Over the four years I spent on the amazing Wellington country park I was very fortunate to have bumped into a number of the residents, but this session stands out more than any other. I had already decided that it would be my last season and there was still I few fish that I dearly wanted, so I needed to make the most of the time I had left.
On this particular trip, my good mate Rob Marsh was coming on a guest session. At Welly the members are allowed to bring a guest a couple of times a year and this was Robs second trip. Unfortunately, we had both blanked on his first ‘guesty’ so I desperately wanted this trip to be more successful and for Rob to catch his first welly carp. With that in mind we set off on our first lap of the lake. When you bring a guest one of the stipulations is that they must fish in adjacent swims to you, so although the lake wasn’t that busy, it did leave us with a limited number of areas to fish. Basically, we had a choice of two, either on the animal farm bank or on the syndicate bank. As there was a bitterly cold wind blowing into Animal Farm, the syndicate bank was the choice. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and, on this occasion, we actually got it right as that cold northerly was to continue throughout our trip.
We had two swims, Daisies and The Snags and I gave Rob first choice. He asked where I would go and I explained that The Snags was one of my favourite swims, so he went in there, while I set about finding some spots in Daisies. In all my time on Welly I had never fished Daisies, but I knew there was a broken bar that ran away from the Snags down towards Turtle Corner so one rod went there. An island to my left looked very carpy so one rod went into a little alcove there, and the third rod was fished into open water with a view to casting at anything that showed.
Bait wise, Welly has always been dominated by boilies so that was the obvious choice, a few whole and some halved baits catapulted around each spot. Rig wise, I love my ‘Cotton Rig,’ as lovely-Lew refers to it as. It is a very basic rig consisting of a wide gape hook, tied KD style to a supple braided hook link. I probably use this rig for 80 percent of my angling, with a critically balanced bait I just feel the supple braid allows it to behave more naturally, moving like one of the free offerings. I do use stiffer material at times, but in my head they look very one dimensional, moving on angles rather than naturally, if that makes sense. In fact, I do not want my rig pushed away from the lead, instead I want some slack so when the fish sucks in a bait it goes right inside the mouth. The further in it goes the better the chance of tagging some flesh on the way out. It does indeed look like a piece of cotton with a hook attached to the end of it!