 yards further along the bank. However, despite my caution, the perch disappeared moments later in an enormous swirl! There seems to be no limit to Pikey’s appetite – nor her confidence!

These days, we don’t fish overnight, but take it in turns watching the rods during the day while the other does the mowing. Just at ‘last knockings’ Ken had a hard-fighting common carp of 16lbs, which was in (the usual) immaculate condition. Next day he followed this up with a nice mirror of 27lbs, which entangled one of his other rods and led him a merry dance!

While I was fishing on a bed of bait, Ken took both his fish on a single boilie with no ‘freebies’. I followed suit with a single Mistral Coconut Ice pop-up. It hadn’t been out there for 5 minutes before it was taken by a big carp, which did it’s very best to pull me in for twenty minutes!

Carp no groundbait

It was easily recognised as ‘Middle Pool Molly’ and looked a good 30lbs of perfect fish. The scales showed ten ounces over the magic 30, and we were both really pleased. Ken lost a lot of fish in floods a few years back, and it was great that the fishery had recovered to produce a thirty pounder. That fish was, in itself, well worth going up there for, but there was more to come…

40 minutes later the same rod roared off again. After a similar hard and lengthy battle, I was able to net another beautiful mirror carp of 24lbs exactly.

No groundbait carp

To celebrate, I fed my pike with three or four poor little rudd (yes – she was back for more, even with that perch clearly bulging in her belly!). And so, after a bit more mowing in the sun, another lovely trip came to an end. I locked everything away and set off home for a glass of bubbles and the lovely Sally`s roast lamb. I LOVE my life!!

Mike Green About Mike Green

Although a bit of a pike fanatic, Mike Green has been fishing in the UK and abroad for most of his life, catching coarse, sea and game fish in the UK, Canada, Alaska, New Zealand, Asia and Americas.