Last year I scheduled in two days of trying to entice a Carp onto the end of my line. On both occasions the crafty Carp eluded me while sucking up all the free offerings I fed my area with. Very frustrated I left them behind and vowed I would have another go at them – but next time I would get one. So I decided to head back and target a Carp off the Kayak. This time I had a game plan in action and after some information regarding the baits and rigs to be used on the lake, I was soon on the road making the journey to the chosen venue.
Carp waters that allow kayaks on are few and far between, so having contacts within the venue of choice is a great help. I have tried and failed with attempts of getting permission to fish certain Carp waters. This venue is not deep at all and the Carp can be seen sunning themselves and hiding out around the weed beds. It is extremely exciting to watch them cruise around the shallows coming within inches of the bait. Frustrating at most times but rewarding when one is hooked.
I arrived at the location just after lunch time on the first day and without hesitation I was at the side of the lake taking a walk around to choose where to fish. I could see some decent Carp patrolling in the shallows so this was going to be my main focus in the sunshine. I baited a deeper swim as a back up but it seemed most of the action was happening in the center of the lake. I unloaded my kayak and took as little with me as possible. Just rods, cameras and bait were loaded up.
This lake fishes very well on luncheon meat. Cutting it into 10mm cubes was the bait of choice. I had pellets to feed which were fed in one or two handfuls every so often to get the Carp feeding confidently. One of the mistakes I made on the first day was that I did not have much experience with Hair Rigs. I was using a light ledger rig with a size 10 hook and just hooking the luncheon meat on. This turned out to be the downfall of my days fishing.
I got into position by paddling into the rushes to keep the kayak still. I was in such a position to allow me to watch the Carp patrolling across me. They would take the same patrolling routes and it was only a matter of having the bait in front of them as they came passed. I put a handful of pellets and a couple pieces of luncheon meat out as feed and could see it sitting on the bottom. It did not take long till a carp moved in on the feed and stirred the bottom up as it hoovered up the freebies. I waited and then put my bait in while not spooking it. The Carp was a good size and I watched with my heart in my mouth as he moved towards my bait. Something distracted me and my eyes shifted away from my bait when the reel started peeling line and the shallow water erupted as the Carp made an attempt to get free. In the split seconds this all happened it was over as I lifted the rod to feel nothing…..
What could be wrong that I would miss a take like that. This happened a total of five times this afternoon before the light faded and I had to pack up my gear. When out the water I chatted with the local lads and it was concluded that my baiting up was the issue and I was given a braided hair rig to try. I was disappointed that I had missed so many good fish and wondered was that going to be my only chance. I fished a swim that night with a friend of mine and landed a small Carp and Bream off the bank. I did not get much sleep that night due to the thoughts of the Cap I had missed and how I was going to get them.
The next morning came with an overcast sky. I felt confident when arriving at the lake. I walked around the lake once again and noticed the Carp were not that active out in the shallows of the lake. Taking this into account I baited two deeper swims around the edge of the lake and headed back to set up my kayak. This morning I opted to float fish these swims. I used a size 10 hook and smaller pieces of luncheon meat. With the kayak set up and ready I paddled over to the first swim I baited up and tucked into the weeds. I noticed immediately there were feeding fish in the swim as there were fizzing bubbles and moving weeds around the bait. I quickly baited up and made sure the length of the trace ensured that my bait was just on the bottom. I kept a constant watch on the float waiting for it to disappear under the waters surface. Ten minutes went by and then the float slipped under the surface and I set the hook. The fish took off straight towards the weeds and then across the swim. As I got it closer to me I saw it was a small Carp. After a good fight the net was edged underneath the Mirror Carp and it was lifted on to my lap. Success at last. Not the big ones that patrol the shallows but a Carp all the same.
After releasing the Carp I moved over to the second swim I had baited up as the first Carp disturbed the area so I let it settle again. On arriving at the second swim I once again saw a lot of activity. Bubbling and moving water as the fish fed. I cast the luncheon meat into position and within a minute it was under the water as fish took off with the bait. Another great little fight on the float rod and a small Common Carp was landed again. Quickly unhooking the fish I released it and got my bait in position again.
The float once again disappeared and I was in again, this time a better fish. It went all over the swim, into weed beds and into the shallows. I was only fishing 6lb line so there was not much I could do but play him. I netted the Carp which was approximately 4 or 5lb. Once again not a monster but a better fish. I got some photos and watched as the Carp swam off. I caught a small Rudd too. Probably the smallest Rudd I have ever caught. At home that evening I went to check my footage from the day. I was not too happy to see that my camera facing me did not get the photos of the third Carp and I only had a glimpse of it from the rear camera. Oh well, fishing and using a camera.
So that was my carp fishing trip. I finished early the second day, before lunch time. I packed up and made my way home. Happy that I had accomplished landing a Carp off the kayak. A new experience and one that is rated up with some of the more exciting ones. I am sure to try again some time.
Until next time,