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Carp Fishing ~ The highlights of my Season So Far ~ Kai Richards

In this article I have decided to write about some of my best sessions during the Spring and let you know how I went about them. At the start of April I had four nights ahead of me, so I decided to setup in one of my favourite swims known as The Armchair. Having fished this swim before, I quickly located the usual spots that had been productive in the past. I positioned two rods at 16 ½ rod lengths out on a nice clean gravel spot. The other rod went out to the right at 14 rod lengths distance on a clear spot, which was only around 5 foot long and 4 foot wide at the time. I put out around 8 Spombs out over the top of the main spot and around 4 Spombs over the other. My spod mix consisted of hemp, pigeon conditioner with whole and chopped boilies. As the night drew in it was quiet, with only a couple of fish showing themselves in front of me, but I could see there was a lot more down the far end of the lake.

The next morning at around 7:30am one of the rods was away and I hooked the first fish of the session. It didn’t feel too bad and came in with ease on the surface as the lead has ejected during the fight. It turned out to be a nice golden common weighing 24lb 8oz and after a couple of photo’s I returned her back into the lake. I caught this one on a Ronnie rig tied using the a 25lb Trick-Link boom section, a size 6 Covert Dark Longshank Mugga and one of the new size 12 XT Flexi-Ring Kwik Lok swivels. At around midday I topped up the main spot that I had caught the fish from with a bit more bait and waited for bite time the following morning.

The next morning I woke up to find majority of the fish had moved down to the far end of the lake. I decided to pack up and quickly move down to a swim called The Gravely. I didn’t want to disturb the fish that were there, so I wrapped the rods up to the old spots I used to fish, with one rod cast towards the tree line and the other two straight out at 16 wraps. Within an hour one of the rods was away with a nice 19lb mirror and I quickly got the rod back out in the hope of grabbing another quick bite. A few hours passed and I was keen to get a bit of bait out onto the spots ready for the night ahead. I decided to fish a single towards the tree line and then put eight big Spombs over the main spot where the other two rods were. As it started to get dark a few fish started showing themselves in the corner, which made me very hopeful for the night ahead.

At around midnight the rod on my main spot churned off and after a good fight I had landed a nice chestnut mirror which weighed 27lb 12oz. I quickly got the rod back out and returned to bed. A couple of hours later the same rod was away again, which resulted in a fish that was on my target list known as Crinkle Tail weighing 30lbs 0oz. The rest of the day passed quietly with only a few liners and a couple of fish poking their heads out. I decided to top the main spot back up with another eight Spombs and then get the rods ready for the night.

I woke up at around 3am to an absolute melter and after picking the rod up the fish unfortunately made a weedbed and after a few minutes of stalemate the hook pulled. An hour later I had had another take, which I lost again due to it weeding me up and the hook pulling. After getting the rod back out I was beginning to think that I had blown my chances of landing one more fish before I had to leave. At around 10am I started packing some of my kit up when one of the rods was away, which resulted in a 31lb 10oz mirror! I got a few pictures then put her back and made my way home. All of these fish were caught on the Ronnie rig with a yellow 15mm Tuna and Garlic pop-up.

Another session I would like to talk about was at the end of April. I arrived at my syndicate lake at around midday with 48 hours ahead of me. The venue was surprisingly devoid of anglers, so I decided to use my time wisely and have a good look around. After looking hard I didn’t see a single fish, which left me blind on trying to decide on what swim to setup in. I’d heard that a few fish had been caught recently from a swim called Armchair, so I started to set up in that swim. It was a cloudy day and with the wind blowing a South Westerly, it looked good for a bite. I found the usual spots and put two rods straight out at 16 wraps and the other out to the right at 14 wraps. I put a couple of Spombs over the right hand spot and about 7 or 8 over the main spot, hoping it would be enough to get a couple of bites.

Rain was forecast and it wasn’t long before it settled in for the night. The next morning came round and it looked very quiet. The rain was forecast to continue through the day and into the night. At around midday my mate arrived and as he was setting up he gave me a call to inform me that he had seen a couple of fish showing themselves in the swim to my left. I walked over to see what was going on and within a couple of minutes the fish started to show themselves. I quickly ran back to my swim and wound a rod in. I put on a fresh hookbait and walked down the bank and waited until another fish poked its head out. Five minutes later a decent sized fish topped about 15 yards straight out and I under armed a single straight on its head and loosened the clutch before placing the rod on the floor. The fish continued to show and I contemplated on whether or not to move swims. My mind was soon made up by the sound of the reel ticking away by my feet. I pulled into a heavy fish that plodded slowly around in the margins and a few minutes later it was in the net. The result was a lovely dumpy mirror, which pulled the scales around to 31lb! I brought the mat and camera over and took a couple of decent photos before carefully slipping her back.

I fetched the rest of my kit and had a few casts with the leading rod in order to locate a couple of spots. I found one spot out to the left at 12 rod lengths and another at 10 rod lengths straight out in front of the swim. I put around 8 Spombs of boilies and particle over the top and got the rods ready for the night. The fish stopped showing themselves, but I was hopeful for a bite or to during the night.

At around 2am I had a fast take on the spot out to the left. I pulled into a decent fish that instantly started to strip line from my reel. After it had stripped about 30 yards of line it started coming towards me and as soon as I gained the line it had taken it went on another mad run! After I had gained control the fish plodded towards me and a few minutes later a lovely golden common was sulking in the bottom of my net. I quickly got the sling ready and she went 36lb 8oz on the scales! The morning came and I got some decent photos and identified the fish as The Box Common, which was another target fish ticked off the list.

The fish must have moved off of my spots as there were few signs of fish in front of me, so I happily packed my gear away already looking forward to my next session. I caught all of these fish on one of my favourite rigs, the combi-rig tied using a boom section tied from Trick-Link, a Trickster Heavy supple section and a super sharp size 6 Covert Dark Incizor.

The last session I would like to write about took place a week after the session I have just talked about. The week leading up to the session I was on work experience and all I talked about was a fish I had always wanted to catch called Kim. This fish was one of a kind and for some reason that whole week it was constantly on my mind. After work on Friday night I arrived at the lake at around 10pm. As it was pitch black I quickly got set up in a swim called Gate and found a couple of spots straight out at 12 wraps out and another to my right just an under arm chuck away. I put 10 Spombs out over the far spot and 5 over the one close in and positioned the rods ready for a bite. I woke up the next morning and nothing had happened. I could see a couple of fish topping opposite me, but very little was happening over the bait I had introduced. At around 10am I decided to reel in and take a much needed shower. After returning to the lake I repositioned the rods on the spots and I started to tie a couple of spare rigs.

Around an hour after getting the rods out I had had a take and I pulled into a decent fish. It fought hard from the off stripping line of a tight clutch before it changed direction and started swimming towards me on the surface. When it got to around 10 yards from the bank it turned and started stripping line again, but as it turned in the water I saw its scales spelling out Kim on the side of it! My legs suddenly started shaking and I really did not want to lose this fish! After a couple of nerve racking minutes I slipped the net under her and let out a massive sigh of relief. I phoned up my mate who was a couple of swims down and he kindly came up to give me a hand with the photos. We got her on the mat and weighed her and she went 35lb 10oz. The weight was very irrelevant compared to how stunning this mirror is! I got some great photos before I slipped her back. I caught Kim on the combi-rig that I described before with a 15mm yellow Tuna and Garlic pop up as my hook bait. I hope you enjoyed reading this and I wish you luck towards catching your target fish.

GARDNER STOCKISTS
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Gardner Tackle has been manufacturing quality carp fishing and specialist fishing tackle for over 35 years. As one of the original carp tackle companies we have been at the head of carp angling innovation and design. We are still a family run business and the ethos of producing ground-breaking carp fishing tackle that is high quality and reliable has never been diluted. Every member of the company lives and breathes all things carp fishing related. From the moment we wake (and even while we sleep!) carp and their capture are at the forefront of our minds. This translates itself into the continual development and refining of our carp focused product ranges. And with a dedicated carp fishing team, that includes some of the most well respected carp anglers in the country, you can be sure that each product has been tested to the extreme and meets the exacting standards that we strive for.