Finally, the last day at work came and the Christmas break was upon me. I had a few days before the festivities were to begin, and as all the shopping and wrapping was done and dusted, I felt that a few nights on the bank was in order, to start the holidays.
The following morning, I got a few things sorted at home and then loaded the van ready to head over to the lake. I wanted to get there by 12 at the latest, as it would be getting dark by 3.30 and I wanted to give myself plenty of time to look around before setting up.
After putting the last few bits in the van my phone went, and I took a quick look before heading off. It was a message from Nigel asking me to pop over before I went. I had about 10 minutes to spare (you can only get into the lakes over a level crossing which opens on the hour) so I quickly locked the van and went to knock on his door. He had just had a delivery from Blake’s of some of his new pineapple pop-ups that they have been working on and he wanted me to take a look. They smelt fantastic and a were a good visual hook bait so I grabbed one of the pots and said I would take them and give them a go, then I had to race off to make the crossing in time.
On arriving at the lake, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were only three other anglers were fishing, so I had plenty of choice. I headed off to do a slow lap of the lake, hoping to get a clue as to where the carp were hiding. I stopped to speak to one of the anglers fishing and discovered nothing had been caught for a while. All the anglers who were there were fishing around the main bar that cuts across the Pit 3 in front of The Double Boards, so I headed down the other end of the lake and away from everyone else to take a look.
I walked into a swim called “The Catwalk” and straight away it looked good. Not that I saw any major signs of fish, but the water was coloured, and it was on the back of the wind. It just felt right, like that was where I needed to be. I carried on round, just in case there was anything else to go on but saw nothing, so I returned to my van to grab my gear out and I pushed my barrow round the lake to my chosen swim. All the paths were thick with mud and the rain had started once again, so it was a race to get to the swim and put my brolly up before everything got wet, including me. Once I was there the brolly went up first. I would normally prefer to get the rods sorted first but there is nothing worse than everything being soaked at the start of your winter session.
The swim was like a bog, thick mud was everywhere, but I pushed on, getting everything sorted, all the while keeping an eye on the water for any signs.