Park Life - Tommy Flower

After my capture of the ‘big leather’ carp from my syndicate decided it was time for spawning and with it the lakes closed to let the them get on with their yearly ritual undisturbed. Every year I find myself lost for what to do while the carp spawn as I refuse to fish for spawning carp something I wish every angler did.

With a week or two pottering around the house and catching up on jobs which had long been neglected it was soon time to have a wander around the local park lake in hope that the carp had finished and were looking for a bite to eat.

Armed with some Skretting Expander pellets which had been soaked in a spicy fishy oil and a floater rod and with my little girl Summer in tow we soon found a group of carp which were definitely looking catchable. We wasted no time in putting out a couple of pouches of Expander pellets and instantly the carp begun to slurp them down. We continued to feed the swim and build the confidence of the carp before gently casting well pass the feeding carp and very carefully twitching my trimmed down KSC pop up back in the feeding zone.

As soon as the hookbait was in the area a big pair of lips engulfed the bait before bow waving out of the swim. With a hissing clutch and stalking rod bent to full battle curve it made for great fun and as Summer stood poised and ready with the net as we drew the angry carp closer all while still managing to keep the expander pellets going into the swim in order to keep the carp feeding the carp took its finale gulp of air before kissing the spreader block and she was ours which delighted Summer no end. On the bank we weighed this cracking common in at just over 20 which for the lake is above average and a right result.

A few snaps and we had her back safe and sound. We continued to keep the Expander pellets going and the carp continued to do their best Pac-Man impressions. We repeated the process of getting the hookbait in place and just like before a pair of rubbery lips rose around our little pop up followed by an almighty eruption which sent all the other carp off in every direction. The one which had my size 10 wide gape firmly lodged in its lip certainly wasn't happy as it powered off down the lake. Instantly images of my target carp flashed in my head as the carp made powerful runs one after the other. 10 minutes in and the fish was still going strong with Summer helping get the net in place we gently inched the carp closer and closer until she was finally ours. I didn't recognise the fish at first and mistook it for the second biggest in the lake but once on the unhooking mate I could see it was an old friend the angry common looking big and dark.

The scales read 27lb bang on making it the best weight ever for the fish and also a new surface PB for myself but best of all it was a special moment shared with my little girl.

A little photoshoot followed before we gently slipped my old friend back to fight another day. As you can imagine the swim was now completely devoid of carp after that epic battle so we was off in search of another opportunity.

We found a few more fish but not matter how much we tried we just couldn’t get the carp feeding confidently however we did find a couple of fish visiting a small spot close in. We fed a handful of Skretting Protec Carp pellets and the carp began to feed straight away. I quickly tied up a solid bag rig and lowed it onto the spot.  I had barely settled the line before the spool hissed and spun like crazy as the rod flew forward which I luckily caught just before it got wet but as quick as the bite came the fish dropped off and I was left swinging an empty hook back in. Summer commented something along the lines of “that was rubbish” (don't you love the honesty of children) We had had a great couple of hours angling and a four year olds patience was wearing thin so instead of making her become bored with my now rubbish angling we decided to call it a day.

I was back the a couple of days later and although the sun was shining and a few carp could be seen cruising the upper layer I just couldn’t get the carp to feed confidently although they were taking the odd Expander pellet it was random and trying to read where the next one would rise was very hard work.

I did however notice a few carp visiting an overhanging tree on the far margin so off came the surface set up and I dispatched a high attract KSC wafter coupled with a small bag of Protec pellets as close as I could possibly get it to the area. The odd carp crept past the hookbait. I knew it was more of when, rather than if, and I was right as the rod soon arched round and the tight clutch let out a couple of ticks before I grabbed the it and began battle with yet another low 20lb common which was a right result - 3 fish in two sessions all being 20 plus from a lake with mainly double figure fish is always good.

As with most of my park lake sessions they never last long I rather get in have a fish or two and then get out and this was no different I had a quick look and couldn't see any fish in the area so wasted no time in calling it a day and heading home for some family time.

I popped back the next day mainly just for a mooch round but soon found a number of carp so jogged back to the van and grabbed a couple of rods, bit of take and bucket of bait and rushed back to what I hoped was still an empty swim. I was happy to find no one had occupied my desired location and luckily just as I reached the swim an angler came rushing up from the opposite direction to stop dead in his tracks when he saw me already in position. You could tell from his body language he wasn't best pleased as he trundled back off the way he came. Soild bags were going to be the tactic of the day and soon I had two in place and sat back in the warm afternoon sun. The odd liner had me jumping up in anticipation until the rod once again bent double as an angry carp tried it best to find any snag possible but after gentle persuasion I had yet another 20 in the net. I was over the moon with this incredible roll.  They don’t all have to be huge just have their own little meanings to keep me happy. With the rod back out and carp all over the area the liners continued and this time the other rod rattled off with a lovely mid double common. Although not another 20 I couldn’t have cared less I was more than happy with my dark park lake resident. 

The action slowed up a little as it usually does on the lake are a couple of fish had been caught and I stood chatting to a mate who was having a wander around when out of the blue the rod was nearly ripped from the rests on a very violent take. I rushed forward to the rod but managed to kick the front of the swim which sent me flying into the screaming rod landing on my face although I somehow managed to grab the rod mid fall and luckily never broke anything apart from my big toe. The pain thumped up my leg as I done battle with a very angry fish. I just wanted the fight over but the carp had other ideas and I even had to jump in the lake to stop it from snagging me up. As I stood there soaking wet with a broken toe and a little embarrassed to say I was glad to bundle the carp into the net was an understatement. After hauling myself back onto dry land I managed a get a couple of pictures and slipped the fish back without weighting although I estimated it around mid to upper double and another lovely dark common. With a seriously throbbing toe I decided to call it a day and limped off in search of sympathy from my better half although like everyone else when hearing my mishap she just laughed and took the mic, such love.

Well until next time remember if it’s not happening then MAKE IT.

Tight lines

Tommy Flower