Jake Addison recounts another recent session, his last on this particular syndicate, but one he'll remember...
When I arrived at the lake I didn’t all together see much to go off, but watching the other captures coming out over the late autumn and early winter a lot were repeats of fish that had been out pretty regularly throughout the year. Whilst this is great there are fish in the lake that haven’t been out, some for quite some time and one a contender to be a serious weight. Bullnose, a mirror when last captured in May 2020 was 40lb 8oz and there are talks around the lake of it being close to 50lb. This was the fish on my agenda, and doing what other people were doing regularly wasn’t going to catch it, in my opinion. Else the venue regulars would have had it up to now. This is why I opted for the other end of the lake, in a swim called the Beach. The swim Bullnose was last caught from.
Being my last session on this syndicate, I didn’t think I would pull it off in all truth, I knew it would take more time than that. And the spring was more than likely my best bet. But I didn’t have that time so this was my last try, and although Bullnose didn’t make an appearance, some other fantastic fish did.
I found a spot tight to the back of the only substantial remaining bed of silk weed throughout the lake. I was hoping to take advantage of the naturals and the warmth in the weed which I believe this time of year is paramount to a carp.
My method on two rods were an Aptus long shank pro, used in a size 6, attached to three inches of supple braid via a knot-less knot, using Aptus hook tubing to secure the hair, housed within a solid bag full of manilla pellet and powder.
My third rod was a 5 inch boom section, with an Aptus Pro Curve size 4, fished in Ronnie format using Aptus shrink tube, Aptus Ronnie Swivels and Aptus Bait screws. Kickers are also a great bit of bit but I use a wind proof lighter with the shrink tube to get a really aggressive turn and for me, it’s just as quick.
I used Fluorocarbon leaders on the bags and a Heli Safe leader on the Ronnie. Clear Longchuck mainline to conceal my presentation as much as possible which is majorly important this time of year when the water is much clearer. I also fished back leads to keep the line pinned down, something I really don’t like using as I find the bite indication suffers but when needs must, I do.
Even though carp aren’t quite as switched on in the colder months, it’s still not a time to become sloppy. And my opinion is the better chance you give yourself, and the more credit you give the carp, the better chance you give yourself. I don’t however believe in fine tuning rigs for the winter, or scaling them down massively. As carp are in their most lethargic state, and their most unaware, generally a clumsy time of year for them.
My first take was a fairly quick battle resulting in a stocky common at 18lb which I believe joined the ranks this winter and it’s first capture.
The first fish of the Session, a stocky common at 18lb.
The rod was back out and what happened next will probably be difficult to beat in my angling career.
My middle rod went into meltdown, as I was playing it I could tell it was a better fish, it was holding its ground on the bottom and dogging around. Not really letting me gain much ground on it but not really doing much to take any either. As I was playing the fish my right hand rod started to pull round slowly and I assumed I had caught the line, so I lifted it off the rest and open the bail arm and dropped the tip in the margin. After netting the fish which turned out to be the Box Common I picked the right hand rod up, closed the bail arm and wound down onto it to realise it was actually a fish. Laughing at the thought of a double take in the winter I slowly pumped the fish back to me and after a scrap about in the margin I netted the carp next to his new mate the Box.
The Box Common - 29lb 2oz Another of the few commons in the lake, a fish that has again been missing since last spring.
I had just unhooked them both in net, stepped out of the water to grab a retention sling and I then heard the chaotic noise of a Delkim. It’s worth noting it must have taken me a solid ten seconds to realise what was happening, I lifted the rod up and this fish was angry. It swung hard left away from the weed bed and I can only assume it was heading towards a tree that hangs into the water slightly about 40 or so yards up the margin, for cover. With enough pressure I managed to guide it away from there and up the margin towards me. As it got in-front of my swim it powered back towards the weed bed, but again I managed to stop it. After a bit of dogging around out in the middle I slowly pumped it back towards me catching a glimpse of the leader, then in the light of my head torch another mega Cawcutts common. In she went, next to her two new mates. At this point the landing net was beyond full, holding 91lb 1oz of carp. So I called Dan and Alex who were up the other end and asked if they would come down and give me a hand!
The Long Mirror at 29lb 4oz.
Poms at 32lb 10oz One of the more friendly commons, but a fish that’s now the biggest common in the lake, not the lake record as the common at 34lb+ has since died.
So in the net we had, ‘Poms’ the lakes biggest current common at a top weight. The Box Common and The Long Mirror. Even though this Poms had been on the bank recently, the Box common and The Long Mirror had not seen the bank for a year and two years retrospectively. Partially proving my theory, but the next days wind unfortunately pushed that silk weed around too much and the spot was either concealed or gone! But Bullnose is still out there, or maybe she isn’t and she’s possibly gone and nobody knows. But that’s my time on cawcutts done, so maybe in the future I’ll get back there for another crack, hopefully one of the members has her soon, it would be great to see, I do think I was onto something though.
A rare sight - 91lb 1oz of Carp in one net.
Thanks for reading my story, I hope you enjoyed it.