Our main man Wayne Box is back out on the bank of popular day ticket fishery Linear Fisheries and with the weather looking perfect, surely nothing could go wrong?
It wasn't long before I went back to Linear Fisheries for a 36hr session with long time friend and carp angling coach Ian Gemson from Smart Carping.
I gave in and allowed Ian to choose the venue as he had been to Linear a couple of weeks previous and had done quite well on Brasenose 1 and although it had planned to target a different day ticket complex in Dorset, I went along to see if there were any bites to be had.
For those of you who know the lake we set up in pegs 27 and 29, there was nobody else along this bank and the wind was due to start blowing this way, couple that with a low pressure of only 996mb and I quote fancied my chances!
I set about finding a feature to fish to, something like a gravel hump or bar are areas that fish patrol regularly and I had a good plumb about for half hour. It turns out that apart from marginal slope, the area in front of this bank is as flat as a pancake! I was about to move when the bailiff came round and said that 80 yards straight out is the spot, so I stayed put. Hardly convinced but with a bit of info from the bailiff I set about hatching a plan.
Sweetcorn and lots of it has dominated the complex in recent years and I had hauled along 5kg of the yellow grains along with 5kg of 12mm Manilla boilies and 2 litres of the Manilla cloudy liquid. The plan was to fish small wafters and pieces of fake pop up corn over the top. 3 rods spread out evenly and 20 spods over each rod. The Bailiff had said the fish respond well to a spod landing so I went for it! All 3 rods were clipped up at 80 yards and so was the spod rod, I had brought along my Total Fishing Tackle Nash Scope rods, they really are incredibly good rods and coupled with Fox FX9 reels they balanced the rods perfectly. in the 10ft 3.25lb tc version there is plenty of muscle for longer casts and I was hitting 80 yards into the light breeze with no trouble at all
All 3 rods went out nicely and a firm donk indicated the lake bed was clear from any debris, I quickly followed that by 20 spods over each rods of the corn and Manilla mix which I was sure would draw the fish in. I sat back and tied a few spare rigs which might seem presumptuous but the action on B1 came come thick and fast when a shoal of fish moves into your spot.
I sat with Ian and we had a catch up over a brew and I was pleased to hear he had been manic with his coaching and tutorial sessions, I remember when Ian first set up Smart Carping, it was nice to hear he was doing well. Ian is a great teacher and very capable carp angler so the two were a perfect fit.
As we sat and chatted two lads from oop norf wandered into the swim, they asked if we had caught and we chatted for a few minutes before they wandered off again. Some 5 minutes later a van pulled up in the car park and the 2 lads started chucking their gear out, they then decided to set up in the swim next to me! The entire 3 sides of the lake were devoid of anglers and they had to set up bang smack next to me! Oh the joys of day ticket angling!
Peace ruined I went back to my cuppa and watched as my two new neighbours set about their fishing, I do wonder what goes through some anglers heads sometimes!
One thing I noticed was that they set their bivvies up directly behind their rods and their rods were positioned right in the middle of the swim. I always find it much better to site your bivvy to one side out the way and to then position your rods to one side of the swim giving you more room to work in. Just a thought.
By now, the sun was starting to set and I was 5 hours into the session with nothing to show for my hard work, I knew the rigs were good, the area was clean and the bait was a winner so where had all the carp gone? While I was balancing a new rig ready for a recast before dark, I noticed the water was freezing, almost too cold to dip your hand into. I went back to the bivvy and recast all 3 rods ready for the night and then topped up with another 5 spods over each rod. As darkness fell I dropped a couple of burgers into a pan and I wondered if I hadn't gone too heavy with the baiting approach, time will tell I guess.
Food consumed I as sat in Ian's swim next door when my right hand rod beeped twice before going into meltdown as the line pulled free from the clip. I lifted the rod and it was solid, it would not budge, I had no idea what was going on and I tried for ages to free the line but to no avail. In the end I had to pull for break and whatever my line was caught around was immovable!
I had re rigged the rod and sent it back out but 5 yards to the left closer to the middle rod, hoping for some more action. I crashed out about 1am expecting to be woken up by an angry delkim any minute. I opened my eyes and it was still dark, I checked the clock and it was 5am so I swung my legs round into my boots and flicked the kettle on, it was pea soup out there, a thick shroud of mist had descended and I could barely see the lake it was that bad, no wonder I hadn't caught, I have never caught in the fog or heavy mist. I have no idea why, the fish just don't like it for some reason.
I sat supping my brew, the sun rose and burnt away all the mist, I hadn't heard a sound in the night, no fish moving or boshing out, it was all very bizarre.
The lake was flat calm, the promised southerly wind had not materialised, maybe that was to blame?
By mid morning nobody on the lake had caught anything, it was like the lake had just switched off? We decided to call it a day and packed the kit away. We loaded the van and set off for home, with our tails firmly between our legs. I had made some mistakes for sure and I set about self evaluating where I had gone wrong. Every time I blank I see it is an opportunity to learn, I figured out that the freezing cold water was a clue, we have had some brutal frosts recently and the water temp had plummeted, I think heavy baiting was a mistake. The 1 bite I did get was my right hand rod and I remember it being right on the edge of the baited area, in reality it was probably fishing as a single hook bait and not over any free offerings at all.
I had seen the wind and pressure and gotten all excited thinking I was going to empty the lake, where as what I should have done was to fish for a bite at a time with a sold bag approach or maybe a stick mix type set up. No one said fishing was easy and despite Brasenose 1 being an out and out runs water, it goes to show you still need to think about your approach!
Ah well, lesson learned!