February 14, 2017 2 min read

Kev and Steve asked me if I wanted to test a new bait recently and I jumped at the chance but, typical, as soon as I got my first samples my winter syndicate become increasingly hard due to it being frozen solid for over a week and then the frost, wind and rain making conditions difficult. I've been drip feeding some of the boilies into likely looking spots and trying out some different rigs to find the best presentation but with the recent addition of some pop-ups and a glug I was confident of a fish.

On my last trip I arrived at the lake at first light and it was cold, bitterly cold, just hovering above freezing with an icy wind. The lake had a tinge of colour and the breeze was blowing towards the bottom corner of the lake so I set up where I could cast behind the big island hoping this would provide some shelter for the fish. Rods were clipped up, baited and cast to the back of the island with a scattering of boilies over the top and the waiting game began.

Lunchtime came and went and with numerous cups of tea being the only highlight, but out of the depths I could suddenly see the big Koi, called the Carrot, patrolling the margin. I watched it complete a circuit twice before disappearing back into the weed along the reed lined bank. I decided to reel in one of the rods and replaced the rig with a stiff hinged rig baited with one of the Nut 365 Pop-Ups as I knew it would sit perfectly no matter what it landed on. I swang the rig down the margin to the edge of a weedbed and scattered some broken and crushed boilies over the top. Within 30 minutes the rod slowly burst into life with a very slow plodding take. A short fight followed and the fish was mine - a pristine 23lb 13oz Mirror that was like a block of ice to touch, success for the new bait and testiment that it works on the coldest of days.

Tight lines,