A Nice Welcome Back by Leon Bartropp

A Nice Welcome Back by Leon Bartropp

It’s been a month since I’ve managed to get out and do any angling. I had a Hernia operation 4 weeks ago and the last thing I wanted to do is start casting out a rod or holding up a fish for the cameras. The scar is healing and it was something that had to be done to continue with a good quality of life. This week I was itching to get out and try and catch one of the tricky fish that reside in the chosen lake I’m targeting, before my ticket runs out at the end of May. I shall be moving to pastures new soon in search of some really scaley pretty fish, that I’ll hopefully be writing about and showing you the pictures on the Gardner Tackle website.

I was itching to get out and try and catch one of the tricky fish that reside in my chosen lake.

I travelled the couple of hours to the lake full of excitement at getting back out and doing it. The lake was fairly busy and after a couple of laps, I managed to see a couple of fish show themselves out about 60 yards in front of a swim that doesn’t get fished very much. I got all the gear sorted and tied up three of my favorite pop up fishing rigs, the hinged stiff rig. This rig incorporates a stiffish boom section that kicks the rig out from the lead. It also aids in the hook going into the carp’s mouth and staying there for longer as the end section is made up of a stiff material. I like 20lb Gardner Trip Wire, it’s nice and stiff and you can make a nice curve in the hook section. The curve enables the hook to spin into the fish’s mouth, whatever direction it approaches the hook bait from. The hook I use is a size 5 Gardner Covert Chod hook, which has a green matt coating on the hook, aiding in camouflaging it from the fish. A 15mm Mistral Baits, “4Season” fluro white pop up completed the rig nicely.

Size 5 Covert Chod hooks, perfect for hinged stiff rigs.

Three of these were put out at 60 yards to where I had seen the fish. I felt a nice “donk” on the rod tip as they touched down, which gave me some confidence that I had found a feeding spot amongst all the chod out there. I scattered around a kilo of 20mm “4Season” food bait, sat back and took in the nature and my surroundings. It was nice to be back on the bank hunting carp, it’s what I do.

Day soon turned into night.

Day turned into night and I was soon fast asleep. I awoke just as the sun was poking its head above the trees. Over the next few hours a few fish were seen in the area and my confidence was rising with every fish that showed itself near or on the area. My left hand rod let out a one toner that almost ripped the rod off the rests and after a very spirited battle, I landed a chunky, wide framed fish of 44lb 10oz. It was a beast of a fish and a very welcome back to the lake after being laid up at home for a month.

I did manage another of 24lb+ the next morning which was nice as I packed up for home. Pushing the barrow and the journey home seemed just that bit more bearable, as I smiled like a Cheshire cat all the way back home.
This chunky, wide framed fish weighing 44lb 10oz made it a lovely welcome back!

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