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Cyprus Irae

Having been invited back to the lake where I was smashed up the other week, I had a decision to make. I could continue to try for roach and rudd in the hope of landing one of the many pound plus fish that are supposed to be there, or switch tackle and tactics and try for a carp.

As ever, I vaccilated between the two. Only an hour before leaving I was determined to fish for carp and had even dusted off my 'bite alarm' - meat skewer, length of 40lb line, a budgie bell and a hairgrip - in preparation. Then I changed my mind again. You see, if I weigh things up, I find that a pound roach is actually worth more to me than a 10 or possibly 15lb carp (after that things get less clear). So, float fishing again, cheese paste (now with extra cheese to give it more bite and stop it from falling off the bloomin' hook so easily) sweetcorn and luncheon meat. The only concession? A stiffer 12' rod.

Oh, and I didn't fish the same swim either. That trio of lily pads with the pool in the middle and channel down the centre just doesn't offer the space to play anything substantial, so instead I moved next door where there are lilies on the right but open water everywhere else. I thought that should I hook a carp, there was a decent chance it would head away from the pads, and into the body of the lake where I might stand a chance.

Things began well. Like before it fished briskly for the first hour or so, then went dead, then slowly warmed up again. So I caught a sequence of rudd courtesy of bite after sailaway bite. No two pounders. Not even a one pounder. Nice fish nevertheless.

Of course the carp came and of course it kited right, wrapping me round the lilies and throwing the hook. I saw it briefly, a bar of gold, longer than my forearm, rising furiously to the surface as it tore across the lake. After that the swim went dead until a little tench wandered along with about half an hour to go.

Next time I shall neither shilly nor shally. I shall instead, catch carp. I swore this by the light of the fullest moon I've seen for years as I drove back along the edge of the Downs. The way angling works, I'll probably catch a two pound roach...
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