A chance trip to Cork City for a week’s work would have been a missed opportunity if I hadn’t taken my carp gear with me! Obviously, tackle omission was never going to be an issue, and so, my beloved JRC “Classics” and Penn Affinity reels were packed into the Navarra, along with the caravan of accessories required for a few nights bivvy’ing.
With the week’s work behind me, made easier in the company of good friends and fellow anglers, Bill Brazier and Adam Barrett, I couldn’t wait to set up camp at the water’s edge of “The Lough”, arguably the most famous of Irish Carp waters. I decided on hitting the open water rather than tight to the island on this occasion. The Lough has had reasonable angling pressure recently and my theory was that the fish were safely basking in the areas beyond normal casting range. This theory was further bolstered, when Carp could be seen porpoising beyond the eighty yard mark.
Using a stream-lined “Chod-rig” allows maximum distance, but also prevents the bait from burying into the silt on impact after a long cast. With that in mind, this would be my rig-choice for the session. My set-up consists of JRC Carp Classics, 2.75 TC. This is my third season with these rods, and with every session, I grow more attached to them. They are designed for medium distance, but still do very well when it comes to punching a two-ounce lead over the horizon. They are so light and comfortable that it brings back the pleasure of carp angling when casting or playing a sizeable fish.
The rods are teamed with Penn Affinity 7000’s. Penn have nothing to learn when it comes to build quality, and after three years use, are just as they came out of the box, and have served me well. Loaded with Berkley XT nylon, this whole combination is a delight to use. When fishing the open water, it is possible to get away with 12lb B/S with no fear of fish loss, and it also helps in achieving added distance. Obviously, main-line would have to be stepped up considerably when targeting fish tight to the island.
General opinion was that the Lough was fishing reasonably hard, with a few fish appearing throughout the day, and nothing at night. With this in mind, I scaled down the Chod-rigs, tied completely with fluorocarbon and size 10 MBT Connect hooks. I also experimented with natural liquid molasses, watered down with Gulp Particle Shot. Using this to flavour my PVA mesh goodies really did the trick, plucking out another eight fish during the night session. This was interesting as the anglers either side blanked through the same period. The concoction certainly didn’t do any harm!
My two-day carp session flew through all too quickly, as always, but having found some form, I was absolutely delighted with my tally of twenty three runs, twenty three fish landed, mostly doubles and up to eighteen pounds. I tried on numerous occasions to persuade Bill to play one of the fish on the Classic, but he always declined. As I packed away the gear, the left hand rod and alarm signalled a run, and with me at the jeep and Bill standing over the rods, he had no choice but to lift into the fish.
He thoroughly enjoyed playing a sizeable carp on the set-up, and by the end of the fight, I reckon he was milking it a bit to be honest! I was delighted to net the mid-double for him, making it a one hundred percent hook-up to landing net ratio! A great end to an extremely enjoyable week-end. I would like to thank Ross for the bit of work, Mandy and Sid as always for their hospitality, and Bill and Adam for their great company. The only fault I can find with the JRC Classics is they’ve stopped bloody making them!