Paul Claridge concludes his season with a tale about his purple patch of success on Burghfield lake.
Scotty K – Festive Flurry
28th January 2020
With a few spare days at his disposal after the Christmas shopping was done, Scotty tried to track down some cold water carp…
“After Thinking Anglers shut up over the Christmas period, I made the most of some spare weekdays to try and get on some fish and trip up a cold water carp.
Having seen the odd sporadic show through December, I hoped the quieter banks and mild weather would up my chances of nicking a bite. Having seen a good few shows a couple of days earlier, I managed to drop into the swim I wanted. I had a fair idea of the distances and lines to cast at from previous trips, so wrapping up my rods after consulting my notes, I managed to get the rods in place with minimal disturbance.
Just before dusk, I received a slow drop back and was gingerly playing a carp on my delicate presentation. After a couple of minutes of heavy plodding, I had a strange feeling something was about to go wrong. As if on cue, the carp promptly fell off, leaving me kicking myself at my negative thinking!
After re-wrapping and a quick recast, I was sat trying to console myself when I saw a head poke out straight over the spot. Minutes later a more positive bite wrenched the tip round and I tentatively coaxed a low twenty mirror into the net (after taking out my other line) – I saw another three shows in the area while trying to avoid disaster.
After recasting all 3 rods perfectly the next morning, I couldn’t believe it when I had another bite within 10 minutes of casting out. After a slow and ponderous battle, my tiny hook held firm and a 25lb common was held up for the camera. I packed up and left for the festive family stuff, full of renewed enthusiasm for a return trip. 3 late December bites in a trip isn’t a gift I’m normally accustomed to!
The next weekend I took my mate Craig along for a guestie for a night. Seeing a coupe of decent ones show in Craig’s swim, I planned to shoot round at midday to my favoured spot when it was vacated. Wrapping up my rods before I packed down for a move, I soon had 3 rods out on the money within minutes of moving. Sat there full of hope, I stared at the lake for 4 hours straight, and didn’t see a single thing!
Just before dark, I started to load the barrow when I had another drop back. A heavy dogged battle ensued, with 20 or 30 yard unstoppable runs and slow kiting, taking out my other line as standard! At one stage I thought I might be photographing it in the daylight, but it refused to give up until dusk fell.
A nice big fat bronze 38lb 12oz common was my prize, my biggest winter carp so far. Happy days. Our Curve Point size 8’s and the forthcoming TA mono doing me proud.”