I had a walk around my syndicate Wednesday evening in the darkness checking all the general holding areas but saw and heard nothing, it looked very bleak! Amazingly come Friday I set off to work at 7:30am and my van’s temperature gauge read 10 degrees centigrade. I checked my weather App and it looked like a new weather front had come in and was due to stay for the weekend. Ideal conditions for a winter bite, so I decided to set off Friday night rather than Saturday morning for a session, even if it meant arriving near on dark.

Gardner team, Ian loves our Covert Incizor hooks.” alt=”Like many members of the Gardner team, Ian loves our Covert Incizor hooks.” width=”776″ height=”582″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-13020″ />

Luckily I arrived just before 3pm, which gave me an hour to attach three rigs and get them despatched to my chosen ‘winter zone’, an area where I have caught from in the past given the conditions and time of the year. I decided to fish three naked chods comprising 15mm 4 Season pop ups, size 6 Covert Incizors, two inches of 20lb Trip Wire with a gentle sweep imparted and tied to a Covert size 12 Flexi Ring Swivel balanced up with a smidge of Critical Mass putty. This gave it nice gentle sink rate allowing it to flutter down and rest over the leaf debris on the lakebed. The Chod was set twelve inches above the lead and had a two inch separation between large Target Rig Stops and Covert Safety Beads, which is all placed onto the quick sinking, super low visibility and mega robust 16lb Mirage fluorocarbon.

An hour after darkness had fallen and when the birdlife had disappeared, I dispatched one hundred or so boilies over the three rods. At around midnight my middle rod was away, but sadly after a short scrap I was cut off after by a powerful carp which exploded on the surface in-front of the island overhangs. I felt sick as this was the first bite of the week to anyone on the syndicate and it had come adrift. After a few choice words, I measured out the distance, clipped up again and tied on a fresh chod section. On the third cast I hit the clip perfect and the rig landed under the overhang on the island.

Ian used our 16lb Mirage fluorocarbon mainline.

At 7am the same rod was away and it resulted in the shape of an ancient bruiser of a carp, weighing a tad under 20lb. My only a slight consolation for the heavy feeling beast I had lost earlier. After treating the carp with a bit of Medic Plus on a few old war wounds, a few trophy shots were taken before I returned the carp to its rightful place.

That morning I discovered why I had lost the previous fish. A ‘death rig’ comprising of a strong braided mainline, six feet of leadcore and a fixed lead littered the treeline. After winding in I returned with the boat and removed all the tackle that had been incorrectly used and lost. Sadly I think with all the commotion in the boat it killed any chance of a further bite that day. Still a good result for an overnighter in December!
At 7am the same rod was away and it resulted in the shape of an ancient bruiser of a carp, weighing a tad under 20lb.