<div>After a Successful trip to France, I returned to the UK with a hectic few months ahead. First up was a feature for Total Carp magazine shot at the Nunnery Lakes in Norfolk. The session turned out to be what can only be described as a red-letter trip banking plenty of carp including 4 over 20lb. It was a very productive 24 hours and one that I won’t forget in a hurry. The fish had just woken up from winter and were on the munch big time! A mixture of Pacific Tuna boilies, various pellets and a bit of corn for visual effect proved irresistable and the stiff hinged rig I fished over the top was all that I needed to produce the goods.
Blog 3 – A New PB – Harry Pratt
The next few weeks were just as mental as my trip to the Nunnery, I had numerous socials planned, as well as another feature, not forgetting the joys of working full time!
Although I love targeting large carp, I get just as much of a buzz out of catching anything and sharing moments with mates when they catch a PB or something a little bit special – makes me just as happy as catching myself.
The first of the socials saw me and two mates head to a local day ticket, which I hadn’t visited for a couple of years, but felt my knowledge previously gained would still be an edge to get a few fish on the bank. In no time at all I was into a fish!
There’s a small spot in one of the corners that the fish regularly patrol round and on hot sunny days, where the wind is pushing in, they are well catchable off the surface. A strategically positioned flake of bread resulted in a pair of lips engulfing the hook bait before the rod tip was bouncing away.
A little common in the bag, and we were of to a flyer! As is often the case with close quarters margin fishing, the carp dispersed and I was forced to crack on with plan B. After deciding between us who would fish where for the night, I instantly baited up with 3kgs of 15mm Pacific Tuna boilies with the intention of leaving the bait untill dark before getting the rods out.
With one on the baited area and one just a few feet off to the side, I went to bed feeling confident of a wake-up call and before midnight the rod just off the spot melted away. After bagging a small mirror, the rod was re-placed, and I retreated to the sleeping bag as I needed to be gone by 7am for work. However, the fish had other ideas.
At first light the same rod was away again and as I played the fish in, it was obvious there was a lot of activity in the upper layers. As soon as I had the fish landed, outcame the spod rod, along with a bucket of 11mm trout pellets glugged up in Smoked Salmon Oil to see if they fancied a go on the surface.
Before I had a chance to sort out the fish in the net, they were going mental for the floaters. They were instantly competing for food so I sprinted back to the van to grab the floater gear. Within the next hour and a half before leaving, me and the lad I was doubled up with had 8 takes landing 6 with the best being a cracking upper double mirror. Sweet!
Another social and another mag article took me to the start of the season on an exciting syndicate I’d just got a ticket for. I arrived late from work and had no time for a lap of the lake before the draw took place at 7pm. I came last out of the bag, which meant that I could spend as much time as I needed to decide which one of the two remaining pegs I fancied and not being allowed to cast in until 9pm, there was no need to rush.
With it being a boiling hot day, a peg which controlled a large plateux took my fancy, and whilst getting set up it started to become obvious there were a few fish in the area with the odd one poking its head out in what I’d been told was fairly shallow water at 2-3 foot in depth.
By this point, 9pm was fast approaching and I went into overtime mode getting the rods all rigged up and ready to place where I’d seen the shows. I decided to let everyone else cast in first, keeping my baits on the bank untill around 9.20 when the commotion had died down. I then carefully flicked my 2oz leads out with minimal disturbance in the hope the fish would hold in my peg.
Over the next few minutes I saw a couple more shows, one of which was a very chunky fish bang over my left hand rod! Before I had a chance to get the kettle on, the left hand bobbin pulled up tight, and a swan powered away from the area. I was convinced the swan had taken it, but as line kept ticking off my spool, I could see that it was heading in the opposite direction to the swan! My heart stopped as I lifted the rod and instantly felt what could only be a carp stripping line.
Just 40 minutes into the season starting, I was playing my First D lake carp and I was buzzing! I was incredibly nervous as the fish continued to batter me! From one weed bed to another, to almost being in the net, before snagging me in the margin, I had a gut feeling it was a good fish. After 20 minutes, a fellow member netted the fish which he instantly reconised as “Pebbles” an ancient mirror normally around the 38/39lb mark.
He couldn’t beleive how big she looked, convinced it may go 40lb! Within a few minutes, many of the guys fishing had ventured round to see one of the A Team on the bank and share a special moment with me as it just had to be a personal best. Pebbles turned out to be my first UK 40lb at 42lb 6o.z I couldnt believe my luck so early on, what a result and a start to fishing the new venue!
A bucket of water over my head and few beers later, the rods went back out and once the excitment had settled down a bit I was able to get a few hours kip before the sun rose. It was safe to say that everyone at work was fed up of me going on about my capture the previous evening and all I could think about was getting back down there a soon as possible, so as soon as the final job of the day was complete, I did just that!