Tommy Flower

Well where to start, it has definitely been a while since I last put pen to paper due to being extremely busy over the last few months with family life, work and trying to buy a fishery. The last has been my biggest problem and trying to get somewhere has proved difficult to say the least but the pursuit will continue and that dream will definitely not be lost.

Anyway, let’s get off the boring stuff and get on with catching you all up on my fishing exploits. I will start way back at the beginning of the year when all we could do was dream of warm sunshine and carp. I fished fairly hard on a new water with absolutely nothing to show for my efforts. It wasn't just me suffering this fate as the lake completely shut up shop for around 5 months with not one single carp caught. I must admit even questioning whether anything swam within its depths but plugged on anyway in hope of a cold water chunk which unfortunately never did happen. The time spent during the winter wasn't all wasted though and I was putting the effort in finding spots and areas and generally trying to work out as much about the lake as possible in anticipation for when those carp did wake up from their winter slumber.

I flitted around the local park lakes and managed a few winter fish here and there but my mind was always on the syndicate water and a few certain big fish which at the right time are over that magical 50lb mark. The first being a great big long lean common and the other a simply perfect true Leather carp and one of the biggest leathers in the land. There was also plenty of other back up fish I would love to meet along the way like a potential 60lb mirror and an upper 40 scaley old mirror that is perfect. So you can definitely understand why the fire burnt bright during that long cold and frankly miserable winter which we had to endure. Remember that while your complaining it’s too hot which I have definitely said multiple times in the last couple of days.

Once the sun finally decided to shine upon us the carp began to wake and the very first fish to get caught was the big common at 52lb. She was caught two days after I had pulled off from a session but it proved that I had location right and will definitely be storing that information for next winter. With the carp waking up I knew I had to be there but as with all great plans something came up in the shape of Tuitions. While I would have loved to have been beside the lake I cannot explain how much I enjoy doing tuition sessions. I have had some great bookings with clients catching their first fish all the way to PB’s and so far each and every one has been a great result. The Majority of my sessions of late have been introductory lessons which are perfect for parents introducing their children to the angling world, I have even had a couple on a date. Since that I have tried on several occasions to take my better half for a so called fishing date which definitely hasn't gone quite as well as that coaching session I can tell you.

As much as I was enjoying my tuitions I couldn't wait to get back with my own fishing especially as carp across the country had started to spawn and I knew my time was running out for a big spring carp before the lake closed for their yearly spawning ritual. The common got caught again this time at a huge 54lb so I knew the others could be massive if and when they got caught. Lots of carp were coming out from all around the lake and some of the rarer ones had already made a visit to the bank so plans were made and work juggled around to be able to fit in a 3 day session. I arrived at a fairly quiet lake and was soon set up in with three rods in place fished tight together on a bed of Pro-Tec Carp pellets, boillie crumb, chops and whole boiles which all had been soaked in a matching glug to the boilies I was using from Xcel baits. I chose to fish three on a tight bed due to the number of carp which had been on the feed and knew that if they moved in a good hit could be on the cards. With every set and the warm sun shining it was time to sit back and take it all in, that was until BOSH……. BOSH ……. BOSH the carp began to show at the opposite side of the lake, one after the other they continued to roll. The rods were reeled in glassed put on and I was off to get a better look. As I neared the area where the carp were most active I could see a number of fish just below the surface all sitting over quite deep water. There were a couple of anglers in close proximity and although I wanted to be on the fish I really didn't want to risk ruining others angling and potentially mine by over pressuring the area. As I tried to come up with a plan a fresh breeze sprung up blowing straight into my swim and with it the odd carp broke away from the main group and slowly followed the wind. I was soon back in the swim rechecking rigs putting on new baits and getting the rods quickly back on the spot. Although one rod was re rigged up with a solid bag full of pellets and a KSC wafter and placed tight to an island on my left which would be on the right line for the carp to drift in on the wind and fact that the carp were in the upper lays then there was a very good chance of them coming into the island margin. Rods reset and a well eared cold drink in the late afternoon sun was soon being drunk until I was rudely interrupted by a jittery take on the island rod. At first I thought a tench was the culprit as the fish swam towards me until it rolled and I could definitely tell that it was no tench and also on first sight I noticed she had very little scales if any. It was at that point my legs began to tremble slightly as the thought of the Leather flashed through my head as the fish powered off up a shallow channel. Thankfully my size 4 curve shank held firm as I guided a rather large carp towards an outstretched net. I had a quick glance and was almost positive one of my two main targets was sulking in my net and one of the rarest in the lake for bankside visits. After gathering myself together and making sure everything was ready and safe to bring the fish ashore it was time to properly get a good look at my prize, The Leather was MINE. My first bite from the lake and she was mine. Buzzing was an understatement I couldn't believe what had happened. I didn't bother with pictures on the bank instead opting to get her back in the water as quick as possible. She had obviously had a bit of a spawn without anyone noticing as she was quite a bit down in weight but at 44lb 10oz it was a new PB and one I dearly wanted to catch. I had a couple of pictures in the water and soon sent her on her way. During spring, early summer the carp are under a huge amount of stress with spawning so making sure you can do all you can to treat them right is paramount in ensuring their health, its also why I chose to use the Pro-Tec pellets as they really do help with the carp coping with this added stress.

That night the phone rang well into the early hours with congrats from friends and a few beers were drunk in celebration. I was paid a visit by a couple of small tench the following day but the carp had vacated the area and could be seen sitting back over the deep water and the area had become even more busy with anglers. I stayed in the swim for another night hoping the pressure would push them out from the area they were held in and into me but upon waking the following morning to motionless bobbins it was obvious the carp hadn't read the same scrip as me. A few even began to show signs of spawning in the shallow bay. With this going on I decided to call it a day and head off home early I had caught one of the two which I had joined for so I was more than happy to head off home early and earn some brownie points ready for next time, which was another great session but you will have to wait until my next blog to find out what went on.

For anyone interested in finding out more about my tuition services you can contact me at tommy@theanglingacademy.com, tommy flowers angling academy on facebook or at www.theanglingacademy.com.  Quote code Skretting35 to get a £35 discount.

Until next time tight lines and remember if it’s not happening MAKE IT.

Tommy Flower