FREE LINE 03 - Page 151

Flitting Around
haven’t written for a while,
and Rob asked me to keep
you updated with what’s
been going on with my fishing. I left the Berkshire syndicate back at the end of February, having been lucky enough to
catch my target fish, so I was well
pleased with that. I had planned to
stay on there for the spring in search
of my quarry, but I was fortunate to
catch what I wanted early and could
now leave. It was a great place to fish
in the winter, but I feel that the spring
would have been very busy, and even
though it’s a large lake, it did seem so
small at times, which seemed strange.
At the beginning of March I
decided to go back to the Manor in
Essex to see if I could finally catch the
one I wanted. It was getting on for
five years now on and off in search of
that one fish. I had been lucky enough
to have caught the others that I
wanted apart from that one, which
was like a bogey fish for me. I just
couldn’t catch her, and maybe this
spring would be my chance. She had
been 49lb-plus in November, and had
been caught from an area that she
sometimes frequents.
I had noticed when I had left back
in Nov that the fish were showing and
fizzing up in the middle of the lake
where it can be 20-plus feet deep.
They tend to stay in the margins and
on the shelf between March and
November, then as winter draws in it
(Top) Dynamite’s Fresh Squid and
(Below) Manor out in the middle.
does fish quite hard, with just the odd
fish if you are lucky until they magically wake up at the touch of a button. As it was still quite cold and the
water temperature was not starting to
show any signs of warming up just
yet, the plan was to concentrate on
the centre of the lake in the deeper
areas. I was sure that there had to be
some nice hard spots out there in the
centre in amongst the soft stinking
silt in the deeper water.
My first trip down coincided with a
particularly cold snap for the time of
year. I wasn’t overly confident of seeing a fish, let alone getting a bite I can
tell you, but would you believe I saw a
fish show out in the middle around
midday that first session, which gave
the old confidence a boost. I took the
opportunity to cast each rod out until
I found what I was looking for before I
left for home. This took some time, as
the silt was quite soft and stinky out
there, but after a couple of hours I
managed to find three decent hard
spots that the lead donked down on. I
clipped them all up for when I
returned the following week, and I
scattered a couple of kilos of 20mm
Dynamite Fresh Squid and Octopus
frozen baits over the three areas and
headed for home.
I have had the tendency in past
winters to use 20mm baits, which
goes against most of what I have
heard or learnt about standard winter
fishing with small baits and small bits
and pieces. I have had some good
results over the past few years using
these big baits; they are so hard for
the carp to get rid of once they suck
them in, and with the short anti-eject
rig I was using, it would be even
harder. The thought behind it was
that no one else I had seen was using
this size of baits, and the Fresh Squid
and oyster bait that Dynamite had
just realised also didn’t use eggs in
the mix, so even if the fish started eating them they wouldn’t get all eggbound and have trouble digesting the
bait in the colder temperatures. The
bait has a very porous texture, which
lets all the goodies out into the water
table, hopefully pulling down any fish
to have a feed. I Also noticed other
anglers were using the good old faithful bright pop-ups for most of their
fishing on the Manor, and I knew if I
could get the fish to pick these big
baits up they would be hooked and it
would be game over – well hopefully


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