I was up around 3.30am and I was on my way to the FFA ponds at Roan Head I got to my favourite swim on High Pond, there is a causeway on High Pond I fish at a narrow point of the pond, again I see this as having a good traffic of fish running thro it, it is a good 20 metre's across from the bank to the causeway. I fish about 6 or 7 metre’s out, it is about 2.5 metre’s deep, so I bait up an arch as soon as I get there. Bung in all types of bait and ten rig up. I put a hair rig and boillee on the rod and reel using a float to indicate. The whip is on a float and I use maggots to fish.

This peg has a seat, there is a step in the earth, as soon as I sit, I get attacked by tiny little green flies, are they ‘green flies’ don’t now, but they nip and get in my ears and eyes, (with shades on) I last 10 minutes then have to stand, they aren’t up here at 6 foot, but down at a metre or less they are there. I stand for 10 minutes then I sit, get attacked I reel in and check the boillee, it is fine so I cast out, and leave it, grab my whip and stand up, change maggots lob a few in, re-bait the swim, cast out and sit down, I last only 5 minutes and I have to stand, I look at the next peg up, I sit don and the flies are there too, the next one along, same, I go back to my peg, nothing has happened, then I go to the next peg in the other direction, and it is the same, these little green flies are everywhere, I go back to my peg re cast and re-bait the areas, but it is bad, I cant handle this and the first knockings are passing me by as the sun is up now and I have ‘fished’ for over a good hour plus, I reel in a check Low pond next door, it seems fine, no blinking flies on the peg, so I up sticks and move. I plumb the depth; it is a good 2.5 metre of the reed bed on the left; that swim looks great and it is a 1.5 metre on the right which is closer in.

So I bait up the swim on left and right, as I cast out the rod and reel the line spews of the end, I reel in what I can but I am left with a birds nest, I had put a 10lb line on and I reckon I have put on too much now. So I think sod it and put the rod away, I use my whip, I change the depth and I can reach the left hand side ok, so I fish using sweet corn maggots and bread, I am just getting started, a nice little perch for the first fish of the day, followed by a small roach, he heavens open and a shower hits me, it only lasts 10 minutes and stops, sun comes out then 20 minutes later it starts to gently spit, I think this is going to get worse and grab my gagool but it on, it does get worse and I put on leggings too, time wise it is now gone 8, I re-bait and re-cast, and get perch, a couple of ounces but bigger. So there is a few fish around, I re-bait and switch to a bit of bread, the rain stops and I take of the gagool a roach takes my bread, not bad, unusual so I throw some more baits out go to sweet corn give it another go, and sit and wait.

The rain starts again, I think about packing up, but I hang in their, thinking the extra oxygen might bring the fish on, nothing happens for 30 minutes, I keep adding to the swim, maggots ground baits sweet corn bread, boillee’s, I try it all, but nothing. I go to maggots and get a couple more small perch and I look at my watch and think ‘well I have been here for 5 hrs and had 5 or 6 fish’ so a bit fed up I pack up. As I am leaving I bump into a friend, he is a steward at BAFC, he has his lad, and we chat for a bit, he tells me some inside hints on where and how to fish, seeing I have been a member for less than a month. he and his lad have cool trailers attached to their bikes, they are Raleigh mule trailers 100 notes from Argos, certainly easier to haul all my gear plus more, like a stool, or an umbrella/bivvy etc, It certainly will be a purchase in the future as I am saving up for the Dutch open jolly up.

I head back home, say happy birthday to the old man, pick up some luncheon meat and head back to the Millbeck fisheries, I get there not much before 11 am, and the sun is now blazing down, and remains all day.

A young lad is fishing near me, he asks where I am fishing and I bait up my swim, he fishes like my dad on the other side of the bridge I bait up his swim and say ‘you don’t need ground bait, but it helps’ with in five minutes he has a fish on, a good one two, his rod is bent over and grab the landing net and I start to put it together quickly as he is getting excited, I the fish heads under the bridge and round the sprinkler, the line is snagged on the sprinkler, I reach down off the bridge and try to free it, put it doesn’t work, clockwise and anti-clockwise, I can not free the line, I have to snap it off, I put a hook on his line and he carries on fishing. He seems nice enough lad, I am fishing one side, I give him some maggots, he gets a tub of John, I get a few carp in, another 3 lads turn up and they seem all excited, I tell them what the depth is and I am having some success so they are watching, but not too interested in changing there tactics, I get a few nice Rudd and a couple of common, things looking good.

It is just after 1pm I re-bait the area and bingo I get a very big bite and strike smooth and firm, I have it, it is big, I can feel it, the young lad grabs my landing net as it comes to the surface it comes up tail first and then disappears, I say ‘you see that, tail first’ he says ‘yes looks like you lassoed it’ it tries to get to the other side, go under the bridge, but I don’t allow it and after that big push it quickly comes to the side and into the net tail first. I grab the net and ask the lads to pour water onto the mat and I go over to the mat, the fish is unhooked, the 3 lads are amazed and I say I enjoyed it, and I put the fish back in the landing and ask one to hold it in the water for a moment, I get my scales and sling soak them open it up and get the fish, I weigh it and it is 4lb 12 oz, or 4 ¾ lb beating my dad lol. Quick photo’s and time to but him/her back.

Now just before I caught the big ‘un John’s mate told me again, ‘you don’t need ground bait here’ of course being a muddy pond the visual effects are null and void of ground bait but it is the smell and the particles that get spread thro the pond, and three times when I have put in ground bait bigger fish have been hooked, two caught and one snagged up. Sure it did attract the smaller fish also, during the day I must catch a dozen Common carp from ¼ to 1 whole pound or more. I also caught the big ‘un on maggots too, having put in maggots on top of the bait. I believe the smell of the ground bait attracts them. Put to really prove this I will fish it with just maggots and noting else. It could be a long day picking out Rudd after Rudd.

Anyway I hold the fish in the water and he pumps water thro his gills and within 30 seconds is splashing me with his tail and swims off into the deep. A beautiful fish and it was personal best for a Carp, let alone Common Carp. As I handled the fish I was telling the lads who were new’ish to fishing how you should do it, plenty of water on mats and slings, being firm and as a flipping fish can hurt itself etc, well that’s how I was told and what I have learnt, fin positioning on mat and in sling also.

So after that the lad on his own asked to use my whip, I said ok, I had a rest for bit, two of the three went to the shops and got me a bottle of coke, when they came back to the their lines were tangled up. While they were away the first lad had fished with them and tangled them up and left them alone and went back to fish with my whip, I didn’t have a clue was sat in the sun having 40 winks, I heard the grumblings, and went over I said I will sort them out, looked at their rigs and at the tackle box, I said ‘use these wagglers’ they didn’t have any shot, I said that’s ok I have plenty I looked at their hooks and said ‘not got anything smaller’ ‘No’ they replied, I said that’s fine, I think 16’s would be better, so I went to my tackle box got my scissors, shot and size `16 hooks, the other lad asked what I was doing and I replied sorting out the mess you left, you should have not left it, you should have asked me to help, and you shouldn’t have touched their rods without permission also. He apologized to me, in whom I said he should apologize to the others, he said nothing after that.

I set the lads up and they had fished for a few hours maybe 3 and one hadn’t caught a thing, the other only had1 small Rudd. I set the depth and the floats and said ‘if you draw a blank now then you need help’ They were delighted as the first rod brought in a fish (a big Rudd ½ lb’r) straight away and as soon as the second was in the water the float went under and he had a common carp on the end, about ¼ lb’r. Both lads had massive smiles and that is what really made my weekend.

Gave them a disgorger to use as theirs was what I presume a sea fishing one, as it was massive. My folks turned up and it was around 5.50 pm and I said I was packing up, I was tied, my neck and face were sore, my back was sore, so they put stuff in the boot of the car and I packed up the rest and headed home.

So I had a few maggots and sweet corn left, I went out to have a look at the FFA Moorfoot pond. It was still hot even though I was shaded the sun could still be felt on the back of my neck, I got a few perch and roach ad a couple of big bites I was there from 6 – 9 pm, my bait was running out and I packed in, all in all a good weekend fishing, and hours spent in the sun.Got home had a bite to eat and went to bed, Monday I woke, massive headache, feeling sick, dry heaving at times, and went back to bed with a pint or two or ice cold water, My diagnosis was a touch of sun stroke, must have spent a good 30 hrs or more in the sun over the weekend.

Now all I am thinking is on how am I going to get the Tench, I just love Tench. my biggest fish was a 5lb+ Tench and if they are in Moorfoot how will I catch one.