A Christmas Cracker

Wed 30 December 15


I decided to have a trip fishing, I’ve not been for a few weeks but since it was nearly Christmas, and I was all sorted I thought why not! On the morning I had loaded all the gear up and was just leaving my village, when I realised I had left my wellies at home! Great, so back home to get them, “ today’s going to go well I thought”.

Upon arriving I paid on and since the last time I went, I’d kept in touch with people who had been fishing woodlands regularly. The general perception was that it was fishing hard, and a expander attack was probably best to try catch everything, with hopefully a few carp on the bomb! Time for the draw, with a strong, warm wind blowing towards the bottom end of the lake, surely this was the area to be. The match on Sunday was won from the end peg of Partridge, with the wind coming down. Today was identical conditions, however the wind was a lot warmer. The temperature was 15 degrees! Incredibly warm for December! The odds were on the carp being there again!

I drew peg 24 on Partisge lake! The opposite end to where the wind was coming, although it would be blowing into my bank! I was fairly happy with this peg as to be honest it’s the boss peg on the lake at the minute. There is always Carp present in this area at the minute so I was very confident for a result! Off to my peg I went, I noticed a few swirls as I set up which gave me confidence that the carp were here, however would they feed!

I decided to keep things incredibly simple, I only set up a bomb rod to fish bomb and pellet, or bomb and bread. I also decided to set up a pole rig to fish hard pellet. I decided to fish hard pellet, instead of expander due to the fact I really fancied it for carp so I decided to fish out and out for carp! My pole rigs were;

4×14 MAP df3 float to 0.13 mainline and a 0.11 hook length to a 18 b911 hook. I decided to fish a nice strung bulk in order to achieve a slow fall through the water of my pellet. I’m a great believer that the carp watch your bait fall in winter, so by having a strung bulk it would ensure my pellet falls as slow and naturally as possible.

Bait for the day was a simple tub of 6mm pellets, a tub of 8mm pellets for the bomb and also some bread for the bomb.

I started on the bomb in the hope of catching a few early carp on the bomb and bread! This is always a good way to start a match as usually you can nick a few on the bomb, and also it enables you to search you peg, in some cases you may find a shoal and catch like this for the rest of the match! Unfortunately this wasn’t one of the, days, and after 40 minutes I hadn’t even had a bite! With the odd Carl getting caught towards the middle of the lake, I was sure that’s where the carp were shoaled up!

After a biteless 40 minutes on the bomb I decided to have a look on the pole, I filled my small cad pot with hard pellets, shipped out to my marker at 14.5m and tapped out a few 6mm pellets. ( I always start Shorter than 16m if I can, as it gives you section to add should the fish back off) I lowered my rig down into my loose feed,and the float buried. Great I thought, I managed to land a carp of around 5lb. I reacted the process and I caught steadily on this line, until the bites started to fade.

Since the bites had started to fade, I decided to put another line in. Just to the left of my original line, maybe 4m away. This worked a treat and again I was quickly into carp. During the winter months it can be a very good tactic to introduce several lines. This is because the fish spook incredibly quickly. Often introducing a new line gives the fish chance to settle back into the swim again, and build their confidence up!

I managed to keep rotating my lines till the end of the match. Once I hooked a fish on one line, I would change back to the other. Many a time I would lowered my rig in and as soon as my bait reached the bottom I would get a bite instantly. This was due to the line being rested. Also by rotating several lines it reduces the amount of foul hooked fish, which in winter is a must as it is paramount you land every fish you hook.

My peg got stronger, and stronger towards the end of the match. I knew I had done well as the rest of the lake was struggling except the chap on the golden peg. At the whistle I had managed 18 carp. I knew I had in the region of 85-100lb. A quick call to my mate on kestrel, and i was told the most carp on kestrel was 3. If I had won my lake, and beat wagtail I would have won the match. The golden peg weighed in first and he had 58lb. He winning the lake by a fair margin. I was next to weigh, my 18 carp went 97lb. 30lb had won wagtail so I had won the match!!

So the results were in, I had won with 97lb, second was the golden peg with 58lb, and third was 38lb! I was happy with that, although I felt I needed to do well from the peg I had drew! The decision to fish hard pellet for carp was a good one! I defiantly think rotating lines made a huge difference, and I would strongly encourage you to try it in your own fishing especially in winter, when bites are hard to come by.

I would just like to wish everyone a merry Christmas, and all the best for the new year!

Tight lines



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