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Diary Of A Carp Addict - Part 2

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Last Updated: 13th January 2015

“I finished work at 2.30pm on December 22nd, rushed home, loaded the car and was lake bound by 2.55pm. On a slow walk around the lake I counted nine anglers set up for the night, where usually 5 would be busy. Not surprisingly, no fish had been seen or caught and Christmas parties were already in full swing, so I opted for the only quiet corner of the lake hoping that a few fish had moved away from the noise and pressure; a tactic which has worked well for me over the years.

“No fish were evident in my swim, so I placed my two small traps on patrol routes that I know from previous history that the carp normally follow. Double Top Banana bottom baits were used on 5 inch fluorocarbon rigs with Stronghold 101 hooks. Each spot was baited with 15 free offerings.

“A carp showed over my right hand rod at 21.20pm, which came as a total surprise to be honest. At least I’d got my location right. At 1.30am I received two beeps on the right hand rod. I sat awake for over an hour, but had no more indications until I finally packed up at 9.45am and headed home.

“Before I left, I managed to get about 2kg of bait on two of the four spots I’d baited previously without anyone seeing me. It was some feat with 9 other anglers on such a small pond! This baiting, regularly and unobserved is very important to my fishing. I haven’t got time to sit in a swim and wait for the fish to turn up. I want the fish to already be in my swim and confidently eating my bait by the time I cast out. If this is done well then the results can often be outstanding.

 

 

“ I received a call the following Monday, December 29th, from my friend that was fishing Lake 1. It was already busy and both the swims that controlled the water where my baited spots were had already taken. There and then I made the decision to fish Lake 2 that night. The weather had taken a real turn and on Sunday night temperatures had dropped to -5 °C, and another cold night was forecast for tonight.

“I arrived at the lake at 3.20pm and pulled into an already busy car park. I loaded the barrow and set off to look for a chance. Cat ice was already forming in the margins of the shallower island side of the lake, so I headed for the deeper bowl section and was relieved to find this part completely free of ice. It was busy though with 13 anglers already fishing the bowl area. I picked a swim that gave me access to the middle of the lake, a good area at this time of the year. After speaking to a few of the anglers around me I was pleased to hear that a couple of fish had been landed in the last couple of days from that area.

“I have fished this swim before, so I knew that the majority of the swim was 9 to 10ft deep with a silty bottom. The only other point of interest was a hard flat spot the size of a dinner table at approximately 35 yards, slightly to the right of the swim. This spot is slightly shallower at 8ft and had produced fish for me in the past.

“I have often found that washed out baits and lighter coloured hook baits work well at Lake 2, so my bait of choice was Club & Cream. I had never used this bait before, but was more than confident that I had made the right choice. Both of the rods were set up the same, 6in coated braid, Stronghold 101 hooks with a sliding rig ring on the hook. Hook bait was a balanced Club & Cream bottom bait. The balanced bait was achieved by creating one bait from two thirds of a bottom bait and one third of a matching pop-up. This balanced the hook bait just enough to negate the weight of the hook.  Before casting out a small mesh bag of chopped boilies soaked in Solar’s tiger-nut extract, Growler Juice, was simply hooked on. The left hand rod was cast to the middle of the lake at 50 yards and 30 baits were catapulted as tight as possible to the hook bait. The right hand rod was positioned on the hard area at 35 yards again with around 30 baits catapulted as tight as possible.

“At 7.40pm the bobbin on the right-hand rod pulled up tight and I was in. After a short but spirited scrap a double figure common lay at the bottom of my net. The fish was returned and the rod replaced with new optimism.

“By 1.25am I was in again, this time on the left-hand rod. As I picked up the rod the line pinged through the ice in the margins. I pumped the fish straight into the net, which turned out to be another low double common.

“A little over three hours later at 4.45am the right-hand rod pulled up tight and then fell slack. I jumped out of bed, reeled down and then lifted into a good fish that powered off to the right taking line as it went. After the first run it just gave up and was soon in the net. It weighed 19lb 2oz and was another common. The rod was recast and I hopped back into bed feeling just a little bit chilly, but very pleased. I looked at my phone and it displayed the temperature as -7 °C.

“9.15am and the left-hand rod burst into life. Line was disappearing from the spool at an alarming rate. I leant into the fish and after 5 minutes a lovely chestnut mirror, around mid double figures, was being held up for a picture.

“I packed up at 11am very happy with my night’s action. It just shows that getting out regularly even when crowds, weather and other anglers collude against you, results can still be had if effort is applied. Let’s hope for a slightly bigger fish next month or maybe even one of my targets. Until next month, stay positive.”

 

Check back next week for Ian’s next carp diary installment.



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