FL13 - Page 80

Back to Reality
about once again was Dinton Pastures as my winter ticket was due to
start on the Sunday 1st. Talk about
excited; I was like a little kid again. As
I didn’t have work on the Saturday I
decided to drive to Dinton, have a
walk around and see how it was fishing. It’s a little over 100 miles for me to
get to the lake, but it’s not a bad journey other than the dreaded M25 roadworks that I have to endure every
I arrived at the lake at just after
10am, and as I starting my walk I
bumped into a couple of old faces I
recognised from when I fished here
last, and it was nice to have a catch
up. On talking to the guys it seemed
that the lake had fished really hard
this year and that a lot of the bigger
fish had yet to grace its banks. I
remember thinking to myself; if Dinton had fished so hard all summer
then I was probably going to be in for
a tough winter, but that didn’t matter
in the slightest. I had no idea what
the winter had in store for me, but I
did have a kind of a plan, and as long
as I was fishing well, I would be a
happy man.
It was an absorbing visit, which left
me deep in thought. I completely lost
(Top) Dave with his second fish from
(Right) Just waiting.
track of time, and before long I had to
head back home as I was having my
kids for the night, but Sunday night
saw me Dinton bound for a three-day
session. I left my house on the Sunday
evening after dropping the kids back
to their mum, and at a little after 9.15
I pulled into the compound within the
car park at Dinton to find just three
other cars there. I grabbed a bucket
from the back of the van and took a
walk around the lake to look for signs
or any kind of indication of fish. I
stopped off and spoke to a couple of
guys, Neil and Knotty, briefly and then
continued on my journey. I had
intended on doing a complete circuit
of the lake, but part way around I
spotted a fish stick its head out in
between the Beach and the Oaks
swims at about 40yds. I sat out on a
platform in Peg 16 for a little while
and witnessed a further fish show.
“That will do for me,” I said to myself
and dropped the bucket in the swim
before heading back for the rest of my
When I got back to the swim, I
decided to only fish single hookbaits
for the night, as I didn’t want to spook
any catchable fish that might be in
residence. I cast all three rods out at
distances ranging between 30 and
55yds, with rigs baited with cork ball
pop-ups made for me by my good
friend Matt. These really are excellent
hookbaits – cheers mate, you’re a star.
My bait choice for this winter is
Scopex Squid, but unlike the standard
frozen readymades, which are produced from the S Mix, I’ve had mine
rolled using the All Seasons Squid
base mix. I’ve also opted for one or
two further additions and tweaks.
Although the standard Scopex Squid
Plus makes a very effective all-season
carp catcher, the All Seasons Mix has
a particularly impressive cold water
track record. Also it would probably
be a little bit different to what others
might be using. Successful carp fishing is all about percentage points, and
every little edge will help to swing the
odds in my favour. I chose this bait
over the Amber Attract Chocolate
Malt, which I used last year, despite
having a cracking winter on it. I did
this because Scopex Squid is my alltime favourite. Both Jon Mac and I
used it on Dinton a couple of winters
back, and we both had fish on it. I
really do have 100% confidence and
total belief in this bait, and for a winter campaign on a challenging water,
it’s a crucial factor.
Rig-wise I have decided to use
both the hinged stiff link and the
Jonny Mac Rig (as it’s widely known
now) for my pop-up fishing, and if I’m
using a bottom bait or snowman then
I’m going to use my favourite blowout ring rig. I’m not going to go into
too much detail as to which components I use and how I construct these


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