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I think things are picking up..


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Things are getting warmer in Canberra. Enough to make me break out the tarp and tent poles. Thus I've finally found the joy of fully shaded fishing. Despite wanting to take up a pastime that didn't involve mounds of gear, carp fishing has crept up on me and I find myself looking longingly on anything that will enable only one trip from the car.


The day was hot enough on Saturday to drop the GPSr off the windscreen again. It had nothing to do with the crack that's been creeping across the glass for two weeks as the temperatures changed.


So, armed with a decent layer of sunscreen, we attempted our luck in a new spot in Lake Tuggeranong.


I can't drive past there now without thinking of Steve Bok's STUPENDOUS achievement of a 10 kg Carp

on a one kg HAND LINE!!!


I would have loved to have seen that. It would have been worth recording.

Once you get something like that achieved, you just make doing anything to top it more of a challenge. The way things are proceeding, Steve is going to have to start catching big carp on a line made of braided nasal hair, while blindfolded in the middle of the night in a thunderstorm.

And using a brick for bait.


So we set up in the likely spot, briefly burlied the margins and set up the gear. I'm never in a hurry. The mornings seem to be quiet.

Eventually my fishing buddy decided to walk around and burly up the reeds which were some distance away.

After a couple of hours with nothing happening, he reeled in, rebaited and put one out to the other side towards the middle of where he'd burlied up. That's when things started to move.

We estimated the range at the first take at about 70 meters although Google maps later confirmed it as 80, with probably even slightly more when he cast deeper into the reed crescent.


I will admit that seeing someone catch a fish at a distance is quite entertaining. It's more fun when you've got it on your own line, of course.


This carp dodged back and forth and mixed it in with the reeds a few times. Eventually, it ended in the net and of course, the guestimations of weight started. I was pushing for something on the 5kg mark and was stunned to see it barely make 3.6kg.


Mind you, I think that I seem to be overguestimating lately.


I only had my 9 foot rods out, so couldn't make anywhere near the far side and continued to set the hook baits along the reed edges on the right hand side. This eventually proved beneficial and I got to do a bit of a run around the reed beds in order to untangle a little feisty [censored] who didn't even make 3kg.


I was also hamstrung by not being able to get my rod tips close to the water and so had to listen to a wind plucked alarm serenade when thermal activity started. My companion had the better situation with longer rods, more angled rod pod and of course, the best choice as he'd turned up before me.


I was left wondering if I could find a rechargeable hedge trimmer at reasonable cost for some custom made access to the waters edge. I wonder how suspicious that would look to find a neatly cropped patch of grass when we left...


To keep ourselves amused while nothing was happening, we left one of the nets in the water under a nearby tree and lifted it into a white bucket to see what little fry we could find in it.

Very quickly, we had a bucket full of tiny fish. We figured that they would be some sort of unrecognisable species, but to our surprise, we could see the start of the characteristic stripes of the Redfin perch on fish about 4 centimeters long. My buddy has a longer net and so tried ambushing some other small fish near the reed beds to the other side of the tree.

This produced some slightly fatter, greener fry about 5cm long. When taking a closer look at these, a very distinct course scale pattern was visible on a reasonably transparent fish. They had a visible black spot on their internal organs, which were largely silvery.


I never thought to take a photo which showed them from the side, but we suspected that they might be carp fingerlings.


Shortly after this, I raised the net again and discovered a saucer sized long net turtle had crawled into it.

He went into the bucket for a photo opportunity.


Shortly after that, we noticed that some of the redfin fingerlings had died or at least had stopped swimming, so we tipped everything back into the

lake and bid the turtle farewell and good luck.


The carp fishing magazines were broken out at that point, and much was made of the huge amount of gear at amazing prices that one could have for the exchange of pounds in the UK and other parts of Europe.

The range of chairs particularly seemed to be unbelieveable.


I'm after something that turns into a chair only once it's conveyed all one's carp fishing crap to the waterside.


The second take from the far side was most entertaining and took quite a few minutes to get into the net.

Once weighed, it topped at 7.65kg and there was much rejoicing. We're now both over the 7kg mark and slowly being more strategic in our quest for the 10kg barrier.


Once we get there, we might even be tempted to start bringing the line strength down.


Until then Steve, you'll be quite firmly kicking our collective asses. My hat's off to you.

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