Harry Stirling, Winter Mid-week Overnighter
Posted on 13th February 2019 at 19:06
Hi guys it’s Harry from Successful Baits UK and this write up is about a quick overnight session that was decided at last minute, at a lake that I’ve fished fairly recently. I found a nice gravel bar there on one of my previous visits and I was excited to experiment on this gravel bar and get down the lake to try the new spot out. I packed the car and headed to the shops to get the essentials, milk, tea, sugar and some munch to see me through the night . I soon hit the road and arrived about 4 o’clock. I knew exactly where this gravel bar was as when I found it last time I put some marker elastic on my line and I haven’t fished anywhere else since, and not only that, it runs in between two islands so I could use the tree stumps as visual markers.
It didn’t take me long to set up at all as I took my brolly system, which takes minutes to erect. I set up camp then got the rods ready using my usual approach, a German rig and a multi rig. On the German rig I had my favourite Nasty Shrimp bright pink neon pop up as I had done well on this on my last visit. On the multi rig I used the VNX+ wafter topped with a 12mm VNX+ pop up. Not much changed with my approach than normal to be honest, the same length hook links, around 8-9 inches, same size weight, 2.5oz distance lead on a lead clip system. This is my confident set up and hasn’t really let me down, especially as I know I’m fishing on a clean gravel bar. For freebies I used the VNX+ 14mm bottom baits chopped and whole around my multi rig, and around the German rig I used Red Hot Bullet 14mm bottom baits. As far as pimping my baits go or soaking them, I don’t really do any of that, only with my hook bait. There’s a reason as to why only my hook bait and it is that I chuck out a load of freebies straight out the bag around my spots, but my pop ups I have soaking in the Hanfol (hemp oil). I take a small Calpol syringe with me from my sons medicines and I use 5ml in each pot of pop ups a couple weeks before any session or on purchase. When I’m on the bank I then use another 5ml of the hemp oil as the first lot is soaked up by then. You can keep repeating this process and I haven’t over done it yet. It doesn’t change the colour of the pop ups which is also a good thing. I use the hemp oil in all my pop ups and if I have the matching bait activator liquid I do the same but stick to the matching products. For example, my VNX+ pop ups are soaked in hemp oil and VNX+ liquid . The reason behind not soaking my freebies is that I want my pop up/hook bait to be the most attractive bait in the spot, for obvious reasons . That's what I do and why I do it and I'm not saying it's for everyone but it works for me.
So, with that being said, let’s get back to the fishing. My soaked hook baits were on the rigs and ready for casting out. I wasn't fishing too far, somewhere around the 50 yard mark. Rods went out and I was ready for my cup of tea. While the kettle was on I catapulted a few freebies out, sat back and chilled while darkness approached. It was very quiet on the lake, I was the only angler on there other than the mate I was with. Cup of tea in hand and with the temperatures starting to drop as the night was drawing in, out of nowhere I had a screamer, a complete one toner. I struck into this hard fighting carp, stripped some line every now and then .. was a proper angry little one. I soon netted this scraper double which must have only been around 10/11 lbs but it was a pretty looking common carp, beautiful chestnut brown colour, caught on Nasty Shrimp.
Anyway, so I got back to dinner, wolfing that down so I could get snug for the night ahead. A couple of hours passed by pretty quickly and I was nodding off as it was around 11 ish, way past my bed time. I took my hoodie off with the intention of getting into bed properly and bloody typical, just as I took my hoodie and my boots off I had little beep on the left hand Nasty Shrimp trap. I sat on the edge of my bed waiting for something to happen but unfortunately nothing came of it. But, as a carp angler, we all know even that one bleep you think yep, they're around the spot, they're feeding, it could be anytime now. It's funny how the things you think of in your head could actually be right .. as the next part was exactly as I had envisioned, my bite alarm was singing and dancing. I couldn’t get my hoodie and boots on quick enough, I had to though as since I arrived it had started raining and it wasn’t stopping. There is something I love about fishing in the rain, and no it’s not the bloody mess things get in, but laying there while everything around is extremely quiet other than the raindrops on the brolly/bivvy, aww lovely times.
So, where was I .. ah yes the carp! So I got my gear back on, rushed out and hooked into this hard fighting warrior! Now this one did feel a tad bigger, not massively, no monster but a stunning common weighing in at 13lb 8oz, no lump but enough to make you smile.
I sent him on his way and asked him to bring me the bigger ones. Still, I can’t complain as it is winter and pretty cold. I washed my hands off and got the old hand sanitizer out ready to prep my dinner, nothing too exciting, just sausage sandwiches. Half way through cooking dinner it was safe to say the spot was rocking as I had another run and fish on. This one felt a little better, a bit slower and less fight in it, more of a weight ... until I got it near the bank and then it decided to kick off a little. At this point it was around 9:30 at night and pitch black. With the aid of my head torch I could see that it was in fact not a common carp but a wicked mirror, which makes a change from this lake as it’s usually common carp. I soon got him over the cord of the net and safely into my carp cradle ready for some pics. Again, it wasn’t as big as I first thought but a low double all the same, caught on the VNX+ .. now both rods have done me bites. I love it, catching on my own rigs and prepared baits.
I got a couple of pics and sent that one on its way, with the hope of a busy night ahead. This gravel bar seemed to work really well, I think I may have found my new favourite spot, and yet many more seasons and conditions to try it out. By this point I was soaking wet I so took cover in the brolly. I took a layer of clothes off and got into the sleep system. I fell asleep with the whole front of the brolly system open, laying there looking out at the lake and the rods - epic views and big dreams of big carp.
Unfortunately, and weirdly, I had a great nights sleep without my dreams being interrupted. Throughout the next day it was so quiet and so calm, as if the fish just switched off. My friend had a really nice common in the morning which had a small damaged scale on its lower flank, so I got Dr Bob out and treated this lovely looking common weighing in at 14lb3oz. Nothing for me the rest of the day as I said but hey, I got 3 carp in winter so I’m happy. Thank you all for reading and supporting.
Tagged as: Harry Stirling
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