Top Quality French Carp Fishing
NEW Lake Record caught on 26th. April 2017 at 76lb 15oz
and 6 different 60lb plus carp And 2 known 70lb plus carp.
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My first thought was to find out how many sections of fence were loose and as soon as I touched the centre two sections there were obviously more carp stranded. To cut the story shorter, I lifted some more good sized fish out of their "retainers" and slid them back into the lake. I said to Alan that we had been lucky but it was worth just one last check. To my amazement, below the fish that we had already saved, there was another. To reach it properly it was necessary to kneel in the mud of the dam wall and stretch down inside the fence. As soon as I touched the fish I knew it was one of the bigger ones. I slid my hand down its flank and stopped. This fish was so big it had to be Cut Tail or Half Lin. I told Alan of my thoughts and then slowly began to slide her up on my arms. It was so big that I could barely get her to come to the surface, never mind lift her out.
Then, astonishingly, as her back broke the surface, Alan and I both chorused "£¥@€ me, it's a common". It took all my strength to slide her up my thighs as Alan stood on the top part of the broken fence. By sliding my knees onto the fence I sort of rocked forward and allowed her to slide down my jeans and back into the lake. She powered away with a massive bow wave so certainly wasn't weakened by her experience and now we had two jobs to do. First we overlaid the broken sections with a complete new roll of fence and then the next job, which fish was it?
We certainly didn't mess around and delay her recovery by getting a camera and we certainly weren't going to go and get scales but, we saw her long enough for both of us to get a really good mental picture.
There were two obvious candidates, Pipesmoker and Andy's. Pipesmoker is a long shallow (probably male) common with a deformed mouth. This fish was deep and broad and certainly wasn't Pipesmoker. Andy's is exactly the right shape BUT she has rows of "random", jumbled scales each side of her dorsal. The fish I lifted was a perfect Common with no jumbled scales so it wasn't Andy's. Now, for any fish to get that size she has got to have been handled at a half decent size during the last vidange.
That was November 2011 and the biggest Common then was "The Long Common" and she was, at best, a scraper fifty. In fact, we took her photo down at the start of the season because she hasn't been caught for at least three years and we assumed she had died. Now, if we had a fish that had turned cannibal at an early age, developed by eating small fish and had, somehow, locked into that kind of protein diet she would be able to maintain an average growth rate of 5lbs per year. (I should just explain that even 1 GRAM of dried daphnia contains 525 calories so god knows how many calories there are in 8oz of prime carp/Rudd) Taking that one step further, it is possible for a large carp to put on 30lbs in the six years since that drain down.
Now my immediate estimation of the weight of the fish that we saved was that she was equal to Cut Tail and Half Lin and, when I said this to Alan his simple reply was "at least". If we pluck 75lbs out of the sky and wind that back 6 years she would only have needed to be 45lbs at the end of 2011. That certainly puts the Long Common back in the frame. Now we just need to work out how to catch her. Whatever, I'm confident in saying that our lake now contains three seventies.
As we got into mid summer the water level continued to drop and the rain avoided us totally.
Alan asked me about "the lift method" of float fishing as I had been waffling on about how effective it used to be for tench fishing. I showed him how to set it up on one of his carp rods and he was off like a kid with a new toy. Several average carp followed and then a scraper fifty kissed his net. He was sold on this. No need to bivvy up, just a couple of hours over some feeding fish and then home in time for bed. It wasn't long before I got another shout for some photos and he was grinning like a Cheshire Cat. He'd banked The Peach at 57lbs 5oz and it was well deserved.