The Forgotten Pond – John Stembridge/Emma Wood
Well what can I say….. yesterday afternoon saw us closing the chapter on the “forgotten pond”. Now for those who dont know what im taking about heres a quick n brief history. Pond around 1-2 acres. Been around since 1800s. Monks grew fish for food there.
I first starting fishing it at around 12/13 yrs old.caught my first carp fron there 32 yr ago.since moving back to area. Thought I’d check it out and give it alittle go as on my doorstep in between fishing my ringwood ticket.started out pre baiting every other day and managed to bag the first orignal withing a few weeks in april and plenty of racing snake shaped commons and a few tench along the way. Enough said!!
I had left the place alone for a few weeks as they were spawning, but now thought they should be fully over it. As we turned up and proceeded to walk round we noticed quite a few fish looking like they were up for a feed ,both on bottom and on the top.so,with that in mind I had made up and floater rod (for the missus) and a light leaded bottom rod on a stiff hinge rig for me.
Within 5 mins of giving them so free offerings in the far corner on the top ,they were scoffing them down like no tomorrow. Tactics were quite simple but we’ll thought out as these fish can b quite line shy. A 2ft length of fox zig line in 15lb (now this seems quite excessive but the weed was quite dense and wanted good strength yet farely un-noticable hooklink, which this stuff seem to do very nicely). To this I attached a size 10 swivel to which I moulded some driftwood floating putty ( 1 for weight to cast and secondly it looked very natural in the water). The business end had a size 10 wide gape and a 14mm White Nutcracker POP-UP on it ,trimmed down to mimic a floater.
First cast saw a small common nail the hook bait within seconds. After the disturbance the fish backed off alittle further round the corner of the island but we’re still happy to slurp down the food. I proceeded in given them free offerings for another 10 mins or so just to get them really confident. Now,at this point, amongst the group that were feeding, I noticed a slightly better fish .although I had my Polaroids on ,the light wasn’t the greatest to see clearly and didn’t know which fish It was, it seemed to muscle out the other fish to get to the food.
With this going on write in front of me,all I thought was, “I want this fish”!. It was a tricky cast because of the over hanging bushes and the fish fed more confidently in the gape between.i could see us only getting one chance at this without spooking them.the breeze by now had started to strengthen which wasn’t productive for floaters unless u were behind it to present the bait properly. This was coming across ,pushing all the offerings Into the over on the island under the cover. I quickly made the cast beyond the fish drawing it back slowing Into the danger zone.corrected the line a couple of times and aloud the hook bait to gentle drift into the gap.i then past the rod to the missus to which almost instantly the big girl came out and made a b-line toward the hook bait. It came up ,lips right above the water,missed it the first time and on seconded attempt slammed it down like a kid eating cake. The line tighten,we were in!!!!
A 10 min spirited fight saw the fish roll on to its side wareing itself out and getting closer to the net. It was at this point having noticed the big scales along its side. OMG ….WE GOT IT! the fully…..the other piece of the jigsaw and the other original I wanted to catch very much. This fish is over 30 yr old and almost like an old friend as I must have been there when it was starting out its life on the place,not that I think I caught it back then,who knows :-). It’s amazing really when you finally get the one your after .regardless of size.20/30 or even 40lb. A target is a target and to catch the old warrior makes it more indearing,especially as my missus done the hard work and I netted it for her.
A joint effort indeed. Well done Emma Wood!!! It has been lovely for us both to have seen such a lovely carp. I hope somebody else has the pleasure of catching and admiring such a lovely creature and may it live on for may yrs to come…