Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Grass is greener the other side of Northampton!

Brickhill Farm in Northamptonshire contains a viable stock of grass carp to target. The smaller lake contains six and the larger lake around thirty. Even so they are vastly outnumbered by the king carp varieties. With the weatherman forecasting that Saturday would be a warm sunny day, I knew that the time had come to target a Brickhill grass carp off the surface.

There was a gusty breeze and as I wanted to visually select the grassies I set up on the shallow more sheltered end of the larger lake where the water's surface was calm.

As nothing was showing I set up one rod on a method feeder with artificial corn and the other float fishing either corn or meat in the margins. The morning was uneventful apart from a string of small crucians and a few bits.

After lunch I followed the advice of Brian the fishery owner and moved to the smaller pool, where grass carp were spotted a few days earlier under some overhanging vegetation. As the wind was behind me I fed half a dozen pellets every couple of minutes for around half an hour after which time I had a number of fish competing for the freebies.

Over the next couple of hours I tempted four carp before the swim died. I hadn't spotted any of the six grassies present despite regular circuits of the lake. I then saw an angler on the larger lake land a grass carp on floating crust. It was an easy decision to return to my original swim where over the next few hours Fred (the grassie expert, it was his second of the day) and I landed a string of king carp up to just shy of thirteen pounds on floating crust. The ripple made it difficult to select individual fish but as the evening wore on conditions improved.

I enjoyed the banter with Fred and was genuinely sorry to see him leave. The first cast after Fred's departure saw a grass carp nose the crust without taking. I was beginning to think that time was running out when once again the crust disppeared in a swirl and the controller float zipped accross the surface. Like every other grass carp I have ever hooked it came quietly to the net before going beserk on the bank, hence my pained expression in the photo. At 7lb 2oz it was less than a third of the size of my biggest grassie, but I was over the moon to catch my first from British waters.

I had enjoyed a lovely day, catching around fifteen carp off the surface. True, most were small but on my barbel rod and ten pound line it was first class sport in lovely surroundings with not a baitboat or bivvy in sight!

The grass truly is greener the other side of Northampton and unlike Elphicks, the grass was real not made out of astroturf!