My first 'Snow Carp'
The weight was irrelevant....but a 22-08 she was a real beauty!
Monday 25 January 2021
Things are desperately quiet here at Cherry Lakes given we are closed as part of the national Covid lockdown. I have run out of meaningful things to do (we have even resorted to replacing 'warning signs' !).
The one small upside of the lockdown is that when I got up yesterday morning to find several inches of snow on the ground, and thought that's it, I am going Carp fishing. In the past, any snowy days at Cherry Lakes have always seemed to coincide when we have guests on the lakes or I have been away. This year, with the complex closed, I had full choice of lakes.
Even in my keener Carp fishing days (when I did a lot of winter Carping in a bivvy), I never seemed to be in the right spot to fish in the snow, let alone catch one. It has always been an ambition of mine to catch one of the very rare 'Snow Carp'. So very indulgently, yesterday one of the big decisions of the day, was which lake to fish!
Suspecting the snow would not last too long, I ruled out Cherry Lake and after 'tossing a coin' between Cherry Mere and Cherry Springs, I ended up in Pochard Lodge for the day.
With the lake partially frozen (slushy from the snow rather than normal marginal cat ice), I did not have a sniff in the morning. So I reeled in for a while. I would like to imply this was because I was having a strategic re-think, but I have to be honest.......it was because Judith had cooked a very welcome Brunch. The good news is that because I had to 'get back to the rods', I skipped all washing up duties!
On my return for the afternoon, I repositioned one of the rods, fishing at the bottom of a marginal shelf. As you can see from the photos, I did have a pick up, a short stuttering run, the result being this fantastic Mirror Carp which looked stunning in her winter colours. The weight is irrelevant given it was my target 'Snow Carp'. I would have been delighted with any size, but at 22-08 my first Snow Carp was a beauty.
I was more successful than the poor guy in the Cottage. He seemed to like the cold and preferred it to being in a warm Lodge!
As I mentioned in my last update, I enjoy Pike fishing in the winter, particularly because a 3 hour trip is often sufficient to catch a Pike or two. A 3-4 hour trip, even in multiple layers of clothes, is also about my limit for being stationary outside in the cold. I am very fortunate to have so many lakes within a mile or two of my home and have plenty of choice.
The Pike fishing has been going well and I have now caught them up to 20lb. I have also been joined on occasions by my son Richard (see the last update) and my future son-in-law Ben Laidlaw. Strangely both Richard and his partner Kavita, as well as Victoria and Ben, have decided that Cherry Lakes is a much better place to 'sit-out' the lockdown than their London flats!
Funny that whenever they come with me (they always seem to arrive after I have set up, and leave before I have packed up), they always insist on having the next run! As you can see Ben has also got in on the act. This one from memory weighed in at 11-08.
With the lockdown looking like it will last at least until the end of February, and more probably until Easter, I will continue to Pike fish for the next few weeks before thinking about targeting the Cherry Lake Carp. It would be great to get an English 40 (or even 50!) before the end of February. Mind you I talk 'a good game', doing it will be very different! If I do......you will be amongst the first to know!
As I indicated in my last update, we are only taking provisional bookings for March as I am fed up with either rolling deposits into the future (we are however very grateful when this has to happen) or giving refunds. I hope I am not being too optimistic about April!
Take care and stay safe.