One Step Closer - Rob Willingham

I’ve been fishing down at the well-known Essex syndicate venue, Cleverley Mere, in pursuit of one of its biggest and most sought-after residents - a dark, scaly mirror known as Hendrix.

So far, I’ve managed a few nice fish including a couple of lovely mid 30 commons. I’ve changed my approach from the one that you will see in next month’s Advanced Carp magazine, switching from maggots to boilies as this spring the fish have responded to boilies a lot earlier than they have the last couple of years, where 99% of the bites were coming on the little wrigglers.
I think it’s most likely because of the harsh winter we experienced this year meaning that the carp haven’t fed much over the winter, so therefore they were hungry and requiring some proper food!

I decided to start by introducing small quantities of my favourite Scopex Squid boilies into the areas that I know Hendrix likes to feed having researched his past captures. I actually fished with high attract single hook baits, these being Nash Pineapple Airball pop-ups on my favourite hinged, stiff rig.
One other thing that I’ve been doing is deliberately targeting the choddy areas of lake bed rather than the clearer, firmer spots that everyone else seems to fish. I did this just in an attempt to be different and hopefully trip up one or two of the other fish that may be a little wary of feeding on the clearer spots. It certainly hasn’t done me any harm with a total of eight fish landed so far with four of those being over 30 pounds.

I recently came very close to nailing my target when I managed to get him feeding on a close in marginal spot, but with the water being so clear and with his cautious feeding he managed to completely avoid my positioned rig. He may of got away with it this time, but I’m hoping that it won’t be too long before he’s mine.