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This No more waiting!! 
The four days at work seemed to last forever before I could get back out fishing. Having done time on the day ticket over the winter for zero reward, the place definitely owed me some luck... 
Having spoken to a few lads who had fished the lake recently, there was fish being caught until the Friday before our session. A cold spell had hit our area, temperatures had plummeted at night leaving thick frost on a morning. The northerly winds had returned. Keeping close tabs on the weather I had high hopes of getting amongst the fish. With confidence in the bait I'm using, confidence in the rigs I'd be presenting, I felt I had a good chance. 
The lake was full the night before had which meant we couldn't get down for first light. The lake is seeing immense pressure at the moment, and rightly so. Some lovely fish reside in the lake, however many people suffer blanks on the banks of willows. Old Mill is probably one of the best carp fisheries in our area, if not the north. My main aim is to eventually work my way onto the main specimen lake, Birch, which holds a mega head of big carp to nearly 50lb. However for the time being I have to crack on with fishing Willows, which I won't grumble about. 
The gates opened for us at 11am. There were 3 lads still fishing who had already done 24 hours without success. The lake is roughly 3 acres in size, rectangular shape with 6 swims down one bank. Pegs 2,4 and 5 are occupied which left us both end pegs and a swim inbetween anglers. As we had planned the session for my good friend Kev's birthday, I left him to decide where he would like to go. Without really seeing anything to go on, and not really having much choice regarding swims, Kev set up in peg 1 and I chose peg 3. 
The main reason I chose peg 3 is that it was relatively central, offering me a nice far margin with 7-8ft, also the shelf at 12 ft into the middle it's roughly 15-17ft dependant on swim. 
The weather was quite nice at this point which made me believe the best chance of a quick bite would be fishing the shallower water on the far margin. After a good mooch around and trickling a mix of while, chopped and crumb boilie I proceeded to put the rods on the area. 
A couple of hours into the session, and with analysing the water closely, I was convinced the fish were holding up in the deeper water, the lake has been dyed blue to curb the photosynthesis not allowing the sun to penetrate the layers, ultimately stopping the weed growth. Having seen the odd fish show but finding it rather difficult to pinpoint their exact location due to the colour of the water, I opted to leave two rods on the far margin and play around with a zig on the other rod. Having chopped and changed with colours over the course of a few hours casting to the same spot I'd seen a few fish show but I'd still not managed to pick up a fish. 
I changed over from the Scoberry pop up and felt maybe a pink Red Hot Bullet pop up may stand out a bit better given the water clarity. Obvious and blatant I know, but desperation had kicked in and I knew something had to work! 
After helping Kev sort his rod on a showing fish in peg 1, I received a couple of beeps. Being literally 20 yards from my rods I started to walk over slowly, fishing tight it took a few seconds to register in my head, I began jogging as fast as I could with a gammy knee!! 
On inspection of the rods I could see the Korda stow bobbin had pulled tight to the Steve Neville roller, I was on the rod quickly and bent into my first Willows fish of the year. From the second go, begging the fish not to fall off. At this point Kev was still sorting his rods and didn't really know what was going on, there was a Cumbrian lad fishing peg 2 he was quickly over, buzzing to see some action. Within minutes the fish was in the net, big fist pumps all round, the Willows winter spell was broken, the first spring carp from the lake, and what a banger it was. 
Kev and Mikey got some mega shots of a gorgeous 24lb 13oz common, the smile on my face cannot be explained. The fish was safely returned after a good cuddle, to fight another day, to make another angler just as happy as she'd made me. 
carp fishing bait successful baits
The pressure was off. 
Into night I opted to fish one tight to the far bank on the baited area, baiting little and often with VNX+ and Nasty Shrimp crumb. The other two I fished to the same area the fish came from both on 10ft zigs both on pink Red Hot Bullet hookbaits. I truly did feel confident that I could sneak another. 
The zig caught carp was a turning point for me in my fishing. Having overlooked them and severely underused them this was I think my 3rd zig caught carp ever. And what fish to go it with. 10ft zig 8lb line, size 10 hook. It doesn't get much better than that. 
The night passed uneventfully, one of the Cumbrian boys next door to me managed a 18lb common early doors. Other than that the lake remained quiet. 
We had to be off for 11, so packed up quick and was off to our next venue a lake known as commonside very local to us in Scunthorpe. Kev was a member I wasn't, I was guesting for the night and a bit like Old Mill this place owed me one!! Having done a few sessions over the winter to only catch cold! 
Cut a long story short my time spent on this session was more to locate spots, as I was seriously contemplating acquiring a ticket myself. I found some nice areas, took a mental note of them and did indeed leave the lake empty handed around 9am the next morning. 
Commonside owners are good friends of my dad. He's helped them to get the lake running and help them with their dream, just as he's living his. 
With some lovely persuasion from my good mate Kev and my good old man, I'm now actually bailiffing the lake to offer the owners security, not come across as an arrogant bailiff many see today, to guide people, to offer my knowledge, to always be humble and be kind. But most importantly, make sure the fish are being treat with 100% care, always. 
I'll be doing some fishing down here now, along with the day ticket and along with the odd session on our family syndicate, when it's not busy. 
Until then good luck on your individual journeys friends, enjoy everything you see. Have fun, but always stay safe. 
Wishing the lads going to France a banging trip, I hope there is many a fish caught, and many stories to tell. 
Hope you all enjoy the read. Until next time, 
Tight lines 
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