December 11, 2017 3 min read

A weekend social trip had been in the planning for a while between friends and this weekend past we all travelled to Blasford Hill Fishery just outside Chelmsford. At the bottom of a short downhill track, the small 4 acre venue sits surrounded by an obligatory otter fence. Well spaced and laid out swims provide islands, margins, overhanging trees and lily pads as features to angle for approximately 200 carp. The fish range into the 30lb mark with a good stamp of 20lb fish, ideal for a winter social with forecasted baltic conditions. 
Arrival for me after work meant a quick set up in my pre-determined 'out the bag' swim choice. I had a small bay commanding a dot island and a tree line which was undercut in places; a perfect home for the fish which soon became evident. Utilising the Outline range, I used a simple QC lead clip set up, a 3oz distance lead and my usual slip D rig, I placed a small pink fruit wafter on the marginal rod. The other incorporated a snowman style presentation and finally the third was a PVA bag set up, again on a pink fruit wafter with some Little Gemz 50/50
Sitting that evening around a warm bbq, we listened and watched for signs of fish whilst catching up and enjoying some warm food as the weather deteriorated. With minus temperatures I was hopeful rather than confident, but a couple of fish from a shallow swim the opposite end gave me confidence that with the fish moving, I should pick a couple up. At 9pm the marginal rod that looked so inviting signalled a take and I connected with an angry fish. The group gathered as I played a lovely 19lb common to the net and I was very pleased with such a pretty start to my session. 
I awoke the next morning at first light to beautiful clear skies. The ice on the inside of the brolly told me it was cold, so as I stared at the roof contemplating whether to unzip the bag or not, another take on my marginal rod forced the issue! A tad smaller this time at 15lb, but another fish falling to the presentation meant that I moved another rod. I placed it alongside the productive area, in order to try and utilise any further potential. 
A few hours later as the sun thawed the banks, I received a much stronger take on the same rod. This time I knew I was attached to something much better. The fish fought really well and rolled into the net after a good 10 minute scrap along the margins. This time the cameras came out with vigour as a lovely 23lb common had its photo with me. I was confident of more, but sadly the weather became worse and worse. By 5pm we were looking at cat ice in the edge and with ridiculously low water temperatures, the inevitable was going to happen. When we looked at the forecast after ordering a take away around 7.30pm, snow was due in the early hours and I had already had to break the marginal ice. 
With a two hour trip home and most of the lads heading for home as well, I'd have been silly to stay. We packed up just in time for the take away to arrive and after a final meal and good laugh, left back up the track knowing we would not have got back up the hill in the morning. Low and behold as I write this I have a good half a foot of snow outside my door this morning and the travel conditions are awful. All in all a very enjoyable 24 hours and although a snow carp may have been on the cards, getting home safely is way more important. Means I can go again next week when all this annoying white stuff disappears!!!