FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 143

Northern Exposure
and the pressure dropping I planned
my next couple of sessions. I’d baited
heavily in one or two areas for a couple of days, and now I would see if the
fish where munching on my bait.
Once again I changed hook patterns,
as rightly or wrongly I’d gone through
three or four different varieties during
the summer months. Whilst nothing
at all was wrong with some of the
hooks I’d used over the last few
weeks my confidence was very low,
and a combination of small hooks,
heavy leads, powerful rods and perhaps hard mouthed fish led to four
dropped fish on the trot. This was
something I couldn’t accept, so after
spending a couple of hours at Stapeley Angling Centre looking at every
hook in the shop I settled for a couple
of packets of Solar Tackle’s new long
shank hooks. These not only seemed
very strong but were super sharp. As
far as I’m concerned the hook is the
most important part of any rig, and it’s
one thing that I’m consistently paranoid about; I seem to go through
packet after packet of hooks, and regularly change them throughout each
session until I’m happy. I tied a couple of rigs up and felt more than
happy with these new additions.
Well, the next session proved to me
that the right choice had been made
as fish of 16lbs and 23lbs fell to my
rods in a short five-hour morning session. The 23lb mirror was excreting
bait all over the mat, and it was obvious that they were on the feed. The
hooks came through with flying
colours as both fish were nailed with
no chance of dropping off! With confidence levels refuelled I returned a
couple of days later, again arriving
early and intending to fish until late
afternoon. The weather over the last
couple of days had been changeable
with cold northerly winds and dropping temperatures that had made
thing unpleasant to say the least.
Then suddenly at the weekend the
wind changed to a southerly direction, and the fish started to display
their whereabouts with a newfound
enthusiasm. Being a Sunday I knew
there would be one or two anglers
present, so I arrived early aiming to
get as close to the pack as possible. I
slid in next to Adam, but despite trying my best ‘til mid-afternoon it was
he who managed to bank another
one, this time a cracking looking 25lb
4oz common. Adam’s run of fish continued well into October with a string
of 20’s falling to his rods, and he
looked well on the way to banking a
few more as the winter months got
even closer. It was noticeable that a
number of fish were getting caught
on simple bottom baits, and even
though I’m a pop-up fan I simply
couldn’t ignore the obvious, so a
quick call to Dynamite Baits had a
batch of their Spicy Shrimp and
Prawn paste heading in my direction.
The intention was not only to roll a
few homemade bottom baits, but also
to wrap my hookbaits in a thin layer of
paste before casting out, which, I
hoped, would maximise attraction
and be just enough to fool a few more
I returned the following Saturday
just as the light was clearing from the
east and the birds were starting their
early morning calls. After a busy week
at work it was good to be back, and
even though I’d not had the rods out
for a few days I’d still managed to
stick a load of bait in midweek, aiming to give them a good free meal or
two. Matt turned up shortly after
armed with a big bag of bacon and
sausage – just what we needed on a
bright and breezy autumn morning. It
was 7.30am by time the rods were in
position, and I then sat perched on
the end of my chair, eyes fixed on the
water, hoping for another aerial display. Matt set up 20yds to my left, and
with both his rods in position it was
time for some serious tea drinking as
the kettle’s never off when we get
together. With this being the first
week in October the six months since
the start in April had simply flown by,
and during the last few months I’d
been lucky enough to stick my hooks
into 32 of the Park Lake residents,
landing 24 of them, but unfortunately
losing eight. Even though this was
more than creditable I still felt that a
(Left) Action on the lake.
(Below) Young Adam showing us the


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