Autumn target achieved for Steve Sweetman!

Steve Sweetman has been in touch with us recently to let us know how his autumn campaign has been going, here is his account of how he banked his autumn target.

"With only 1 day’s annual leave left off work for the year, I had to try and choose my last day off wisely. I decided on a 24hr session around the super moon phase that coincided with a drop in the air pressure. I arrived at the lake just before first light on the Sunday morning and after 3 or 4 laps of the lake without seeing any sings of fish, I decided to fish an area that was on the back of the cold north easterly wind that was forecast to pick up throughout the day. Plus it was a good area to view the main body of the lake so I could keep my eyes peeled for any signs of fish and it’s also an area I know well having previously produced fish for me in the past this time of year."

"It has been an extremely frustrating Autumn, with the lake not producing a bite for several weeks. Although the fish were still very active, the amount of fizzing I was seeing told me that the fish had switched on to the natural food. So after a few blank sessions I decided to come armed with maggots along with my normal boilie approach."
"The area I chose allowed me to bait the far margin by hand, which I see as a huge advantage. I was able to keep disturbance down to a minimum and provide free offerings with total accurately and precision. The margin is very deep, and when the carp are in residence here, they seem very happy to patrol up and down it. I baited with around 2 pints of maggots and half a kilo of whole, chopped and crushed MCNut boilies from Oxford Carp Baits. I wanted to use the maggots to replicate the natural food aspect, but still wanted to add the boilies as it’s the bait I have been using to great success this spring and summer, plus as there are a few ‘nuisance’ species in the lake. If they caused me a problem by eating the maggots, I would still have some bait in the area by using the boilies"

"When clipping up and casting the spots felt very firm and clear with a lead, but I was still aware there could be some fallen leaf debris on the lake bed. With this in mind, I decided to fish a white 12mm ‘5 Alive’ pop up, topping this off with a small bunch of maggots. The pop up is very sweet smelling and along with the tipped maggots I was hoping this would sit proud and be extremely visible to any feeding or passing Carp.
The 2 rods landed perfectly over the baited area and I was confident of a bite even though the lake has been fishing extremely slow."

"I woke up around 12:30am Sunday night and I sat up listening to several fish crashing over and around the baited area. At 2:00am I received a couple of bleeps which shortly turned into a screaming take.  The fish stayed low, slowly plodding around in open water and when it rolled into the net I could see it was a decent fish. The needle went round to 31Lb 2oz, and I achieved my mini target of a 30 from the lake this Autumn.  The rest of the session passed by with no further action but I was very pleased with my Autumn result."

"Sometimes when conditions are tough, a slight tweak to your normal approach is all you need to put an extra bonus fish or two on the bank.   
The rig involved a pop up tipped with 8 maggots to a size 6 wide gape hook with a small shot just underneath the pop up to critically balance the hook bait. Hook link was 15lb N-Trap soft fished with a 2oz inline flat pear, set up running rig style to hold firm on the bottom of the margin shelf. 14inches of dark matter rig tubing, all attached to 15ib touchdown main line."