Autumn 40 - Ian Poole

At the beginning of September, I began a mini autumn campaign on a new syndicate lake I joined at the beginning of last year. Several things had prevented me from making a proper start on there, but with the best time of the year for this particular water coming up, I was determined to finally get going.
Distance from home meant I couldn’t get up there every week so it would be fortnightly trips to begin with, not ideal on a place with such a steep initial learning curve, but I felt that if I could get a couple of chances in the four or five 2-night sessions I had planned, I would be more than happy.
I wasn’t starting completely blind as I had got down there for a quick trip back in May. No action came my way, but I saw more than enough to tempt me back and the trip had given me a small insight into what else to expect.
On my first session I was fortunate enough to get on some fish straight away, but despite this I was still fishless after my two nights. With just the last afternoon to go, I decided on a move up to the entrance of a small bay to my right where a few carp had gathered. They seemed more than happy to have a feed too, and after getting through a kilo of bait in less than fifteen minutes, it had to be worth a go.
The carp were tucked away in a safe haven behind a sunken tree, but with the carp now looking for more food, I hoped my two hookbaits fished in the entrance to the bay might score. I spread the remainder of my bait around the hookbaits and hoped for the best. Both spots were still 20 metres away from the snags so I wasn’t too confident I had enough time left for the carp to find them, but with just 40 minutes left of my session I got lucky.
My close in rod had been picked up and whatever was on the end was now making a push towards the middle of the lake. It’s always nerve wracking playing your first fish from any new water, but fortunately everything went well and I soon had a good sized fish safely in the net. At a smidgen over 30lb it was a great start.
Twelve days later I was back again and dropped into a swim which had built up some consistent form over the last six weeks or so. The productive spot was a raised area of the lake bed around forty metres out and I decided to concentrate all my efforts on this one feature. Despite it being a standard practise on one or two waters around the UK, most anglers usually go the other way and find a different area for each rod.
However, this does mean there are lines all over the swim and any carp moving through are more likely to bump into them. Getting some bait out there was the next job, with the Skyliner soon depositing a small bucket of hemp, corn, pellets and boilies, around 3kg in total I guess, right on the money. The rods were already out and marked up so by 5pm everything was set and I was hopeful that something positive might occur the following morning.
It was 4am when things started to develop, the first of which were a couple of big liners on the right hand rod, the bobbin pulling right to the top of the rod before dropping back. With little else in the water that could do this, I was confident they were from carp and decided to get up and see what else followed. At 6am I started getting liners again, firstly on the right hand rod and then on the left. All the lines had tightened up quite a bit by now so I decided to slacken them off again, and as I walked down to the rods the middle bobbin started to rise.
“Yet another liner” I thought as I stood there, but this time the liner didn’t drop back and the line started to peel nicely of the drag of the SS3000. This was definitely no liner and I lifted the rod into a fish which came straight up to the surface and started to thrash about on the top. It turned into a strange fight with the carp swimming back and forth across the swim just under the surface. In the clear water I could see this big ghostly shape edging ever closer and after a couple of game runs in the steep margins, I slipped the net under a deep bodied mirror that looked well over 30.
In fact, it was a lot bigger than I thought at 41lb 8oz and turned out to be one of the most sought after carp in the lake. It was far more than I could have possibly hoped for after only my fifth night on the water – it’s always nice to get lucky!
Rig wise, both carp fell to an identical presentation comprising of a size 6 Korda hook knotless knotted to 15lb brown Hybrid Soft. The lead set up used a Hybrid lead clip, 15 inches of silt coloured tubing and a 3oz distance swivel lead. The ever reliable 15lb Adrenaline finished the set up off.
Ian Poole