I don't want to complain, but here we are again, on the bank at Brooke Lake, and guess what.. it's just started to rain.. again.. as we continue with our rather damp summer carp campaign.
We try to get set up quickly between ever heavier showers, the rods going out first, and then the rush to get the brollies up, and all the gear inside before everything is drenched.
I think I've succeeded, until I notice that I've set up my home on a slight incline and the rains running off the top of my brolly, in the front opening, and creating a nice indoor pool on top of my groundsheet!
But the rain doesn't stop the kettle coming out, even if it is tucked under Gary's brolly. And that's the way it is for the rest of the afternoon and evening, like a couple of Meerkats, with our heads popping out of the brollies every time the rain stops!
With the heavy grey clouds keeping it fairly dark we retire early, hoping for a run to disturb our slumber. But none come, and the only thing we do get is wave after wave of squally showers beating against the canvas.
A steaming mug of tea in the morning soon wakes us up, but there's not much else happening, so after a couple of hours and a lull in the rain, we decide to slowly pack up.
Of course, it's then that a few beeps from Gary's buzzer has us staring at the rods before one of them tears off. A spirited fight gets him playing a fish through every lily pad and snag around this corner of the lake, but it's not long before we have it in the net. It's not huge, a 13lb'er, but welcome all the same. It keeps up Gary's run of catching every time we've been here.. we won't talk about my record so far!
Perhaps something will come my way next time... please!
Now hang on, there's something wrong here I announce, and Gary stops unloading his barrow 'What?'.. I then explain, 'It's warm and there's no rain, and we're out fishing!'.. there's a grin, and the unloading continues.
It's a week later and we're back in the same swim, on the same lake.. but oh, how the weather has changed! How much nicer is it to set up in the sunshine. So the rods are first to be sorted, and a margin feature to one side, and a good chuck out in front to a set of pads will be my targets.
I'm using boilies on both rods, one fished 'snowman' style, with a small pop-up, and the other just tipped off with a piece of artificial corn. Both are hair rigged.
The nearside bait is just an under arm lob into position, whereas it takes a few casts to get the furthest bait tight up to the edge of the pads. Once in place, it's clip up, then tie a marker on the line so I can keep casting to the same spot, even in the dark. The area then gets a good bombardment of freebies.
Gary's hitting the same spot as before, a group of pads right in the corner of the lake, with his second just off some snags at the back of the pontoon, where we fished a couple of weeks back.
With a bit of tea brewing, we sit back and take in what's happening around the lake, a fish jumps near Gary's bait, some reeds move, a lily pad shifts as a fish moves through below.. they're all little signs that help us build a picture of where the fish patrol, which we then use to plan future visits.
We chat, we chill, we drink more tea. There's no action and it's time to catch some zzz's.
A single beep, then a one-toner, I'm out of the sleeping bag and next to the rods in seconds, it's hit and hold, you can't let the fish get deep in those pads. Gary joins me moments later, 'Just keep the pressure on mate'.
After a few lunges I gain a yard or two of line, but the fish is just running along the edge of the pads. It takes a little longer before my quarry makes a break for open water and I'm churning the reel like mad to keep the line taught!
Gary mans the net as I steer the fish back in front of me as it kites to my left. I make the casual remark 'It doesn't feel very big mate', as the fish now heads straight for me, but countering a last minute lunge it's in the net.
It goes 25lb 8ozs, a beautiful common, at last I land a Brooke 'twenty'!
I slip the carp back, and set about re-baiting, while Gary gets the kettle on. It's only around midnight so there's plenty of time for another take. Cuppa's drunk, it's back to sleep.
Early morning, and Gary gets in on the action, landing a 12lb'er from the corner pads. All in all it's been a great session at Brooke, I'm sure we'll be back soon.
Oh if you're fishing at Jerry's and your mate gets those sorrowful eyes and a hang dog expression, there's nothing wrong with him... it might just turn out to be Jerry's puppy George!
He came to visit us, along with Jerry, and had his nose into just about everything... he had us all chuckling, by first climbing onto Gary's bedchair and lying down, then getting himself out of the sun by sitting under Gary's brolly... nice one George!
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