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First Session Success
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First Session Success Posted by ,

In this latest Blog article Mainline Consultant, Lee Collings details his first trip to a new venue and some early success!

To say that I have been in a bit of a dilemma recently as far as my fishing is concerned would be an understatement. I’ll always try to fish as hard as I can during the spring and as with many like minded carp anglers the start of any spawning activity is always my cue to have a few weeks off and leave them alone to recover. A combination of the stress coupled with the fact that the carp are down in weight and rarely look in their best condition at this time always sees me take a bit of time out to sort a few things out and recharge the batteries.

Now, the two syndicates I fish are nearly two hours away so not ideal if you just have time to do a quick overnighter, so with this in mind I started to look for waters around the Midlands area where I could embark on some shorter sessions if needs be. Being a local lad means that I know quite a few waters in the area but we are hardly blessed with loads of big fish in this part of the world so after doing a bit of digging I knew of a ticket that would available for a lake situated only about half hour away depending on traffic and time of the day.

After successfully purchasing a ticket for the lake I immediately found out it had been shut for two weeks for spawning and was due to open the next day. Having never even seen the lake and hardly knowing anything about it besides it being quite small, very deep and the stock of fish I was excited and raring to go.
As I arrived at the venue I could see two bivvies already set up so after a quick chat with the locals, watching the water a while and a couple of laps around the lake I was still none the wiser where to start my new campaign.

I thought the lake was going to be busy so was keen to put myself in a swim where I wasn’t going to be interfered by other anglers if the lake filled up. So with the wind blowing strong south westerly and hacking into a corner I decided to drop a water bottle in the swim on the end of the wind having seen no signs of life at all.

My target fish
My target fish

Just as I was pushing my barrow up the track I saw one of the guys have a take and after a short battle you guessed it my target fish had been banked only its second capture of the season I knew this fish hadn’t been out for a while so I knew it was due. The fish looked in mint condition and made me even more determined to catch it. While chatting about the capture I noticed three fish show in the next swim down, close in the margin my mind was made up I couldn’t ignore those fish and go and fish the other side of the lake. Not wanting to disturb the fish I lowered a couple of chod rigs baited with Mainline Cell cork ball pop ups off the marginal shelf which was about 8-10ft deep and set up well away from the edge trying not to disturb the fish.

Nothing occurred even though I saw a few more fish show near the hook baits I had been told they were tricky fish to catch being a small, pressured lake with the fish being on there guard all the time.

I had fished my rods all in the margins as I was convinced they were patrolling the marginal shelf no more than a couple of rod lengths out. I opted to put no more than ten Mainline Cell broken baits over each rod as I knew the carp may well spook over too much bait.

Confidence in a bag!
Confidence in a bag!
My new rods ready for battle
My new rods ready for battle

If I am honest I am never usually too confident on my first trip to any new water preferring to use it as more of a recce trip to familiarise myself with the lake and try and work out the best way to approach the lake with rigs bait etc until I find something that works.

The night passed and was pretty uneventful. I suspected the fish had moved to the shallower end of the lake during the night as I didn’t see anything show until about 10 o’clock the next morning. Then without warning at about 11am my middle rod went into total meltdown! With it being my first session using my new 13ft 3.5lb Century SP rods I was worried they might be a bit pokey for fishing the margins but far from it. The SP’s handled the fish with no problem and were actually softer in the tip than my previous rods. After a brief battle the pressure was off and I had landed my first fish from my new water, a stunning mid double mirror. I was over the moon as I didn’t really expect to catch so soon.

First Blood - A stunning mid double mirror
First Blood - A stunning mid double mirror

After sorting the swim out that now looked like a bomb site I proceeded to lower the rig back in on the spot and try again. While letting the fluorocarbon main line sink I hadn’t even clipped the bobbin on or even put any freebies out when the rod instantly burst into life again! This time was a slow and steady take I knew it was a better fish using the deep margins to good effect but before I knew it I had got the fish over the draw string and safely in to the bottom of the net. At first I thought I was a mid twenty then lifting it out the water I thought maybe an upper twenty so I was happy either way but was more than surprised when the big common pulled the needle around to 31lb 10oz. I was well chuffed as you can imagine. Not even 24hours on the water and had banked two carp already. After a few pictures the fish was safely retuned.

31lbs 10ozs!!!
31lbs 10ozs!!!

Well at least I had the rigs and bait right for now. After all the commotion in the swim it now looked dead and hardly surprising and only odd fish were seen up until dark so needles to say nothing else happened through the night.

The following day a few fish started showing about dinner time just as I was packing up on the far margin. One of the lads moved onto the fish but to no avail even though there were a fair few there. With the sky looking more than a bit angry I packed up just before the rain came in and went home a happy man looking forward to getting back in the lake as soon as I can.

Tight Lines

Lee Collings

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