10 summertime carp fishing anticlimaxes
Number 7 is a nightmare...
When you’re dreaming of those beautiful summer evenings - possibly looking at a sun-kissed Oli Davies image on Instagram - your mind conveniently blocks out the constant drone of invading mozzies, the itching and the redness. No Instagram caption ever says ‘WHY ARE YOU STILL TRYING TO EAT ME AT 3AM, I TURNED MY BIVVY LIGHT OFF FOUR HOURS AGO?!’
2 Surface Fishing
Short sessions, floater rotas, morning missions, dashing to venues after work with the surface kit that’s always in the boot ‘just in case’. Bollocks. You won’t do any of this. You’ll think you might, but the closest you’ll come is half-heartedly reeling in one of your on-the-deck rods and fishing 15lb mono straight through suspended by a twig because you snapped your only controller float last summer.
Conventional carp fishing wisdom talks of targeting carp ‘pre-spawning and post-spawning’, but it’s a con. They’re always bloody spawning. Our changeable climate means your venue is bound to be closed (and rightly so) during that one hot bit we always get at the beginning of May, then they’ll go again in June, and probably have another bash in July - ruining all your annual leave.
4 Warm beers, rotting bait
Summer evenings in your back garden are great. You’re topless on the sun lounger you haven’t moved from in three hours and there’s always a spouse/child/well-trained dog to fetch you a cold beer or ice cream. On the bank it’s different. Even plunging them in the margins won’t cool your Coronas, and your freezer bait became ‘boil in the bag’ before your barrow run got half way.
5 It’s too hot
Moaning about the weather is a British birthright, but it’s true that when you’re sitting in a damp bivvy in February looking at another frost, you wish for the flip flops and suncream of summer - and yet when you get there you wish it was cooler so the fish will stop gliding about and actually feed. We’re never happy. And that’s what makes us happy.
Why do other good things happen in summer? Carp fishing is great, but so are beer gardens, festivals, holidays, weddings and dumping your partner for a summer on Tinder then getting back with them when the clocks go back… er, we mean, meeting new people. There’s a lot that gets in the way in summer.
7 So much weed
There’s a small window on some venues in which the fish are active and all your spots are perfectly presentable. It’s normally called Easter weekend. After that, you might as well pack up your bottom-bait rigs until Halloween.
8 Too much day light
Getting up at first light to scan the water in search of showing fish is what proper anglers do. If you’re still sleeping at 5a.m. in June then you’re a right noddy. But it’s bloody exhausting, if we’re honest. Watching the water during summer becomes torture broken by about four hours of fitful sleep.
9 Algal blooms
You put down your deposit on your syndicate venue back in March, when you were shown around and marvelled at the ‘gin-clear’ water (NB: The Dictionary of Carping Cliches states this is the only way to describe non-muddy water). But you’ve picked up your ticket up on July 1 and the whole place looks like the Hulk’s catarrh and will do until September. Refund? ‘It’s part of the charm, mate’.
10 Hot-car smell
Suppose you’ve overcome all the above obstacles and actually enjoyed a successful summer carp trip (fair play, you’re clearly not as jaded or bitter as us). Once you’ve loaded your still-wet unhooking mat and net into the car, you have precisely 15 seconds in direct sunlight before your whole vehicle smells like the reduced-items bucket at Billingsgate Market.