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For anyone who has read my more recent blog entries it's common knowledge that my fishing has somewhat suffered as a result of life getting in the way recently, being put on the back burner whilst more pressing matters took preference. Needless to say it was a lovely change of pace last weekend when I managed to find the time for a social session with my old man and my uncle. 
As I woke to the early morning chorus of birds singing to start of the day, I felt a wave of excitement wash over me similar to that I remember as a young lad. Sandwiches made and with the gear loaded into the van, dad and I joined the early morning traffic on the A1 and headed towards Hertfordshire to meet our final fishing companion for the day. 
 
On arriving at the venue the fish had already started swirling on the surface, and with the thermostat already reading 19.5 degrees at 7 in the morning I wasn’t surprised; it was going to be a hot one! Initially the rods were flicked out, one just off of the edge of an island and the other towards a sunken tree. Although the conditions suggested otherwise I took the opportunity to sit and enjoy the company. The sun rose in the sky and soon temperatures had reached 28 degrees by mid-morning. By now the fish had settled into a rather lethargic existence, slowly cruising as they basked in the heat. Even the introduction of a small amount of riser pellets failed to spur a response, what to do? Leaving the bucket of pellets in the sun I generously lashed them with VNX+ activator liquid and allowed them to dry in the baking heat. As late afternoon set in and the heat slowly started to subside, I began firing pellets out into a bay that had remained protected from the wind where fish had been actively frequenting throughout the day. 
 
Slowly but surely the confidence of the bays inhabitants started to grow and before long I had fish actively feeding on the surface. With an enhanced VNX+ pop up whittled down and mounted to the back of a Korda size 6 Mixa hook, it was quietly flicked out over the feeding fish and brought back into the surface activity. It didn’t take long until the line had shot up tight and I was in. A short battle followed before I slipped the net under a low double common carp. 
carp fishing bait successful baits
 
 
 
Happy days, one down and on releasing it, I saw that the fish were still feeding. In went another small handful of VNX+ soaked pellets and once again the rig was positioned amongst the feeding activity. Suddenly a large bucket like mouth appeared under the rig and with that it disappeared; this was no carp! Tearing off towards the marginal snags a large eel like tail broke the surface as it propelled itself with a fair amount of force. Eventually boiling on the surface and rolling into the net a 12lb catfish sulked in the bottom, hook perfectly positioned in the scissors. 
carp fishing bait successful baits
carp fishing bait successful baits carp fishing bait successful baits
Unfortunately due to the commotion the area had now fallen silent and it wasn’t until we began to lose the light that the fish became active once more. Desperately trying to snatch one last fish, the hook bait was introduced one last time, with a small handful of pellets fired around it. In the dark I could hear the unmistakable sounds of carp slurping at the surface and with the line tucked under my finger I waited to feel the take. A strong tug on the line was all I required. Setting the hook, the familiar power surge of a catfish became obvious with seconds. Twice the fish pulled hard for a sunken tree, flicking the branches on both occasions. Finally the confidence I had in the Korda hook hold and the strength of the fox surface line paid off, with the fish finally succumbing to the pressure and gliding into the net. Slipping it back I couldn’t help but smile. The carp may not have played ball, but none the less I simply love fishing and today had been great fun, and with the team social just round the corner I could redeem myself on the carp front then; but that will be another story. 
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