A classic Lea Valley carp
Dave Robinson has been catching some stunning fish from a large venue in the Lea Valley. Here he brings us up to date with happenings since the start of the season:
‘June 16th finally came round and I received my ticket for a large boating lake in the Lea Valley. I had waited years for my chance and it had finally come. I had always been interested in lots of waters around the valley but this one I just knew I had to fish. I had noticed from walking round that in the day the carp seem to show out on a huge plateux in the centre of the lake.
My first 48 hour trip didn’t result in any bites but I felt as if I had learnt enough to be confident when I returned. It seemed everyone else was spodding for hours upon end no matter where they were fishing. I knew I didn’t have the time or the patience for that kind of fishing even if that was going to be the way to maximise my chances of multiple captures. I stuck to what I knew and kept fishing where the fish were showing.
My first bite came on a bright morning in 5ft of water at 80 yards out. They had been showing on this particular bar for a few day as I was adamant that they were just eating everyone’s bait from the weekend. I had been told by a local that they show all day over you with no action and to me that sounded very strange. I fished a short, balanced supple rig with big lead, size 4 Big-T ‚25lb Two Tone with a long hair. My plan was to fish over as little bait was possible and move every time I feel the need and I’m glad I did..
Check out the colours!
On my next trip I planned to fish the night in the deep water off the back of the wind. The lake was quite busy but the day time swim I had caught from before was free so at least I had half a plan for the morning.
At 2am, I was rudely woken by a savage liner! It was a liner like no other, it pulled up and popped out the clip and slowly returned. I pulled a few feet of line off the spool, put it back in the clip and returned to my bed chair. Within two minutes of sitting down I had heard one crash close in round to my right. It was windy so I didn’t know exactly where it came from but I knew it was close.
After sitting there for half hour and listening to them crash I decided to reel in. Some people would think I was mad but I knew they were more round to the right, I had already had a liner and it was light in two hours. So I reeled in and prepped myself for first light. After recasting at 4.30 round to the right after a single show I was now confident that I was fishing. I put one rod round the corner into the best part of 20ft of water and it went down with a crack, first time. I slackened off, sat back down and pinged a dozen fish meals over the area. I didn’t want to over do it so I only put one rod round the corner and left the other one out in the pond.
The anticipation was intense, the carp were crashing all over me just 15 yards from the bank at 5am. I knew I didn’t have long because once the sun came over the trees those fish would leave the deep water and travel back “up the road” to the plateux where they religiously spend the days.
‘The right hand rod went into meltdown’
Before I knew it, the right hand rod went into meltdown, stripping line like there was no tomorrow. After what felt like a twenty minute battle I saw it was another one of the big mirrors and was praying it would go into the net. It seems every time she saw the net she stripped another 30 yards off my spool. This happened half a dozen times before she finally went into the net. While I waited for my mate to come round and the morning sun burnt away the mist, I decided to reel in and put a few hundred baits round that corner.
I knew I had to get back in this swim before dark, with a rig on the spot all night rather than for just a couple hours in the morning. Anyway, the next evening I made sure I was in there before any of the work overnighter boys arrived. Being one of the busiest lakes I had ever fished it wasn’t just the fish i was competing against. The night drew to a close with no shows but I was going to stay up late and wait for them to arrive. I stayed up as late as possible but as my alarm was set for 4am, I just had to get a couple hours.
‘i was woken by a screamer on the right hand rod’
At 3am, I was woken by a screamer on the right hand rod. As I picked up the rod I remember smiling for some reason. It was one of those moments when I realised I was onto something and my plan was working. After another nail biting battle under the moon I netted another brute of a mirror. I was blown away to see it was a fish that hadn’t been out for over a year and was arguably one of the rarest carp in the lake. What an amazing start to my season’.