It was my fourteenth birthday and I had been a keen pike since the age of 7. I didn’t really know about carp until Dan moved in next door and started work on his lake. I was very interested in what he was doing and we soon became friends speaking Franglais to each other which is basically some words in English and some in French!
I soon saw Dan catch a big carp while I was pike fishing on his lake and I was instantly captivated. I had never seen anything that big! The next year was spent learning all I could from Dan I was constantly asking him questions I must have drove him mad. I float fished a few times at Oakwood fisheries and generally kept losing them. I managed to bank one of 31lbs and was over the moon but as Dan kept saying to me the carp were too big for me with my limited experience. Dan suggested that I fish a local lake with mainly small carp up to about 15lbs.
I guess he had me serving an apprenticeship I thought as I trundled off every weekend to try and put everything in practice that he had been telling me. I caught many carp over the summer and was learning fast. I fished a couple of times with Dan that year and was amazed how many carp he caught, he always says he’s been doing it a long time but he is a carp catching machine as anybody who fishes with him will find out.
That brings me to today, Dan kindly asked if I would like to fish with him one evening as it was my birthday, I snapped his hand off as though I was a greedy pike and today was the day!
We started making boilies in the afternoon and as the time past I was getting impatient as I was on the rolling table and Dan was mixing up the ingredients and supply me with sausages out of the bait gun, he kept on saying “don’t worry we will get one this evening” I hoped so!
At 7 pm we walked our rods round and Dan let me pick my swim and he would fish next door to me. I quickly cast out 2 rods but the third was a tricky cast and I asked Dan if he could cast for me as I was really disturbing the swim. By now I had convinced myself that I had made so much noise that I would not catch anything. Dan cast the rod out and explained it would be fine, I didn’t believe him because I had cast out about 20 times!
Dan positioned his one rod and was float fishing with another for his favourites species the tench! I was sitting with him not expecting any action as we were only going to be fishing for 4 hours up to 11pm when my right hand rod screamed off! The fish felt powerful and it was difficult to stop as it went on run after run. As I and the carp tired Dan laid the net in the water and finally scooped the carp up. I couldn’t believe it I had caught one! Also it was on one of the rods I had cast and it was big!
The carp was unhooked and weighed it turn’t the scales to just over 30lbs… I was chuffed! I made another PVA bag and cast back out into the weed bed. I sat back down and watched Dan catch a tench of around 4 lbs and then beeeeeepppppp!!! As I ran to my rod it was ripped from my rod pod with the sheer force of the take. I was into another hard fighting carp! Furious action followed as my 2lb test curve rods were pushed to the limit but finally another beautiful mirror lay on the mat in front of me. Not as big as the first but at 26lbs I was delighted with my brace especially as I then teased Dan that I had caught 2 in an hour and he was yet to catch!
True to form he did bank one an hour later a stunning linear of 23lbs and I lost another after the hook pulled out but I will always remember this birthday as the best present I have ever had!
By Alex Lorient