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After a disappointing 48hours at the team social where not many fish were caught, and the biggest of those being 9lb falling to the boss, Uwe, I was desperate to get my rods back out in the water. 
I looked at the long range weather forecast and decided the best day would be Wednesday, low pressure, light rain and three days of 6-11c persuaded me. 
Nick Buckley Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
I went to work early to try get my full day over and done with so I could get on the bank. 2pm rolled round, after a trip to Norfolk and a delivery to Barnestone Syndicate Lakes, Langer, where I was delivering 20 tonnes of stone for a water logged track, I still had another load to deliver. My hopes for an early finish were quickly disappearing. I returned to the yard at 3:45pm and was in two minds whether to fish or not. I had the dog with me so thought I'd go to the lake and if I didn't fancy it then at least she'd get a walk. So I drove to the lake, less than 15mins away. 
I drove to the middle car park, got out of the van and went to look at my usual areas, which seemed quiet. After talking to the bailiff I quickly found out that a spot I had been pre-baiting with Mussel Insect Traveller boilies had been fished that day. I had the whole lake to myself except, two pegs in no carp bay. With a lot of water to play with and a blank page, I jumped on a peg called the point and chucked both rods out close to the island, one on a popup multi-rig that Julian Cundiff showed me how to tie at NAS in February, and a simple hair rig with a VNX+ bottom bait and pop-up chopped down to a wafter. 
Traveller Boiies Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
After a couple of 'phone calls to my mate Alfie Naylor to talk tactics and weather etc., I put my 'phone away and walked round the swim looking at water, trying to take my mind off fishing and what I thought was going to be another blank. After a few months with no fish and 200+ bank hours already racked up in 2018 I was starting to question my ability and my equipment! 
I had just sat on the ridge-monkey bait bucket when my VNX+ wafter rod had a good run and the rod tip moved down to touch the surface of the water. I grabbed the Sonik Vader X rod and lifted it to the sky, the hook was set and there was definitely a nice fish on the end. I tightened the drag on my Sonik Vader pits and played the fish, hoping not to lose the first fish I had hooked since November. With every turn and lunge of the fish my heart jumped out of my chest. 
Traveller Boilies Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
Traveller Boilies Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
After an hour or so and a few liners I was ready to try some different baits so used multiple pop up flavours on the multi-rig and stuck to the VNX+ wafter, but added a small stick with VNX+ stick mix soaked in hemp oil and re-cast, this time touching the island, and waited. 
Traveller Boilies Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
Once I landed the fish there was no need to worry about a hook pull as the fish was well and truly nailed, bottom lip 1" in and not moving. I was using the new Nash pinpoint claw hooks so should of known not to panic. I unhooked the fish in the margins, using the landing net as a retaining sling, before transferring the fish to the cradle. After applying some fish care to the hook hold and an ulcer on the side of the fish, I weighed her and sat her back in the margin in a weigh sling, whilst I set my camera up (bait bucket, mobile 'phone and a brick). 
I was over the moon to land a beautiful 13lb 9oz mirror from one of my favourite day ticket venues. It just shows what you can achieve in a 3 1/2 hour session with the right bait, the right rigs and a bit of patience, anything can happen. I'm really happy to say that Successful Baits have helped me capture the first of many fish in 2018. 
The bite came at approx 7.15pm just as light was starting to fade and fish were starting to show. At a large lake where the fish are only just starting to wake up this is one of the most memorable fish I have ever caught. She may not of been big but she was pretty and very, very welcome as I have spent 100s of hours tying rigs, reading magazines and thinking tactics for that one bite. I'm pleased it was such a beautiful mirror. 
Tagged as: Nick Buckley
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