With the weather warming up, I really fancied a shot at trying to catch the three remaining fish that have eluded me so far from the Kracking carp day ticket lake at Anglers Paradise in Devon.

The plan was to target the venues common’s using hemp, mixed with corn and crushed/chopped Mainline Cell. Having already caught all the lakes 12 known mirrors using a pure boilie approach, I was confident the more natural approach would potentially single out the common’s based on their previous captures.

When I arrived at Kracking a big southerly wind was blowing, so I decided to get right in the face of it with the hope the fish had moved on it. I was soon setup in peg 4 and positioned my rods along the far left man margin in amongst bits of dead weed, the same area I had previously caught fish of 47lb and 45lb mirrors from. The spots were 4-5 foot deep with a small layer of soft silt on the lakebed. Bait wise, I fished a handful of hemp/corn with 10 crushed/chopped 15mm boilies all of which I had pre-boosted using a Cell additive. My rig consisted of a super sharp, size 6 Covert Mugga fished blow-back style to section of supple Trickster Heavy braid. This was connected to a short section of stiff Trick-Link fluorocarbon to help kick the hook link away from the heavy 5oz inline lead. My hookbait was a chopped down 15mm Essential IB wafter that was glugged in its matching liquid. I was confident that the yellow wafter would blend in well with the sweetcorn and provide extra attraction. Both rigs were dropped using my trusty Gardner Bating Spoon to help give pin-point accuracy and keep disturbance to a minimum.

The rods were out by 11am as the wind strengthened and rain continued to fall. As the fish are very finicky I tend to only re-position the rods every 24 hours to avoid disturbance and suspicion from these cagey carp.

The weather turned cold and I honestly thought I was going to blank on my first 48 hour session of the year. As darkness fell on the first night, I hadn’t had seen even a glimpse of life in the water let alone a carp. While fast asleep at 12.30am the right hand rod was away and I was into a powerful carp. After a lengthy fight I slipped the net under a chunky mirror know as The Parrot. I previously caught this fish weighing 37lb two years ago, so I was delighted to see it tip the scales at 43lb 1oz. I was over the moon considering the weather and I had now caught the lakes three biggest fish (all over 40lb), which made things a tad sweeter considering the difficulty of the venue.

The remaining 30 hours shot by with nothing more than more rain and wind. Although I didn’t bag any of the three commons, I was very happy to kick my year off with a day ticket forty from a challenging lake. With only 15 or so fish in the lake it’s never easy and every bite should be cherished.

Next time I hope your be seeing me with a big common.