While filming the Bivvy Lite Duo IR announce video, our very own maverick all-rounder Garff stumbled across a group of carp and just couldn’t resist having a little dabble...
"Back in late March, the RidgeMonkey bosses tasked me with filming an announcement video for the forthcoming Bivvy Lite Duo IR: seeing this as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and do a bit of angling at the same time, I cobbled together my bream kit and headed to a local gravel pit for a rare two night session. With the weather still being cold the fish proved difficult to find so I set up on a spit close to the middle of the lake, which is an area that has been kind to me in the past with regards to catching the large bream that inhabit the pit - it also enabled a large portion of the lake to be viewed and perhaps more importantly, afforded plenty of room for filming the following day, this was a working trip, after all!!
The first night passed with just a small carp and no bream to show for my efforts and I cracked on with the filming at around 11am, once the sun was above the trees and the conditions prevailed. It was during this filming that I noticed some movement in the sparse reeds behind the video camera which was set up at the back of the swim -first a reed twitched, then another, then another, so I paused the filming and had a closer look. The movements were so subtle that I wasn’t 100% certain what was causing them but then it happened - a mid to upper double carp boshed out twice in quick succession close to the reeds, not more than 20 yards from where I was standing.
There were by no means a lot of fish present but there were certainly some, and with the bream not playing ball a plan was hatched. I quickly wrapped up the filming and moved my kit to the swim on the opposite side of the spit, all the time watching for further signs of carp activity. Pinpointing where the carp seemed to enter and exit the reedbed was key, and I soon had two hook baits positioned at the perceived entry and exit points. Fishing with locked clutches and tight lines, it didn’t take long for the close in rod to signal a take and a gnarly old mirror was bundled into the net - it could even have been the same fish that cleared the water maybe 45 minutes previously. With his melted fins and dinosaur like scales, I admired the warrior for a few seconds before slipping him back unweighed.
Content with nailing a carp so quickly after choosing to have a proper go at them, I was actually quite surprised that it took until the evening to receive another chance: the long rod that had been positioned tight to the carp’s exit point was away. Immediately this was different – the 2.25lb tc bream rod was hooped over from the word go and the fight was heavy. Very, very heavy. No headshakes, no lunges, just the solid resistance of a fish that used it’s bulk to run a merry dance around the swim in slow yet powerful bursts.
Thankfully there was still very little weed and when coupled with 12lb line, the 2.25s have enough power where it matters to steer even the biggest of carp to safety. After a protracted yet uneventful battle, the fish was ready for netting and it was at this point that I realised it was even larger than originally estimated – with the carp’s nose virtually on the spreader block, it still had to be shuffled into a 42 inch net!
By this time a friend, Matt, had clocked the battle while looking for a swim and had arrived to lend a much appreciated helping hand. Between us we recognised the big mirror as one of the lake’s largest residents and proceeded to put a weight on it after the mandatory once over with the carp care kit: at 38lb+ it was a fish that had been on my radar for many years and having previously lost it at the net, I was elated to be able to settle the score in such dramatic fashion. I fished on until early afternoon the following day, adding a low 20 mirror and an absolutely cracking VS Fisheries stockie. While none of the originally intended target species were caught, it’ll certainly be a bream session that won’t be forgotten in a hurry!!”