James Armstrong in Action

I love the spring. It is by far my favourite time of year. Being woken by the singing of birds on those misty, early mornings is a joy. Although it’s only March, the days are surprisingly warm with temperatures well into double figures. Consequently, our quarry is on the move and, believe it or not, I’ve stumbled across a few surface feeders during the last few days – amazing considering it’s so early.
On a couple of recent trips I’ve managed to catch a few cracking carp. One of them was a prehistoric-looking mirror of over 25lb, which I managed to stalk within feet of the bank. Through my polaroids I’d spotted a sizeable common plucking at some fresh weed, which was growing next to a sunken log. I had no doubt that it was singling out naturals. The spot was neglected and overgrown – just how I like it. I knew it hadn’t been touched for a long time!

As soon as the fish quietly ghosted out of the area, I placed a hook bait next to the sub-surface log, which was covered in little mussels. Half a Cell was topped with half a white pop-up was the chosen combo. I love chopped up baits. I sprinkled a few boilie halves around the spot in a line. The line of baits led up to my hook bait – an ingenious little trap and one that works well in this situation.
Rods set on single banksticks, I only had to wait an hour or so before the alarm sounded with a one-toner. Battling the angry mirror was hard work because the swim was so tight. The overhanging branches made it difficult to raise the rod high enough to net the fish, but with a little persuasion I shuffled her between the arms – the size was irrelevant, she was magnificent.
Having caused so much commotion, I knew I wouldn’t get another chance in this area so placed a couple of rods on the shallowest spots that I knew of. These were just off the side of an island as it sloped down into a hefty 25ft. I managed to get donks of around 5ft-6ft – perfect!
Two rods were soon in place and by 7pm I’d added to more carp to my tally – another wonderful 25lb 4oz mirror and a scaly scraper 20. Spring is here and I absolutely love it!

James Armstrong