Lawrence East gets his winter campaign off to the perfect start!

Despite less than ideal conditions, Lawrence East’s winter campaign has got off to a great start, and he largely puts that down to putting in the effort and making tweaks to his approach where necessary.

A walk around the venue prior to his latest session paid dividends for Lawrence when he found a group of fish on the back of the wind and had a fair idea that they would still be there when he returned to fish a couple of days later.

As he explained: “A lot of fish had gathered in the top corner of the lake, and this particular area gets the sun from early morning right through until sunset, and with a ‘no fishing’ bank opposite, it’s the perfect winter holding spot.

“I arrived in the afternoon and there were no other anglers in the corner, with a fish also showing itself to confirm that they were still there.

“There is a bar which runs along the far margin in around 4ft of water, which quickly shelves down to 17ft in the middle of the bay, and I decided to stagger my rods across the bay, with one rod in 17ft at the bottom of the bar, one on the slope in 10ft, and the other in six foot.

“Each rod was fished on a white Hybrid pop-up along with two small spods of bait, fishing for a bite at a time, and because the tufted ducks which had been causing me so many problems don’t really get into this corner, I’d added corn back into my mix again, along with pellets and chick peas.

All three rods were on multi rigs and I’ve used this for 95% of my pop-up fishing over the past three years, and it has never let me down. During the winter months feeding spells can be very short so it is important to maximise your opportunities, and this rig allows you to change the hook quickly without having to construct a new rig, allowing you to get your bait back into position faster.

“I like to use 20lb Kamo or N-Trap Soft to allow the rig to lay across the contours of the lake bed, with a piece of Dark Matter putty to counter-balance the pop-up, and another small piece in the middle of the hook link to pin everything down. My choice of hook for all my bottom fishing is a size 6 Kurv, and I only change when I’m fishing zigs or floaters!

“Despite the fish clearly being in this corner, nothing happened that first night, so I got up at first light and repositioned the rods with fresh hookbaits and another spod of bait over each. No sooner had I finished when one of the rods was away, resulting in a mid-double mirror, followed over the next few hours by two double-figure commons.

“Although the fish weren’t massive it was now clear that what I was doing was working and just before sunset I re-cast the rods, and was surprised by another quick bite, and this time it felt bigger and turned out to be a 26lb mirror, which I was over the moon with.

“The night was quiet once again apart from a few line bites and hearing the odd fish crash, which was good as they seemed to be behaving as normal again now that the air pressure had dropped from the high levels it had been for a while.

“Most of the bites had come on the shallowest rod, but at first light I had a take on the one in 17ft and again this one felt much bigger and turned out to be a mirror of 29lb, which really did make the session a success.

“After putting the fish back I decided to have one last recast, and within 20 minutes I was playing a 21lb mirror, which was a great way to end the session!”