With my local rivers still in desperate need of some extra water and the forecast suggesting another unseasonably warm and sunny day, I decided to head over to the wonderful Lake John fishery rather than scratch around on the river.
I fancied the carp would be having a nose around in the sunshine, feeding up before the long winter. I also wanted to try for the venue’s big perch. I’ve found that the bigger perch in the lake don’t really start feeding until dusk, when it’s possible to take four or five in quick succession before they suddenly disappear again.
On arrival, the near bank that I wanted to fish was being battered by a strong wind that would have made float fishing nigh on impossible. So I settled into a quieter bay that has produced some big perch for others in the past, but an area I’ve yet to take a stripy of note from.
I set up a float rod to fish maggots close in and a carp rod to fish ‘sleeper’ style on a buzzer. Despite the warm weather, I wanted to keep things subtle so relied solely on casting small pva bags into likely looking areas. The rig featured a long hook length with a small, strong hook and it was finished with a little source pellet on a long hair.
It was lovely sitting in the warm sunshine, gently building the margin float swim. I had plenty of roach, skimmers and bream before I hooked something more substantial that forced me to backwind. For a second I dared to imagine a huge perch, but the steady, determined power at the end of my line suggested a decent tench had taken the double red maggot hookbait. I was right. But it was a golden variety of the species that I eventually netted after a good scrap.
As the afternoon drifted by the sun moved across the sky, creeping past the tree that had been partially blocking it from my view. As it cast its warming rays directly into my swim, the bites dried up. Just as I was thinking about a move my alarm burst into life and the baitrunner whizzed as a carp made off with the bait.
After a solid, if unspectacular tussle with what was obviously a good fish, I netted a long silvery gold common carp. She weighed 17lbs 8ozs and was an absolute pearler. All the carp I’ve caught or seen caught from the lake really have been in tip-top condition.
Despite this success, I still wanted to move and find somewhere I could float fish without the sun in my eyes. So I wandered over to a shaded area with a nice expanse of water in front of me. All I could muster on the float were a few more small roach and skimmers. No sign of the perch. However the carp were active, with the odd fish even topping in the sunshine.
I lowered the bait in the margins for an hour or so, but despite some bubbles and clouds of silt emanating from around my hookbait, I didn’t get a bite. So, after spotting a carp moving around 40 yards out, I launched the bait with a little bag towards the fish. And 15 minutes later I was in again.
This time the scrap was lot more ferocious, but the fish didn’t feel quite as heavy. And so it proved as I netted another perfect, golden common. This one was bit chunkier than the last fish and it weighed 14 pounds and 12 ounces. Not record breakers by any means, but I was absolutely delighted with my autumn brace of Lake John commons.