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Twice in a week! Unheard of! This time my adventures took me to the lake my dad leases. A slightly milder spell rolled in and it just had to be done. Temperatures peaked around 11 degrees, although the water temperatures remained freezing due to the spell only lasting a couple of days. 
Kev and I ventured down around midday, had a good scope of the lake before deciding swims, unsuccessful in trying to locate anything. The lake hadn’t actually done a fish since November time, although it’s not going to when no one has been fishing the place. A lot of lake maintenance has instead been under way. Tidying of pegs, removing a lot of the dead weed and so on. 
 
As I’ve said in previous reports the lake averages around 7-8ft, although the conditions were probably the best we’ve had so far his year, the howling wind made things tricky for locating carp. There was, however, one particular area, fairly central, that had caught my attention. There were around 20 coots stuck to one area, along with a few other birdlife in the vicinity. This seemed interesting as this can sometimes work in your favour. They must be there for a reason, I thought, why there and nowhere else? 
 
I had a few hours before I had to pop off to pick the kids up and drop them off at my mother in laws, so didn’t really feel the need to put my rods out. Instead, I used the time to try and locate some spots in the middle of the lake where it’s at its deepest. At first this seemed difficult, there was a lot of weed in the area, and at one point I thought about moving down. After maybe 20 odd cast abouts I managed to find a nice weed free silty area. Possibly a feeding area from last season, I’m not sure, with the new fish going in not so long ago, and actually being seen moving around I felt it would probably benefit me to get some bait out. Around 50 VNX+ 18mm were deployed to the area via the spomb, along with 10 spombs of mushed maples and hemp. I couldn’t even tell you the wraps, I’d forgotten my distance sticks having scaled my gear right down in order to be more mobile, so instead I just walked my lead out behind my swim and matched the spod rod up. Two rods were to be put on this area when I arrived back at the lake. 
 
With another rod at my disposal I made the decision to try find a spot at the same distance but more right, saving me time and effort because it would be dark when I returned. Luckily, first cast cracked down. That’ll do. A couple more casts over the area with a light bare lead and I was happy with the two areas I had located. The same baiting process was applied to this spot as with the previous. On returning to the lake, light was fading fast, my rigs were ready, pva bags pre-tied with the VNX+ Stickmix. Even though the spots were clear I decided to fish my ever faithful hinge stiff rigs, although ditching the Fox comotex boom as I’d recently purchased the tungsten coated braid. With around 7 inch boom and short chod sections to a size 7 Choddy hook. Hookbait choice was all Scoberry Pop ups as they’d done me a few fish early on last year in this lake. 
VNX+ Scoberry Successful Baits UK Ltd Carp Fishing Baits
Temperatures soon dropped once dark rolled in, Kev and myself enjoyed a few beers whilst it was still bearable, hoping that something would happen during the night. I’d set my alarm for just before first light, in the hope that if nothing had happened in the night maybe I’d be able to see something as the light was coming up. 
 
Well, temperatures dropped below freezing overnight. I woke to my set alarm, rolled out the bag and made a coffee watching my rods. This lasted about ten minutes before it was time to get back in the bag and get warm, ultimately resulting in me going back to sleep till around 7:30. On waking up Kev had seen a show a couple swims down from where he was bivvied up and was on it in a flash, snooze you lose they say! The wind had swung round northerly, bitterly cold blowing right into our faces. We stuck things out until around dinner time without as much as a liner. It was time to call it a day as I had to get back for the kids. The pack-up was awful and rather muddy. It’s never nice leaving on a blank, another one at that. But that’s winter fishing I suppose. Not for the faint hearted. I’m seriously contemplating going for another species next winter, either that or trying to get a ticket on the runs water I fished with great success a couple winters ago. For me, cold and blanking don’t equate to a successful recipe. It’s nice to see signs of green starting to break through, really looking forward to spring coming around. Fair few weeks left of cold yet though. For sure it will get worse before it gets better, it’s still early. Let’s get February out the way, I’ve always enjoyed fishing in March. 
It’s nearly time for the pre-baiting to begin, water temperature was 6.2 yesterday on the lake I bailiff, which is a fairly deep water compared to the lake my dad leases. Few more degrees and I’ll start to trickle some bait in on some likely looking areas ready for spring. I’ve got two waters to fish at my disposal, around 10 targets over both lakes, my aims for this year is to tick off as many as possible. 
 
Let’s not let the cold dark nights get us down, it’s getting lighter every day and will soon be warmer. 
 
Good luck to those fishing, and good luck for this year on your chosen waters. 
 
Shaun 
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