With my gear sorted out I was ready to leave for the lake by 9.30am on Saturday morning, I set the sat nav and departed on a journey that took a little over an hour. I pulled up at the lake a little after 10.30am and quickly unloaded my carp gear from the car and headed for the same swim I was in last week. Once again the lake was empty of anglers, there was just me and the resident robin who was straight on the case begging for bait as soon as I got there, he even had the cheek to perch himself on my chair whilst I was busy setting up my new carp rods. Earlier in the week I’d taken delivery of three new carp rods. After trying a mates, I’d decided to buy 3 tfg x-series rods. The model I went for was the tfg x3 model in 12ft 3.5lb test curve, word on the grapevine was that these rods were built on the same blank as the free spirit ‘s’ series rods that cost nearly £200 each. The tfg label obviously isn’t fashionable with carp anglers because I picked up my 3 new rods for less than the cost of one free spirit rod!.
I quickly went about setting up, the forecast was for squally showers and I wanted to be set up and sorted out before any rain came my way. I dropped my first rig over the area I’d baited heavily with the spod the previous week, my usual two bait pva mesh bag was attached to the rig before casting and luckily for me the rig dropped in the right place first time. I was happy with the feel of my new rods and having cast the first one out I set about doing the second rod. Another pva mesh bag was attached, same as the first rod. This particular rig was destined for a hotspot much further out, a nice clean area about 80 yards out that had been productive for me in previous years, the new rod coped easily and despite casting into a strong side wind the rig and pva mesh bag landed in exactly the area I wanted.
With the rods out and the monkey climbers set I glanced up at the lake, a carp crashed about 20 yards behind my baited area. I looked at it but decided not to recast, I figured if the carp where that close to the bait they would come onto it sometime in the next few hours so I left it. I was just about to turn round and get my remote receiver out of my rucksack and turn my delkims on when I heard one of the spools on my reels ticking away, it threw me for a second as I thought it was the rod on the baited spot, I turned round to find the roving rod fished 80 yards out was going into meltdown!. I grabbed the new rod and swept it back slowly, sure enough the rod took on a nice curve and the first carp on my new carp rods was on. It wasn’t much of a battle, the carp kited to my right but steady pressure brought it ever closer and after a short fight in the margins I netted a nice common weighing 15lb 14oz. I looked at my watch and it was 11.15am, I’ve always christened new fishing gear quickly, 60 seconds from casting in to getting a run might not be the fastest run I’ve ever had but it was my new record for christening a fishing rod!.
My first carp of the day had caught me on the hop, I was literally about to turn on the delkims before tidying my gear and making sure I was comfortable for the day. Once the weighing, photographing and returning of the carp was done I recast the rod back to the same area and this time I managed to get the rods set and the delkims and receiver switched on. I tidied my peg and sat down to watch the water. If you’ve ever done any winter carp fishing before, you’ll know how hot it can get wearing a thermal suit, my igloo3 is great when your sitting down but when you have to move about in it for any length of time you end up roasting hot and that’s exactly what I was like when I finally managed to sit down.
After half an hour of sitting down in that brisk wind I was just starting to feel cool again, I reached into the pocket of my igloo3 to get my thermal hat but before I could pull it out of the pocket the same rod was away again only this time it was accompanied by the unmistakeable warble of a delkim that was coming from the receiver in my pocket!. I forgot about the hat and hit the rod, again the rod went over and again I had another uneventful fight on the way in, once in the margins this carp did fight a little harder than the last one but the carp was always fighting a loosing battle and after a few minutes I slipped the net under my second fish of the day, this one turned out to be a mirror and it weighed in at 15lb 4oz, another mid double and it wasn’t even midday!.
The wind was pretty strong at this point, I recast the rod with another pva mesh bag on then went about setting up the brolly. It looked like the forecast showers were fast approaching and I didn’t want to get wet!. Once I was settled down I couldn’t see much of the water, I spent the next hour or two dodging the rain when it came and standing by the rods watching the water when it had stopped. Funnily enough, every time I sat out of the rain it seemed the sun was shining too, don’t you just love the british weather!.
Nothing else occurred for a hour or two, I grabbed a bite to eat and a cup of coffee and continued to watch the water. It was nearly 2pm when I noticed a carp show off to the left, this was in the area I’d picked up two fish last week. I continued looking for a minute or two longer and sure enough the fish showed again. That was it, I pulled the rod off the baited area and dropped the rig on the rolling fish. The first cast landed right on the money and with the indicator set I stood next to the rods expecting a run straight away. That run didn’t come for a few minutes, I was just beginning to think I must have spooked the fish when the monkey climber dropped an inch and the remote let out a couple of bleeps. I looked at the rod wondering if a carp had got away with it when it twitched slightly, just a gentle pull of maybe an inch which was again accompanied by a couple of bleeps from the remote. That was enough for me and I picked up the rod and hit it, sure enough there was a carp on at the other end and after another short fight I slipped the net under my smallest carp of the winter so far, a common which weighed in at 11lb 12oz.
I recast the rig to the same area hoping there would still be one or two more fish around, the next hour and a half passed by uneventfully, it was just more water watching for me as I tried to locate the fish and pin down some new productive spots. During the afternoon I trickled pellets onto my baited spot. I wasn’t actually fishing the area as both rods had ended up as rovers with the small pva mesh bags cast to rolling carp. Despite this, I still wanted the carp to come to one spot when they were hungry and to this end I continued to bait the area despite not having a rod there. I was actually just thinking of moving the left hand rod back onto the bait when the rod tip pulled round again. By this time I was liking my new rods, they had real backbone for casting and playing fish on them was no trouble at all, although having a 3.5lb test curve they were quite forgiving close in and I had no problems leading in my fourth double of the day, another common that turned the scales to 14lb 10oz.
Time was moving on, it was 3.30pm when I returned the fourth fish and I had just half an hour left before I needed to start spodding in this weeks helping of bait. No other runs came my way in that half hour and despite leaving the rods out whilst I spodded in my mixture of hemp, maize, peparami and pellets, I didn’t manage another run. The spodding took a while and it was just about dark when I finished the last of the bucket. I know carp have been onto the bait I’ve spodded in, I saw a fish show right over the area during the afternoon and I’m sure they must have had it all off during the week.
This weeks session turned out to be a good one for me, four doubles in December is what I consider a right result for any north west carp angler, I christened both of my new x3 carp rods along the way and I packed up my fishing gear and headed for home a happy winter carp angler.