Goliath himself

Dan O’Neill reports from a busy weekend of fishing with Anthony, ‘David’ and ‘Goliath’!

With the end now very much in sight on the trout and salmon season on my local river, I find myself at the lakes a little more than usual. I now have an upcoming angler, Anthony, who is very interested in an array of fish species. At the weekend we decided to set ourselves some challenges, it was a trout on the fly (rainbow to start with) then the big challenge of ‘David and Goliath’, as Anthony names the challenge, ‘David’ being a gudgeon and ‘Goliath’ being a common carp.

Starting off the morning we went to Southern County in search of a rainbow. After the basics being shown to Anthony it was time for him to take the lead; it did take a little while to get the hang of it but after 30/40 mins our first rainbow sipped in Anthony’s bubble head caddis. Battling hard, you could see that Anthony was trying to put all he had learned in place (all the evenings of me holding the fly line pretending to be a trout on the lawn and fighting for freedom), I was very impressed with the way he handled the fish and got it to the net, so our first box was ticked.

Anthony gets off the mark with a rainbow

Next stop was Mount Juliet where we went to the lake, this was the big one for him. Firstly, we threw in some offerings in order to get the carp interested. While this was happening, we tackled ‘David’ (gudgeon) in the margins. It wasn’t long before the float dipped and we were away (so we thought), but a surprise visitor took our maggot and one that, if we were trying for, we probably wouldn’t have met; a beautiful little tench. With the next few casts we had plenty of gudgeon and some small roach.

A bonus baby tench
Anthony and ‘David’ the gudgeon!

It was now time for what we saw as the most difficult catch, tackling up to heavier carp rod/line, bait runner reel and larger hook we were ready for our battle. Watching the bubbles and carp feeding was very exciting and on numerous occasions we just missed bites. A short while passed as we waited patiently, then suddenly the line shot off the reel and Anthony ran and lifted in; the rod immediately bent over pointing straight at the lake and our target species just as we looked rolled on the surface. After a nerve racking 8/10 mins our fish was ready for the net; a beautiful common was our prize completing our final challenge – “David and Goliath”.

Goliath himself