Getting Back into Carp Fishing PT2 – Nick Kempen

A little story of my experience of getting back in to a huge passion of mine, carp fishing. After a 6 year break for various reasons my love of carp fishing has never left me and a chance chat that led to a forty plus common.

After my first trip to the syndicate lake and the capture of the 34 I was keen to return for another go which I did two weeks later,

On arriving only one other member was on the lake seeing as it was midweek I had a good choice of swims which didn’t help in making my decision easy as the whole lake looked good but eventually after a good few hours I decided to fish a swim that had a aerator positioned to the right hand side on a rope to a out of bounds area as I had seen a lot of fish in this area and some big ones too.

Carp on top basking in sun

The weather was hot and had been for a week or so, after finding three nice spots and setting up I sat watching the water in the shade of some trees behind the bivvy for a few hours until it started to get dark then retired to my bed having seen some good fish in the areas of my baited rigs I was confident as I went off to sleep, around eleven that night I had a savage liner so being awake I got the kettle on and had a brew, as I sat listening I could hear fish all over the area then about twelve thirty they started to spawn in the reeds to my left so with that I wound the rods in and went back to sleep to let them get on with it,

I slept til six and they were still going for it so after packing away I stood watching them for a while and could see some big fish not more than four foot away but one stood out it was a big common I think the same one as I had seen the last time sunning it’s self in the opposite corner of the lake.

The lake was closed for a few weeks to allow the fish time to finish and then rest but as normal work got in the way and I wasn’t able to return until the second week in September.

Again early Thursday morning I was making the 100 mile trip to the lake full of anticipation of what lay in store for me and hopefully it wouldn’t be busy as I had a swim in mind as I had been speaking to what had become a good friend who had been at the lake earlier in the week and I wasn’t going to ignore what he had seen, on arriving I couldn’t believe my luck not one car in either of the two car parks and the lake was empty, I was almost skipping down the path to the lake and to the swim I fancied with bait bag in hand, I stood watching the lake for an hour or so and the swim I had been in the last trip was looking really good as a fish had showed almost right on top of one of the spots I had found previously so with this in mind I left my bag in the swim and walked the whole lake the opposite way round making my way to the swim for a look.

On arriving in the swim after a couple of hours walking round another member had arrived and was setting up in the swim, so after a quick chat I went to the van and got the gear and into the swim were my bag was placed at seven that morning.

After getting the bivvy up and the gear sorted I used a light lead to have a feel about and eventually settled on three spots and got the rods out the left rod went forty yards to an island the middle rod was fished to a small gravel patch in open water and the right hand rod was placed eight foot from the rod tip down the margin next to some lilies all were fished with a light scattering of bait, Around one o’clock another member set up in the swim next to me so the afternoon was spent drinking tea and chatting about the lake and the fish it held.

At 4.30 the next morning the margin rod ripped off and I was into a fish which fought hard in the deep margin until a low twenty popped up and into the net, I quickly unhooked it in the net made it safe then got the rod back on the spot hoping another bite would be on the cards but as I was sorting a new hook link out the fish in the net decided it didn’t want it’s photo taken and with an almighty splash it was up and over the net cord and off (I’m sure it stuck a fin up as it did) just as the member next door came into my swim laughing at what had just happened, you can’t win them all sometimes.

Mirror carp in margin

By ten o’clock nothing had happened but I decided to leave the rods as they were but topped up each spot with a small handful of bait with the mind to redo the rods early evening ready for the night ahead.

As I had been awake since half four I decided a snooze was in order and was just drifting of when the margin rod went in to melt down, line was disappearing off the spool the tip was bent right round as the fish was trying to get as far into the pads as it could but with steady pressure I managed to gain control and get it back into open water were it stayed deep and was feeling like a good fish for the next half an hour, with the other member beside me it finally rose to the surface very slowly and like a submarine surfaced to gasps from us both my knees were knocking as a common over three foot long slowly slipped over the net cord.

On the scales she weighed in at 45lb 2oz and my PB common was broken by just under 13lb,

45lb Common Carp caught by Nick Kempen

I was on cloud nine for the rest of the afternoon but managed to redo the rods around eight in the evening and after what seemed like forever I went off to sleep one very happy angler but not for long as at two o’clock in the early hours the margin rod was away again and another fight similar to the common was taking place except this time it didn’t want to leave the pads and was making its way even further down the margin until it cleared the pads and headed for open water about twenty yards along the bank, the carp gods were looking down on me as the line just pinged up over the pads and I was back in contact with the fish as it ploughed to the right under the other two rods in the deep water steady pressure brought it back to the left of the rods and into the net, I looked inside but as it was only just starting to get light I couldn’t see it very well so grabbed my head torch to get a better look and was amazed to see a big mirror laying in the bottom of the net, after putting the fish in a retainer I quickly went to the next swim for assistance which he was willing to do, we weighed it in at 43lb 8oz took some photos and released it as it was already getting hot from the early sun.

43lb Mirror Carp caught by Nick Kempen

I dropped the rod back on the spot with another small handful of free offerings and started to get everything packed up to leave but within a couple of hours the margin rod was off again I couldn’t believe what was happening, this one played ball and was soon in the net quickly weighed at 20lb 4oz a couple of photos and back to fight another day.

20lb Mirror Carp caught by Nick Kempen

What a trip two forties and two twenties in 48 hours this was some lake and the owner was right PB common broken on my third trip to the lake plus a forty plus mirror and more to go for which wasn’t that far away.

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