Catch Report: Craig Doolan

21.6 LEATHER CARP

Caught On: Scopex No 1 (75ml)

Venue: Essex Syndicate

Baiting Details: 5kg of Scopex Squid and Key Cray in flake and 15mm

Catch Details: Fishing into weed with a new solid bag system im working on

Other Info: Arriving at the lake my confidence was low. I hadnt been there in months. Id heard the weed was so thick in summer that it had made half the lake unfishable and thought this was exaggerated. Upon arriving i could tell the claims were true. Even though the weed was dying there was still loads of it, even the clear spots weren't really clear spots. After leading around i decided to rake 2 areas. A mound of weed and 4 hours later i finally had the rods out. The areas weren't clear by any stretch of the imagination but they were fishable. after raking the areas i left them a couple of hours before sending any bait out because i wanted the silt and clay to settle first. I spodded 2kg of Key cray and Scopex Squid flake out with the hope that it would get tangled in the weed and hold any fish on the spot until they found the hook bait. The rest of the bait soaked boilies i sent out using my Cybershot. I had put on a 12 inch ronnie rig but later switched that for a new solid bag system im working on. In the early hours the left rod was away. i was in a swim that requires waders. Its a hole in the reeds and you have to wade past your rod tips and up to your chest to stand a chance of netting the fish. The new system done the trick and a stunning dark carp was in the net. I popped it in the retainer and set about tying another solid bag. Id usually have these ready to go but i was just going through the motions, id resided myself to a blank. id just got the rod back out and sat down for a celebratory cup of tea when the right rod was off, the roller turned gently as i crawled from the bivvy only to have to run back up the bank for the waders, as i pulled the waders on mid stride the alarm went into melt down with the rod bouncing up and down. I picked it up and was in the water all too late as i felt the weed take ahold of my prize. It was gone. Rod prepped and the bag flung out i was trying to organise my camera gear, set up the tri pod and........ it was off again, the right rod was buzzing, tea was flying, the camera was placed on the bed, i very quickly had wet feet as i flew down the bank, no shoes on trying to dive into waders. This fish was mine. As i played it in the dark in the crystal clear waters the fish made a lunge for my legs as if i was a snag and then rolled up under where my net was floating. I thought id lost it, then it dove again, i reached for the net and in a mad dash the fish swam full power into the back of the net and stopped. Another dark mirror was sulking and i was ecstatic. I dropped that one into a retainer next to the first. I had to get the rod out, i needed some sleep and i needed to get these fish photographed. 5:45 and the right hand rod was away again. This time id managed to finish my tea, change SD card and get the camera on the tripod before it went off. The fish found the thick weed, the rod was solid. I kept gentle pressure on it and eventually it started to move. As the light broke over the flat calm i could see something breaking the surface, i kept the pressure and slowly hauled it in. I wasnt sure if the fish was still on or not but the weed was coming in slowly either way. Then the fish woke up. I think it had gone in the weed and the entire weed bed had come with it, only as the weed floated up had it realised what was happening and it didnt like it. It fought ridiculously hard and as it rolled i reached for the net hoping that i could get the fish and all the weed in. Then with one sudden burst of energy it powered off dragging the rod tip under before i could further loosen the clutch and it was gone. The hook pulled straight into the weed and i was left to net 40lb of canadian. i didnt put the rod back out, the sun was coming up and it was past due photo time.

Products Used By Craig