Today's post is brought to you by the letter 'C', standing in this instance for commercials, convenience and, of course, carp.
While writing in praise of rivers and canals, I know that I've been guilty of making the odd disparaging comparison between 'wild' natural waters and fully stocked commercial waters. This, as anyone who knows me or follows The Hornet's Nest will realise, is profoundly unfair of me since I fish commercials all the time.
So just to set that record straight - I love commercial fisheries (or at least the good ones).
Not that I want to fish them all the time, you understand - there is still something thrilling and primal about even the smallest river fish that you just can't get from a heavily stocked and carefully managed fishery pond. But in turn, the very best commercials offer plenty of things that the rivers can't.
Which is why, when the sun finally appeared for a couple of hours after work on Wednesday, it was to Bishops Bowl that I sped. This excellent and still-improving fishery typifies everything that can be good about commercials, in that it is conveniently close to my home, has a handy bait and tackle shop on site, and generally guarantees a few quality fish from even the shortest session.
It was, in short, a very good move, and within five minutes I was pretty much taking a fish a cast - generally carp in the half to three pound range, but one or two which were big enough to quickly smash the 4lb hook length and leave me scrambling to bolt the proverbial stable door with a 6lb length for the rest of the session. It's a lesson I seem to forget as quickly as I learn it - the ferocity of the take and the shortness of line beneath the pellet waggler means that a beefed up hook length is an absolute must for this style of fishing.
It was an excellent, if short, evening session, the biggest surprise being the capture of a nice two pound tench so far up in the water - well, either that or the violent storm which suddenly sprang forth from nowhere and sent me fleeing the site with a boot full of soaking gear.