Nathan Flatley, Winter Campaign
Posted on 5th November 2017 at 13:43
As the nights are drawing in and the weather becoming colder it's time to move away from my tricky syndicate water and look for a winter water. My chosen water is a little club water only 20mins away which a few of the Successful Baits team members are currently members of, with only being able to fish days it was the perfect water to target over the colder months.
After purchasing my ticket it was time to get down the lake and have a go for the beautiful scaly residents that reside in the deep clear water. Ordinarily I would fish a shallower water over the colder months as they tend to produce even in the coldest of conditions, but the lure of the challenge was too much to resist.
The first session for me came around in the shape of 6 hours session on a Sunday morning, after speaking to fellow team member Jack, he suggested that we do a session together and I could get a feel of the lake and what challenges would face me over the winter. On arrival at the lake the temperature was reading 3.5 degrees with a chilling north-west wind pushing into the reed lined corner. After loading the barrow with the bare essentials for a day session I set about watching the water and looking for signs of carp. Sure enough, if you look hard enough you will start to see signs of fish, they appeared to be off the back of the wind along the side which is known as the woods. Sure enough, with a short barrow to the swim it was clear that the fish were here in number with a few good fish giving away their locations with a classic early morning display. With the lake being deep, my original approach to the lake was going to be to fish zigs through the winter, with the baits loaded with VNX+ liquid to boost the attraction, but, as seems to be the case lately, I struggled to get to the tackle shop and pick up the necessary supplies. My trusty hinge stiff was the only option, not knowing too much about the bottom I was confident I could cast to showing fishing knowing I was presenting over the top of any debris.
The first rod was placed out towards the island at 80 yards with around 30-40 VNX+ and Scoberry baits spread over the area with the throwing stick, fishing in around 6-8 feet of water on a VNX+ pop up. With the second rod placed around 40-50 yards to the left where a fish lumped out moments before in around 18-20 feet of water with again 30-40 VNX+ and Scoberry spread over the area. It was time to sit back and watch the water for any signs of carp still in the area and we didn’t have to wait long. The left had rod signalled a take with the bobbin smashing into the blank and the line pulling out of the clip, but surprisingly no line was taken off the clutch, but with the deep water I think the carp had moved off the bottom rather than away from me. With the fish on, sun in my eyes and the deep water it felt like a good fish with it staying deep and using its weight to hold distance. After around 10minutes and still not seeing the fish, I was sure I was attached to one of the twenties that reside in the depths. With the fish finally tiring it wasn’t much longer before this fish hit the surface and was in the net.
After sorting the lower double common out with a few pictures, it was time to get the Parrot out and have a proper look at her.
What a fish it was for my first out of the lake, proper old English warrior that I’m sure would have a few stories to tell and is probably older than me!
We lifted her up onto the scales and she went 28.3 which is actually the biggest that fish has ever been.
After this eventful feeding spell the area went quiet and it was clear the fish had moved off the pressure to our left, so with that we quickly packed up and moved onto them again, casting two hinge stiffs onto showing fish.
Unfortunately nothing followed the move but I couldn’t be disappointed with how the session had turned out, banking the lakes biggest resident 30mins after making the first casts.
The next session for myself will be the social with fellow team members in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for a recap of the social!
But with the sun being in our eyes it was hard to seeing how big the fish was, until I lifted the net and inspected the prize, and what a prize it was. Big linear scales down its flank and long dark mirror that looked to be a twenty.
With Jack knowing more about the lake he was quickly flicking through his phone to see if he recognized it, and sure enough he recognised it as a fish known as the Parrot, one of the biggest fish in the lake. With this we decided to get all the mat, sling and scales ready to hand before sorting the fish out, with the deep margins the fish was safe and secure languishing in the net.
Before we could get the fish out the right hand rod to the island was away, after a spirited fight a lower double common was in the net. Two fish within the first 45mins of my first session on the ticket was really good going.
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