9th August 2015, The Gauge and House pool Kingsnordley fisheries and stables, bridgenorth.
The gauge is a popular pool for anglers on the hunt for their first sturgeon. They don’t go to missive sizes here, the biggest being around 17lb but the thrill of seeing that prehistoric shape breaking the surface for the first time makes the size irrelevant. I caught my first sturgeon from this pool and they very quickly became one of My favourite fish to catch. Today however my and my fishing comrade Graham (pricey) are on the hunt for carp.
7:15am we arrive at the lakeside. There’s a thick mist covering pool and in the dim light of dawn it looked like a scene from a horror film. I almost expected the swamp monster to Emerge from the depths and drag me in by my boots. We had a wonder around the pool looking for any movement and anywhere that looked particularly carpy. No sign of any carp just yet and no swamp monsters either.
We return to the cars to unload the gear selected our pegs and set up. I opted for a standard single banana a pineapple pop up boilie hair rigged on a size 6 Korda widegape hook leadgered to the island opposite on one rod. I then free lined luncheon meat over mixed pellets in the margin for any passing sturgeon with rod 2. Pricey went for a boilie on both rods adamant he was going to catch as he hasn’t caught on a boilie before.
1 hour passes without so much as a nibble.
2 hours in and we are starting to wonder if there are any fish in this pool.
3 hours still nothing
4 hours have passed and not a single bleep on my alarms and Graham’s fallen asleep.
We decided to move, usually I’m not a fan of moving pegs I think about the money I spend on boilies and pellets and it seems a bit stupid to throw in half a bag worth £15 and then move somewhere els, but if the fish aren’t playing ball sometimes it can make all the difference. We discuss our options and go for a walk around the lake, not a fish in sight. I suggest we move pools. I had heard the house pool hold some decent carp maybe we should give that a go.
So we pack up the cars and head off down the lane to the house pool. By this time it’s around 1pm still plenty of daylight ahead of us. We set up opposite the house and a thick line of rushes growing out of the water opposite, it looks very fishy. I fire a few pineapple boiIes into my swim and notice movement in the rushes strait away. “This is more like it”
My first cast and before I even have time to clip my bobbin onto my line I get a massive run. The line is pealing off my reel like iv never seen before. I strike into the fish and it feels good. Pricey looks at me in shock and disbelief. ” you jammy bugger” 😂
A nice healthy 10 minute fight later he’s in the net a lovely common.
Ten minutes pass and there are some funny noises coming from Graham’s direction. A kind of slurping noise …. I was starting to get worried until I realised Pricey’s on the dog biscuits. The waters literally boiling with feeding carp. He has 4 fish in half an hour. Not massive but beautiful fish non the less ranging from 8-15lb. I will try and find the photos.
Daydreaming and watching the feeding frenzy in Graham’s peg my alarm suddenly starts screaming as my rod is nearly yanked off my rod pod. Now this feels like a good fish. Slow moving, powerful difficult to drag to the surface this fish is hugging the bottom tight. After 10 minutes or so there’s a splash and a big orange tail appears. The fish then emerges it’s wide shoulders break the surface and a couple of jets of water spay out of its huge gulping mouth. Netted perfectly by pricey and lifted strait onto the unhooking matt.
What a corker. My first leather carp and at 16lb 6oz I’m chuffed to bits with that.
Graham then draws my attention to some Perch darting around by his feet.
” find a worm Matty, they look a good size” well I don’t need telling twice. I have a dig around in the bushes and find a big juicy lobworm…perfect.
I decide to freeline the worm in the margin to see if I can pick up a little striper. I tie a 2lb hook line directly to my 15lb mainline as I haven’t brought any light tackle with me. A size 16 hook and we’re ready to go. I lower the worm slowly at Graham’s feet and using a stick as a rod rest I sit back and relax for a bit. So engrossed in watching graham firing out the dog biscuits and the shoal of Carp sucking them off the surface I didn’t notice my line tighten. ” that’s a bite matt”
… “Bloody hell!!!, this isn’t a perch”
The fight lasted about 15 minutes. With a 2lb hook link I couldn’t afford to bully the fish at all. Graham’s In a strop now because iv hooked a carp in his swim but he still obliged with the landing net.
Probably the best looking carp i have ever caught. Lovely Linear and look at the colour of that tail!! Stunning fish at 16lb 8oz great fun on such a light leader.
After this the fishing went berserk. Fish after fish until it went dark. Banana and pineapple boilies were the key tight to the reeds opposite.
This is the only other photo I got as my phone died again. Another beautiful leather carp. 14lb 4oz.
All in all a great days carping.