Saturday 22nd May. College Pool, Wasperton. Sean & Brian. 8am - 4-15pm.
A bit of an odd day this turned out to be. We had planned to go to Snitterfield again and I had beefed up the bait quota accordingly, as I felt a bit undergunned the previous week. I'd also tweaked the rod bag and changed a couple of rods over. We then made a last minute change of plan and went to College Pool instead!
Not to worry, I wasn't overly inconvenienced, but it meant my usual 17ft rod wasn't amongst my chosen weapons. I therefore had to opt for a feeder/lead rig, a slider rig and a floater rig on standby. I got to my peg and started to set up, but I realised I'd left all of my food and drink, plus bits of bait in Brian's van. A great start, but the walk would do me good.
I got myself set up before going back to the van and Brian had kindly mixed up a load of groundbait for us. I balled the lot into my swim a couple of rod lengths out, with Bream in mind again. I then went for a walk just as a rather odd couple (a bloke and his missus) arrived at the pegs directly opposite. Aside from the peg nearest the car park, the whole pool was free, but they settled directly opposite us.
As I walked back to my peg, I felt the volume was a bit louder than you'd normally expect. It wasn't the bloke though - it was the missus. Over the next couple of hours she proceeded to give him all manner of abuse, in between moments of pure ecstasy as she caught some of the small Perch. One moment all was jolly as a Perch was swung in to hand, the next minute it was "you ****ing this" and "you ****ing that" and "if you ever come home in that state again...".
Brian and I were looking around for the hidden camera, as we figured this had to be a wind up for some TV show. The comedy act only lasted a couple of hours and we were back to a somewhat more normal setting as they headed off. The poor bloke took a right pounding though!
By this time I had caught a few Perch before getting amongst the Bream. I caught 3 in quick succession on the lead for a total of 11lb 13oz. Then nothing! Not a sniff for the rest of the day on the lead. Why did they turn off? No idea? I figured I was in for another hectic day, but it wasn't to be.
I spotted a Carp or two surfacing so I tried to nick one off the top to get myelf on the scorecard for Carp. I did manage to hook one after a long wait, but it did me almost instantly. In my defence I wasn't really in the the best peg for Carp - but I knew a man who was!
I then decided I'd have a wander to another peg to try and access the Carp better. Bizarrely I'd managed to tackle up my rod missing out the top 3 (yes three!) rings. So I retackled again and after my first cast I realised I'd managed to loop the line over around the rod between two of the rings. Time to retackle again! I put it down to the hot weather. When I finally got the rod in action, I think I'd spooked the Carp. Or maybe I'd just sent them into hysterics with my ineptitude. One did lower its guard briefly and slurped the bait, but I didn't connect with it. I gave up and went back to watching a static tip.
Brian sensed the chance chance to have a go at the Carp and borrowed my rod. It's a new stalking rod I bought a few months ago. Although I haven't used it much, I'm yet to open my account with it. Brian had been having his usual unlucky day and had lost a couple of decent fish already, but had taken a few of the small Perch. He dropped some floating bread out and it looked like his luck was set to continue as piece after piece was slurped down, but his bait remained untouched and ultimately it was the last piece in the water.
Patience (or is it stubbornness) paid off and he did get amonsgt the action though and despite a plucky Mirror Carp trying to ascend up an adjacent tree, he managed to land the fish. It was 6lb 3oz and improved on his best for the year.
I went for a brief walk to see if there were any Carp in the margins. No Carp, but loads and loads of small Perch sunning themselves:
We were set to finish at 4-15 and I had already started to pack up a bit early as I had a bit more gear to tidy up. Brian had gone over time (memo to self to get some rules for this!) and I wondered when he was going to pack up. The next thing I knew he was into another fish - again on my rod! This one was also tamed after a spirited fight and it went 7lb 3oz. I won't proclaim it to be a venue record, but it is the biggest Carp I've seen taken from the pool. It's encouraging to see them putting weight on.
So, about 95% of the day's total weight was taken on my rods, yet I still end up catching the least weight! No challenge points for either of us, but Brian has now increased his standing for Mirror Carp.
11lb 13oz of Bream