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Tricky weather conditions this week but we still saw 8 x 30’s banked, a magical common on the full moon, and all caught on our new baits!

This week I was joined by a couple of friends that I’d invited over to spend some quality bank time in search of our beloved carp. They each spent just 48hrs each at the lake at different times so the pressure was on to get some bites in the time available. The weather over the last two weeks has not been the best for carp fishing but the fish have continued to gleefully eat the Nutty Banoffee and Shrimp & Cray boilies that I’ve been introducing all winter. The bitter NE wind has kept air temperatures low and the fish have been very reluctant to stick their noses above the surface (I don’t blame them either!).

We were pretty confident with spots we’d chosen as they were all south facing and sheltered by the wind. What was surprising was how difficult it was to get pickups. I struggled in particular as I found myself being cleaned out night after night with only a short flurry of beeps to indicate that a fish had been anywhere near me. In these situations, it’s always useful to have another experienced angler on hand to work the problem with you and in this case it was my good friend Alexandre who led the way with some rig changes after he experienced the same problem. It was clear that we were being done regularly by those sneaky carp and Alexandre’s solution was to go for short combi rigs and Korda’s COG lead system. Other tweaks included coring out and corking the baits to lighten them and then tipping them off with some fake maize for extra visual attraction. It worked! And on his 2nd night he banked a fantastic string of five lovely carp including 3 x 30’s. Nice work mate!

Mark was next to join me and as a less experienced carper he was happy for me to guide him. It was clear Alexandre was onto something with his approach in these tricky conditions so we made the best approximation we could and the carp gods smiled kindly upon us and granted Mark three very nice carp including two 30’s.

So how did I do then? Well, I’d managed to sneak the odd carp out along the way too but it wasn’t until I made some changes inspired by Alexandre’s methods that saw me bank carp with any kind of consistency. I also went for short aggressive combi rigs and tipped the baits off with some fake corn but rather than use the COG system or my Beausoleil lead setup I went for a pure running inline system using a 3.5oz flat pear lead. I kept the tell tale feature (this would tell me whether or not I was still being done). I wanted to hold the lead tight to the swivel while dropping the rig from the boat so I folded a PVA nugget at the top of the lead, round the tubing to hold the lot in place. Once in the water the nugget dissolved and left the baited rig close to the lead which is exactly what I wanted. The running lead seemed to do the trick and converted what would have been just a flurry of beeps into two solid runs as I banked a brace of thirties on the same night. The first was one of our newly stocked Royale common carp at 31lbs so maybe there is something to this myth about big commons on a full moon! My 2nd take  resulted in Chestnut at 38lbs 8oz which I was delighted with!

Catch report & Feedback from:

Alexandre, Mark and Matt
Dates at Beausoleil: 17th to 24th March 2016
Number of anglers : 2 at any one time

Brief details of your catches:

14 fish in total
Mirrors: 38lbs 8oz, 33lbs, 32lbs, 31lbs, 30lbs, 30lbs, 28lbs, 25lbs 8oz, 24lbs 12oz
Commons: 34lbs, 31lbs, 29lbs, 26lbs
Sturgeon at 19.5lbs
No losses

What did you find were the best swims/tactics/baits?

Best swim was the Big Double which produced most of the carp. They seemed to love hanging round the sloped margins of the deeper water. All fish were caught on either the Nutty Banoffee or the Shrimp and Cray and captures split roughly equally between the two. We used lots of chopped and whole boilies during the session and very little pellet. The bait was spread over large areas and along the margins to keep the fish moving between baits.

How was the weather?

Bitter NE winds, high pressure and temperatures close to freezing at night made it a very tough session!

General comments

Despite the less than favourable conditions I was astonished how many boilies the carp actually got through. It's a real testament to the digestibility of the bait and the carp know it's packed full of nutrients so they just keep for coming back for more. It also goes to show that pressured carp are very good at picking up baits without getting caught and that when the conditions are hard they find this easier to do. As always it’s been another fascinating session at the venue and we can’t wait to see how this year’s guests fair in the battle of wits with our carp!

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