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I was back on the family run syndicate as soon as I could. Over the past few sessions as you will have all read I've been focusing my angling around floater fishing at the moment. Not a great deal has been happening and it doesn't take much effort to realise they are in the upper layers, with every chance of being able to slip one up using floaters. 
I set my stall up for the 24 hours ahead with the game plan to only put my bottom rods out just before dark. This allowed me to roam the lake looking for the fish up for a mixer or two. 
 
I opted for the usual approach, fox bolt bubble, 20inch 15lb zig/floater hooklink down to a size 10 mixa hook using the Nash bread bombs. Loose feed consisted of standard mixers, bread and a good dose of the Nasty Shrimp Bait Activator. This product can be used for many different situations, I'm a particular fan of coating my baits 24 hours before my session. This allows the bait time to absorb the bait activator, ultimately maximising the pulling power the bait already gives, for longer periods of time. The carp seem to love the stuff and my personal preference is the Nasty Shrimp. However, all baits in the range are equally as good as one another, used correctly the results will speak for themselves. 
 
During my stay I managed to get caught in a proper English storm! Quickly passing though leaving a beautiful sight just above my rods to gaze upon, we don't just go fishing to catch fish, do we? 
carp fishing bait successful baits
carp fishing bait successful baits
A little after 3pm I managed my first bite on the surface and managed to safely land the fish. Buzzing!! The lake is littered with thick weed beds and lillies, making it difficult in some areas to actually land a carp, having to use lighter line etc and smaller hooks. With there always being the chance of losing a fish, I made sure to play this specific fish carefully before donning my waders and jumping in the lake to walk around the last remaining lilly bed. The fish was a little over 15lb, buzzing with that and it did feel good for one or two more. 
carp fishing bait successful baits
High winds made it difficult for the rest of the day to get the fish feeding on the surface comfortably and confident. Around 8-9 pm I decided to put my two rods out on the spots and settle down for the night. I opted to fish the middle of the lake, but fish close in on a lilly bed, and a marginal snag. Rig preference was hinged stiff rigs with 12mm White Scoberry bottom baits on both rods, with a scattering of Nasty Shrimp and VNX+ over the top. 
 
Night time came and passed, until I was awoken by a series of vicious bleeps. I was quickly on my rod, the fish was pulling hard down to my right, doing its best to find the snag. I couldn't really do much with it and within 15 seconds the fish had done enough to evade capture. I was left with my head in my hands. The boom section of the hinge stiff had broken, gutted. Shortly after, I made the dreaded decision to pack down and head home. 
 
I hope my last few articles will help others in their own pursuits, whether it be targeting specific big fish, or fishing our day tickets. It always helps to have a floater rod with you, whatever the conditions. There is always a possibility that the fish will be up for feeding on the surface. Carry that extra bit of kit!! 
 
Probably only going to manage one more session before our family holiday in mid-august, but I'll be straight back into the swing of things afterwards. 
 
Take care and be safe. 
 
Shaun. 
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