The lakes seem to be waking up too. Nigel Cleaver fished an overnight session on Swan Lake from where he caught two fish, a 12lb mirror carp and a 10lb 4oz bream. The secret of catching big fish at this time of year seems to be to introduce a small amount of bait on a regular basis. Excessive baiting can be counter productive and frequently attracts diving ducks into baited swims where they greedily mop up the free offerings. Young Lewis Vereeque proved he has not lost his Midas touch when he landed a 10lb pike using a sprat dead bait mounted on a single hook.
After reading Paul Elt’s article on trotting, BHAA club member Thomas Finney was keen to try the method himself. Thomas fished a stretch of the River Ivel in freezing conditions with snow still lying on the ground, hardly the best of conditions. He was fishing only a short session and, after moving swims a couple of times, he had his first success, a 4lb 8oz chub. He returned to the river later in the week and found a really productive swim from which he caught a 4lb 2oz chub followed by a couple of smaller fish and was broken by another fish. Later, he moved to a swim from where a friend, Ollie Jenkinson, had caught two 3lb plus chub earlier in the day. He trotted his float through the swim and struck into a good fish which turned out to be a 5lb 12oz chub, a new personal best for the Sandy angler. He handed his rod to Ollie and he too caught another big chub, this time a 5lb specimen. He returned to the river the following day but only managed a single chub, a 3lb 8oz fish mainly because his rod rings kept freezing up making trotting nigh impossible. Instead, he opted for a bit of pike fishing and was rewarded with the capture of an 11lb fish. Early in the following week, he was back on the river where his very first trot down produced a fat 5lb 10oz chub for him. Another move of swim enabled him to catch a further three fish, the best weighing 4lb 12oz. Thomas said that he is now hooked on trotting and has targeted a six pound chub before the end of the season.
Whilst almost every carp angler has long hung up his rods for the year, Little Paxton anglers Scott Parkin has continued to put the time in at BHAA’s big fish venue Gingerbread Lake setting a new lake record along the way. In the weeks preceding the recent freeze, Scott caught three big carp including the awesome ‘Cluster’ weighing in at a new all time high of 43lb 7oz. Also, he caught another huge mirror, a 38lb 14oz specimen and a superbly-conditioned 19lb common carp.