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Nicking a bite in difficult conditions: Jack Bonner

Nicking a bite in difficult conditions: Jack Bonner

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It was finally winter and it was about time I got down to Thorpe Lea hoping for a cold weather haul, however things didn’t quite go to plan. 

It was an early start on a cold Sunday morning, one of the coldest days yet and when we got to the lake we could see this was not going to be easy. There was a thick covering of frost on the grass and a thin layer of ice in the far corner and after speaking to the other anglers fishing had been very, very slow.

I did a couple of laps of the lake and the fish clearly weren’t showing at all. The coots were diving almost everywhere, as the water was so clear because the carp were just not moving around at all.

My first plan of attack was to fish some pink northern specials on a combi rig tight to the island where the bailiff reckons he saw fish the previous day.

Along with the northern special I had a small stick mix with some of my favorite ingredients: The CC Moore milk ‘n’ nut crush, salmon micro feed, grated belachan, crushed live system and the matching live system boilie dip. The other liquids in the mix were: Liquid bloodworm extract and the amino blend 365.

After waiting a long six hours it was clear that my first plan of approach wasn’t going to produce me a bite and with only an hour and a half of light left I quickly moved into an open water swim where I thought the fish could be shoaled up. I banged two rigs out as quick as I could one on the same rig as before but I smothered the bag in the korda goo hoping to cloud up the water and draw the fish down to my hook bait. And the other on a zig with a tiny piece of black foam at about 3 quarters depth as I didn’t think the carp would be on the bottom.

After an hour or so the bobbin on the left hand rod, with the pink northern special slowly started to drop back followed by a short outburst of bleeps from the delkim. This was enough for me so I picked up the rod and was in battle with a powerful Thorpe lea carp. After several long heart stopping minuets the fish finally gave up and slipped over the net cord!

The fish weighed 18lb 2oz and was only one of two fish out all day so I was well pleased to land it.


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