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First time out for me this year on my tricky local syndicate, I opted to take the new bait from the Successful Baits range. Before joining Successful Baits UK Ltd I was always a fan of a nut based, light coloured boilie and after looking at a sample of the new VNX+ I knew I was onto a winner. 
 
carp fishing carp bait boilies
So, first session of the year for me was late February and was going to be a quick overnighter after work on the Friday to try and beat the weekend rush. After doing a lap of the lake it was looking bleak to say the least but with a cold northerly wind pushing across the lake, I opted for a quiet back channel where I was sure the fish would be taking cover. Arriving in the swim I proceeded in clipping up to the far margin and wrapping the rods, wishful of a fish and having to replace the rod. Only a small flick of 4 and 5 rod lengths was needed to fish the snag lines far margin. I opted for a homemade white CalaFrutti on the left hand rod and a match the hatch VNX+ on the right. Ordinarily I would be using two bright colours this time of the year but I already had faith in the VNX+ so I felt there was no need. With the evening drawing in I received a few liners on the right hand rod, so I was sure the fish were visiting the area, both spots were only fished with less than 20 baits, trying to catch not feed them. It was time to sit back, get the kettle on and wait to see what the night would bring. 
 
The night came and went without any action, however the conditions didn’t do me any favours as the temperature had dropped. As the temperature dropped throughout the night I was confident that the morning would be more productive. Bang on 8am my right hand rod signalled a single bleep, before the bobbin smashing the blank. Fishing locked up to the far margin, the fish kited right towards a fallen tree, but with some persuasion I managed to get the fish under control and in the net! What I thought was a small common by the way it was fighting, in the net turned to looking like a good twenty. Upon unhooking the fish I noticed that I had previously had the fish at roughly the same time last year at 23.12, but it was looking a little bigger. 
 
With the fishing being nailed you could tell that he was really feeding confidently on the VNX+. 
 
The scales pulled round to 27.2, for the first carp of the year. I was buzzing with that result and to see a fish that I caught a year ago putting just over 3lb on was great to see. After returning the fish I proceeded to get the rod back on the spot with another 20 baits around it, confident of another bite. 
 
Unfortunately I had to be off within the next 2 hours, so the barrow was loaded with just the rods, net and mat left until the dying moments. It was 10am and really I should have left already when the same right hand rod signalled a savage take. After a quick hard battle I had a second common in the net. This time resulting in a dark 14lb common truly displaying its winter colours. It’s not always the size of the carp that matters when they look as good as this little common did. 
 
With the session drawn to an end I baited the two areas with a couple of handfuls of the VNX+ knowing I could get back down the following Friday. Not expecting for the bait to still be in the area but I knew with the carp seeking out the VNX+ it would only ever be an advantage for my next session. 
 
A week had passed and again I found myself down the lake for another quick overnighter. With the conditions the same as the following week I headed for the same area. Just as I arrived in the swim I saw a fish roll over where the left hand rod was placed last week, unfortunately that rod didn’t produce but I knew the area I had to be in for the night. I was running late getting to the lake so I didn’t have as much time to get the rods out as I would have liked, but after last week’s result I was certain bite time would be the following morning between 8am and 10am. After sorting the rods and sitting back to enjoy a much needed cup of tea, I was just watching a robin hop from rod to rod without a care in the world. Now I don’t know about you, but I always feel confident when a robin graces the rod. With that, while taking a couple of pictures of the robin, my right hand rod had the most savage bite I’ve had whilst fishing locked up, nearly pulling the rod of the back rest, just highlighting the importance of fishing safely and having the correct set up for the situation. When lifting into the fish I was sure it was one of the many cats that reside in the lake. My good friend and Successful Baits team leader, Callum, was quickly in the back of the swim after hearing the bite. With the fish going hard right I knew that I had to keep in touch with it otherwise I was never going to see the prize. Stripping line off of a very tight clutch I managed to slow it down just as it boiled under a fallen tree to my right. After firm persuasion the fish was out in front of me and staying deep, at this point me and Callum both knew it was a decent fish. The fish stayed deep in the margin before making one last powerful run for the far margin snag. Once the fish rolled on the surface I suspected it was a fish that I mentioned to Callum some 30mins earlier, one that I really wanted for the photo album. With the fish in the net I proceeded to get another rig tied and on the spot. With it still being winter, feeding spells can be very short lived. Rod back on the spot with the 20 baits of VNX+ free offering it was time to get the fish out and have a look at it. After peeling back the mesh of the net, another one of my good friends had come down to see how we were getting on. Realising that it wasn’t the fish I thought it was previously, it was then that moment of ‘well which one is it?’ With my two friends reading the scales it was hovering just over and just under the magical 30. After steadying the scales it read 30lb exactly, meaning it was my first 30 of the year on the VNX+. Buzzing. 
carp bait carp fishing vnx boilies
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unfortunately, nothing followed for me that session, but Callum managed a mint 24lb common in the early hours, again on the VNX+. This bait really is something special and I can't wait to get it out on my new syndicate this year! Confidence in a bag! 
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