It would seem that Oneabung, who was kind enough to comment on a couple of my previous entries, has spooky powers of prediction. My recent fishing has been a series of single roach, single skimmer, or total blank sessions. Frankly a bit of a nightmare.

Not surprisingly I didn't feel like writing anything as a result, but all has changed, with an increase in temperature has come a massive change in luck.

A couple of weeks ago I went to Hamstall fishery, near Rugeley, it was a bit slow to start, but I bagged a couple of very large bream towards the end of the session and I had a feeling that things were about to get better.

And better they got. Yesterday Steve and I went over to the Riddings fishery near Atherstone and started the day with a bang. Actually it would be more accurate to say that the day started with a splintering crack, as my trusty old match rod came to grief thanks to a personal best carp. Don't ask me what it weighed, I've no idea, I was pleasure fishing with no expectation of landing a monster, so didn't even have scales with me.

Steve and I landed it, despite the broken rod, and I was so chuffed that the demise of a trusted old carbon fibre friend didn't really bother me at all.

With hindsight, it was entirely my own fault. I was fishing a water with a good stock of large carp and I was chancing my arm with a big juicy lobworm fished under a waggler tight against a reed bed. I wasn't targeting carp specifically, but I should have allowed for the possibility.

I quickly set up my carp margin rod, a sturdy eight footer that can handle the bigger fish and baited up with another lobworm in anticipation of more big fish action. How ironic then that armed with the carp rod, all I seemed to attract was perch, very small perch at that. How a perch the size of my little finger can swallow a lobworm of that size is beyond me, but they seem to manage ok! I did catch a couple of decent sized stripeys, but none of them approaching specimen dimensions and I was running out of worms, so my last few kept in reserve I switched to double red maggot.

Steve had been pulling in a steady stream of small silvers on maggots, but he wanted a big one, so I'd given him a few worms to try and soon that paid off when he hooked into a really nice tench. It put up a hell of a fight so I went over to his peg to wield the landing net and we soon had it banked. It was a beautiful tinca, pale olive on the top, almost gold underneath, with those distinctive red eyes. I think that tench are probably my favourite fish, they always seem to fight above their weight and they really are pretty.

Happily my change of bait resulted in a change of fish, although I caught a couple more perch, the silvers started to show and then even better, I landed a couple of nice tench of my own.

As it was getting on a bit, I decided to use my last two worms on the hook and see if I could tempt another biggy. A couple of large carp had been showing in front of my peg, rolling on the surface and so I cast my bait further out, away from the reed bed in hope of avoiding the perch. I sprayed maggots out above the float and waited. just a couple of minutes had passed when my float bobbed, I waited and suddenly it shot under and disappeared, I struck and felt nothing, terminal tackle jerked out of the water and narrowly missed the reed bed. Very disappointing, but the worms were still there and something was definitely interested in them. I cast out again, beyond the spot where the float had disappeared and slowly reeled line back in until the float was back in the same position.

Sure enough the float bobbed again, twice, and then it dipped and started to slide under the water. As the orange tip disappeared I struck and this time there was definitely a fish on the end. The rod bent over alarmingly and something pulled away hard. Steve called over wanting to know if I needed a hand and then ran over anyway seeing that I was struggling with something that had to be big. And big it probably was, but we'll never know, because as he arrived and grabbed my landing net there was an audible twang and the float shot out of the water to hit me in the forehead. At first I thought the line had parted, but on checking we found the hook still attached and it became clear that the fish had managed to shake it loose.

After that it was back to the small silvers, but I wasn't complaining, it had been a good day and I'd even got my own version of the classic fisherman's tale. After all, the one I landed was big, but the one that got away? Well that must have been enormous!!!