Ed Hawes, Bright Baits & February Doubles
Posted on 13th March 2019 at 19:47
I’ve been back out on the bank a few times during February, including my first 2 nights of the year, and unsurprisingly have found that my success has been closely linked with the weather. The month began with temperatures below freezing most nights with a ground frost and low daytime temperatures whilst it ended with bright sunny days with temps reaching 17 degrees. When I didn’t have the time to fish I had several walks around the lakes at the start of the month and with the low temperatures I was still yet to spot a sign of a showing or feeding carp. So, I’ve been continuing to use my January tactics of fishing areas of the lakes that I have had success from before.
My first night of the year ended fishless with plenty of sleep and silent alarms, but it did produce a high double figure Mirror for Dave Prictor who also fishes my local waters and who is a new team member for Successful Baits, so it was a pleasure to do the honours with the camera at first light. Dave is smitten with the VNX+ so with 3 team members now fishing my club waters I have high hopes of success during all of 2019 and beyond once the fish get a taste for these great products.
With a couple of milder frost free days in a row I decided to get back out on the bank for a day session in mid February and managed my first fish of the month. Whilst persevering with my favourite VNX+ Wafter on one rod I decided to fish a 12mm Red Hot Bullet Pop Up on a Ronnie Rig to a choddy margin spot that had produced fish for me in the past. I had been soaking some RHB Pop ups in the RHB liquid activator for a few months now to produce some extra high visual and highly attractive smelling hookbaits. They had gone a vibrant red colour so I had high hopes as I cast out to the spot.
After an hour or so I had a take on this rod and after a sluggish winter fight I had a plump Mirror in the net which weighed in at just below 15lbs. The afternoon came and went but I left the lake that afternoon satisfied that I had managed to nick another bite in the trying cold weather conditions.
The following weekend our Team Leader, Mark Jordan, came down to my local lakes as a guest for a Saturday overnighter with myself and another team member Andrew Murchison. With my favourite lake on the ticket closed for an aeration system installation we turned up at the site of 4 of the other lakes to find the car park rammed full as the warmer sunshine appeared to have encouraged lots of other carpers to venture out for the weekend. With the lakes therefore busy and us 3 in search of 3 decent swims together so we could have a chat etc., etc., we settled on the end of one of the larger lakes and let Mark choose his preferred swim as a guest. The night came and went without any action for Andrew and I, but Mark helped himself to a beautiful mid double Common on the new Seafood Pop Ups. Whilst unhooking the fish we noticed that about half the bait had been eaten away by the resident Crayfish in the lake so these baits must possess a lot of flavour and pulling power to do the job with only half of the amount of bait on the hook. Big things are expected of the Seafood I tell you!
At the end of February there were 3 days of beautiful sunshine and although there were still light frosts at night I was confident that this amount of sunlight would begin to raise the water temperatures, so was hopeful with this and the lake’s new aeration system running for the last 4 days, the resident carp would be beginning to move around and getting their heads down to feed.
I had prepared some chopped Pineapple and RHB Traveller a few days before and they had been soaking away in RHB activator liquid. My plan was to place a couple of handfuls of small free offerings on my chosen choddy spots. The sweet and spicy flavours with the added benefit of the salt from the Traveller baits should encourage the passing fish to grub about and then be attracted by my chosen bright yellow 12mm Pineapple Pop Ups, they had worked before so why not.
I arrived at the lake around 1030 and I couldn’t of caught the weather conditions anymore perfectly. After the 3 hot, bright days it was now overcast with a strong South Westerly breeze blowing into my chosen bay and rain coming imminently, the pressure had dropped dramatically to around 1000mb. With the spots baited I managed to get both rigs out and my brolly up before a heavy downpour ahead of a very eventful next few hours.
A couple of hours later I had an absolute peeler of a run and lifted into a fish as the line was melting off the reel. The next 5 minutes or so was an extremely spirited fight, so I was slightly relieved when I slid the net under a long Common that brought the needle of the scales round to 18.2lbs. A great start, so the rig was re-baited and back out on the same spot and I took a few self takes of my prize.
With the alarms and most other gear packed away and just my rods laid upside down on the floor I turned round to a noise that sounded very much like my baitrunner spinning, as I turned I saw the line peeling off the reel and I was in again. I couldn’t believe my luck as I slid the net under another beautiful Mirror.
Dave Prictor was now at the lake and returned the photography favour and got some great shots of this beautiful fish, it was weighed but at Uwe’s request the weight was kept secret as the photo was to be used as a ‘Guess the Weight’ competition on the Successful Baits website. The competition is now over so I can tell you that it weighed in at 15lb 3oz – congratulations to Colin Wood for winning a 2.5kg bag of the amazing new Tiger Nut boilies.
The timing for my next bit of action an hour later couldn’t have been better. As another heavy downpour finished with me hiding under my brolly I heard 2 beeps on the same rod and saw the bobbin slowly pulling up. I hit the rod immediately and lifted into another fish. Another angler, Andy, was having a walk round the lake and as we first set eyes on the fish we both spotted the big apple slice scales, I was happy to have it safely in the net a few minutes later and got the fish weighed and photographed, this one was 15.2lbs and was a beautiful scaley Mirror. 2 fish in an hour and I was one happy boy.
The weather brightened up into a sunny afternoon and I enjoyed a chat over a cuppa with Andy who had kindly photographed the 2nd fish for me. We chatted for an hour or so as he wanted to fish the swim I was in for the weekend and I was leaving within the hour.
That last bit of action capped off a great short session for me and I left over the moon at bagging another 3 decent fish in February. Using the bright highly attractive baits from Successful Baits has definitely added an edge to my fishing and I’ve now had 13 of the estimated 45 fish in the lake, with the majority coming over the winter months when bites can be harder to come by. Hopefully next time I’m writing this blog my tally has increased.
Tagged as: Ed Hawes
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