The weather scuppered the boat trip out of Minehead with the wind due to swing West to North West by midday. A difficult call for the skipper but the right one as the weather men got it right. And so it was plan B. I had loaded the carp gear into the van the previous night thinking I might set out early but it was 6.30am by the time I woke up and close to 8.00am by the time I was on the road with dark thundery clouds in the morning sky.
It was precipitating down profusely when I arrived at Lower Slade and I watched a fellow angler pushing his barrow into the bay. With this area no longer an option I settled on a roadside swim that gave access to areas where I had previously enjoyed success. Whilst I haven’t fished Slade much for carp in recent years I don’t believe they change their habits to dramatically frequenting the same old areas with the wind influencing this.
By the time I had three rods out and some bait scattered about it was around 9.30am. The showers had passed by and the sky was blue with wisps of white cloud and the lush green growth of late spring was all around. A robin alighted upon the rods and searched for crumbs of bait around my feet.
After an hour or so I decided to check one of the baits and recast. As I prepared to recast the bite alarm on the right rod blipped and the bobbin bounced a couple of times. I grabbed the rod and wound down to feel a heavy weight as a good fish shook its head. The fish gave a good run around giving a few anxious moments as it found some weed, becoming solid for few moments before steady pressure coaxed it free. Eventually it swirled close to the bank and moments later it was safely within the net.
The scales put a number on it of 21lb 14oz; a pleasing result and another carp ticked off my challenge to bank a carp from each SWLT North Devon Lake this season. I had charged my camera battery the previous night and had remembered to grab the camera on the way out of the house but had forgotten to put the battery in! Fortunately these days we always have our phone with a camera! Hence the slight grainy image.
The rest of the day drifted past and for a while it seemed as if summer had arrived as the call of the cuckoo echoed around the valley. I packed up late afternoon as a cool North-West wind sprung up as predicted.