Ed Hawes, October on the VNX+
Posted on 6th November 2018 at 20:03
With the arrival of October and lower temperatures on the horizon I was eager to make the most of my fishing time and experimenting with my use of the VNX+ on the same venue that I had experienced success on during September. I also wanted to get to know the venue better so I could make plans in my mind on how to approach fishing there during the winter.
On my first return visit temperatures were high and weather conditions were bright and sunny. From the car park bank I sat on the barrier, which offers a view over the whole of the water, for 10 minutes or so and saw a few carp crash and roll in the centre of the lake. Due to the weather conditions I decided to spend a few hours feature finding instead of fishing to try to work out a few swims that I hadn’t fished before and to try and find some spots to target during the tough winter campaign. I started by using my Deeper Pro as a depth finder and then used a bare lead on any locations that indicated a change in depth or a difference in the make-up of the lake bed. I began in a bay of the lake that I have often seen the wind pushing into and fish crashing close to the far bank. I found that it had a standard depth of 7.5 feet until, all of a sudden, it quickly rose to 5 foot about 2 rod lengths out from the bank, I started thinking of carp patrolling over this contour and was became quite excited. I checked the spot with a bare lead and straight away felt the tell tale rod tip banging of gravel. With a few casts to explore this area further I determined that this was a gravel bar amongst a silty bottom. I planned to fish at the top of the gravel bar so I fed a couple of handfuls of chopped VNX+ that had been pre soaked in the VNX+ liquid activator to introduce some bait onto a spot I was certain would produce bites.
I returned a few days later in the evening after work and baited up to the same actions as before with plans to fish the next day, as the water temperatures were falling I didn’t want to be using large quantities of bait, but I did want to use a quality bait with a strong flavour in small targeted spots to allow the resident carp to gain confidence in feeding in this area.
The weather the following day was a stark contrast to the previous day. I woke up to 40mph + winds and stormy, overcast conditions - perfect for a bite in my book. I love fishing in these weather conditions and as some people seem to stay away, that also means less angling pressure on the venue.
As my plan to catch from this spot was to attract passing fish as they came through the bay I didn’t want to overfeed so, I chopped some pre soaked VNX+ into halves and put a handful onto the chosen spot. I then crumbed up a further 4 or 5 baits into a PVA mesh system and attached it to a size 6 Nash Fang Hook tied KD style using Atomic Jelly-Wyre braid and VNX+ Wafter hook bait on a lead clip system leader. With an underarm flick I positioned my rig onto the chosen spot at the top of the gravel bar and sat back in my chair in a spot away from the water edge so that I could keep noise to a minimum and also try to hide away from the strong winds.
About 2 hours later I had a good run and as I picked the rod up into the run I felt a carp but before I knew it there was a large swirl on the water’s surface and the hook pulled promptly, sending the lead and rig flying onto the bank in front of me. Hook pulls are one of those unfortunate occurrences when carp fishing but I was still naturally disappointed, although I did take heart from the fact that I had now had a take from this new spot. As the hook was brand new, and extremely sharp, I didn’t think that this would be the cause of the hook pull so I chose to make a different change, increasing the size of the lead I was using from 2oz to 3.5oz to hopefully create a better hookhold from the close range fishing. With a fresh pre soaked VNX+ Wafter and PVA mesh the rig went back out on the spot and I returned to my chair hopeful of more action.
A few hours later my Delkim lit up and screamed and the rod tip pulled round to the left, I lifted into a strong fish that was doing its best to run into the tree roots under the bank. A powerful battle was played out under the rod tip as I wasn’t prepared to give the fish any line and allow it to reach the snags, I caught a glimpse of a beautiful mirror as I slid the net underneath it.
Despite today’s big fish world 20lbs is still a magical number for me so I was delighted to see the scales pull round to 21.6. The 40 mph winds didn’t make the job of self take photographs very easy but nothing was going to take the smile off of my face as my plan had worked out.
On my next visit to this lake I fished a different swim using the same tactics, VNX+ Wafter hook bait and crumbed freebies in a Godman PVA mesh. The gale force winds had now gone but the air temperature was a similar 6-8 degrees. In this evening session I managed to catch a lovely mid double common from a near margin spot – a pleasing result and another fish caught on the VNX+.
I’ve been using Successful Baits for a couple of months now and have caught 8 fish from an estimated stock of 50 from the lake that I’ve been targeting, which I think is a good return and shows the quality of the company’s products. I’ve been really impressed with the performance of the VNX+ as the air and water temperatures have been dropping so I will be continuing to use the tactic of fishing to tight spots and bait lightly with activator soaked freebies throughout the winter and hopefully can have even more success.
Whilst out on the bank I’ve been plotting my winter campaign, considering both the temperatures and condition of the lakebed. With all trees now having shed their leaves for the winter I’ve added a few tubs of the Neon Pop Ups from the range so that I can fish with a highly visual and high attract hook bait. Hopefully I’ll be writing a few more of these blogs over the next few months.
My final session of the month was a day session at the end of October. The first frost of ‘winter’ had come 2 nights earlier and most of the trees around the lake were now bare of any leaves. With low air and water temperatures now regular at this time of year I have decided to change to my winter tactics and limit the amount of loose bait I use and essentially fish for one bite at a time.
For this short session I chose to return to the first swim that I fished at the start of the month during the strong winds so that I could fish one rod on the known spot that I had found and had previously caught from using the same tactics as before, and the other rod to a spot on the far margin where I had seen carp show on a number of occasions in previous visits. I was confident that the fish would patrol through that area at some point during the day so was hopeful of a bite.
As the far margin spot is tree lined I wanted to present a buoyant hook bait that would sit above any recently fallen leaves and any other detritus on the lake bed so I decided to use a trimmed VNX+ Pop Up on a Ronnie Rig. I also prepped a handful of halved 14mm VNX+ and baited the spot by walking round to the other side of the lake and baiting by hand, this also removes the noise and commotion of using a spod or spomb. By halving the baits it means that they will fall through the water slower than a whole boilie so will hopefully present more prominently on a choddy lake bed to passing fish.
I had previously cast a bare lead to this spot so had the distance in wraps written down, so using my distance sticks I clipped the line up at 14 wraps and cast the rig out onto the spot. I used a piece of dissolving foam to protect the hook point and maximise the rig’s potential of presenting the hook bait effectively.
About an hour and a half later I had a take on the far margin rod and, following a good fight, I had a chubby mid double mirror in the net and also my first fish on a VNX+ pop up.
Tagged as: Ed Hawes
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