Sam Whittaker embarks on a Belgian road trip, which all came good in the end!
Mick Christie – Off the Shelf
9th July 2018
Mick Christie – Off The Shelf.
Mick Christie is a man who truly makes the most of every minute on the bank. He knows the real value of time because as a family man and full-time scaffolder, his ability to be on the bank is strictly limited to every other weekend. Mick does a number of things to stack the odds in his favour and turning up bang on first light to start his sessions is one of them. If this is not possible and a post work arrival is on the cards he will set up in his chosen plot and listen through the dark hours for shows, moving onto the areas of activity quickly with his minimal kit approach to angling.
Another vital piece of equipment for a stealthy approach is the baiting spoon. Deadly accurate, silent delivery of bait and rig into positions that would be almost impossible to cast such as beneath big overhanging branches or bushes.
It was exactly this sort of scenario that led to the capture of a couple of corking old Kent carp from Mick’s current syndicate. After spending a night in a swim for no result, Mick saw carp turning up on a new wind into a shallow bay. The forecast was for intense heat and it was clear he had to move into the bay and get some rigs in before the morning wore on. Packing his small TA rucksack and loading the barrow, he was round in the bay in no time at all. Quickly noticing the carp using the marginal shelf to enter and exit a sandy area beneath a bush, it was the obvious place to set a trap. Next it was a simple case of shipping his baiting pole out and delivering a breakfast banquet of mixed seeds whole, half and crushed boilies along with a simple multi rig comprising a 12mm pop up mounted on our hook -ring swivels.
The first bite was a special one for many reasons. Not only was it the carp Mick joined with the hope of one day catching, it was one of the really old Kent history carp, steeped in local legend, a hard as nails old warrior who, despite his advanced years scraps like a gladiator!
The old warlock known as ‘Rasta’ was first to fall to Mick’s stealthy approach but ensuring the spot was replenished with bait Mick knew the chance was still on. Sure enough his patience and stealth was rewarded when the warm spot on the shelf produced another carp, this time a long, immaculate and bristling golden common. A fitting end to a perfect trip.