A New Challenge By Tom Oliver

A New Challenge By Tom Oliver

March has been full of ups and downs for me with some frustrating fishing whilst trying to make a start on a new venue. The first weekend of March saw me heading straight to the lake to try and put my plans and preparation in to action and after sitting in traffic for a little while I finally arrived at the 50 acre pit. I quickly had a walk around and it seemed it was extremely busy with other members and most of the swims were taken giving me very little to choose from. I settled in one of the remaining swims and quickly got sorted for the night choosing to fish three singles on hinge stiff rigs. I went to sleep early that night as I wanted to be up at first light to watch the water as from my research this was the prime time to see them.

I fished my other two rods on hinge stiff rigs over a wide area of scattered boilies hoping to get the fish moving around between the baits.

I woke with a fresh south easterly wind pushing in to my face and straight away I had the feeling the fish would be on the back of it as it was extremely cold. I saw a few signs of fish at the opposite end of the lake and this was soon confirmed when a friend walked in to my swim and said he had seen big numbers of fish where I had seen them show at the opposite end of the lake. I wanted to move but the whole area was taken and I didn’t just want to sit there for the sake of being there so made the short journey to my other syndicate lake for my final night.

Once at the lake I quickly got around to a swim I had fished a few weeks ago as it had good form for this time of the year and also had no other anglers along the whole bank. It didn’t take me long to get the spots sorted and I decided to fish one rod on a productive area from previous trips over a few spods of groundbait and chopped and whole Carp Company Ice Red boilies. For this rod I used a single 12mm pop-up on a combi rig tied with 25lb Trick Link and 20lb Trickster Heavy coupled with a size six Covert Wide Gape Talon Tip. I fished my other two rods on hinge stiff rigs over a wide area of scattered boilies hoping to get the fish moving around between the baits.

It didn’t take me long to get the spots sorted and I decided to fish one rod on a productive area from previous trips over a few spods of groundbait and chopped and whole Carp Company Ice Red boilies.

I had my first bite at around 7am the following morning when the combi-rig was picked up by a 23lb 10oz common. After doing a few snaps I sat watching the water as the sun strengthened thinking I would see a few as they started to rise in the water column but everything seemed lifeless. I was on the phone to a friend around 9.30am when one of the hinge stiff rigs was picked up and the clutch was ticking at an alarming rate. On picking up the rod it was obvious I was attached to something decent as it was still taking line even with the added pressure. I eventually managed to turn the fish and soon had it on its way to the waiting net where a friend who had seen the commotion was waiting to scoop up my prize. I instantly recognised the fish as it was my first ever thirty from the venue at almost exactly a year previous to the day. The fish was weighed at 35lb 14oz and we got a few quick snaps as the ones I had from when I had caught it previously weren’t great. The fish looked stunning in the spring sunshine and despite being a recapture I was one extremely happy angler.

I had my first bite at around 7am the following morning when the combi-rig was picked up by a 23lb 10oz common.

I spent the rest of my month fishing on the new venue without any success but have already had the pleasure of seeing one of its residents on the bank whilst having a social with a friend. On that particular trip we had fished two swims next to each other in an area that had been producing a few fish at range. I was fishing at around 150 yards to a deeper channel at the front of a big bar and my friend who is a serious caster fished to the back of it at around 180 yards. We arrived late on the first night and I didn’t have time to apply any bait, so I went with singles again and regretted it the following morning when the fish put on an impressive display over all six of our rods without a single pick up. The fish in this lake are big for a reason and love their bait, so later that day we gave them some and hoped they would return the following morning. The next day we saw a couple but nothing in comparison to the previous day, but applying the bait definitely helped as my friend had a take around 8am landing a nice mirror.

I managed one final trip that month to the new venue but that too was uneventful. It is proving a bit of a nightmare on the new lake getting to fish anywhere near the fish. The venue is so busy and I have limited time with my two nights a week, which seem to be the busiest on the venue. I have a trip to France planned for the start of next month to do some filming for Gardner Tackle TV and then plan to have a trip or two back on my other syndicate lake to make the most of my fishing. The venues are extremely close together, so it gives me the flexibility to be able to keep an eye on them both and choose my times to fish when conditions and swims are available that will give me a good chance. I’m not a believer of just being there for the sake of it and if the fish are clearly in a different area that I am unable to access, I want to make the most of the time I have. I certainly won’t give up though and if it takes me all year I will catch one from there!
I was on the phone to a friend around 9.30am when one of the hinge stiff rigs was picked up and the clutch was ticking at an alarming rate.

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