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Wesley Lagaert's Carp Diary - Nov & Dec 2012

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Last Updated: 12th December 2012

Well, it’s almost halfway through December and so I thought that it was about time that I get some words down on the computer for the Solar website. Honestly, I was hoping that I would have some more results to write about, but unfortunately plans have not quite worked out. With October being difficult from a fishing perspective, which is earlier for the fishing to get hard than in most years previous, you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that November would be even harder.

By November I had already completely switched over to using the Top Banana boilies, as sticking with the fishmeal baits makes the bait harder for the carp to digest. I’d rolled my Top Banana boilies with the Pear Of Bananas flavour and the Liquid Candy Sweetener in sizes 16mm and 18mm. Due to the visible, yellow colour, high flavor leakage and combination with a small Top Banana pop-up dipped in Big Shot liquid for that extra bit off pulling power, it’s been my number one bait choice for this time of year for a long time. I even fined down my end tackle, which is something I don’t normally do, to 15lb Khaki Unleaded and size 8 101 hooks.

The baiting up was kept to an absolute minimum, sticking out only a few freebies while fishing and once a week, mostly on Wednesday, 10 spombs of top Banana boilies were being introduced. As Luck would have it, I received a take the first weekend of November. It was late Sunday afternoon when I finally landed a lovely mirror of 20lb. After checking through the pictures from the stocking that we did in 2010, I found out that this little mirror has grown 8lb in the last two years, which is a good sign for the future of this venue.

Really happy with the result, I stayed on and fished another night but saw myself reeling in the rods at 6am on Monday before going off to work. In the meantime, two other ‘diehards’, Benjamin and Angelo, had prepared a swim directly opposite on the other side off the lake also in the hope off landing a winter whacker. As far as I’m aware, that particular swim had never been fished at this time off year. Well, they started there campaign and it went off like a flyer!

They caught carp consistently, with Angelo having 12 runs over a weekend in November. As you would, they asked me to keep my mouth shut as they were onto a winner and didn’t want to alert any other anglers who could profit from their hard work. I’m sure that between the two of them they had over 50 takes, landed 6 carp over 40lb up to a best of 53lb - what a result! I’m sure that this is the biggest winter haul I’ve ever experienced on Integra lake! They had obviously found a winter holding area and were reaping the rewards, and fair play to them. I on the other hand, obviously had not found a holding area and as the weeks wore on I kept blanking, no matter what I tried. Winter was now just around the corner, as the first snow and freezing temperatures were predicted by the weather women for the weeks ahead.

On the first weekend of December my mate Alain Servaes came up for a social night’s fishing. It would be my last fishing night for 2012, as by now every weekend until New Year is completely filled with things to do included a trip to Paris with my wife.

The night set in, the mist came up and indeed around 6am the next morning Alain was playing a lovely mirror in the freezing cold. We unhooked the carp, looked at each other as if to decide whether to take a picture or not, but decided to slide it back immediately and retire ourselves quickly to the warmth off the shed. We guessed the mirror to be around 18lb and it was probably the last carp out off the lake, that is other than Benjamin’s efforts, which saw him land two other stockies only two days later.

By now the fishing has completely switched off, the bankside is devoid of anglers and we’re already looking forward to starting fishing again when the days get longer and warmer. Winter is the ideal time for a bit off writing, sorting out little jobs at home and of course paying visits to the different carp exhibitions all over the country. Winter also means reflecting over what happened that year and making new plans for the year ahead. 2013 will probably be a year that sees me do less fishing, but with my wife now 22weeks pregnant I’m 100% sure that I’ll be over the moon with our little present – despite the impact on my fishing!

I hope you all reached your goals in 2012 and, if not, I hope that 2013 will bring that very special moment, whatever you wish/angle for.  See many off you at the various shows over the coming weeks. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wesley Lagaert