Trusty Baits

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I arrived at the lake around midday and was surprised to find the banks completely void of anglers following a very busy weekend.
Conditions were clear with the sun beaming strong, coupled with a light easterly breeze that held a nasty cold bite to it, so I perched up on the point in hope that something would give the game away before deciding on an area of the lake to target.

It took almost two hours of searching before I caught a glimpse of a fish shouldering out at the very far end of the lake, sheltered from the bitter wind. I wasn’t sure if it was a carp but it was the only sighting I had seen and carp or not, it was a fish! I immediately headed off towards the far end, gear in tow.I’ve had a lot of success on this water through the winter months using zigs, so without hesitation, 2 zigs were placed at the bottom of a marginal shelf to start with. With daylight rapidly diminishing and no action on the zigs, I decided to switch over to bottom baits for the night ahead. Temperatures were still very low, so I decided against introducing any bait to avoid over feeding and killing any chances of a bite.

Instead I opted to fish 4 bait stringers, breaking two of the meshed boilies to help release the bait’s strong attractors and PVA sticks consisting of crushed boilie crumb soaked in N3 glug. Hook bait choice was a Trusty Baits 15mm N3 boilie, glugged in N3 liquid and tipped with a matching 12mm white popup snowman style.My rigs were constructed using the New Viper N2S, which is a lovely soft and supple braid but also very slow sinking which helps to reset the snowman rig if disturbed by a passing fish. My hook choice was the ever reliable XC7 with a small piece of silicon to hold the hair in place and a short section of shrink tube just to widen the gape of the hook.Two of the tungsten drop rig sinkers were added just 1cm away from the hook to help the hook turn over even quicker and the other half way down the rig to keep everything pinned down.

I attached the meshed stringer and cast to the bottom of the far marginal shelf. I then proceeded to pull off a good two feet of Mimicry Jungle line as I want everything pinned to the bottom before clipping on the bobbin. Within 3 minutes the SMX screamed into life and a slow nodding powerful fish was attached. After a steady dogged fight, a beautiful near 30 lb leather was the first to meet the net. By now temperatures were plummeting fast and with all baited rods on the spots I settled down for a very cold frosty night. A few single bleeps in the night woke me on occasions but at first light a woke to a few bleeps and an immediate drop back.

As lifted a the ice coated rod and reel from the rest the clutch burst into life giving away a good 20 yards of line before I could turn this hard fighting fish. Eventually with steady pressure and trembling knees i managed to steer it over a stiff frozen landing net. There is nothing which can warm an angler more than this sight on the coldest morning of an absolute stunning linear in net, when everything around is white and crisp. With the net safely pegged down I return to the warmth of the bivvy to celebrate with lashings of Tea!
Composed and with the help of a friend, we photographed and returned this absolute jewel of a prize, the weight of this was totally irrelevant as there are only one set of scales here worth anybody’s attention. With the rods back in place I went on to land another Five 5 stunning fish in testing conditions, finishing the session after landing lucky fish number 7. By keeping things simple not over feeding them but instead offering plenty of attraction.

All the best,
Rik