Baiting Brings Cold-Water Success - Luke Vallory

Luke Vallory’s results over the last month or so demonstrate the importance of keeping the bait going in, even in winter! Here’s how a cracking period of angling unfolded for him…

“With the mild weather throughout December and into January I knew I had to fit in as much bank time as possible on my chosen venue, Carthagena. I got a winter ticket late in October and I had already landed a couple of good fish before the big, sweeping southwesterly winds blew across the country. The banks are quiet this time of year over at Carthagena, as it’s known to be difficult lake all year round therefore the colder months see little angling pressure. Because I joined to fish the winter I was fresh and ready to go and I was determined to make something happen.
It was a few days before Christmas when it started to come together. There had been no line pressure for over a week on the river bank, and that was the bank taking the battering of the big winds we had. I hadn’t seen anything show on the front of the wind but it looked too good to ignore. I flicked two hinged stiff rigs onto the same area around 15 yards out into the wind. The area was around 9ft with a choddy/silty bottom. The boom section was tied using 30lb Silt N-Trap Soft. In fact I use this coated braid for most of my rigs. It’s supple enough and still kicks away from the lead for good presentation. The choddy section was tied using 20lb Mouthtrap and a size-8 Choddy hook. My choice of hook bait was a 12mm white pop-up, due to using white 12mm freebies (which are the new Winter Berries from Sticky Baits).
I landed a 23lb common, which showed awesome winter colours during my first night on the river bank. I had the area clipped for my next overnighter and gave the swim some bait before I left. I came back a couple of nights later and the action continued. I landed a 27lb common, which was clearly on the bait as there was white stuff all over my unhooking mat. I topped up the area again with more bait to keep them feeding while I was away thanks to Christmas and New Year celebrations.
My next night was on January 3rd. The winds were really strong and blowing straight into me. I felt a little unsafe as I was fishing under trees. After a hairy night thinking I was going to get crushed, I received another take, this time from a lovely, old, leathery mirror, which went over 28lb. I braved another night but the action didn’t continue. Once again I topped up the area with more bait before I left.
On my next overnighter I had the lake to myself and the next morning I really wasn’t expecting a double take. First I landed a 20lb common followed by Single Scale weighing 31lb 8oz!”