In Pursuit - Ian Bailey

After a traditional British winter, which we haven’t had for the last three years, the fishing for everyone across the country had been slow. For me, it had been very slow and come the middle of March I was keen to go to my syndicate lake to try and catch an end of season carp, which contains fish older then me.
The weekend before the end of the season saw me latched into to a carp late evening and after a short scrap I won the battle and was rewarded with a 25lb 10oz mirror, which was enough for me I must say. Before I knew it, my good friend Dave Finn and I were off to our Colne Valley syndicate for the start of the season in April.
The first 48hrs were slow and, to be honest, we were scratching for a bite. Maggots have always scored well on this lake so Dave opted for this method and kept drumming to me to get on the bandwagon. However, I refused and stuck to my boilie approach with a good scattering of DT Coldwater Mix with a matching 15mm pop-up presented in the area.
Sticking to this method, I was lucky to start my spring campaign off with 33lb 9oz and 27lb12oz commons after a late afternoon move. I was happy with my presentation, but after a few tweaks I set up a combi rig consisting of 15lb IQ soft with a supernatural 18lb weed green - for my hook was my ever-faithful Wide Gape 8 – I opted for fluorocarbon as it is practically invisible underwater.
Work and other commitments saw me back at the lake on a Friday afternoon in my waterproofs rushing round to the Slab Swim, one of my favourite areas, with rain sheeting down. Two rigs cast at showing fish were the tactics – a great method as the carp wake up from their winter slumbers.
By the next morning, things didn’t look too great. Nevertheless my confidence was soon reimbursed after I witnessed a fine display in the area of some rather large carp. After some nail biting moments and anticipation, I was away and after a strong scrap I landed a new PB common of 36lb 10oz, which I was over the moon with.
It didn’t end here, as on my next trip I managed another PB common -this going 37lb 2oz, after sticking to my boilie approach with my combi rigs fished at 10inchs with the new Hybrid Lead Clips. These eject my lead, which help land the fish after a very tense battle. My season so far has been a great start for me, the weather is getting warmer and I’m off to my other lake now in search of an old leather carp, which would be very nice. I’ll keep you informed.