This last month has been a bit slow for me, I've done a fair few nights down the big pit with little return for my efforts. The weather has been all over the place, with heavy rain and big winds mixed with high pressure and sunshine. This seems to have woken up a lot of the pits residence though, and for the first time in months carp are showing again…and driving me nuts.
I managed two stockies and two large bream and the start of the month on an overnighter. I fished my solid bags casting to good areas, small pop ups doing the damage. It was nice to get that many runs in one night, although waking up to land bream isn't my idea of fun. The carp were barely doubles but it was still a good result.
I've been having to move round the pit due to the weather conditions, so I've not been able to keep baiting certain spots, but its preferable to getting battered in a head wind blowing down the pit. This does mean that I've been exploring new swims though, which all helps to build a complete picture of the pit. I've been switching between solid bags and chod rigs for most of the month, the solid bags are still my go-to method for the short sessions I'm fishing. On saying that though, my last session was a bit longer and I put a bed of particle and boilie out on a spot at 17 wraps. A few hours after putting the bait in I received a savage take on a snowman set up on the baited spot. Unfortunately when I hit into it I connected with thin air and was left a bit confused as to why, there was nothing wrong with the rig so I can only assume it was a liner.
I've been spending plenty of time slimming my gear down, it's amazing how much extra gear you accumulate over a season, and most of it isn't needed. Simple things like only carrying the leads you need rather than all of them makes a huge difference on weight, and de-cluttering the rig boards (I'm always trying new rigs) of all the rigs I've not used makes it more efficient. I'm guilty of tying up all new rigs I see, some I like and some get left on the rig board, never to be used. This season I've simplified my rig boards and am going to try an stick to just a handful of the rigs I have a lot of faith in, for my pop ups it's either the chod, stiff hinged or modified German rig. For the bottom baits/balanced baits it's the German rig or a simple blow back rig. Tackle wise I've done away with the fourth rod, on the big pit your allowed to fish with four and I have been doing, but doing away with it saves more weight and speeds up set up and pack down time. Hopefully slimming down my choices will make my fishing time more efficient and ultimately save me time.
I've had a big change round on the bait front too, after being let down by a bait company I had high hopes for (lack of communication from them and taking an age to do anything) I've managed to get a place on the Urban Baits team, which I'm over the moon with. I've armed myself with plenty of the Nutcracker for the spring as it’s a fantastic cool water bait, and I'll be looking to change over to one of the fishmeal baits for the summer (the tuna and garlic stinks to hell, so looks like a good choice) in all honestly I'm a fishmeal fan, I just have more confidence in a heavy fishmeal for the warmer months.
So with fresh rigs tied, a new solid bag mix made up and tackle slimmed down I'm ready to really hit the pit hard this season. I'm determined to get some of the beautiful older fish out of it, and hopefully my target of a 30. I will be visiting some day ticket fisheries this year though, and have plans for sessions on a few of them. I'm £54 lighter in my wallet thanks to renewing my rod licences, I begrudge paying for a fourth rod that I won't use but don't have much choice, hopefully the introduction of the three rod licence next year will take the sting out of paying for it.