Winter at Coron #1
This is the 1st in what I hope will be a regular winter written and video blog. I will document my sessions, rigs, bait and the approach I take to hopefully bank some winter carp at Lac Du Coron and Lac Solace, as well as taking a look at the general fishery management of the winter.
In general, like most of you reading this I get about 20 hours on the bank each week with the odd afternoon or evening session thrown in for good measure. I am able to bait up and be in touch with the lake each day though as I go about the chores, which of course is a major edge.
Last night was my 1st proper go of the winter. We have had some serious rain over the last few weeks and water temps have really dropped fast as levels have risen, so the fishing last week was tough. The forecast for last night though was about as text book perfect as it comes. Low pressure, big south Westerly winds, rain, new moon and it wasn't too cold, the perfect night to start my hunt for the big common.
After getting a few chores done in the morning and dropping into Lac Solace
to keep the feed going in I arrived at Coron about 2. Had a wander around for half an hour paying special attention to The Channel. But after not seeing a sign up there I went to plan B and plotted up in Rolos. Fishing here gives me good access and views of a lot of the lake and allows me to fish into the swims either side of me.
As I stood there watching the water there was a subtle roll in front of the trees on the far bank in between me and The Left Hand Double next door. I grabbed a rod out the bag with the plan to put a little Chod out to the spot. Unfortunately though with the wind it took me about 6 casts to get it spot on, and with that I put the rod on the rest pretty sure I had cocked it up! After all that disturbance I thought it would make sense to get a bit of bait over there hoping they'd move back onto the spot in the night, so about 150 King PH barrels went out and I clipped on the bobbin and turned on the buzzer ready to get the other 2 rods out.
As I sat there tying up some little mesh bags for the other 2 rods the Chod I'd only just put out and baited up absolutely melted off, the bobbin cracked into the blank and the spool properly churned off. After a good scrap a pretty plump mirror rolled into the net. Not a bad start at all!
The second rod was already propped up against the van ready to go, so I unhooked the fish in the net and left her in there for a breather whilst I got the 2nd rod out and baited and put a fresh orange Pop Up on the Chod and got it back out there before taking pictures of a cracking Autumnal mirror.
With the fish returned and the bobbins clipped on I set about getting the 3rd rod out, this one was going on a hardish spot that I had found in open water to my right, I had found it with a good lead about so it was clipped up ready for a little bag of crushed PH and breadcrumb, I had already put 2kg of PH over the spot.
I was just about to flick the rod out when the 2nd rod I had put out melted off and the fish screamed along the back bank with the leader pinging off low lying brambles and branches and sending up big boils on the surface. My 1st thought was that this wasn't a normal fight, maybe it was the common? After what felt like an age I was surprised, and maybe a tad disappointed to see a long, low 20 mirror roll into the net. The disappointment soon subsided though with the fish on the mat, it was a real long, heavy set fish with some lovely scaling, it was a great start and I couldn’t help but smile as I picked him up for a self take.
The rod was quickly rebaited and put back on the spot and I set about clearing up and organising my gear before Matt arrived and we lost the light. I was just about to kick back when the Chod steamed off for a 2nd time in a couple of hours and again I was met with a powerful resistance and another great fight. As this one took a gulp of air I saw a deep belly and a big set of scales and knew straight away it was one of the fish I had hoped to catch this winter. We don't really name our fish, but this one had got the name 'shark bite' and it seemed to have stuck. As you can see, it's a pretty special fish.
Matt arrived slightly shortly after and snapped off a couple of great shots before we slipped her back and he got back to his swim to get the rods out. We had a few beers and some dinner watching the lightening and hearing the thunder rumbling towards us from the West. As we felt the 1st drop of rain we wished each other luck and headed off to settle down. Settling down was easier said than done because one hell of a storm came rolling in, the rain was incredible. Eventually it settled down at about 1am so I threw on a coat and went and stood by the water listening for a sign. It can't have been more than 10 minutes later that the right hand rod in open water pulled up tight and then dropped back to the deck. I wound down and was pleased to feel the rod hoop over, and as per usual it spent the next 10 minutes trying to pull my arm off before dropping into the net. In this time the rain had started again so I snapped a very quick self take and slipped it back before diving for cover, it's not a good shot by any means but at least it documents the capture.
That was it for the night and after a recast and re bait at 1st light I was hoping to trigger one more take, but it didn't come this time.