It’s January, it’s cold, it’s miserable and as is often the case I’m utterly useless when it comes to catching carp at this time of year. Normally, I’d rather not bother, this January, however, I’m as keen as I would be in the Spring.
Light levels play a significant part in my motivation to be out there and ‘doing it’ almost as much as it does in terms of geeing the fish up. Luckily however, my newfound penchant for the zigs has given me the tools and motivation required to ‘man up’, as they have given me the necessary extra string to my bow tactically. In the past, I just couldn’t get my head around them. Don’t get me wrong, if a situation presents itself where there’s a chance to get a bite on the bottom using conventional tactics, then I won’t hesitate to go down that road, but I’m definitely happier placing a bait at the level that I think the fish are residing in, rather than doubting my sanity of actually being there time after time and having baits sat pointlessly on the lake bed.
Ok, it can be tedious with the lack of daylight, getting dark almost as soon as it’s got light, but with the comforts like my Coleman burner and my luscious new Compact Carp Duvet sleeping bag, I refuse to be beaten by the cold; something I am generally really good at, which is being frozen.
Another reason for my newfound fondness for January might be something to do with the struggles I endured over at Dinton during the summer, and the fact that I simply haven’t had my satisfaction tablet from the venue. You could say that it’s treated me mean and kept me keen. My god, that lake can be infuriating! Just when I think I am finally piecing it together over consecutive sessions, the goal posts get realigned the moment I apply my newfound idea that I always sure is going to be THE winning formula.
The year previous, I had to work so hard to try and keep up with the young’uns (who never seem to even miss a fish fart) that by the time I had clocked the carp’s whereabouts, and went to move on the fish, the younger, keener and super talented nippers would already have had one of them in the net. They’d often move in the middle of the night, whilst I was sleeping off a BBQ’d meat fest and the odd beverage.
So, for this season I was fitter and ready for the challenge, convinced that I knew what to do. Wrong.
Dinton had its traditional month’s break after the fish started to spawn and the noticeable difference from the year previous was the abundance of weed. It really was taking hold, something I knew was prevalent on there during past seasons, but it hadn’t really done that the year before. In fact, as the season progressed, a number of swims were totally unfishable.