Popular Nash carper Julian Cundiff explaining why 'carp fever' is the best cure for the dreaded man flu.

AS something of a boring bugger who doesn’t smoke, drink or take drugs. Someone who exercises, rides 100 miles a week on the bike and generally tries to avoid stress I do like to think of myself by and large as pretty healthy and like any mad male, indestructible…

Yeah right. But not when you get the dreaded man-flu!!

Now the ladies out there I am sure won’t be able to fully comprehend the nature of this illness but believe me ladies it’s not something we like to talk about, complain about or mention (cough…).Child birth, they say it’s incomparable.

Well despite my best efforts I definitely felt under the weather starting firstly with a sore throat and then the dreaded sneezing – drat.

Sadly my job does not allow me time off to get better and if I don’t turn up, the court isn’t happening so the week dragged and horror of horror I didn’t even get in a midweek overnighter.

Not sure how you guys and girls are on this but if I don’t go fishing regularly I get pretty grumpy and the world certainly seems a worse place to be in. The continuing curse, or is it blessing, of ‘carp fever.’

rods out

Saturday was like a jog through treacle and Sunday looked like being much of the same, not fun.

That said I suffer with what I call the carpers conscience and if I don’t give it 100% I feel even worse and think of what would my mentors like Tim Paisley, Andy Little and Kevin Nash think?

I knew what they’d say for sure, “Get a grip Jules, man up and get out there you flipping soft lad.”

Well there was no time like the present so it was a case of manning up and sorting out the real cure for the common cold – going carp fishing.

Ready-to-go in the Jeep

Luckily I am a pretty organised sort of guy and have a set of gear for overnighters and a separate set for my hit-and-run sessions. Two rods, lightweight barrow, single barrow bag and a Polar Cool bag full of Risers, Slickers, 4G Flake and my hookbaits.

I was in my fishing gear in 10 minutes, car loaded in 5 minutes and by 3pm I was slowly guiding the Jeep down the pitted farmers track to one of my local day ticket waters. With it being a weekend I knew the carp syndicate waters would probably still be busy so the coarse water with carp seemed a better idea.

Three general coarse anglers were present and as expected with the wind howling into the shallows the float anglers were set up on the wide bank with the wind over their shoulders. Thank you very much, that will do me nicely.

Even better I could drive my Jeep right down to the shallows and fish out of it. Hey, I am 52 with man-flu… so give me a break guys!!

Up top – and down below

The wind was warm and it looked ideal for surface baits so I took the Risers three swims up, catapulted almost a bag full out and went back into the first swim to get the rods assembled. The wind would carry the surface feed nicely and by not chasing them at this stage I was sure they’d be more confident.

The bottom bait rod was baited with a single Nash 4G pop up, underarm swung under the tree to my left and a few handfuls of 4G Flake was scooped over the top. The surface rod was assembled and a large Bolt Machine was married to a 6′ hooklength and a Slicker pellet superglued onto a size 10 Uni.Time to nail one off the top

First blood came to the bottom bait in minutes and the rod was soon bent double subduing the carp as it attempted to weed itself up. Netted, photographed and get that rod back into position. Two more followed and yours truly had NEARLY forgotten how ill he was.

I was woken from my self-pity by the sight of carp troughing the Risers in the windward bank, heck I’d almost forgotten about them. The bottom rod was wound in and with one rod, bag of bait and net I kept low and made my way round to the scene of the feeding.

Five minutes of watching them feeding and I knew what to do. Overcast, let it drift back and…. bingo! – in immediately. A tremendous scrap on the soft rod but soon in the net.

Non-stop action sorts me out!

For the next 90 minutes it was almost production line carping. Carry the carp to the swim, do a self-take, fire out more Risers and Slickers and then back to the windward bank. Catch another one when their guard was down and repeat.

By 6pm I had caught all I needed to catch and with dark clouds drawing in it was a quick pack down and home. All it required was effort and you know what I felt better for the fresh air and making that trip.

Carp fishing is hard work at times but effort can equal reward. No matter how busy your life is, no matter what life throws at you, get out there and do it.

Good luck with your fishing – be for carp or anything else!