After a steady winter recharging my batteries I was back out on the bank towards the end of March chasing some northern carp not far from where I live in East Yorkshire. The weather was pretty grim for the most part of the month which really did knock the fish back. Not much had been caught from the region at all, but come the spring equinox on the 20th everything seemed to switch into gear.
The water I was concentrating on started to produce the odd fish. I knew it was about to kick off as it has a habit of fishing well once the equinox is out of the way. I started doing the odd overnighter in between work, feeling my way in. I always find this type of fishing the hardest, setting up late in an evening and then packing down just after first light. When a lake is fishing well it always puts you on the back foot too as you rarely get into the swims you fancy, and if you end up catching a few, once people know about it you can’t get back in there!
I ended up losing a fish on my first session but it didn’t take me long to start piecing things together. Using 20mm Key Cray bottom baits on my trusty simple rigs which comprised of size 6 Fang X hooks and stripped Combi-Link hooklinks, the first fish of any significance came when I landed a stunning 30lb 8oz common. I was chuffed to bits to see this fish in my net as it came just before I was about to reel in and head off to work. What a battle it put up too, putting my 9ft 3lb Scope to the test.
A couple of nice twenties followed on my next trip down which I decided to keep to myself so I could get back into the swim I fancied. The area I’d been fishing wasn’t far out and was where I’d watched fish clouding up a few times recently. All of the fish came to the same tactics and most of them were coming at first light just before packing up time. I was doing my best to hold on as long as I could, but before work I had to go home and restock my gear and go for a run as I’m training for a few marathons I have lined up this year.
Next trip down I was all set up before tea and managed to drop a fish almost as quickly as the rods were in the water. It looked good for the night ahead and so did the overcast and westerly conditions. I had a good night’s sleep until just before first light when a decent fish was tearing line from my right-hand rod! I knew it was a lump from the moment I hit into it and some ten minutes later I had the venue’s most sought-after mirror in the net!
Key Cray had once again done the business for me. Weighing in at 42lb 8oz I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season!