Snow Flurry Success
It was the 12th of April when I rocked up at the gate of my North Lincolnshire syndicate water for my first trip of the spring. I’d only been to the lake in January before then, fishing a few nights at the beginning of the year when my ticket started. Only one other angler was down, Dave Garner, who gave me some valuable advice on where the fish had been coming from.
Within no time I had rods on the spots and it didn’t take long for me to get amongst the fish. That first night I ended up with six fish from seven takes, the best into mid-20s, all coming to the new Key Stabilised. It was an incredible response because there are only 45 carp in the whole lake!
I was back again two nights later when I chipped in with my first decent fish of the year, a 30lb 6oz known as Joe’s Common. That was all I needed to really get me in the zone. I could only fish overnighters in between work due to lots of other commitments in my normal life – I had a marathon coming up and I wanted to break 3hours 30min so I’d been putting in lots of training.
The following night I was amongst them again, this time with another one of the big commons weighing in at 29lb 15oz. I continued to chip away at the stock during the rest of the week, tempting fish on almost every night I was down. All I was doing was fishing single 20mm Key Stabilised bottom baits alongside half a dozen freebies sticked out close by. It was exactly the same tactic which worked so well for me last year and here it was working again.
There was a lot of bottom algae beginning to form around the water as the lake bed turned over in its annual cycle. It seemed to put some of the other members off as most nights I was the only one fishing. When I arrived on Monday 25th April conditions looked really grim. There was a freezing cold easterly blowing across the lake as well as intermittent snow, sleet and rain showers, completely bizarre for the time of year. I managed to find some fish, however, and by pulling off time the next morning I’d singled out the lake’s biggest common weighing in at 32lb.
Although conditions were grim I just had to get down the next night after work. I’d seen the venue’s biggest resident known as Starburst (a regular forty) in a snag that morning so fed it some bait when I packed up and left for work. When I returned at 6pm there was only one other angler down and thankfully he wasn’t where I wanted to be. All of the bait was gone which left me brimming with confidence.
I half expected something to happen as soon as I had the rods out, but nothing came until just on first light when I had a take from what I knew instantly was a heavy fish. It put up a great fight all the way in and I knew exactly which one it was when it popped up in front of the net. It was the lake’s biggest resident, Starburst, looking mighty fine! I had to weigh him on my own and when the needle settled on 39lb 15oz a massive beam went right across my face. What an incredible northern carp to catch in such bitterly cold conditions. Even the car was iced over it was that cold!
In only two weeks of fishing I’d caught three of the top four biggest commons as well as the largest carp in the lake. It was the perfect way to start my fishing in 2016 and once again it had been the incredible Key boilies which had done the job for me.