Autumn 2014, I found myself on a wild big pit, fishing for a handful of fish that are known by few and spoken about little. The lake in question holds some jewels and one fish inpaticular got under my skin so my campaign began, this place is a head banger and can tie you in ribbons, a man’s water! you ask no question and if you’re stupid enough to do so you get told lies and led a Mary dance, if you see someone walking the bank you hide under your shelter. You have your areas and the other anglers have there’s, if the fish aren’t on you its tough luck it’s just not an option to go fish someone else’s water when there not there, when you did brush shoulders with other anglers you just nodded out of respect and left them to it, proper carping for proper carp.
Clearly baiting regularly is going to put you in a better chance of fish visiting your spot when your there and it wasn’t out the norm for me to bait 5 nights a week just to give me an edge over other anglers and it incensed once I knew the fish where visiting it. Now I’m not going to bore you with my own results which there was a few but of another angler who one afternoon when I was walking around was bent into a fish and asked to chuck him his net, we kind of hit it off from there which was bizarre because it was the last place on earth I was expecting to meet a friend, we sat down had a chat and he began to tell me he’s on this new bait and his going to go over to a certain swim and catch a certain fish that hadn’t seen the bank for well over 2 years, my alarm bells started ringing that I’ve just meet another nut job so I soon made my way on. It was less than 2 weeks later and I got a text saying I’ve just landed the missing fish, to be honest I couldn’t quite believe it and was in awe if I’m honest, that evening soon as I got home, grabbed a couple of beers and headed over to celebrate this fine piece of angling, after a few handshakes and a few beers he said to me I’m now going to go catch this other big fish from further up the inland sea unlike before I didn’t discard what he was saying like last time and just listen and wished him good luck. Again it was less than two weeks later and once again he has done the business and landed it which left one more big fish on his list and a week later I witnessed him land it. I was blown away to what I had witnessed, to catch the lake 3 largest residents one by one selectively was something you wouldn’t dream of but to do it on a massive lake where 1 of these fish a year is a good year on a new bait is quite simply out this world in my eyes, this was when I started thinking maybe there was something in this new bait he’s going on about, this water is a campaign water and the fish just don’t eat any old bait they are selective and you have to build them up with it to get them going. Clearly I wasn’t going to jump on the band wagon and go and order myself some of this new bait he was telling be about because it not my style to jump on someone else’s hard work and is bang out of order in my eyes and a trend that happens to much these days.
Over the winter of 2014/2015 the more I thought about it the more it interested me, I was already buzzing with confidence with what I was using, but always had my doubts whether it was that 1% bait I was looking for, but I couldn’t get it out my head, so with a new water on the horizon which started on the 1st March a few chats later with my mate I was ordering myself some VNF the lake in question has been in my mind since 2009 when I see a picture of a linear that blew me away. It wasn’t easy to get a ticket but 6 years later I got my chance. The lake in question is set deep in the fens, it’s gin clear the silt is so deep you cant even stand in the edge but most importantly its where the linear lived, these fish are not easy to catch and have seen it all by some very experienced anglers over the years, when I say its not easy I talking 10-15 fish a year is very impressive, but there up there with the best lookers about, I wasn’t expecting an easy ride but driving down the lane with my new bait for my first overnighter on the new water I was high on energy and itching to get stuck in. I turned up in dark and started to listen as the moon glazed the surface and the ice crystal started setting on the bare tress, the first night past without any action but I did hear a disturbance further down the lake not 100% sure whether it was a carp but it was something. I left at 6am with the intentions of going straight back after work and fish where I heard the disturbance. Turning up in the dark and the temperatures already dropping below zero wasn’t the perfect condition but I was here alone, again. I flicked two rods into the general direction of the disturbance and sticked around 50 VNFs over it straight out the packet, not really expecting to trip up anything, at 4am one of my rods pulled uptight I jumped out my frozen shelter and begun battle, this fish in question didn’t do much and I think it was shell shocked, probably being the first thing its picked up all year and I nailed it, a beautiful mid 20 common graced my net, I was off the mark and buzzing with it albeit freezing my nuts off.
I couldn’t get back till the following week but chucking a bit of bait out when I left I was confidant of another bite, or was it just a fluke, the same tactics where employed as before and I soon had the 4inch blow backs sitting on a nice firm spot with another 50 baits over it, once again at 4am the rods rattled off I was now in battle with a carp that seems to be well awake from its winter slumber and beat me up but I won the battle and was holding another warrior up for the cameras. 3 overnighter’s and 2 fish and proper crackers as well. That weekend I was due to do the Saturday night for the first time I turned up in daylight and see only a couple on. I went back to where I had the fish before and employed the same tactics, on dark I was sitting there sipping my tea with a good friend and we heard a fish bosh which could of only been a big girl, the water movement was big but my traps where already set and the show wasn’t to far from my right hander, the night passed without anything i was up and down most the night thinking about this show but didn’t acted on it, it got to around 8am and enough was enough, I pulled my right hander in put a fresh bottom bait on and flicked it to the spot exactly where we see the fish move the water, i decided for a reason I don’t know to put around 5 big handfuls of VNFs chopped up over it with the spomb, then sat back on my bed thinking I’m only here till about 3pm have i just ruined my chances. Nothing was happening at all so I started to pack my now thawed out shelter away, just as I was planning on bringing the rods in the right hander whacked hard round ripping the rod from its buzzer and I was soon bent into a fish that quite frankly was pissed off, stripping line with ease taking me in dead reeds, up and down shelves, I was clearly into something larger my knees where jellied as it scrapped for its life, I was starting to think the hook would pull as it rolled on the surface, straight away I see which one it was, it was a fish id seen 6 years ago on a picture trying to pull my arm off, I was in bits but managed to keep my head and it finally went in the net after another 10 minutes of hard battling. I was once again in awe, shaking with adrenaline I popped the hook out slipped my waders on and just sat on the end of the jetty taking in the moment with the fish secure in the net I couldn’t take my eyes off its long black back, and big apple slice scales, its old wilted fins and deep healed black scars, it was quite simply one of the finest fish id ever seen, steeped in locals history and the first time it had seen the bank in 2 years, I was blown away by the presents of this fish and just knew it was a wise old creature, when I held it up for the camera it steered at me with its big pupils, we locked eye contact and there was a feeling of mutual respect The memory is engraved in my mind forever
Over the past 10 years my fishing has been target fishing, find a fish I love and try to catch it, it’s a journey I love but this time a had the one I wanted on my 4th night so what do I do move on from a lake I’ve waited so long for or stay on and catch a few more, I was kind of in limbo and wasn’t too sure what to do, but after a chat with a fellow member he informed me the most someone’s had out in one season in recent years is 21 fish, now fishing for numbers is not my game but I decided to have a crack at beating this target and hopefully nailing a few more special ones that lived in the ancient pit, to cut a long story short I had landed 15 fish before any other angler had landed one and the fish just couldn’t get enough of the VNF, I was having it up and results were coming easy, I had soon landed 22 fish including several over 30lb including an amazing mid 30 common, fully scalds, black silt troothing babes all in 3months.
They started to show signs of spawning so I left the water alone for a couple of weeks and decided to come back all guns blazing with the KSC once they had finished spawning, on the first night with the KSC I hit jack pot and on the 2nd 3rd and 4th banking more incredible creatures, so with a holiday planned I’ve decided to leave the water alone now for one reason of another but that’s another story for another time.
In my eyes there’s baits and there’s baits, 99% of baits fish will swim over time and time again and just ignore maybe picking a few up when they feel hungry or seen them there for a few days, or there’s the 1% of baits that a fish just can’t ignore, it stops them in there tracks and brings out its hunter instincts which makes it greedy and has to try it, over the years ive used many baits by many firms but never have I seen the fish react to a bait the way the do with the KSC, I’m not talking about runs waters I’m talking about hardcore places that will stitch you up and I’ve watched people blank and blank again while I’ve been smashing it, I’ve been amazed at my own results since changing to Xcel Baits long may in continue
Do your own thing