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Five carp to 58lb in sub-zero temperatures... Martin Locke kicks off the new year in style

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Last Updated: 17th January 2017

What a way to kick off 2017! Martin Locke has just returned from his first session of the new year and, despite sub-zero temperatures, still landed 5 carp including 3 over 40lb and a session biggest of 58lb. It was all thanks to a bit of an ‘old-school’ approach as Martin explains:


“Just back from my annual January outing to Rainbow… great trip to get back in the swing of things after Christmas. Not least for the fact that the already enormous fish are even bigger at this time of year and in tip top condition, but also getting together with the ‘hard core’ winter anglers always makes it an eagerly awaited trip.

“Once again myself and John Hannent set off along with ‘Darren the Pond’ to arrive to a somewhat chilly lake on which thermometer read  -10°C for setting up on the Saturday morning.

“We we’re in swim 1-2, with myself on the left fishing in ‘2’s water’.

Although still tired from the journey this part of the session is vitally important as the positioning of the baits and baited areas is crucial as to whether the trip will be a success or failure. It’s no good rushing and then waking up on Sunday morning with things ‘not right’ because every new baited area results in one without a hook bait among it, and that’s exactly what you don’t want when the fish are hardly feeding.

“The baiting strategy is vital in the winter, so it was  ‘back to the old faithfuls’, with a mixture of  Top Banana and Quench boilies all crushed and glugged in Quench Big Shot with an extra helping of neat Mixmaster Esterblend12 for good measure.

“I cooked some ‘naked’ tigers in the same solution and soaked my Quench pop-ups and some pellets in the same liquids too. Each likely looking area was meticulously scanned with the echo sounder before baiting with half a dozen scoops and sending down the 101, with a Kebab Rig and a PVA bag attached, over the side of the boat to join the party.

“With it being so cold I wouldn’t normally expect anything until Tuesday at the earliest, so I was pleasantly shocked when one of the rods registered a big drop back on Sunday afternoon resulting in a lovely 46lb common.

“That set the confidence sky high for the week and things ticked along nicely from then on. Excitement and anticipation was fever pitch, with us expecting any rod to go off at any time of the day or night.

On Wednesday ‘Darren the Pond’ was at it again with the bigguns. Having had the famous Ken Dodd fish at 86lb on this trip two years ago, this time, fishing from the island, he helped himself to a beast of a common at 72lb using the Esterblend12-soaked Naked Tigers on the hook .

“By Friday several more good fish came our way with commons of 39 & 42 coming John’s way and 27 and 48 common to me. On the last night temperatures again plummeted to around -6°C, but at 5am I was away again. The short boat trip resulted in my best fish of the trip, a really long common of 58lb, before another of 42lb came along as I was packing up.

“What a fantastic way to start the new year, the 8 fish that we’d had between 3 of us accounted for almost half of the total fish caught between 24 anglers during the week. The old school approach on the bait side of things, in the severest of conditions, had worked an absolute treat and, in my opinion, without that, I wouldn’t be writing this.

“Thanks to all the lads down there last week and thanks to fishery owner Pascal and family for their hospitality, great trip. For any anglers who ask me why I still go to Rainbow… Please see above!”