Myles is back with an update on how he’s easing BACK INTO HIS FISHING, NOW the worst of winter has passed and he’s settled into a new home...
Myles is back with an update on how he’s easing back into his fishing, now the worst of winter has passed and he’s settled into a new home...
The past few months of a gruelling winter have been nothing short of abysmal for me and from speaking to friends, I wasn’t alone. The inconsistent weather wasn’t helping and as much as I would have liked to have carried on regardless, wintertime for me is mainly spent at home. It is a time that I use wisely to get any house bits done and gain those much-needed brownie points with the Mrs. I still got out when I could, mainly pike fishing and a bit on the rivers with friends. A few hours here and there was lots of fun. I also spent a fair bit of time in the garage, getting all the gear organised and prepped for the coming season. It is amazing how long it takes, but once it’s done, it allows that rhythm in the warmer months to go smoothly. All the reels were spooled with fresh line, spare tackle assembled and ordered, and the freezer loaded with bait. The spring on Dinton’s Black Swan had been kind to me in the past and I wanted it to continue this year.
While I didn’t plan on doing much carp fishing, I did try and squeeze the odd trip in when there was a break in the weather. It was the last week of January and although we had been hit by a cold spell, there were good temperatures forecast and with that front came strong winds. Much to my surprise, I did see quite a few fish showing in the bay. Although the weather was good, there hadn’t been much caught at all since the winter set in and these fish looked up for it. It was late at night and I was just having a brew before bed, when I saw another one show, and right near the area I was fishing too. It looked good for a bite.
Earlier on in the day, I had tried something a little different. I tied half a dozen big bags of maggots on to the leading rod and cast them out to the spot. It was fairly deep water and I didn’t want them to drift around with the tow from spombing. By letting them hit the bottom and count to 30, I made sure that all those maggots were on the bottom and a perfect little trap was set.
With that, another carp showed, before the bobbin smacked the blank. It dropped back down again, before going up and pulling out of the clip
I awoke in the morning, got a brew in hand and sat watching the lake. A small mirror showed right over the spot and I was sure one of the rods had to go. A load of birds gathered near the spot and I feared the worst. Then, for no reason at all, they all spooked and hastily went away. With that, another carp showed, before the bobbin smacked the blank. It dropped back down again, before going up and pulling out of the clip. I picked the rod up, felt the fish and it all went slack – hook pull. The lead had gone and the point was burred over; I couldn’t believe it, but it was a good sign that I was doing something right.
I did see a couple more that trip, but no further action came. I had a couple of trips in February, but it was bleak, with very little happening. Only one small carp had actually been caught since the turn of the year, which wasn’t too much of a surprise.
The forecast for my next trip gave strong north easterlies, which was perfect for fishing out at range from the golf bank. I had been doing most of my time in the bay, but with these conditions I had to give it a go on the golf bank. I got the rods out smoothly and dotted 30 baits over each rod. I left them out for 48 hours and on that final morning, all of them had been picked up by birds. The wind had changed and I couldn’t get the rods back out to the spots. For my final night I fished the bay with zigs, but to no avail.
The Beast from the East arrived and hit with such force that the lake was certainly going to be knocked back after that, so I didn’t fish that week. When it finally went though, I was pretty eager to get back down. With all that cold water coming in, I fished a swim called Little No Dogs, as it controls a good chunk of deeper water. I thought if the fish were going to retreat to anywhere, it would be there. I fished zigs for a few nights, but didn’t so much as see a carp. It was really quiet, so deep down I wasn’t overly surprised. I was getting frustrated with it all – it had felt like the longest winter ever and I was praying for spring to arrive.
I was back down the following week and the weather had been pretty steady since I had been gone. I got down in the morning and, after seeing nothing, I decided to set up in the mouth of the bay, where I had seen the majority of the shows since fishing it in the cold.
I chucked out three zigs that night, but with no joy. I saw a carp stick its head out in front of me, so I brought the zigs in and cast three hinges to the area. It then rained heavily for the next few hours and I didn’t see another fish. I wasn’t feeling it and in my head – I knew I needed to move. The weather was due to change that afternoon, with a big westerly setting in.
A few swims up was Suicide, which gave access to the gap between the islands. With a westerly coming, it meant that it would be directly off my back. It was an area I had a lot of success in at the same time last year, so all the gear was on the barrow and I was off.
I fished a swim called Little No Dogs, as it controls a good chunk of deeper water. I thought if the fish were going to retreat to anywhere, it would be there
With a westerly coming, it meant that it would be directly off my back. It was an area I had a lot of success in at the same time last year, so all the gear was on the barrow and I was off
The swim itself is an absolute nightmare to fish. You don’t have much room to cast and wading out is impossible too. The spots were over 160 yards out, so it meant having a small drop on the rod and generating as much power as you could to get out there. After breaking a couple of rods and having all sorts of dramas, I got three rods rocking to the areas I wanted them in. I nipped out in the boat and spread 50 baits around the size of a tennis court.
Due to how long it had taken me to get them out and the clarity of the water, Krill pop-ups were on all three rods. I didn’t want the birds to be picking me up and, by having a dull bait out there, they had less chance of spotting them. All three were on hinges – big, strong components so that nothing would let me down.
I normally fish tubing, but I had a nightmare threading it and I was pushed for time so in this instance I’d quickly whipped up some short lead core leaders. In the past from that swim I had only ever had bites during the day. It took me by surprise when one of the rods was away at 3am that morning. I was set up at the top of the bank and being woken up by two beeps means that there is one on. I flew down there and connected with a carp.
It turned out to be a 19lb mirror, which was a great start to what I was hoping would be another good year. I did a couple of shots and got it back, leaving the rod to be recast in the morning. At around 11am the right-hander let off a couple of beeps. I dropped what I was doing, scrambled down the steps and was in to another fish.
Playing them at such a range is tricky, as you are never sure if it is a big one or not. When it got closer I realised it wasn’t, but a stunning looking mirror all the same. I slid the net under it and what a carp it was. A little over 20lb – dark and with the most incredible scaling on it. I was buzzing, totally made up with how the session was going and I felt like it was hard earned too.
I got the rod wrapped up and a fresh rig tied on. I walked down the path to recast the rod, when the other rod next to it was away. I picked up into another hard-fighting carp, which again turned out to be a mirror, but slightly bigger this time too at over 25lb. After an hour of thrashing, I managed to get all the rods back out and went out to top the swim up with some more Krill.
TOP Myles persisted with the zigs during the high pressure weather fronts
MIDDLE A new purchase to help move the gear and the boat
A few baits spread in a large area is something that has worked well for MylesLEFT
BELOWThe first one of the year for Myles – a cracking 19lb 10oz mirror
LEFTBig hinges were the rigs of choice
What a carp, at an irrelevent weight of 20lb 10oz TOP
MIDDLE A new one that Myles didnt recognise – a lovely grey mirror of 28lb 4oz
LEFT The Krill has been the bait of choice throughout the year