A WILD Year - Dan Wildbore

The early part of 2009 was something I won’t be forgetting in a hurry as it was just so enjoyable! A change in hours at work enabled me to turn up on the sunday afternoon and spend three nights angling. That was the beauty of it all, because I was fishing day ticket waters and not committed to a syndicate I could go wherever took my fancy!
My first real outing was spent down at the Linear Complex on Manor Farm. For me, Manor’s history pulled me in and I found myself fishing for carp that some truly great anglers have fished for. I was lucky enough to see my friend Alexei put some of the ‘A Team’ members on the bank and although I had over twenty carp after a couple of sessions I could not catch anything over 19lb and began to lose interest.
The following week an opportunity to fish St John ’s opened up and I could not pass up the opportunity! Luckily, I had booked the whole week off and had plenty of time to try and catch a 20 - an Oxfordshire chunk! These fish have seen just about everything before so fishing very small hook baits and opting for the light baiting was my approach.
Two nights passed and having caught a few small commons I was confident I would start hooking into some of the larger residents. The following morning I found myself doing battle with a much better fish. When the net slipped under her it was obvious I had landed one of the ‘biggies’. The Starburst mirror had graced the bank for the first time in 2009 and looked in great condition at 38lb 6oz it was a new personal best and left me on cloud nine!
I managed a striking looking common of 30lb 4oz and six other fish totalling 11 fish for the session, all on small cut down Odyssey xxx bottom baits.
Horseshoe was my next target. I love fishing over beds of bait at range and couldn’t wait to dust of the spod rod and ‘let em have it’! During the end of April till early may I would take with me 20kg of hot hemp and 5kg of boilies. My efforts were focused on the winter bay and it didn’t take long to start putting a few fish on the bank. I only had two nights on my last session as me and Jake were off to help out with our lake in France so I was desperate to make the most of my time.
Luckily, the fish were up for a munch up as I managed 11 fish up to 33lb 10oz including 7 other twenty’s! I finished the spring down their having caught 21 fish in seven nights from horseshoe and only lost two which for a barbless hook venue I was really happy with and put that down to the Kurve Shanks which provided me with some phenomenal hook holds!

Cheers, Dan Wildbore