Last summer, I spent some time trying out a few different venues to get a ‘feel’ for them with a plan to fish at least one of them this winter. One that I did a night on back in the summer was a deep, small intimate pool with plenty of features. That night I was lucky enough to get three bites, landing two of them. Not only did I enjoy the intimacy of the place, the carp fought like demons, and I just knew I’d be going back!
It fought like a demon.
My early winter tactics don’t differ from year to year, I simply give the carp what they want to eat; lots of good quality boilies! Years of experience have also taught me preferable area’s to fish, so time is spent looking in snags and watching the deeper areas of the lake for signs of activity. My favorable areas are silty channels between gravel bars, off the sides of humps/plateaus and dead/dying weedbeds.
Now this new intimate lake has a rule of ‘No Loose Feed Baiting’, and everyone that knows me, knows that I like to give the carp some food! So how was I going to get around this? Answer; by using lots and lots of PVA bags, and casting them in.
I now had a way of getting a quantity of bait into the lake without breaking any rules. New stiff hinge rigs were tied and hooks sharpened, I was ready for my first winter night. On arriving at the lake I had an hour before darkness, so I spent that time, walking around, sitting in each swim looking for signs of carp.
One area drew my attention with a series of fizzing bubbles – something was feeding! The spots were noted and with it nearly dark I fetched the tackle from the car and was soon back in the swim flicking out a small 1oz lead to feel what the bottom was like. I soon found a smooth silty area that the bubbles where coming from, so clipped up the rod to the spot and got ready to deposit some bait.
The rules state they we can only use PVA bags or stringers, but it doesn’t state just how many times we can cast these bags in, so after 10 delicate casts to the area I had 200 Code Red boilies in situ, ready for the rigs to be dropped amongst them.
About an hour or so later, the first carp showed in the area just behind the spot, then another, and then a third. I sat up with a brew and just before midnight, the left hand rod melted away. The fight was just like the others that I had experienced back in the summer; hard with very powerful runs, stripping line from the spool at an alarming rate. After a few heart-stopping moments, the carp soon made its way to the waiting net and rolled over the cord.
I glanced into the net and saw that it was a good fish, so text a friend who lives close by and he was soon on his way over to do the pictures – cheers Dave. We sat up for a while, drinking tea and chatting fishing, as you do in the hope of another bite, but it wasn’t to be.
A couple of nights later I was back, but this time I had arrived in the dark due to work and family commitments. I had made a flask of coffee before leaving home, so set off around the lake for a look and was surprised to find that the lake was empty. I took my time to locate some fish, after all what was the rush, it was already dark. Once again went about the same procedure as before with getting the bags of Code Red boilies into a silty spot that I had found.
It was a much colder night and the fish activity was far less, but I had two stiff hinge rigs and a couple of hundred baits in an area where the only fish had crashed since arriving at the lake.
Just before first light, the right hand rod was melting away, just as before and the fight was just as powerful, stripping yard upon yard of line from the spool. The power of these fish is fantastic and like nothing I’ve ever hooked before. After a long, arm-aching battle I slipped the net under another mirror carp.
After a great start to the winter I’m keen to get back to the pit to learn more, I know it holds a couple of nice big fish, so hopefully they will pay me a visit for their pictures to be taken.
Until next time,
Mat Woods has a great birthday session with Code Red
Adam Firth bags a new PB Barbel from the River Trent using Code Red Dumbells.
See more catch shots in our Gallery Pages