Spring Success by Phil Kingsbury

Spring Success by Phil Kingsbury

Finally the weather is getting better and every thing is waking up from the long cold winter. This year I’ve decided that I would be fishing together with my brother on the same venue that he had caught a few from last year. I haven’t fished with him since Horton, so it should be a good year as we can fish together as a team and help one another – sharing information and observations.

Last year I was at a bit of a loss on where to fish after the sad loss of most of the carp in the Road Lake. I ended up just joining a couple of club waters in the area and fished these but without really getting in tune with the place. I caught carp but wasn’t really enjoying it. Then I got a letter saying my name had come up for membership on the same syndicate my brother had been on since last year, so without giving it a second thought I paid my money.

This lake is very weedy, it’s going to be a big challenge, but I don’t mind because I can just put all my effort into catching a few of the special fish that live in there.

My first session on the pit was for two nights; the weather was horrible with a strong north easterly wind blowing making it feel like minus 6. I fished a swim in the middle of the lake and cast two single’s out but the undertow was mental! Within an hour of casting out my two bobbins had been pulled up to the rod and I wondered whether it was actually dragging my leads into weed so I actually reeled in and put on heavier ones!

One of my rods was set up with a Covert Lead Clip with a stiff rig and the other was on a chod rig. Both were tied using size six Covert Chod hook’s to twenty pound Trip Wire – but on the stiff rig I attached a seven inch length of 15Ib Disruption coated braid as the boom section.

For the last few years I’ve been using Mirage Fluorocarbon mainline that Gardner do and have been really pleased with the way it works. I used it for the first session and yes, it laid flat along the bottom but when I reeled in I felt like the silk weed was sticking to it and this was demonstrated by the fact that it was all down my line. I thought it would be a good idea to change to mono and use the little Gardner Captive back leads (the ones that you tie a length of cord on and attach to your rod rest and then when you get a take the line will pull free of the backlead and then give you more control). I was advised to try the new Gardner Light Blend of that ‘Pro’ mainline in the 15lb breaking strain version, so I loaded both spools and must admit it looked like a good colour.

Phil used Disruption as a boom material and Covert end tackle components.

I sorted some time off work for Thursday 25th and Friday 26th of April. On the Wednesday when I got home from work I quickly got all my gear and excitedly drove down to the lake. It didn’t take long before I was pulling into the car park where I signed in and then went for a quick walk around. There were three other people already fishing, fortunately the two point swims were still free so I thought I would go in the right hand side for one night to see how it went and more importantly see what showed in the morning.

I had a few cast about to try and find a couple of clear areas, I was pleased how the new main line was performing and in the clear water it disappeared really well. I got my two rods all sorted then got my shelter up, by this time the wind was pretty strong making it hard to see signs of any carp so I put the kettle on for a cuppa and a bite to eat.

I stayed awake until midnight, but didn’t hear any carp jumping out, so I went to bed dreaming of the fish that swim in the lake and the ones I wanted to catch. I awoke to the sound of birds singing but no action from my rods during the night. The sun was coming up behind me and the opposite bank was glowing golden, it looked much nicer over there so I thought I’d move.

With the barrow loaded I walked round to the other side of the lake – ‘this is better’ I thought so I got my rods out and had a couple of casts. I found a nice smooth area about 50 yards out, I lined it up with a tree on the far bank and tied some maker braid on to my line to accurately mark the range and it makes it easier to cast back out.

All sorted, then my phone started to ring. It was a mate who lives ten minutes up the road from the lake who said he would pop in on his lunch break. ‘That’s great, see you soon and can you bring some milk and water because I’m running low’, it was about two in the afternoon when my mate Stu popped by for a cuppa and a chat. He normally carp fishes on the lakes on the other side of the road but they have a closed season.

Whilst in the process of making the tea’s my mate said ‘look at your bobbin’ just as it shot up to the rod, I looked at the line and could see it picking up tight! I prefer to fish with my clutches set quite tight – just allowing line to be taken so it doesn’t pull my rod in. I grabbed my rod and the line pulled free from the backlead and I was in to my first carp from this tricky venue!

Gardner Light Blend Pro mainline in 15lb breaking strain, so I loaded both spools and must admit it looked a good colour.” alt=”I was advised to try the new Gardner Light Blend Pro mainline in 15lb breaking strain, so I loaded both spools and must admit it looked a good colour.” width=”776″ height=”582″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-10920″ />

We could see it twisting and turning in the clear water and I was just hoping the hook stayed in. Stu was there on stand by with the net, and said “It’s a mirror, looks like a good ‘un” to which I replied “Just get it in the net” which he obligingly did. I looked at Stu in shock. YES! My first carp! It’s always nice when you get off the mark on a new lake.

As I unhooked it we could see it was nailed in the bottom lip, so I left it in the net for a minute while Stu went to get a fella called Chris. He would hopefully be able to identify it, plus I needed to use his scales (unfortunately I left mine at home). Up on the scales she weighed 29lb 10oz and Chris said it was a fish called Scar, which is one of the oldest residents of the lake, and explained that she was a little bit down in weight.

It’s not surprising, what with the winter we’ve just had. But to be honest I couldn’t care less about her weight. I was just so happy to have caught one so soon and the fact that my mate Stuart was there with me made it all the better. With the pictures done I slipped her back then I got the rod back out there but no more action was forthcoming on this session.

I did a couple of three night sessions after my capture of Scar but failed to connect with any more of the lakes carp.

Despite the continued ‘iffy’ weather I had a couple of days booked off the 9th and 10th of May, which were the Thursday and Friday. It always seemed that we would get a couple of days of warm weather then it would get cold again but realistically there’s not much we can do about that! The hours at work soon passed and early on the Thursday I drove to the lake buzzing because the weather looked like it was going to be improving for the weekend.

There were four anglers already there so I grabbed my bucket and water butt and went for a walk around the lake to see if I could find some fish. After having a really good look around and failing to see any signs of carp anywhere else I left my buckets in a swim called ‘The Reception’ (I thought this would do for a night) and carried on walking round. After a bit more legwork I came to a swim with a fella in. He asked me where I was going and when I told him he said if I was you I should get into the swim next door.

I asked why and his response was because there’s a few carp swimming about. He said “come with me” and we strolled round to the swim. He instructed me to ‘climb that tree’ and from the raised vantage point I could immediately see that he was right! There were about seven carp visible and it looked really good so I rushed back to get my bucket and water then went to the car to get the rest of my stuff.

Up on the scales she weighed 29lb 10oz and Chris said it was a fish called Scar, which is one of the oldest residents of the lake

Pete was due to turn up later (when he’d finished work) so I got my gear into the swim ready. I didn’t want to cast on top of them so I waited, getting all my tackle set up and then grabbed my cup and went to see Darren in the next swim for a cuppa.

The thing is I couldn’t cast out because there was a mass of floating silkweed that had floated up off the bottom and it was this that the carp were using as cover – so I just sat it out and waited a while. Finally, when Pete arrived I went to see him and help him get his stuff sorted. He went in the swim opposite (I told him that I’d sooner have him opposite than another bloke) and when he was all done I went back to my swim.

It was lovely! The sun was shinning and all of the floating silkweed had drifted out into the middle of the lake and I just hoped the carp hadn’t followed it. With the weed out the way I got both rods out all sorted for the night but by morning I’d had no action. Luckily there were still fish showing, especially in Darren’s swim, and he was going.

My brother said he might go in there when Darren left but he changed his mind and stayed put so I moved in there. Quickly, I tied a couple of fresh rigs then went to see Pete. We had a chat and he said that the carp he’d seen in front of Darren were about thirty yards out so when I got back to my swim I had a couple cast with my marker float and found a lovely smooth patch and put one rod on this and spodded out some chilli hemp and catapulted some 15mm boilies over the top. The second rod was cast along the margin about 20 yards out and I put out 20 baits around the hook bait.

The day passed with no action but at midnight I had a take on the right hand rod. I grabbed it and the carp felt big as it flat rodded me, taking a lot of line on its initial run. Luckily the weed’s was not up yet so it was ok to let him go and after a few minutes I had him in the net.

I let out a ‘Yes!’ and called Pete. It was raining but I didn’t care as I looked in the net and thought it looked like a big fish, maybe even a 30. Peter came round and I told him that it looked like a good ‘un…

He helped me get all the gear ready for weighing it and when I lifted it out I realised it was bigger than I first thought! On the scales it read 37lb 10oz and was a carp called ‘8 and 10’ because of the scale pattern.

What a cracker! The size Covert 6 Chod hook had done its job again, nailing it! The rig had done its job perfectly again and I’m sure that I’ll be using the Trip Wire/Chod skin combination a fair bit more this year.
Pete took some great shots of “8 and 10” and then I slipped her back well pleased. With the rest of the season to come I can’t wait to get back for more…
On the scales it read 37lb 10oz and was a carp called ‘8 and 10’ due to its scale pattern.

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