Red Letter Session (ish)

Well, this session took me to Shropshire, again, to RH Fisheries Monument 1. Upon my arrival at the gates, I was greeted by lots of anglers waiting patiently to get on to the complex and catch a PB. The bailiff turned up at 6.45am, unlocked the gates, and we all made our way to the car park. I went into the shop to pay, and pick up some bait, and made my way around to peg 7 with my gear. I was setting up my bivvy and gear, when I noticed carp nutting out in my swim. The guys opposite were spodding out loads of bait so, I thought I would go the opposite way and sling out two single baits which were a piece of red foam with 5 maggots tied on top on a d-rig. I wrapped up my rods to 16 1\2 wraps and cast out.

I got the rest of my gear in order and sorted myself out to settle down for the weekend. The kettle was filled, and on, for a nice brew. I sat back relaxing in my surroundings, made a few phone calls to my wife and friends, and at about 11am my right rod rattled off. I picked up the rod and felt something heavy pull back. I played the fish up and down the margins but hadn’t seen it yet. I kept fighting, and fighting, then up came this massive mirror – it was huge!!

Then, just as the lips of the mirror touched the cord of the net, the hook pulled straight out. The lead came flying past my head and all I could see was a huge tail getting farther away from me. I quickly got the rod ready to cast out again. I had just put the kettle on when, 45 mins later, the same rod ripped off again. I jumped up, shaking like a leaf. I picked up the rod to be met with another heavy, and fast, carp. This carp was not stopping for anything. I’d already cast 65yrds but the carp took off another 50yrds to my left. I thought I was going to wipe out the other anglers lines but there was nothing I could do, I just couldn’t stop it. Then, PING the hook pulled out, again!

Oh my god, I thought. But, as I found out later, that was a big carp. There’s only one carp that fights like that, and it’s a 40. I couldn’t believe it. Ahh well, try again.

I reset both my rods, wrapped up again, and cast out. I sat back pondering why my hook pulled out twice, but everything seemed fine. I checked, and checked again. Later on, around 1.30pm, my right hand rod ripped off, again. This time I got the carp in the net. It turned out to be an 18lb mirror and that was me, off the mark. I took some photo’s and slipped it back, pretty chuffed with myself. I sighed with relief to have got one in the net. I got the rod wrapped up and back on the spot then moved my left rod over, closer to the spot I’d caught the carp from. Half an hour later my left rod ripped off. I grabbed the rod and felt a decent size weight on the other end. It came to the margins and beat me up for my effort. It passed over the cord of the net and lay there sulking in the mesh. The angler, from the next peg, came to take the photo’s and we weighed it in at 31lb 150z.

It was a new PB common for me, so I was over the moon.

I got the rod sorted out again and slung the single bait back on the spot. It went quiet for a couple of hours as I sat watching the world go by and reading a magazine. I was enjoying the peace and quiet with a brew when, at 3.45pm, my right hand rod tore off and I got the carp into the net. It was a 16lb mirror. I removed the hook, applied some first aid to the hook hold, and put it back into its watery home. On recasting the rod, a few carp nutted out for the last time before darkness came.

I sat back after a busy day catching, and losing carp. I sat down for some tea, still pondering why I lost those fish, but I guess I’ll never know. After calls to my wife, and friends I settled down to a good nights sleep.

I woke up the next morning and stood in my peg, with a nice hot coffee, staring across the lake. Not a ripple to be seen. No fish topping, or nutting out like the day before. I thought, this was strange.

The day went by with not even a liner, but I had heard that the guy across from me had had a few carp, up to 38lb. It seemed to me that they had moved across to the other side of the lake. So, while it was quiet, I put out 3 spods of bait to try and tempt them back. It got to 2pm when I decided to recast my rods with fresh bait on, and figured I’d be sat on my hands until the bell chimed telling us to go home.

However, at 3.40pm, while I’m stood talking to two guys in my peg, my right hand rod went into meltdown. I grabbed the rod and, again, I’m playing an angry carp. I managed to get the carp over the cord and she was mine. The two guys helped me with weighing the carp and photos before I put it back into the clear depths. It weighed 18lb. Another lovely carp for my efforts. I recast my rod and packed down my gear, ready for the off.

My rods lay on the deck, motionless. Not a liner, or a run, came to me before I packed my barrow.

Then it was time to bring my rods in and go home. It was a good weekend and I’ve booked back on Monument 1 on the 30th January, to hopefully catch another PB.

My next session was on my local lake, which I’d decided to fish up in the shallows, and try my luck up there. The first night I had a run from a trailing fish in which I managed to free the fish and get myself two leads from it. I lost the fish in the process. The original hook pulled out as it reached the cord of my net, but at least the fish was free of trailing line and leads.

Until next time tight lines

Karl Brandreth


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