With the cold wind pushing into my previous swim, this wasn’t where the carp wanted to be really or me for that matter, but it goes to show what angling pressure will do to a carp’s habits on a lake! The Rods went out first with a sneaky approach of stringers and bags, with a light peppering of boilies. I was keen to keep things as quiet as possible as I didn’t want to send them back across the lake really, especially as I’d just moved over here myself. With two of rods positioned at around 65 yards and one at the bottom of the marginal shelf, it wasn’t long before the odd bleep came my way. Before I take you through what happened next, I want to take the opportunity to tell you about a little margin spot I’d baited up with a pint of maggots a mate left me the night before. What I witnessed blew me away really! The night before I moved swims I’d dropped the whole pint on a margin spot. As the margin spot was close to my new swim, it was easy to keep an eye on (even though I wasn’t expecting to see much in the shallows!). I went for a look and a single solitary carp was feeding happily away on the maggots, well until I managed to spook it when I tried to slip off to get a rod. The amazing thing was it had eaten all the red maggots and left all the white ones, how mad is that! Sometimes they amaze me how they can feed! Maggots might come into my winter carping, but not just yet as I’m catching on my own methods and if it’s not broke don’t fix it springs to mind!

Set-up in the teeth of a cold wind - it's surprising what a little angling pressure can do.

The cold wind was blowing into my new swim and I spent the first day with the door zipped down most of the way up and the cooker going, just to try and keep warm. Once the rain came and started blowing through the gap at the top, this was a world away from the comfortable back of the wind swim that I’d left that morning! The day turned into night and with very little showing at all and most bites coming in the night or early morning, I soon settled in for an early night. Believe me the wind was raw and my bed seemed the best place to be! With rain waking me as it rattled the door of my bivvy in the dark, the odd fish could be heard in the dead of night. An hour before first light, the tell tail sign of a single bleep made my confidence grow. Before I had chance to put the kettle on, the bobbin was locked into the alarm as a carp found the sharp bit of my rig! The light rain made the battle feel like it lasted longer than it should have. By the time I had her weighed and sat in the flotation sling (waiting for me to sort my camera out) the morning broke and talk about good timing. The sky went an orangey/red as the sun lit up the cold air! This stunning large common looked a real picture and in itself speaks a thousand words!

This stunning large common looked a real picture and in itself speaks a thousand words!

Feeling pleased with my move of swims, I gave it until late morning before I recast the rods, which gave the swim time to settle before dark. It was mid-afternoon when Rob nipped in for a cuppa and within seconds of him sitting down one of the rods was away! However, much to my surprise it seemed to unhook itself on a bed of weed. I’m not used to loosing many fish, so this moment always seems to hit home quite hard. It felt a good fish too as it powered off, but I don’t want to talk about it really (or I will get upset again!). It was soon forgotten though as the same time the next day I managed another run, which resulted in a stunning common weighing 31lb 15oz. This one came off a greedy pig spot (a tight patch of bait) which had been sat since I arrived in the swim the day before! A third fish came on my last morning too, which was a bullet shaped mirror. This was a great way to finish off the first of my winter sessions. The key was keeping my eyes peeled and being prepared to move (even if it was uncomfortable in the wind) not to mention fishing the right baiting patterns to suit the situations I was faced with.

On the way home I went for a walk round a new syndicate water and bumped into Dave Lane of all people. It looks like it’s going to be a busy winter for me, so roll on the big girls!
So till next time, be lucky and stay warm…
The following day I managed another bite, which resulted in a stunning common weighing 31lb 15oz.
The final bite of the session resulted in this lovely mirror.