With my current run of form reading blank, blank, blank, blank I needed to fish a peg I had total confidence in. Peg 9 was the choice and was actually the last peg I caught on at the back end of December.
I set up two feeder rods using a concoction of about 4 parts liquidised bread and 1 part fishmeal based groundbait. I've become a bit more organised recently and I'm starting to freeze up any old bread that would normally be binned. I'm then liquidising it as needed the day before I fish. The freezer is also housing a supply of deadbaits too, in case I fancy a spur of the moment predator session.
I fed the bread mix through both feeders, but opted for different hookbaits - bread flake on a size 12 on one rod, with 2 or 3 maggots on a size 15 on the other. I tend to use the odd numbered hooks in the Kamasan b711 range quite a lot for my maggot fishing. Both rigs had tails of about 2.5ft to 3lb bottom.
I decided to cast fairly regularly to keep the bait going in and I didn't have to wait too long for my first bit of action on the bread. The tip pulled round and I just needed to lift the rod, which was met with a fairly stiff resistance. I knew it was a decent fish and I was hoping it was a Chub, as it would definitely be a personal best.
I played it carefully and when I got a glimpse of the fish I could see it was a Carp. Although a little disappointed that it wasn't a Chub, this was going to be a first for me, as I'd never previously caught a river Carp. The fight went to plan without too much fuss and the fish was banked. It weighed in at 6lb 2oz.
Not a monster in Carp terms and in challenge terms, it's not going to make much of an impression either. As I joked to Brian in a text, I'd get more for a 3oz Dace! In this instance though the figures don't really matter - it's nice to put the river Carp issue to bed at long last and more so at this time of the year when my fishing has been very barren. Suddenly 4 blank weeks became a distant memory.
Things didn't really take off though and after a couple of hours I decided to rest both lines and have a mess about with a float rig. I managed a small roach that I didn't weigh - I don't think it would have made 1oz, before snagging up my rig and losing the hook. I then saw a decent fish top on the feeder line, so I went back out there again. The difference this time was that I switched the rods over and fished bread on the right hand rod.
A steady run of fish then started - all taken on bread:
Chub 2lb 6oz
Bream 4lb 5oz
Chub 2lb 7oz
Bream 2lb 7oz
Bream 2lb 5oz
Smack on 20lb in total, which I'd take any day on a river. I packed in around 4-30pm and went home very content. 57 percentage points on the challenge board, but in all honesty if any of these fish remain on my scorecard at the end of the year, something will have gone badly wrong. It's just a relief to be catching again.