The Elusive Grass Carp.
25th August Shatterford lakes, Bridgnorth
Last year I challenged myself to catch every uk freshwater fish I missed my goal by just one species, The grass carp. This rare capture managed to escape me on quite a few occasions. To the best of my knowledge they can only be found in one fishery relatively close to where I live and that’s Shatterford lakes. Famous for its monster Catfish and huge Carp Shatterford is very popular with specimens hunters. Shatterford has five lakes altogether three specimen lakes and two pleasure pools all contain grass carp Up To and over 25lb.
Marv and I arrived just before 8am. We decided to fish Eric’s lake as I was told there were a lot of grass carp in this particular pool and also big cats for Marv. By the time we got to our pegs and set up it was pushing half 8 as we chose two pegs that after the walk felt like they were miles away. I started off with a essential cell boilie in open water popped up over crushed cell and pellets. On rod two I opted for something a bit lighter. A 12 foot float rod 8lb line strait through and a pellet waggler. Bites on the pellet waggler were instant massive roach and Rudd along with substantial bream nearly every cast. This should keep me occupied while I’m awaiting the call of my alarms.
Two hours in I get a beep on my other rod followed by an excellent run. A nice common carp around 14lb. No photo as I was eager to get my bait back in the water for my target Grassy.
The Sun is beating down on us now and a few fishy shadows appear under the surface. Some Chunky carp cruising and taking in the afternoon sun while searching for food. Amongst the shadows I notice a few long torpedoe shaped fish, jet black tails and white mouths sucking and the surface. I get goosebumps it is the first time I have ever seen a Grass carp in the flesh. I throw out few free offerings of dog biscuits and abandon the pellet waggler to set up a controller float. A few delicate cast later and there wasn’t a fish in sight, these grassys are easily spooked! I fire out a few more biscuits but to no avail. I cast my controller float as far as I could and set my rod down in the hope that maybe something will just find it in passing. After ten minutes it does. I can only just see my bait in the distance but there was no mistaking the hungry mouth gently sucking it off the surface. My line tightens and I’m into a fish. “Please be a grassy, please!!!” It’s a long fight. The cast was nearly 100 meters that’s a long way to drag a heavy fighting fish. Still not knowing if it is my prized grass carp the fish dives into some bushes to my right. I bully the fish back into open water before it can snag me, it comes to the surface and in the bright sunshine i see its slender body for the first time.
My hearts in my mouth, it’s a grass carp, and a big one too. I call Marv to get the net and he arrives just in time as the fish breaks the surface and gives up… Finally in the mesh I breath a sigh of relief and lift her onto the mat.
I release the fish and recast immediately, without even having a minute to compose myself my float slides off again and I’m into another fish. A shorter fight this time but the fish still managed to find the bushes too my right again. All movement stops. A dead weight, the fish has snagged me and I can’t feel any signs that it’s still on my hook. I change the direction of pressure by moving up the bank. Still nothing, I slacken my line to see the fish will untangle itself. To my surprise it does. The line darts across the surface and once again I can feel movement. The fish comes up straight after this and Marv nets it perfectly.
Another cracking grassy, it takes me years catch one then two come along at once. Another 20lber as well. (Excuse the hairy chest, as you can see by my sunburnt shoulders it was rather warm.)
What I fantastic day, a new species to tick off my list and 2 20’s in the same session. Can’t ask for better than that.