Times been at a premium for me this month, between work, family and more work I've not had much bank time. I managed a couple of sessions on my home syndicate to try and bag my long standing target from the lake. I used a spod mix of hemp, snail shells and boilies over a spot at 90 yards, the idea being to draw the fish to me by keeping the bait going in the area. However, three nights into the short campaign I was still bite less, the weather was spot on but I just couldn't make anything happen. This brought my time on the syndicate to an end, my ticket was up and I've chosen not to renew it, maybe down the line I'll return to the campaign for my target from the lake, but for now it's on hold.
One of my highlights of the month was the Northern Angling Show, I worked the whole weekend on the Deception Angling stand and had a great time. The venue was great with all the big brands present, along with all the big names. The weekend was rammed, I've never seen so many anglers in one place! We we’re rushed off our feet with customers taking advantage of the deals we had on offer and the products we were showing off. It's a real eye opener talking with customers of all abilities, showing them rigs and giving demos of putty, hooklink and hooks etc. Even small things like explaining different hook patterns and there application with different rigs and baits, all makes a difference to other anglers. By the end of the first day we had to re-pack more stock as we were selling it so fast, hand checking hundreds of hooks to stock back up. We had customers coming to us after trying our products before, some who I had previously spoken to online and plenty of returning custom.
During quieter spells I slipped away for a wander around the other stands and exhibits, I picked up a few deals on gear I needed and a great new bait I've been using. I had a really good talk with the MD of the bait company and hopefully I'll be joining up shortly (I'll leave names out for now until it's sorted). Outside of the show I had a great time with the other Deception guys, plenty of drinks, laughs and bad food. All fun and really made a good weekend.
Since the show I've only managed a couple of overnighters of the big pit, the water level is about 3-4 feet up due to flooding but I was just glad to get out again. I fished a peg along the road bank which I've had success from before, there's a plateaux area where the bottom shallows up a few feet with weed around it. I put about half a kilo of boilies out towards the base of the plateaux with a throwing stick and fished chod rigs over the top.
I wasn't expecting much to happen and settled in for the night. I was woken around 05:30 by a take, my Nev screeching into life with a slow run. I played the fish for a few minutes before the hook pulled, it felt a small carp with its erratic movements but I was still gutted to lose it. I put the rod back out and didn't have to wait long for another run, the middle rod came to life with a few movements on the elstow bobbin signalling a take. Thankfully after a short battle this one hit the spreader block, only 6.15 but very welcome!
A mint little carp which really put a smile on my face. Rod back out and a celebratory cup or tea with a smug smile on my face, two runs at this time of year on a new bait was a result and I was happy with it.
I brought the right hand rod in to check it as it hadn't gone, there was a fair bit of weed around the lead so I cleaned it off, put a fresh bait on and cast it back out. Just as the lead hit the deck, the left rod ripped off again and I bent into a slightly better fish. A nice little tussle resulted in a 9.14 mirror in the net, again not monstrous but I was made up with it. A good result for a quick overnighter between shifts.
I had another night in the same spot later in the week, one of the coldest nights on the bank for me in a long time. It dropped below freezing to about -5, with the water in my water bottle freezing and a heavy frost covering all it touched, I don't use the front or groundsheet on my Titan so this included the inside of the bivvy.
It was a beautiful morning, with a view only carp anglers really get to see and appreciate and really pushes home why I love winter fishing. Unfortunately the carp weren’t feeding this time and I blanked, but it was worth being on the bank all the same.
Hopefully I'll have more bank time this month, I'm already set for a couple of nights on the big
pit this week, I'm planning on feeding a certain area of the lake in readiness for spring and to try