The 29th of March 2021 signaled the go-ahead for night fishing. With that in mind, I had a session with a friend booked at the beautiful perseys pool at the Digger lakes complex down in Devon. The southwest of England where I live has some great venues for a bite or two. Perseys pool is 3.8 acres in size with plenty of features to fish to. Gin clear and weedy the fish are immaculate and each unique in their own way. The lake has 140 fish with a good head of doubles, the twenties and a few 30s. It’s no pushover so location, rigs, and bait are important.
Having just joined Xcel Baits in 2020 and catching from the off my confidence was sky-high. Prior to the trip, I was actually watching a video from the carp catching legend that is Julian Cundiff about glugging and glazing your baits. This is exactly what I did and it paid dividends. 18mm VNF was my bait of choice. I poured half a kilo into a freezer bag. I then added my chosen VNF liquid food. Twisted the bag and gave it a good shake. I then let them soak for a few hours. After that, I added the VNF stick mix and coated them generously. This created an added layer of attraction. As soon as the baits hit the water the cloud it gives off is incredible. This draws the fish down onto your spot. Far better than a standard bait. Massive edge in my opinion. I like to do the same with my hook baits as well.
PVA sticks were also made up prior to the session with boilie crumb and the stick mix for added attraction. Also for better presentation because of the weedy nature of the lake. Soon enough the 16th of April came around and I was heading down to Devon full of anticipation of the next 48hrs and what it might bring. Having done a lap of the lake and finding out only a handful of anglers were on it was apparent where the fish were. I decided on swim 3 which was central to the lake and commanded a lot of water. I could see fish cruising up and down at this point. My first priority was to think about where I was going to position the rods. I decided my left-hand rod was going to go on a nice clear area near a set of reeds on the edge of the island. My right-hand rod went uptight to some dying reeds. First of all, I fired out six baits to each area of where I wanted to fish. Before leading around trying to find spots. I do this because I would much rather scare the fish away with bait rather than leads. It’s a tactic I have used for a while now and works a treat. My left-hand rod was on a blowback rig, VNF 18mm bottom bait tipped with yellow plastic corn. My right-hand rod was on a German rig using the Gemini tackle tidy boom. Both rigs had PVA sticks threaded onto them before casting out.
Once I was happy out the rods went. Ensuring that I hit the clip perfectly and the lead felt down. I then put another six baits over each rod. I continued to watch the water to watch for any shows, fizzing or bubbling. So I could adapt if need be. To my surprise, after only an hour my right-hand rod pulled uptightly and I was away. After a lengthy fight, a stunning 16lb fully scaled mirror was in my net. This fish blew me away and I was over the moon to get off to a great start. The ever-faithful 18mm VNF bottom bait on a German rig did the damage. After doing the pictures the rod was repositioned and straight back on the money. The rest of the afternoon and night passed uneventfully. The night-time temperatures went down to minus 1 which explained why I was getting bites during the day. The daytime temperatures were into double figures. The carp were only just starting to wake up. I think a lot of people put too much bait in at this time of year which can kill your session. A small handful of really attractive bait is all that is needed. The carp’s metabolism is still quite slow so they only want a small meal. The fish had leeches on it which explained my thoughts.
At first light on the first morning with a brew in hand, I was watching the water like a hawk. I saw one show to the right of where my left-hand rod was and I knew if nothing happened then I would have to put a rod on it after the morning bite time period. 12 mid-day came around and I decided to rest the swim for half an hour. Prior to this, I clipped up to the spot where I saw the fish show. Again firing out a few baits beforehand. Both rods were re-positioned and the left hand in its new spot. As the day became afternoon I was chatting to my friend when the left-hand rod burst into life. After a very spirited fight, a lovely 15lb chunky mirror was mine. It fought hard close in and I thought it was a lot bigger. Watching the water at first light paid off. Nothing else happened for the rest of my 48hr session but I was more than happy with my result. Particularly as others around me were not catching and it was a far from the easy lake. I hope that this article gives you something to think about for your spring session fishing. All the best and tight lines Will.