perseverance and patience pays off

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4 years 9 months ago #7288 by Gavin Senter
A couple of weeks ago after the first frost I decided it was time to start to target a different lake in search of a harder challenge. As you may or may not know, this was my first year as a carp angler, having previously been an all round coarse fisherman since being a young lad, but I felt I had served my apprenticeship long enough and it was time to start going in search of lumps.
The lake I decided to move on to next is called grove farm and is owned by a club known as Wards 84 AC and isn’t too far from the city centre, tucked nicely behind a little housing estate. It’s not the most heavily stocked lake as a fair amount of the stock was sold a few years back to a local day ticket fishery to keep the club going. The fish that do remain in the lake however, are absolutely stunning, not the biggest but because of the maturity of them they're colours are fantastic, they’ve all got a dark mature naturally grown look about them and after speaking to other club members I’ve found out that the biggest in there nowadays is around the18lb mark and not many come in below the double figure mark. Fantastic!
I knew from fishing there as a youngster in my coarse days that these fish weren’t easy to catch, they’re all old girls so they’ve seen it all and there were snags everywhere for them to break you off, but I believed that if I set the right trap up I could fool one of them. I had fished here a few days after the cold weather had settled in and after a few day sessions trying different rigs and baits, I had nothing, not even a bite!
I knew that I was going to have to re-think my tactics and come up with a different plan of action. I decided that maybe the fish weren’t confident feeding on my baits as they were used to more natural looking foods or food that didn’t stand out like a sore thumb. In the end my plan was to get the fish comfortable feeding in a certain area, on a certain bait, over a couple of weeks or until I felt the time was right.
Basically I was going to feed around 10 boilies a day, the boilie of choice was an 18mm NASH white chocolate. So that’s what I did, every evening after work I’d take a walk down to the lake with my dog with a handful of boilies in one pocket and a couple of doggie treats to keep the pooch happy in the othe rand feed the boilies one at a time over an area about 2m squared and then left, not even taking a rod along so I could always resist the temptation. The spot that I would fish in was a snaggy one, it had a tree over hanging it and I knew from my previous attempts that bottom wasn’t clear but I felt this would only encourage fish to feed more willingly.
It had been about two weeks since I had started the baiting process and it was at work when I decided the time was right to get a rod in there. So after work I rushed home and grabbed my gear together, which had been sat waiting for a fortnight ready for this day, and headed down to the lake. When i arrived at the venue I was greeted by two other anglers who were just about to drive off. “ I wouldn’t bother if I was you pal, they aint playing ball today” the one said “its not always about catching mate, sometimes its good to just be by the lake” I replied. In my head I was confident though, I needed to be, after all confidence is a huge factor in fishing. After a bit more chit chat they left and I went down to my peg.
The lake was as calm as I’d ever seen it, in the baiting process I had always noticed that the water was choppy, but not this time. Oh well, I was going for it!
The setup I was using was a Maver abyss 2.75lb tc rod with a Korum kxi50 freespin reel loaded with 15lb Fox mono and on the business end I was using 12ins of rig tubing along with a lead clip and tail rubber, with a 2.50z flat lead attached. I had the lead clip set up as loose as I could so that the lead was discarded straight after the take as I didn’t want the fish snagging itself up if it got into the snags. Beyond the lead I had 12ins of stiff coated 20lb braided hooklink with about an inch of coating stripped back at each end to give it a hinged stiff rig effect and then a size 6 wide gape hook was used as I knew that it would have to withstand the pressure of me trying to steer it away from the snaggy tree. I used that setup for both roads and the only thing that differed between the two was the bait, well kind of. On the one I was using a NASH white chocolate 18mm and on the other was an 18mm NASH white chocolate 18mm but this had been sat in a baitbox full of the lake water for a few days to give it the washed out effect in case the carp weren’t willing to take fresh looking bait.
I put my rods out on the spot, set up my brolly and then put the kettle on for a coffee and a cupasoup. After around an hour I’d had nothing, not even a liner or a single bleep to make me think I had a chance. Luckily I had one more trick up my sleeve, out came 10 boilies and were thrown out one at a time over the spot, this was the first time I’d chucked any bait in this day. Ten minutes hadn’t passed and my right hand rod with the fresh boilie on went screaming off, however, when I struck into the bite there was nothing there. It had got away, I could have cried! I honestly felt that I’d blown it, all that preparation and the fish had spat my rig out, Im not one for bad language but I may have spoke a bit of French for the next few minutes.
I put that rod straight back out and reeled in the other to swap the washed out boilie for a fresh one and recast, also chucking 5 more freebies out as I believed the plop noise each boilie was making as it hit the water was like a dinner bell to the carp. It was around an hour later when I had a few beeps on the alarm and looked at the bobbin to find I’d had a dropback. I quickly tightened the line up and lifted to strike and this time I’d connected it. BOOM! I was in. Straightaway the fish headed over to the tree, and I was hanging on to dear life trying to keep it out of the snags and eventually I had steered it into open water. It didn’t put up much of a fight once I’d got it into the open and was pretty much a simple fight up until it was under the rod tip, where it put up a bit more of a struggle. Overall I’d say the fight lasted about 5 minutes and then I was slipping my net under an absolutely stunning common carp. I quickly got him on the mat, unhooked him and had him weighed, the scales read 13lb 7oz, not huge but it was a lovely fish and was hard to catch. After releasing him and doing a celebratory little dance I decided to call it a day for now, relishing the chance to come back in the summer as I hear its great for surface fishing.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and i look forward to writing about my next adventure.
Tight lines, Gav.

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4 years 9 months ago #7290 by Gavfish
Pleasent read mate and proving again that pre baiting is worth the time and effort.

Checkbook and pen......again!!!!

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4 years 9 months ago #7292 by Gavin Senter
cheers gav, have a good christmas.

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