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Harry's Carp Fishing Lesson

Fishing Instructor
When Harry first spoke to me about having a fishing lesson he wasn't quite sure what he wanted to fish for. Only that he wanted to go fishing. This is always the most difficult type of fishing lesson for an instructor to organize. When people are specific about their fishing requirements it does make life a lot easier. But for this particular lesson it was left to me to suggest something. I usually start people off catching small fish, so they get used to hitting bites, and handling both the fishing tackle and the fish, but I felt Harry also had his mind on something bigger. So I suggested we go to a water where there were plenty of free-biting silver fish, but also a few carp that weren't too difficult to catch.

The idea was that we start the lesson by running through the basic set up for float-fishing, catch fish on the float til near the end of the lesson, then, when Harry had had enough of that, we put a carp rod out. Any fisherman will tell you that things usually don’t go to plan when fishing, but for once, on this occasion, they did. Harry bagged up on small fish, got the hang of striking, and with the bigger ones, playing them instead of trying to wind them through the tip ring; he also became adept at handling, unhooking and returning fish. So with an hour of the lesson to go I set up the carp rod, explaining what I was doing and why. I also explained what would happen if we got a take, and what he should do. I then cast to the margins of a nearby island, put the rod in the rests, attached a small bobbin and switched on the indicator. I turned to Harry to tell him to move his chair nearer the rod but at that moment the buzzer sounded as a fish picked up the bait.

Harry stood transfixed so I picked up the rod, turned the reel handle to turn off the baitrunner and struck. The fish was hooked, an obvious carp, though not a monster. Holding on tight I walked back a few paces to pull the carp clear of the snags, then handed the rod to Harry. Under my guidance he played the carp in quite comfortably, and we soon had a nice little common carp of about 7 pounds on the bank. Harry did let himself down rather at this point, asking if he could take it home and eat it. I gently explained that eating carp wasn’t the done thing, and that the fishery owners might get a little upset if they saw him bashing one of their carp's heads in! The fish was safely returned. It was almost pack-up time by then and we didn’t get another carp, but Harry left me feeling quite pleased with himself; his first fish and first carp both on the same day. I hope he continues fishing, and I also hope he doesn’t eat too many carp!

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