Birdy's Blog

Birdy's Blog - June 2011

My carp obsession begins... Two years ago, I became obsessed. It all began with my need to catch just one more carp to complete the hit list on my last venue. Well, in just two weeks, I had caught it and then I was free to follow my dream of catching a big, previously uncaught carp. After picking the brains of some of Britain's finest carp anglers, I found an opportunity to catch a monster carp just thirty minutes drive away from home.
In the years to come, I hope to catch quite a few big fish and I aim to keep you all posted about my game plan and methods I use to get them to bite!
Knowledge is the key to opening up successful sessions on any new venue and 'The Mets Lake' at Thorney Weir, Middlesex, is no exception to the need for knowledge. I finally got the opportunity to open the gate and cross the bridge to this fabled water (it's like entering a grown up version of Narnia).

Bridge view This photo, which was taken from the bridge, shows precisely what it's like. The lake is as wild as it could be with tight, small swims and little islands dotted around small bays. It's pure carp heaven with dense undergrowth - plenty of bank side vegetation to provide cover - and many underwater features for the carp to visit.
This was going to be my new home and, boy was I happy! I couldn't wait to get among the lovely dark commons and big plaited mirrors lurking in the depths.

 A lesson learnt... I walked around the lake a couple of times with a new member of the carp syndicate called Dave. We spotted a few groups of fish and like any newcomers to new venues we couldn't wait to get fishing. My eagerness could have taught me a tough lesson because the swim I had chosen was seasonally shallow and any hookbait would be easy pickings for the resident birdlife. With that in mind I decided I shouldn't splash the life out of the swim but get some much needed sleep and be ready to go at first light – the idea of hooking a swan in the middle of the night held no appeal whatsoever!

Birdy's Blog
My first lesson over, it was now time for the hard work to begin. For the next two months I spent time mapping the lake topography and working out my strategy. I find out as much as possible about the swims before the weed appears and I have traps to set using a regular trickle of bait. Most of the days when I'm not marking-out swims I spend as much time as possible climbing trees or on other high vantage points so that I can see where there may be a chance of a fish or two.

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With my hard work beginning to pay off and with some nice 'Mets' carp already to my name, I decided it was time for a break. So I took a trip back across the bridge to spend a few nights on Thorney. Sharkey, a good mate of mine, had a few days to spare and Rob and Terry (some other good mates of mine) would be popping in for a few overnighters, so I thought it would be a nice way to round off the three months I'd spent at the venue so far.

After deciding to fish the roadside bank, we soon are sorted out with our tackle. The fish were showing so we settle down and wait, but not for long! Sharkey soon got into one and after a lengthy fight, he bags a good fish. This one is known as Red Spot and although down in weight, the fish came in at 37 lb 12 oz. This was a great result for him as it broke his personal best. The session ended with all of us sharing an overall bag of about 20 fish, with a few nice ones each.

 After spending three months on and off Thorney, I made some great new friends. I also managed to pick the brains of just about everyone I met. This was topped off with plenty of wicked banter - in all Thorney is a great place to fish. I love it!

Come on the carp!



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