Only now after three sessions of squeezing in between the myriad of bow taught lines do the bank side populations seem to be falling and I begin to have the choice of swims. Though I am not moaning... as I like many non-carp anglers who frequent the lake have much to thank the humble carp obsessive for. Coombe, as with other waters that are heavily carp fished, has seen an increase in the size of the fish that all that bait is not intended for. The season here on the lake being little more than a week old has already seen the capture of some very special fish... oh and two carp!
Finally with the season seven days old I popped over for a few hours and found the banks practically deserted. I half expected to find a match was scheduled for the following day but it turned out hunger and need for proper sanitation had pulled them away leaving me free to take advantage of any leftover bait. Over the week it had become evident that some decent populations of fish were residing in a large swath of water pretty much centre of the lake. It was from this area that those special green and brown fish were caught. And why shouldn't they have been caught here after all, as it was this bit of water has received focus of the attentions of most of the anglers, all depositing kilo after kilo of boilies hoping for carp, but in reality feeding bream and tench. So now as the sound of throwing stick drifts off on the wind it seemed a perfect time to take advantage and cast out to see what might linger over the top of all those lovely washed out boilies.
So finally alone and armed with the knowledge that what I sought was in the area hopefully eating old bait, I found myself looking out over an age old estate lake on a typical English summers afternoon. Of course by typical I meant wind gusting to nearly thirty miles an hour interspersed with sheeting rain; a sky that was one moment black and the next pure azure. The rain and changing light I could deal with, but the wind was coming in just the right direction to zip straight down the entire sheet of water, making for some interesting attempts at the seventy yard casts into the areas I had seen being feed.
It turned out to be a real 'wait for a window' weekend. Time and time again I found myself waiting for the tiniest break in the wind to punch my feeders out. Once that was done settling the line and trying to claw back the bow in my line became another job in itself. Then after every cast I was subjected to the the incessant random bleeps as the tow pulled up the slightest slack in my line.
Undoubtedly I would eventually get my line to settle and the buzzer to shut up and then yet another battle began. Shelter is one of man's simple requirements for survival. I used to have this amazing brolly which sheltered me and helped me survive. It was made of super light weight nylon and folded down to nothing even though it was 50"across. That gem is long gone and the brolly I own now is a C.....! I don't use that word lightly trust me. The umbrella in question was only meant to be an interim measure until I sourced a better replacement but somehow through this and that it stuck around and it has turned into the devils umbrella itself. Its heavy and floppy and given half the chance it with flip inside and stab you in the leg doing so. Just trying to keep out of the wind using this stupid contraption of an umbrella became a farcical fight and I am dam sure I heard a guy over the lake laughing at me. It didn't take long for my patience to dwindle and that evil folding devil to be discarded back to the quiver. I then field tested the new Chris Yates MK1 session shelter which in the light rain proved itself amiably
|New for 2013 Chris yates MK1 session shelter|
Somewhere in the slapstick carry on scene I did actually get onto the fish and it was a new and different tactic that got me some bites. After two or three hours of fishing the only thing to pull on the end of my line was the tow of the lake, and by then I was thinking that it was not going to end well. Knowing any drastic baiting would be foolhardy, I dipped into my bag looking for inspiration and found something straight away. Half a kilo of sardine and anchovy 10mm boilies that were tucked away in the corner and the sight of them made me wonder. If the carp anglers had been just firing out boilies maybe the fish knew the distinctive sound of them hitting the water was related to food.
Before beginning I recast both my rigs with boilie hook baits and a load of chops crammed into the method mix. With both in place I filled my pockets with baits and began slowly raining the boilies all over the swim... Then you would never believe what happened. After fifteen minutes both rods sparked into life even though there were no where near each other. They weren't ripping runs more dithering jangles. The bream had arrived! I did not leave adequate time for the first two fish to get snagged an struck at nothing but after those I hooked my first Coombe bream of the year.
In my last two hours my buzzers hardly fell quiet as fish bumped into my line rooted around my feeders and sucked up my baits as the browsed over the swim. Two sub adult skimmers and five proper bream got landed that afternoon. The best of which was just under eight pounds and considering most of them were very slim after their recent spawning there was some nice fish amongst them.
It was almost a shame to leave, but I know there will be plenty more bream filled sessions later in the year when they have regained some condition as well as they inevitably stick their noses in when you're not fishing for them.
I suppose the thing that has me wondering now is, was it just coincidence that those bream showed up over those boilies or have they actually come to associate the sound of boilies hitting the water with tasty morsels peppering the bottom. There is no doubt that only boilie hook baits brought fish on this occasion as I tried other baits like corn and worms and they couldn't buy a bite for love nor money. I have seen on other waters when carp have learnt the sound of spods mean food and on bits of river where the sound of hemp hitting the water brings chub out of places you wouldn't think they hide in. But do these bream now know plops mean food and how big can they grow if they eat just about every boilie that lands in this lake?