Autumn Harvest - Matt Jackson

Keen to get the autumn big-carp campaign underway I set out on the Thursday with the car loaded. I arrived at my chosen venue (a big southern pit) to find it pretty rammed out and after a wander round there was very little to go on. One swim was free that I thought had potential but it was in the face of a big South Easterly wind. I grabbed the leading rod from the car and had a feel around to get an idea of what the ground infront was like. The wind was so strong that I couldn’t even feel the lead down at anything over about 50 yards. It was literally impossible to find an area I would have been happy fishing so the rod was chucked back in the motor and it was time to think of a plan B.
I have a ticket for another lake with a nice common in that is considerably smaller and much more sheltered, so I made my way over. Pulling through the gates there I was greeted with an absolutely rammed out car park once again. The same story followed with nearly all the swims taken apart from one that gave access to an out-of-bounds area at range. Being on the back of the wind it was easy enough to hit, but just impossible to find anything I was happy to fish in the area I wanted. By the time I had found anything remotely interesting most of the afternoon had passed and I figured I had probably ruined any chance of a bite that night anyway.
A bit despondent, I made my way back to the car racking my brains as to what to do next. With only an hour or so left before dark it was looking like I may have to head home and start a fresh the next day. Quite often the wind will ease just before dark so I stopped back in at the big pit for a last gasp look in hope I could salvage the day. It had indeed dropped considerably and within a few casts I had sorted an area just over the back of a bar at 140yds. Fortunately, all the rods were rigged up ready to go so it was a case of getting them clipped up and whipping them out. The tactics were the same old trick that has done me so well before: Kable Leadcore, Hybrid Lead Clip and a hinged stiff with a reasonably supple boom of 30lb N-Trap Soft. With time fast running out I settled with two rods on the spot and concentrated on getting a bit of bait out before the visibility had completely gone. I just managed to get it all done before the blackness fell and was just left to get the bivvy up and the rest of the kit sorted.
The wind really picked up again in the night and I had a good feeling that there would be at least a few fish on such a warm strong wind. First light produced nothing and no signs of fish at all, but out of the blue at 10am one of the rods went into absolute meltdown. After a long battle that consisted of coaxing it from weed bed to weed bed I finally slipped the net under what looked to be quite a decent fish. Hoisting her out and onto the mat it was clear it was definitely a good fish and also not one I’d had a meeting with before. At 43lb 8oz she was a very nice welcome back offering and made even sweeter after the previous day’s events.
The wind completely dropped off later in the day and didn’t return for the rest of the trip. As stunning as lake became in its, absence the carp also became absent from the swim. With nothing to push them into the area I was in, they once again drifted off to their favourite haunt, out of reach of anglers.