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A Frosty Recption

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Last Updated: 5th April 2013

Towards the end of March, 2013, I was facing a dilemma. At work things had been ridiculously busy for the last couple of months meaning that I couldn’t permit taking some days off, even though some of these days I had to take before the end of the first trimester or they would become redundant.

With the weather still arctic cold and not a sign of the approaching spring in sight I was unsure whether to continue working, and losing a couple of days holiday, or to go fishing and brave the elements to try and catch a carp. I guess this didn’t need much considering because after all, time on the bank is always more enjoyable than time in the office!

Knowing that it would be a hard job to force a bite I chose to fish a well-stocked, 80 acre gravel pit where enough features in the form of deep gullies and steep bars would provide shelter for the carp that would seek a comfortable spot in the cold, windswept water.

On this occasion I found my good friend Wilhem prepared to join me in this five-day pole expedition. After another two years of absence off the fishing scene, I was happy to see Wilhem back and as motivated as ever doing what he’s good at.

To our surprise, the first action came in the first night with a common each, one ranging in the upper double figures and the other a low twenty. With these promising results, in hindsight, we were expecting some more to come, but unfortunately nothing happened over the next 24 hours. We decided then to take another good look around and found some fish in mid water in the vicinity of deep areas or steep shelves, so we decided to fish a set of rods towards these spots hoping that one of these carp would pick up our hook baits. Some rods were fished on the bottom and some with zigs. The following night we landed three fish, all commons up to upper twenties. All the action came on regular, Quench bottom baits used straight out of the bag while the zigs remained untouched. This was something that I struggled with the whole session because I couldn’t tempt a fish to pick up a zig. No matter what depth I fished no action came on the zig set-up.

After three days of searching and fishing different spots, catching one or two on each new spot we fished, it became clear that no matter what spot we fished, the action died once it had produced one or two carp. It was then when we decided to move towards a deep bay that was more sheltered from the biting, northeasterly wind. This move resulted in five takes in the first night, with one fish lost due to a hook pull.  Not such a bad result and well worth the move. During the final night, we saw two more fish gracing our nets and that was it. The biggest fish of them all was a 34lb+ common. Well, they all were commons, except one or two small mirrors. Typical for cold water fishing… commons tend to be more active in cold water.

Although this session looked nothing like early spring, but more typical of winter fishing, it was good to be on the bank after a long and hard winter and to be honest, catching fish in these circumstances is special, so I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait for the spring to arrive because I’m really keen on chasing two new Belgian targets!