Due to a hectic work load of late, it had been a while since I’d last had the pleasure of doing a 48 hour session. However, I had now managed to get much of my work load completed and it was finally time to take a couple of days off and get some decent fishing time in. I’ve had a few syndicates on the go this year and I opted to head down to Monks Pit for this session. The last time I went to Monks I ended up having an awesome time landing a UK 40lber and bracing it with a lovely 30lb mirror.

I arrived at the lake at first light on Friday morning and to my amazement there was only one other guy on. What a result! Arriving early on a Friday is a different world to my usual fishing at weekends, whereby I am usually arriving early on Saturday morning and finding only a couple of swims free. I didn’t hesitate spending a good hour walking and looking for signs of fish. After speaking to a few mates during the week, I was told it was fishing really hard and a fish hadn’t been out for two weeks. Very strange indeed! It was a bit of a worry, but hey that’s fishing and we all know anything can happen and the fish can switch on in an instant.

After doing a couple laps of the lake and not seeing a fish, I ended up in a swim called the Wobbly Boards, which covers an area smack bang in the middle of the lake. This is usually a good area for this time of year and purely going on past captures it seemed a good bet to start with and a great place to watch water with rods out. I’d had it in my head all week that my baiting approach was going to centre around maggots and corn. Every year without fail from the start of December I always bring the maggots and corn into play. They are just two baits that consistently work for me and continue to put fish on the bank at this time of the year.

I always try and locate the clearest areas I can when fishing maggots and corn. With three spots found, baited and fishing it was just time to kick back and watch out for any signs of movement. I’m a very mobile angler, so if I don’t think it’s going to happen I will soon pack up and move on. I watched the water all day and very little happened to make me change my mind, so up went the bivvy and I decided to do the night.

Morning came and I’d not had a bleep. I walked over to see a mate for a cuppa and as I entered his swim a scrapper twenty was being held aloft for the camera. Nice work and to top it off it was a stunning fully scaled mirror. At the time I didn’t realise he was only doing a quick night and I was surprised when he came past with his gear loaded and headed off for home. That was enough for me – I had to move. I felt I would have been a fool not to move, there just had to be more out there.

I moved into a swim called the Swamp, which was the area I moved into last time when I had the result of the 40lber. As I moved into the swim, I saw a fish lump straight out. I quickly found three different areas in the swim and spread the rods out to cover as much water as possible to see where the fish were holding up and feeding. I felt confident on spots and I was more than happy that something might happen. The rigs had only been out a few hours when the middle rod burst into life. After a good ten minute scrap and the fish almost beaten, the worst happened and the hook pulled. I was absolutely gutted. It has to be the worse ever feeling in carp fishing.

The rod went back out on the spot and I prayed that wasn’t going to be the only bite. Darkness soon arrived and it was time to cook dinner, chill out, have a few cups of tea and get my head down for a few hours. I set my alarm for around 11pm as I often find during the winter months that the fish show late at night and into the early hours of the morning. This can be a big edge when everyone else is fast asleep.

The alarm didn’t have a chance to go off because at 10.30pm the right hand rod was away and I was happy to be bent into another fish. After a very different fight to the first, a small mirror around 14lb was soon sitting in the bottom of the net. Not the biggest fish in Monks, but it was more than welcome and it had saved a blank.

Nothing else happened during the night, but in the morning it kicked off with another two bites on the same rod. This resulted on a 16lb mirror and a lovely 23lb 9oz common. Location was key with one rod doing the three out of the four bites. I really do believe that the maggots and corn are king when it comes to this time of year. Get out there and give them a go.