March 18, 2019 4 min read

With all this strange unseasonably warm weather of late. We are all hopeful that spring is now well upon us. The daffodils are flowering there are buds of blossom on some of the trees creating some beautiful scenic views around the lakes. I personally love this time of the year and find that if tactics are right some great fishing is there to be had.

With this mild spell with storm Freya ripping across the uk I decided on my first visit to my new spring venue. It’s a lake steeped in history and contains some of the oldest fish around its around forty five acres and littered with snags . I had not expected to fish the lake till April but conditions felt right so I thought it was worth the night. I arrived at the lake to a surprisingly busy car park and my heart sunk a little. Obviously a few others had the same idea as me. The sky  was clear and a crisp frost on the fringes of the grass made it indeed feel like early March. The dawn chorus sang strongly as the mist rolled across the mirror like surface. It really was a stunning winters morning. As I strolled around likely areas I had only seen one angler and figured the cars may be anglers from another lake. As I neared a point swim that jutted out into the lake a fish crashed round to the left. I quickly had my eyes affixed to the area in time to see a good sized mirror push itself through the rippled surface. Well with nothing else to go on. This would be a great place to obviously start. I raced to the car after securing the swim with my water but. Once in the swim I hatched a plan in my head of how I would fish the swim.

A few casts with a bare lead showed the area that the fish showed was around seven feet and was along a pronounced bar that rose in the water. It felt the perfect place to position two rods. This being my first trip I felt I needed to map the area out. I decided to fish Hemp and Hinders 10mm Tutti Frutti Boilies . Tutties has caught me countless amount of carp this winter so seemed mad to change really. Rig wise I fished a blowback rig consisting of the new Kamakura size 6 widegapes the rig being baiting with a Hinders Tutti Wafter. I decided to fish my trusted hinge soft rig on the other rod this time the rig comprising of n trap semi stif, 25lb mouthtrap and a size 6 Korda choddy, a fruit salad pop up was the hook bait choice. My third rod being positioned over a area of fresh weed again a hinge being deposited in the area and a scattering of Tutties finished the trap. Once the rods was in position I finished with five spombs of hemp and Tutti Boilies glazed in a dose of Tutti Oil. I sat back watching the water feeling that I had probably blown my chances for the day with the disruption I had caused. I hoped that with the increasing weather front looking better by the minute the fish would return.

Well the day slipped by uneventfully apart from a few friends visiting for a brew all was very quiet. The lake gradually got busier as the day wore on. As darkness fell the rain began to fall. I felt really confident that something was going to happen, I had been informed that night bites are a normality on this certain lake. As I peered out into the dark from the sanctuary of my brolly the left rod signalled a violent take. I couldn’t believe it as I ran down to the rod clutching the bending carbon.

Instantly I knew a carp was responsible as a few heavy head shakes confirmed it. After a short run the fish began kiting to the left. With a fallen tree to the left of the swim panic mode started setting in with the adrenaline pumping through my veins. I flicked the head torch on as the fish neared the snag just in time to see a mirror roll over on the fringes of the branches. Reality started to kick in that it could be game over if the fish takes any line. I gave it the butt of my 13ft rods and prayed the hook hold was good. The fish surged back heading for the entanglement of branches that drooped over into the water. Luck was on my side as the fish suddenly kited away from the snags and out into open water. I knew it was a decent fish as it rose in the water in the light of the head torch. I reached out and scooped up the dark looking mirror before breathing a sigh of relief. I simply couldn’t believe it as I peered into the net. A dark crusty funnily shaped mirror peered back at me. The fish is extremely old in this lake and I could simply feel it’s years as I slid my hand round it’s head to get the hook out. The size six kamakura hook buried in the bottom lip. On further inspection I recognised the fish as one of the ‘A Team’ named fish. I knew it was generally over thirty five pounds and it certainly looked that big. I couldn’t believe it first night on a notoriously difficult lake and one of the A team was sulking in the folds of my net. Wasting no time a new rig was positioned on the spot and a further 2 spombs of the mix deposited to the area. On the scales the incredible carp went thirty five pounds and twelve ounces. What a way to open my account on my new challenge. The rest of the trip passed by quietly but as I drove out the car park I couldn’t help but smile to myself.

Bag a biggun

Craig Runham