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The Traveller
elled and hundreds of kilos of bait and
lots of money spent, but with dedication, ambition and hard work I’ve got
to where I am today.
Challenging myself and trying as
many different methods and tactics
as possible to catch these carp over
the years has advanced me in all
aspects of carp fishing. Going from
pressured, highly stocked day ticket
waters of around 15 acres to huge
250-acre low stock pits is a massive
shock, but along the way it’s a learning curve and I would recommend
every carp angler to challenge themselves to get the best results out of
their angling time, as with most holding a fulltime job and having a family,
it’s not easy to be consistent and
catch big fish on a regular basis on
every water you target.
I did two winters on Swarkstone
Reservoir, a 75-acre pit with only 25
fish as stock due to two floods the
previous year and several of the fish
dying, unfortunately. I targeted three
areas of this huge, low stock pit,
which is kind of unheard of in winter.
It was a real challenge that many
anglers would laugh at, thinking I was
crazy, but I stuck at it. In November
there was a real low band of pressure
coming in with a consistent, strong
25mph southeasterly wind, so I drove
down and baited heavily with 30kg
of Trent Baits Tikka Spice in an area I
knew they would visit in the following
week. I did five nights, and on my fifth
morning, after seeing one carp show
at the back of my baited area at 5am,
I landed a 30lb 4oz common – a right
result from this lake at that time of
year. I went on to catch two 20s and a
double. The rewards are there; you
just have to work at it!
Bluebell Lakes in Northampton was
another highly pressured complex,
but it had some amazing fish. All the
lakes were heavily stocked and the
one and only Benson, the largest resident, was my target, which could be
my first 50lb carp. There were several
good anglers from the northeast traveling down midweek, the best time
really, as it was quiet. Then there
were the locals; a gang from Leicester
and Nottingham, so I knew I was up
against it with regards to competition
with bait, line pressure and me only
being able to fish the water at weekends when 60 lines in four acres
proved a nightmare.
My first weekend on my new ticket
I had the Pirate Common at 40lb 10oz.
The fish only had one eye hence the
name. It was my first 40lb carp along
with the Italian, a mirror, at 34lb 6oz. I
chose a swim where I had 30 yards of
water, that was all, and I fished two
really slack lines in 3ft of water behind
a small weedbed. I was using Trigga
Ice, a bait I knew had been introduced
over a few years, but I was using
chops not round baits! I was
absolutely chuffed to bits with that
result, and all of a sudden every session my swim was full of anglers asking me questions and watching my
every move.
This made me adjust and do things
completely differently to the rest, but
I was watching them too. I thought
the carp were fairly easy to catch, but
it was the competition against other
anglers that was the problem. I baited
up at night; I set my alarm for 2am
and did my rounds, sometimes spodding and laying the spod flat as minimum disturbance was critical so I
wasn’t seen or heard – that’s how
stealthy I had to be.
That’s all the space we have this
month for Mark’s first piece. Join us
next month for part two where he
takes on the awesome 170 acre Water
Park with incredible results. n
31lb 10oz common in February, caught on a solid bag of crushed brazil nuts and hemp. Kingfisher Lake, Bluebell complex.


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