Deep water winter carp - Dave Finn

This winter I’ve been at a bit of a loss in terms of my fishing and not focusing on a specific venue. I have flitted about on a number of venues trying to get into them but never really got settled anywhere.

I was explaining this to a good friend of mine Dave Walker, who suggested I accompany him to a lovely exclusive Cambridgeshire syndicate that has great winter form and also is the home to some absolute stunners.

I was absolutely buzzing as I drove to meet Dave and upon arrival the lake was as every bit as stunning in its winter colours as I had imagined it to be. We set about walking the lake seeing if we could try and see some signs of activity that would give us an indication as to their whereabouts.

I have to admit that I didn’t really fancy our chances as for the past few days we had had some savage frosts resulting in a number of venues freezing over, but after two laps we had witnessed three possibly four shows with these being in one general area.

As I was his guest Dave generously said that I should go in the swim that covered this area of water whilst he would opt for next door in case they drifted down towards him.

Soon I had three rods despatched in the likely areas, all fished in around 22-feet of water at the bottom of the marginal shelf. Over each rod I applied 15 spods of hemp, corn, pellet, chopped up Cell boilies and maggots.

Rig-wise, all three of them were fished with a 9-10” 20lb Kamo coated link and size 6 Wide Gape fished blow back-style with a small rig ring. Hook bait was a mini white or pink Cell pop-up.

As the afternoon wore on I decided to cook Dave and myself a curry and whilst preparing this the left hand rod signalled a bite. Because of the depth of the venue the fight was a little strange as it stayed down in the deep water – however, soon a distinctive 26lb mirror was held aloft for the cameras.

As you can imagine I was absolutely buzzing to get one under my belt and despite an incoming weather forecast of severe frosts and minus degree temperatures, I remained optimistic that there may be more action to come.

The following day and evening were very uneventful and true to the forecast the temperature plummeted! I awoke to a magical scene like something on a postcard and whilst the water in front of me remained wobbly, literally everything else around me remained frozen solid.

I began the slow pack away and had everything packed down bar my rods and buzzers when I noticed a slight drop back on the right hand rod. I have to admit I didn’t think anything of it as I had been messing around trying to defrost the line from my rings…

The time had come to reel in so I decided to bring the right hand rod in first. I took up the slack and begun trying to wind, which was proving difficult as the reel had frozen up! As I started to get it turning I felt the slightest of kicks, then another... I had one on!

I called down to Dave who came and set the net back up and stood by my side just shaking his head, the whole rod looked like a giant icicle as i slowly brought the fish back, soon Dave slide the net under him and we just admired the prize. It spun the scales round to 31lb 10oz and we soon got some lovely capture shots for the album, I slid it back and thanked Dave for taking me.

As you can imagine the desire to get back out is burning strong once again!