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Well, living in the Hammer, it's easy to throw the gear in the trunk and just head to one of many good swims available in the harbour. But this year, I planned to change the scenery a bit and try some different areas. After all, the grass is always greener, right? One small lake not an hours drive away was reported to have some good carp in it. On my first visit, I noticed a nice carp after startling it in the margins, and some bow waves I observed in the shallows throughout the day suggested that there were, if fact, plenty of carp there. However, two trips to this venue netted me zero fish. I do plan to return to unlock it's mysteries, but in the meantime, here is a photo of a glorious morning there. Next, was a visit to a more 'urban' destination only a half hour from my Hammy hometown. I wish I could report of some great catches of giant leviathans but, alas, another blank. Thankfully, I had this little fellow keeping me company during my session. Turns out, he loves corn and was so tame, I actually had him eating it out of my hand. I also enjoyed watching people exerting far more energy than you'll find me doing. Hard to believe, but I think they consider this 'fun.' Well, third times a charm, as they say, and a few days later, I found my way to the Grand River and hopefully some greener pastures. I set up my 'office' in an area that looked promising and the rest was up to the fishing gods. The morning was filled with activity and I was visited by herons, finches and swallows. The water in front of me was exploding with catfish jumping and feeding on the surface. Catfish jump. Who knew? After 'pulting out some corn in the marginal waters on my side of the bank, and threading several kernels onto the hair, I hoped the carp would soon descend upon my little breakfast table. Sadly nothing happened for several hours, so a change in tactics was needed. I decided to fish the far bank where overhanging trees were more prevalent and I imagined their roots below making nice carp comfort zones. So I loaded up a method feeder with some Bait-Tech Super Method Mix( Red )which smells good enough to eat, believe me! My first cast ended up in the trees, but happily, I was able to get the entire rig back( We all know how good that feels )and I just needed to pack the mix back on and fire away again. I can't remember how long I waited before hearing that first beep of the bite alarm, but it was as welcome as anything I'd ever heard after my all my previous blanks. Then came the one toner and I was in! After a good fight, as the river fish always provide, I brought this long, lean 14 lbs carp to the mat. Fishing on my own, I'm only able to show it to you lying unceremoniously on the mat, unfortunately. You can really tell these fish spend their lives in the turbid water of the lower Grand, as it was so much paler than the fish I'm used to seeing in the harbour. Back out goes the feeder and the alarm immediately starts to tease me again with some intermittent beeping. Once again, the alarm signals a serious take and another hefty battler is taking me up and down the river. To my surprise, I had this other famous resident of the river on my line. Although there are certainly much larger specimens, I'll remember this fish for a long time as it's my PB catfish at 8 lbs. Well, things quieted down for a while, until one more carp fell to my method and maize. Albeit a smaller 8 lbs version of the previous carp, it still gave a good account of itself, which I put to the makeup of these river fish. Although the picture doesn't show it well, the tail of these carp seems bigger to me than that of their cousins in the harbour and lake. Anyhoo, a good few days of exploring some new locales and surely more to come in the summer ahead! 0