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Hooking up with old friends

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

The other day, I decided to get a quick overnighter in at my local lake.

The weather had improved, and due to work commitments and designing new products for Stem Tackle, it had been a while since I last got out. Hopefully some of them will be on the web site later this year, after testing.

On arriving at the lake, I started with a bit of basic water craft, looking for

A great way to wake up
Beautiful misty sun rise

signs of showing fish, observing the surface of the water, hoping for cloudy areas that may indicate the lake bed being stirred up. Nothing really jumped out at me though.

There was a reasonable easterly wind and although the sun was out, the water was still a fresh temperature.

I continued around to the far side of the lake where there were 4 people fishing. I’d met 2 of them last year, nice guys and good for a sociable chat. It’s always good to see if anyone has been catching and I’ve found that, generally speaking, most anglers are happy to let you know how they’ve been getting on, especially if they’ve done well.

Unfortunately they'd been there for 4 days and had nothing but a few liners. The guy in the middle, decided to leave and as a regular here, he advised fishing a different section of the lake.

In no real rush, I had a chat to the 2 friends I’d met here last year. They’d only had 1 run all week and said it was tough going.

I fancied a bit of a catch up though, so dropped in the peg next to the guy who was leaving.

All 4 anglers were fishing no further out than 60 yards and I knew there was a bar out at around 70 to 80 yards. I chucked out a lead, felt it down and there it was, a nice solid thud, in about 10ft of water. Great, that will do me just fine.

I noted a few horizon markers using the tops of the trees in the distance, ready for the hours of darkness, and began feeding the area with boilies with my throwing stick, mentally noting the amount of effort needed to get the boilies out to the correct distance.

For the 3rd rod, I chose a spot under a overhanging tree branch, in the margin to my left. I love margin fishing and they can prove really productive, even on large lakes.

Ronnie Rigs went on all 3 rods, with the D-rig loop mentioned in a previous blog (The 6 that got away), with 3 different baits.

To my left, in the margin, I had a simple bright yellow wafter. The centre rod was a boilie topped with an orange (maze coloured) L7 fillable corn stop. This little beauty was filled with a sweet summer berries glug and sealed around the outside with a white thick mist glug.

The right-hand rod had the same approach but with a yellow (corn coloured) L7 fillable corn stop, over the top of a wafter, that matched my feed boilies.

When a water is proving tricky, I like to vary up my baits on each rod, to give me, in my mind, a faster chance of finding what the Carp like that day. I’d then consider changing baits, depending on the interest I’m getting.

With all 3 rods fishing, it was time for a catch up with friends and at the same time keep an eye on the lake for any tell-tale signs of activity.

Nothing happened for me but one of my friends had a cracking run from the margin, which resulted in a fat bellied high double common. He was very happy to get the blank saver in the bag!

At just a couple of minutes after midnight my right-hand rod sung out a few bleeps, but stopped. I stared at the bright green illuminated bite indicator and could easily make out that it had pulled all the way up to the rod and was holding there. The fish was hooked and was holding steady, contemplating it’s next move.

Well that’s what I hoped anyway.

I pulled on the boots with excited urgency, whilst intensely watching the green glow of the bobbin sitting on that tight line. As I made my way to the rods, off it went, a complete screamer! Yes I was in!

Playing a fish at night is so exhilarating, it can be difficult to spot the line, even with a powerful headtorch, then it all comes down to feel. Which way is the fish pulling? What’s the bend in the tip of the rod like? How far out is the fish? You feel it all, night fishing opens the senses to a different level and I love it!

The Carp fought well and made me work for every yard to get it on the bank. It was another one of this lakes pristine Mirrors, which gave me the pleasure of, the angry dorsal fin up photo, which just looks amazing.

With that 1 safely back in the lake, I used the silhouettes of the tree markers chosen during the day, to drop back on the same spot and re-feed with the throwing stick. Judging each chuck by the effort of the throw and the sound of the boilies splashing as they hit the surface of the lake.

A few hours later a shoal must have been feeding it’s way though our area, as 3 of us had runs within just a few minutes of one another.

This time it was my middle rod, with the maze L7 fillable corn stop on, that had done the business. There was no messing around this time! No pickup and hold, no drop back. It was just the best sound you can wake up to when night fishing, a solid 1 toner! The Carp absolutley shredded line and the illuminated blue bobbin was pulled up hard to the alarm, what a buzz. (Excuse the pun).

Lovely clean Mirror

It was another great looking Mirror, which behaved surprising well for the photos. I sometimes think these fish love a bit of publicity and a photo shoot.

The shoal must have moved on pretty quickly and the alarms lay silent for the rest of the night.

Before leaving, we had time for a sociable brew and a chat about the fish caught in the night. Some of the lakeside plant life was coming into flower too, so a couple of scenic pic’s later, it was time to head home and plan the next adventure.

Thanks for reading my blog.

If you’d like to get involved and tell some fishing stories of your own, especially if they’ll help others with hints and tips, please get in touch via email or phone.

Thanks again



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