After some recent short session success, I was very keen to get back out onto the bank. So having booked the Friday off work, a trip to the local estate lake was on the cards.
Conditions looked slightly more favourable, after a cold snap earlier in the week. The temperature had risen a few degrees, however the south westerly winds were well and truly blowing a gale, so I decided to settle into a swim that had produced on previous visits, under similar circumstances. I would fish as close to one of the lakes island as I could, and was quietly confident in a take or two.
This time around I was armed with dead maggots, frozen from the night before. I introduced these into PVA bags along with the Hinders Mini Pellet Combo. It’s a great combination and I didn’t have to wait too long before I could see signs of activity.
Admittedly, my first cast clipped the island tree line, so after a swift recast, I was roughly a foot away from the island. After a good 30 minutes or so of liner activity, the contents of my PVA and sweet smelling hookbait, proved too much to resist for the first of the session. After a screaming take and a great scrap under the rod tip, the low double mirror peacefully graced my net and once again my little but often baiting tactics paid dividends. Desperate to get the rod back out, I quickly got some pictures and got on with the task in hand.
After an un-eventful hour and a half, and with very little activity from line bites, I decided to make a move. When fishing short sessions, it is vital to try to maximise the amount of time you get on the bank. If the fish aren’t feeding in your swim, you can’t catch them, so it was time to gather the gear and move on.
With most of the angling pressure now all along this bank, I felt the fish had moved away. I had a second swim in mind and as I approached it, I could see the gusts of wind racing into a snagged area around the corner of another of the islands. I knew straight away this is exactly where I needed to be dropping my rig.
Sticking with exactly same tactics and PVA bag contents, I couldn’t wait to get myself set back up. With the buzz bars in I cast out, and to be honest it couldn’t have landed any sweeter, being just short of the snags and in a bowl type feature I knew of on the lake bed.
Whilst being nosey in a margin swim next to me, I suddenly heard the scream of my alarm. I made a speedy dash for my rod and lifted into a strong fighting fish.
After kiting immediately to the right into open water, Mr Carp decided to oblige and slid over the net cord. Another capture on the Hinders Mini Pellet Combo, complimented with maggots had done the trick. Having been landed so quickly, the fish was a little lively on the mat, but soon was tipping the scales at 16lb 10oz. This lean, lovely looking common was in absolutely pristine condition, and hopefully would be destined to become a twenty one day.
Time was against me, and with only another 30 minutes of the session remaining, I took a quick photo, returned the fish and recast. I managed to get my rig bang on the same spot as before, and no sooner had the PVA bag hit the deck, than I was receiving liners.
I was still sorting out the sling, scales and net from the previous fish, when I had another screaming run. This one was not happy at all and put up a very good fight, but I was able to keep it under control, and soon had it over the net. Again on the same tactics as the previous two fish, this one pushed the scales to 16lb 4oz. Another great looking common was in front of the camera.
With my time done for the day and two great 16+ commons later, I was leaving extremely happy. I’m convinced had I stayed in my original swim, I’d have not caught either of the two 16lb fish, and probably would have left the lake with just a low double to my name. Fishing short sessions can be great fun but knowing when to move on to a different swim can mean the difference between success and failure.
Also, by moving about when I feel it’s right, it helps me learn more about my target lake. If I’m going to catch my 30lb fish from this lake in 2013, fishing these short sessions will help me build a good knowledge of all of the various swims.
Tight lines all! Martyn