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Sussex carp lake

Looking back at 2012 it was a mixed year for my ‘success’ on the waterside, my first Severn barbel was nice, as was the Wye barbel although my single capture on the Wye was below par. My most fondest piscatorial memories for the year was the pursuit of canal carp in central London. In many eyes I failed as I never did bank a carp although I managed to hook two, alas both times the line snapped under emmense pressure. It was a summer that BB would have been quite familiar with, excitement, frustration, dissapointment  but still a sense of wonder when it comes to attaching oneself to a large and angry carp.

The reason why I’m writing about carp fishing in mid winter is because I’m looking forwards to 2013 and the potential goals or targets that I may have. I think unlike most anglers it will not be a species or a target size that will be my goal but rather a type of water. Last year (actually still this year for another twelve hours) it was central London canal carp, next year I’m looking at fishing a small stream that I know hold large chub, barbel, carp, perch and pike. And like last year my technique will be very a very simple approach and very mobile. I will of course write about it here and hopefully have more success than last years carp fishing.

In the meantime I have found this piece written in 1928 by A. Courtney-Willians which was brought to my attention by Christopher Yates’ book “Favourite Carp Stories” which highlights what carp fishing is all about, whether you approach it wearing a tweed jacket and pin or adorn real tree and  a row of carbon rods, the essence is still the same, just some anglers do it differently, until next year here is a short extract…

“Then came dawn, fresh and mild. The sun heralded a very perfect morning. Long before it grew light my hook with its full complement of a dozen gentles was dropped lightly into the water and hopes ran high. The moat was reputed to hold some veritable monster fish up to 20 lb in weight. Some of those I had seen were as big as that, and more than one of the estate servants had told me stories of fish that were as ‘big as pigs’ (for some reason all fish to a farm labourer are ‘as big as pigs’).

Five-thirty now, the minutes sped on; six-thirty, seven, quarter to eight. At seven o’clock another foolish and enthusiastic friend had joined me, and neither of us had had a bite. Ten to eight came, ten minutes before breakfast would be ready, and my mind turned to thinking  how good a couple of poached eggs can be when one is really hungry: suddenly the float moved gently along the water and the line begun to run slowly off the reel. When the quill had finally submerged I tightened the line , but did not strike in the accepted sense of the word, for when carp are the quarry it is as well not to do so. At any rate, the effect of this action was both electrical and electrifying…”

Happy new year.