Work has been crazy lately so I've had no time to fish at all, usually I can sneak a few hours in between jobs but I have been flat out. I was itching to get back down the water, I've been starting to focus on one of my clubs lakes which I am feeling pretty inspired about, it's a real challenge working with the weed but that's for another day, I look forward to sharing it with you.
I finally had some time to wet the lines so I planned to get back down Chase, I opened the curtains to extreme wind and rain, it was muggy and damp feeling. I decided I was going to brave the conditions and see if I could tempt a few fish. Bad weather really doesn't bother me, actually some of my best sessions have been in grim conditions and more times than not the banks are pretty empty and fish are on the munch.
I decided to head out about midday so I got to the lake for 1:00pm, luckily there was a gap in the weather which allowed me to get to my chosen swim and set up before the heavens opened once more. Today I had chosen to use Starmers Pineapple CSL boilies, I find this bait different and interesting. It's obviously a fruity smelling boilie but the difference is the base mix, it's 60/40 sweet birdseed and it has a different element compared to the standard 50/50 milk protein fruit baits.
Many of you who read my blogs know that I rotate my baits a lot, I am currently using 17 different flavors and I am catching on all of them, I love combining and messing around with different things. The thing I love about Ian and Gareth at Starmer is their willingness to experiment with different combinations and they really have come up with some interesting blends. 'Don't get me wrong', I am not here to do the 'hard sell' insisting that you 'get on' Starmer. Bait is a personal thing and we all have our own preference, I am happy I have found a selection of baits that I feel 100% confidence in and as we all know that's part of the battle. There are so many different companies out there now and I think my point is, don't be afraid to try something totally new it might just end up being your 'magic bait'.
Starmers Pineapple CSL
When I arrived at the water I had a good idea where I wanted to fish, there was a narrow channel leading into a back bay with pads and overhanging trees. It always seems to hold fish, I personally think because it's quiet and really tucked out the way of pressure. I had a few casts around with a lead, the bottom was clear with patches of gravel, perfect to present a bottom bait over.
When fishing over clear areas I pay close attention to keeping the rig tight to the bottom and as inconspicuous as possible. I chose to use a lead that 'Carpy' Chris Knowler knocked up for me, it's a flat long pear inline, I set it up semi-fixed by doctoring a tail rubber, cutting it down and reversing it over the swivel. My tubing is Carp Craze translucent green, this sits so well over pretty much any lake bed. Not only is the rig 100% safe but the flatness of the lead makes it really quiet on the cast due to it's streamline shape.
My Lead System
On the end of my tubing I put a little lump of tungsten putty so when I slacken off it pins nicely down. To ensure the line is concealed I use a flying back-lead and a captive one. After the cast I will tighten up and the second I start to feel resistance on the line I then slacken off a little.
Kryston Tungsten Putty On The End Of My Tubing
Whilst I was getting my rods sorted out there were a few carp topping all over the swim and a couple of real lumps where jumping at the back of the bay. Directly opposite me I had a lovely overhanging willow and a set of reeds, on my left was a bay with a tree lined margin. I put my left rod along this margin and the other two directly opposite me about a rods length away from the bank.
Chunky Mirror Caught On Pineapple CSL
View From The Swim
Left Rod Spot
Shortly after I got all my rods out the rain came and it was ruthless, it didn't look like it was going to stop. More fish were showing out in front of me, I tucked myself under my umbrella semi expecting my rods to shoot off at any second. Sure enough it wasn't too long before my middle rod was screaming.
I raced out and hit into the fish, I was soaked within minutes and the fish was fighting like something I'd never experienced before, it was going nuts, stripping line left, right and center, it took me along time to get it in and with each minute that passed the more soaked I got. Eventually I slid my net over a lovely lump of a mirror, scales sunk to 19IB 5oz.
Chunky Mirror Caught On Pineapple CSL
I slipped her back, baited the spot up with another 60 baits and tucked myself back under the brolly, I was now soaked. Fish were still showing near my willow spot so I knew it wasn't going to be long before they got their heads back down. Twenty minutes passed and the same rod tore into life, once again the fish was taking line at a crazy pace, she soon tired and other chunky looking mirror fell in to the net, scales sunk to 17IB 5oz.
Trying To Self-take With Eric Around
A Lovely Colored Mirror
I got her back and recast, again I put another 60 or so baits in. Because I was soaked I was starting to get really cold also Eric my dog was soaked and starting to whinge, I stayed for another hour and then decided to pack up, fish were still milling around my swim but I was pleased with the result and decided I'd be back in a few days to get stuck in.
I had a sense the carp would be spawning soon and I wanted to get at least one session in before leaving them to it. On the way back to the car I stopped periodically to throw a few handfuls of bait along the margins. I like to keep all my baits going in the waters, the way I see it is it's fishing for me even though I am not on the bank.
I arrived home totally soaked and cold with the daunting prospect of drying all my kit off. I was instantly looking forward to getting back down there. I had a feeling I was getting closer to one of the big girls. My next session would be a full day because I wanted to give myself the best chance possible of getting amongst them.