Day Ticket Hauling - Brad Greening

"With all my current waters closed for the traditional closed season, all my fishing now until June 16th will be consisting of fishing day-ticket waters. I have fished various day ticket waters across the country, and one venue which has always been in the back of my mind, which I’ve walked round many times yet never fished, is St Johns Lake on the Linear Fisheries complex.
t wasn’t until on the way up to the venue, I remembered that for those youngsters who are still in school, it would be Easter Holidays so even though it’s midweek, there was a chance the lake could be very busy. Upon arrival, my thoughts were confirmed as every single swim was taken. I ventured round the lake and it seemed like the majority of the fish were loving the southerly winds, and were held up in numbers in front of the point swims and road bank area. After a brief chat with a few lads in the swims where the fish were showing, a few of them were off later that evening, so I decided to bide some time and get some rigs sorted, then move into the swims once the lads had gone. With the amount of fish in front I would have been mad to have gone elsewhere and I didn’t want to waste a 140 mile round-trip journey!

Once the swim had been vacated, I put just a bare lead on my marker rod, and had a brief feel about, not wanting to make too much disturbance. I found a spot out in the middle amongst the showing fish – a lovely, soft but smooth area, with small patches of blanket weed, which was covered in naturals. To combat the light dusting of weed on the spot, I opted to fish one rod on a solid bag and one rod on a slow sinking pop-up rig, incorporating N-Trap Soft, a size 6 Kurv hook and a little rig I’ve been playing about with recently. It’s worth mentioning that even though you can use three rods, with the swims so close together and so many lines in the area of the lake already, I opted to only use two, which I feel in situations like this will benefit you more and enable you to angle better. With a lot of fish present, I opted to put a fair bit of bait out; with a spod mix of hemp, whole and chopped Cell Boilies, Cell Response pellets, corn and big dosing of Mainline Hemp oil and Cell stick mix liquid.

I didn’t get any action until 1am in the morning, when I was flat rodded on the take, along with my spool being practically emptied by a ridiculously powerful fish. It could only have been a catfish, and after an hours worth of battling, this was confirmed when it graced the net and turned the scales round to 59lb 8oz! From then on the action came thick and fast until 9am the following morning. I was yet to get amongst the bigguns though, as all the fish so far were the new lovely little stockies that have recently been stocked in St Johns.

With the sun high up in the sky, I opted to put some zigs out. To start off with, one zig went a foot under the surface (11ft), and the other at 8ft in 12ft of water. After an hour nothing had happened, so I changed hook baits and kept the 11ft zig out, and moved the other zig to 9ft. It worked immediately and the 11ft zig with a white piece of foam soaked in Almond Goo was away. After a good scrap, I lifted the net over an immaculate mirror, weighing 33lbs 8oz. I switched the other rod to an 11ft zig and over the course of the day I landed some more lovely fish to 23lb.

By now, the wind had changed to a northerly, and the fish were certainly not in the numbers they were in the morning and the previous day, but I still opted to put a fair bit of bait out ready for the night time and early morning action, in the hope that I could keep as many fish in front of me occupied for a longer period. It paid off, as during the night all the way through till 9am in the morning when I had to pack up, the action was constant with a last minute fish tipping the scales to a lovely 30lb 3oz mirror.

The majority of the fish were the new stockies, and even though they’re not massive by St Johns standards, they were absolutely stunning and with a tally of 18 carp, including two thirties and three catfish up to 59lb, I was more than satisfied when having to do the dreaded pack up and do battle with the M25."