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Mark's blog: back on the bank

4th May, 2021

It was our first outing of the year carp fishing and the forecast wasn’t looking good. The first rain in ages and low nightly temperatures was a recipe for putting the fish off the feed.

My friend David arrived around 6:30am with his boys eager to load my kit and my Vita X. I was glad I had layered up as it was freezing as I directed them as to what was going from my garage to the van. David got his ramps out and I slowly guided Muddy (my Vita X) up them while the boys stood guiding and supporting me so I could not fall. 

Mark Boss loading his TGA Vita X into the van

A 30-minute drive plus a breakfast stop and we are at the fishery gates raring to go. I use my Vita and trailer to ferry several loads of gear around the lake and the lads load and unload. It makes life so much easier for me. In fact, without the Vita I wouldn’t go as I wouldn’t be able to make the walk or like to see my friends carry all my gear, so the independence gained is huge.

Mark Boss carrying his fishing equipment on the TGA Vita X

We got set up over the course of the morning. I get my rods in first then the boys set up and peg down my bivvy. We were very hopeful for some fish, but the low pressure and rain predicted wasn’t looking good.

Wold Farm Fishery and Country Pursuits is located in woodlands and is serene and atmospheric. Squirrels, birds and deer are plentiful so catching is not priority for me as I enjoy the company of friends and the chilled surroundings. The robins are regular visitors to my swim as I like to feed them. Red kites swirl about on the warm currents above and the water birds battle over territory and companions.

The first day was quiet for three of us but Olly, who has the peg nearest the owner’s house, has a couple of bites resulting in a new personal best of 15lb and one lost fish. The owner feeds the carp from a platform when nobody is fishing and Dave uses a bait boat to drop Olly’s bait and rigs in this area.

Dinner comes quickly as the first day flies by. David is cooking a curry with rice and poppadoms and uses the Vita X rear rack as a table. The hot meal goes down a treat and puts the thought of no fish caught into the back of my mind.

After dinner, I decide on an early night as the exercise and fresh air have me worn out and I settle down for an uneventful night with silent alarms.

I wake around 6am to the sound of an alarm. I slowly get up, slip my boots and coat on and as I know it’s not mine, I amble outside to find out who has a bite. This time it’s Matty who within a few minutes has a fine-looking common carp in the cradle. A quick weigh, 14lb 4oz, a picture, and it’s slipped back none the worse for its experience.

Matty with his personal best catch

As the others slowly wake up, I find out I had slept through torrential rain and Olly was in David’s bed as he had got soaked in the night and had no sleep. A cooked breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs and mushrooms is in order to warm them up and put the smiles back on their faces. 

The temperature plummets as the day goes on and the wind is uncomfortable, but it soon dries out my bivvy, so I let the air out of it and Matty rolls it up and puts it away for me.

Olly’s alarm goes into meltdown and after a five-minute battle he has another personal best fish of 25lb on the mat. The rest of us look on and can only hope we get a bite. I try every rig and bait in my armour but it’s obvious the fish are not in my area. I reside myself to the fact a blank for me is on the cards.

As the day progresses everyone’s alarms lay silent. I continue to feed the robin and watch a pair of tiny goldcrests back and forth with feathers, build a nest in a privet hedge just a few feet from my swim.

All of a sudden, I can hear somebody’s alarm going once again as a fish runs with their bait. I slowly make my way to Olly’s swim and once again he is onto another fish, and sadly the last one of the session. This time it’s another huge fish of 25lb 12oz and another PB. An epic session for him but a blank for two of us.

Still, we’ve enjoyed the company and the venue and I’m buzzing as I’ve had a couple of days in a beautiful setting and we are already planning our next adventure as we pack up and I ferry the kit back to the van.

I hope many of you readers get the chance to be on the bank this year.