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The Frozen North
My black chops, this is Cream CSM.
when you’re on, he won’t give you
much bother on your spots, crazy as it
may seem! You see people throwing
rocks at him, and he’ll go straight to
their spots out in the lake and make a
right nuisance of himself. He stayed
with me all session, and it may sound
sad, but company is company in winter, even if you don’t speak the same
language, or are even of the same
The rods were out, and I was settled into my chosen swim. I scanned
the water as much as possible, but
didn’t see a thing, which wasn’t a surprise really, I do find that on weedy
waters the fish show a lot less in winter because they’re nicely tucked up
in their weedy homes. The night
passed uneventfully, but at about
8.30am, I got a mad liner on the right
hand bay rod, just to let me know that
fish were in the zone. I nearly hit it,
but just as soon as I’d got to it, the
bobbin resettled to where it was. A
good thing, as 15 minutes later it was
away, and I landed a little common of
about 12-13lb. Not a bad start, and the
first fish out of the lake for two weeks
– nice. A re-cast, 20 more baits out
with the catty, and at 9.30am, the rod
was away again. After a short scrap
under the tip, a nicely scaled mid-20
mirror went over the cord, and an
audible, “Yes!” went out, as I knew it
was a better fish than the previous
common. Rig checked, hook sharp,
re-cast made, bailiff down, pictures
done – and we’re angling again. Two
fish on the first morning – buzzing.
Both fish had come from the right
hand bay rod, fished in 6ft over light
weed. The hooklength was 12in of
Super-Nova knotless-knotted to a size
8 Longshank Nailer. The bait was the
same as what I’d caught The Gladiator on two months before, Winterised
B5 – this time though I’d done the
whole batch jet black and kept the
chops of a similar size to each other
so they could be catapulted accurately. The hookbait was a black chop
with a piece of black foam on the hair
as well, just so it sank slowly enough
to rest on top of the weed. This was a
quite different approach, and guess
what – not a single pick-up off the
coots or Navy Seals (tufties). I didn’t
have any more fish that session, but
went home happy, and after introducing 2kg of free offerings to the right
hand bay spot as I left, I was more
than eager to get back the next week!
I’m very fortunate on the work
front, and being a shift worker I do get
to fish midweek. The days at work
dragged that week, and I kept checking the fishery website ( and ringing round people
just to keep in contact with the
events down at the lake. As it happened nothing had been out since my
fish, and it stayed that way until I got
back down for another two-nighter
the following Wednesday. I once
again set up in the Point; the rods and
spod were clipped up from the previ-
ous week, so the rigs went out pretty
easily, fishing the right hand rod on
the 6ft bay spot, and the other two in
the same spots as the week before. I
could have maybe moved the middle
rod closer to where I’d caught fish
from on the right hand rod the week
before, but I was paranoid about the
stressing the zone so early in the
campaign, so I just kept the one rod
there for now. I fired a few half spods
out to the right hand mark. I prefer
half spods sometimes for two reasons
– firstly, it gives a better spread with
minimal amount of bait, and secondly,
if you miscast you can wind the spod
in slowly without losing any bait and
spreading it all over the swim.
The first day’s fish spotting was
unsuccessful, and the first night was
uneventful. I woke up the first morning with that “failure” feeling, but not
to worry though – a quick coffee and
a rethink. The conditions were the
same as last week, a warmish, lowpressure system, blowing SW into my
right hand bay area. Surely there must
be fish there; surely they will have
eaten my pre-bait from last week?
Only time would tell. The day went
quickly, as they do in winter, and I
climbed into the bag at about 7pm,
dozing off a little while later. The wind
had picked up quite a bit now, and
was hammering into the bay on my
right. A short burst of bleeps from one
of the rods had me up and out; it was
the right hand rod, the bobbin held at
the top, and I was in. The fish kited
left, and then came straight in and
kissed the spreader first time. It was a
mirror of about 25lb – a linear that I
had caught before, a real peach. I


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