Spring Result - Jonathan Mann

The majority of my angling is spent doing short, overnight sessions in between work, so I am rarely on a water more than 12-14 hours and at this time of year most of that is in the darkness.
However, now that the nights are extending this makes the whole angling experience a lot more pleasurable.
For the close season, I have chosen to fish a deep, fairly well stocked 4-acre pit, which is roughly half way between home and work. I tend to choose all my potential waters this way as I feel that I can angle them efficiently whilst not being too exhausted for a full days work.
The lake itself, like many others in the area, is still up beyond on its usual capacity and a dull, chocolate brown colour.
Being deep; the carp, unlike the rampant waterfowl, are still waking up however one or two had started to come out from around the lake recently.
This was my third overnighter and although I had been unsuccessful on my previous two trips I was happy with my swim choice, as I had fished it a few days before and was fortunate to see carp show in the area whilst I was packing away.
My friend had angled in this swim the season before and had made me aware of what lie beneath. So, after a minor plumbing session to check things out for myself, rigs and bait were ready to be despatched.
My left-hand rod was set up with a short, coated hook link, and a new size 8 Korda Mixa hook fished popped up a little way off the deck, all set up helicopter style on a Safezone leader.
The right-hand rod was set up differently; still a coated, braid hook link this time only longer with a classic size 8 Wide Gape on the end and a trimmed down, balanced Cell dumbbell.
This I had coupled to a Korda Hybrid Lead Clip and 3ft of 20lb IQ2 as a leader - both setups were finished off with small Safezone flying back leads.
After the bobbins had been clipped on and the swim had been peppered with a liberal amount of boilies it was time to put the kettle into action and to keep an eye out for any carpy activity.
As the evening drew in so did the rain, but the rather blustery wind had subsided which helped keep the temperature warm - it was quite pleasant to be sitting in plus 6 degrees as opposed to the Baltic weather of weeks gone by.
As I lounged on my bed chair, I could here the odd suspicious sloop from out in the lake, some sounded closer than others but due to the cloud cover and the lack of light pollution it was hard to judge precisely where they were coming from. However, even though every little watery noise acts as an electric shock, sleep soon got the better of me and off to nod land I went.
At roughly around 04.30 in the morning I was standing in the margins of my swim in my socks attached to a feisty carp!
Believe it or not I had actually taken my shoes off on purpose as I knew I had to wade to land the carp and did not wish to get my shoes wet because I had foolishly left my boots at home. There was no way I was spending a day in wet shoes.
As my toes turned blue the hooked carp was putting up a good account of itself going for fast but slowly shortening runs, using the deep water to its advantage. Eventually, she repented and slid over the drawstring, the first carp from a new lake!
With the net secured I went about gathering the required equipment; scales, sling, water (carp get thirsty too), tripod and camera, it was time to put some numbers on my prize.
Before I transferred her from net to mat I could not help but be staggered by the eratic scaling of this carp, I had been told these were pretty fish. The dial went round to 8oz over the 20lb mark, not the biggest carp you will ever read about but certainly a great one to start a lake off with and a good looker to boot; if I had remembered to pack them that is.

Jonathan Mann