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After finally passing my driving test, I was keen to get into some serious carping before the winter hit. However, with a limited option of waters in my area to target, I was finding it difficult to pin down a venue that I wanted to focus on over the autumnal period. Considering this, alongside my burning desire to get any fishing done, I decided to head to my local day ticket lake for a few after-work sessions. The venue in question was Mill Farm Fishery in Gilmorton, a deep, clear, former quarry that holds a good stock of fish, reaching to over 30 pounds. With the lake only a 5 minute drive from home, it was perfect for quick 2-hour evening sessions. 
Henry Lennon Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
Arriving after work for my first session, I decided on travelling as light as possible and moving onto showing fish. Armed with a backpack of tackle, an unhooking mat and landing net, and a 6ft Dwarf rod, I went for a few laps around the lake. After a good 30 minutes of searching, I came across a few showing fish and fizzing in a quiet bay off the main body of water. I flicked out my rod, fishing a VNX+ wafter and a PVA bag of the matching stickmix, and scattered a handful of 14mm VNX+ boilies over the spot. Immediately I was receiving liners, so I knew a bite was imminent. After around 10 minutes, my little rod screamed off, the culprit being a small, but welcome, mirror that looked as though it had only been recently stocked into the venue. With 45 minutes of daylight remaining, I retied another rig and flicked the rod back out. Just before darkness fell, the rod rattled off again, with a similar sized carp on the end. For a couple of hours fishing after work, where the rod was in the water for less than an hour, I felt that it had been a productive session. 
VNX+ wafter Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
VNX+ wafter Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
A few days later I was back down at the lake. Approaching with an identical tactic to the previous session, I found a few fish in the car park swim and flicked a bait in their direction. After 45 minutes it became obvious that the carp originally held in the area had moved on, but I could see a few fish crashing at the opposite end of the lake, where the margin was being battered by the wind. I reeled in and made my way over. As silently as I could, I cast to where I had seen the most fish showing. Casting to showing fish can be a brilliant tactic, provided you are confident you will have a fishable rig once you have moved onto the show. A slow-sinking rig, using PVA foam and feeling for the drop, all help to give you the confidence that you are fishing effectively. At this point, the weather was beginning to turn, and the skies were darkening. I had plans for later that evening, so I gave myself until 7:30pm until I had to pack up and leave. I set an alarm on my phone, and when this sounded, I began packing up my gear to move off. Accepting the blank, I bent down to reel in my rod, when it burst into life with a jittery take. I struck into a sizeable fish that gave me a great fight on my short rod. Whilst playing the fish, I had to simultaneously rebuild the landing net I had broken down seconds before. I managed all this without too much drama, except for the fact that the heavens opened halfway through the fight, and I was now soaked. It was clear that the fish was larger than the carp I had landed on my previous session, and once landed, it just touched 20lbs on the scales. I returned the fish after a quick photo, and jumped into the car, soaking wet but pleased with my last-gasp action. 
VNX+ wafter Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
I had intended to return to this venue on more occasions, but soon after my second session I found my ideal venue for Autumn. With my focus now firmly on this lake, my sessions on Mill Farm will have to take a backseat. 
For my Autumn venue – watch this space! 
Tagged as: Henry Lennon
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