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Tailing off towards the end of last years season I found my fishing becoming stale, I had fished hard all year on a syndicate that I had fallen out of love with. Any Carp angler will know what I mean, that dejected “well I'm here...again” feeling of a water that doesn't captivate you any longer. So I decided to turn my attentions towards a new challenge; if my fishing had become uninspiring to me, maybe I should go back to that starting up phase and back to when every bite could be a personal best. 
A work friend of mine had been looking for a new hobby, something to get him out of the house that he could spend hours doing. The perfect answer to this? Fishing! With close to no prior knowledge of fishing, I quickly set about trying to ply him with knowledge regarding our fair side of the sport. 
Testament to him he took it all on board, and soon began sparking up conversations about particular methods, the best time for their application, baits and more. Eventually words were put into action and we hit the bank. With the weather sitting just above freezing conditions weren't ideal, but on 
arriving, every now and then the subtle boils of moving fish in the shallow water gave away their location. Sadly the session produced nothing but 2 dinner plate bream for Paul and his first stomach sickening experience of losing a carp as his zig-rig tore off, only for him to connect with nothing on the strike. Sad as it was I can't help but feel that that moment suddenly pulled Paul and myself back in love with the sport. The exhilarating moment where we both reacted to the alarm and that musical tune of a one toner, and, as if we had both lost one, we shared that sickening blow which leaves you crying in side. 
 
I was hooked once again! On packing up we arranged a trip for a few weeks later, with the promise of a surprise warmer weather front, things could not have looked better. 
 
The next session rolled round and we set off down to Bluebell lakes, again we discussed location and where would be favourable and why. Through my experience on the water from past years I knew where fish were likely to be situated, but gave Paul the critical choice of presentation type and bait choice. Opting for balanced bottom presentation, consisting of a 10inch section of Korda's dark matter braid, one of their size 6 beaked point wide gape hooks, and a small sinker; tightly whipped KD style. On the hair a Successful Baits Red Hot Bullet pop up, a favourite amongst a number of our team members and a great all year bait. This was coupled with a spicy stick mix consisting of RHB crumb and chilli based additives. Directed to a silty channel which is a regular feeding spot for fish in the lake all year round, Paul managed to get both rigs in position with minimal disturbance and we sat back to relax, the air full of the anticipation of what the night could bring. A sudden fog descended, like something out of a movie; the rods which were only 5 yards away, disappeared and we were forced to cut the night short and retreat fully into our bivvies. We eased through the night blissfully unaware of what was about to happen and the start of Paul's fishing addiction which would see him out most weekends from this one on. 
 
Just before morning light, a single bleep on the receiver turned into a sail away, spool melting. We both flew out and I was welcomed by the sight of the rod tip arching over as Paul lifted in to his first carp. A strong fight ensued from an overly energetic angry winter carp, which made several strong runs up the lake which Paul dealt with like a seasoned angler. In the breaking light I saw a ghostly shape roll in front of the net lip and leaning out, I slipped the net under his first success. The result a stunning fish which fell just short of 20lb, at 19lb 6oz. Happy was an understatement, the effort we had both put in was worthwhile and Paul? Let's just say he was made up with his prize and after a few pictures it was released unharmed back into the clear waters of the lake. A nostalgic morning followed, reflecting on his achievement, and I feel honoured I could share in it. The stove was fired up and a celebratory coffee was made, along with a well deserved bacon roll. The final hours of the session passed without event but you know what,who cares, That's The Thrill of Fishing. 
carp fishing carp bait red hot bullet boilies
Paul with his prize, a 19lb 6oz Bluebell corker caught on the apptly named Red Hot Bullet 
from Successful Baits. 
carp fishing carp bait boilies
Letting her go, one of the best feelings an angler can have and helping a friend achieve it 
was as rewarding, as catching the fish myself. 
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