Over the last few weeks I have managed to get out on the bank and do a few sessions. Sometimes I have turned up and the lake has been rammed and I’ve had to wait for a move if I couldn’t get on the fish when I arrived. Often watching and waiting patiently, building up the picture to the location of the carp and identifying the area’s most likely to do a bite taking into account due to angling pressure and weather conditions.

Amongst a few blank nights there has been some good 20lb+ fish enveloped in the landing net. Success has come on weather changes and a mobile approach where I have managed to get in a certain area of the lake that I am becoming familiar with.

The best conditions have generally been when the air pressure has been dropping accompanied by a switch in the wind direction – usually to a big south westerly giving carpy conditions – and I have been lucky enough to move onto in the busy times.

It was whilst I was fishing into the teeth of a nice warm wind that the first 20 came early one blustery morning. It was 7:30 and I was sat by the rods watching the water when the bobbin rose slowly to the rod blank. I was on it immediately and the fish gave a really good account of itself before I had a chance to slide the net under it. This one was caught using my favourite rig at the moment, the hinge stiff rig constructed with a stiff 25lb Trip Wire hook section tied to a size 5 Covert Chod Hook. For the 6 inch boom section I chose 15lb camo brown Disruption skinned hook link material. Essentially, the mechanics of the rig are spot on using these materials. I counterbalance the pop up with a small piece of Critical Mass putty carefully moulded around the top of a size 12 Flexi Ring Swivel, so it sinks just right. I have found balancing it correctly is key to the effectiveness the rig. Flossed to the large rig ring was a 15mm glugged Equinox pop-up.

This rig was fished on a reasonably hard spot that I had found at about 40 yards and the hook bait was presented with a kilo of 15mm Equinox boilies catapulted, so they were quite spread out over the spot. These tactics resulted in a successful trip, landing a 21lb 14oz mirror in between a couple of blank nights.

My next session was very much the same. I arrived to the lake and only to find that it was rammed, but finally after 2 nights of fishing another area of the lake with no luck I managed to get back in the prime area in the same sort of conditions. This time it felt even better with a warm wind absolutely hacking into the swim. After the move I was feeling confident for a bite.

I fished one rod to a nice silty spot using a flourocarbon-combi rig which was constructed from 15lb Subterfuge and 15lb Trickster Heavy braid with a size 8 Covert Mugga hook. Mounted to the hair was a glugged Equinox 15mm wafter. The final detail was the addition of a small bag of crushed boilie and around a kilo of Equinox was catapulted over the spot. To increase the pulling power it had been soaking in some CC Moore Amino Blend 365 for added attraction. The combination smells gorgeous.

The other rod on the hard spot was once again fished with a hinged stiff rig and everything thing else was the same as before with one small adaptation – changing the boom section from Disruption to the new 15lb Ultra Skin (silt colour) as it’s more supple mechanics and just as effective for cute carp that have seen it all.

That evening an old warrior of a dark mirror was getting into the Equinox, when it slipped up and was nailed by the Mugga combi – rig. A belting take and a good fight ensued at 2.30am and the fish was popped into a retainer until the morning. A friend popped over at first light to lend a hand and the fish weighing 26lb 14oz.

Whilst Richard and I were returning the fish the bobbin on right hand rod rose to the top. We were looking at it to see if something might have been caught on the line or if it was a liner. The line then flew out of the clip and steadily peeled off the spool! I was in again, on the hinged stiff rig this time and after a spirited fight a gorgeous fully scaled of exactly 20lb was banked. Richard managed some action shots as the camera was still on from the photo session for the first mirror. It was one of the really nice looking fish in the lake. I had a few proper knee trembling moment when I saw the scale pattern, as the fish came closer to the net and surfaced. It was like a bar of glowing gold. I was over the moon with this one. It may not have been the biggest I’ve ever caught but I am one for a looker rather than a chunk most of the time. A few pictures were taken and the fish was safely returned. I fished for a couple more hours with no other action, and after a successful night with two 20’s banked I went home happy. The Equinox and strong, reliable terminal tackle doing the business once again.