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On a warm September evening, I was having a cold one with my Dad in the backyard. He looked at the farmers on the cornfields behind his yard – who were busy harvesting the corn. “It’s always a sad thing to see,” he said. When I asked him why, the answer was simple. To him it signalled the end of the Summer and beginning of Autumn.

Although I understood, I couldn’t help thinking that for a carp angler, that change in the seasons, isn’t such a bad thing. The change reminded me of her – a mirror with big beautiful golden plates down her sides. Like someone had decorated her with golden leaves. I’ve watched her a few times this Summer. She looked bored, underweight, a little unkempt. It was then I made the plan to try and catch her in Autumn, when she was bulking up for Winter and wearing her most beautiful colours.

The first week of October I planned a double feeding session so I could give it a try on the Friday after work. Unfortunately, the pressure at work was relentless, and time simply wouldn’t allow me to prebait the swim even once! I simply had to fish on Friday, though, so I approached a mate to see if he would take on the baiting responsibilities – he was delighted to help. And I still owe him to this day! That is what it is all about for me, sharing your passion and helping each other out. Not only focussing on the target, but enjoying the journey with your mates along the way.

After dragging myself through a 60 hour working week, I could finally race to the waterside. Preparing my rods in a record time, I carefully placed them around the prebaited area. After setting up camp, I could at last sit back with a nice cold beer and do nothing. It made a nice change!

Well, at least I thought I could do nothing. Within the hour, my right hand rod raced off leaving me spilling my beer, grasping for my rod. After a short struggle to keep the fish out of the snags, I soon had a stunning mirror in the net, with big golden plates on her side! I couldn’t believe it, but it really was her! After a few crazy weeks of work, it felt like a gift from God!

It was on my mind all Summer and in my net after an hour of fishing. I was over the moon! After putting the fish in the retainer, the first call was to my friend who had prebaited my swim – I could’t thank him enough!!

Sitting on my bedchair in the early morning enjoying a cup of coffee and a cigarette, I stared at the surface of the water, thinking about another night, another carp in the sling, and waiting for the world to wake up. But that’s a story for another time. It’s gonna’ be a good Autumn!

Cheers, tight lines everyone!

Mark Rinsema