With a midweek sesion planned inbetween work I wanted to make the most of my short time on the bank. The night before my session I emptied 1kg of StickyBaits Krill 16mm boillies into a bait bucket and added one cap full of CC Moore Hemp Oil and gave them a shake around to evenly spread the oil. I use hemp oil for two reasons. The first being it leaks out of the bait and into the water columns from the lake bed to the surface, drawing fish to the baited area. Hemp oil behaves differently in the water during the colder months than most other oils do as it doesn’t thicken and also has huge nutritional value to the fish.

The second reason I’ll explain later.

The morning of the session I called in at the lake on my way to work at 7.30am to have a walk around and to pre bait. Not much was happening, with no positive signs of anything ‘carpy’ I decided to bait a spot central of the lake in hope that passing fish would take an interest in the free offerings and stick around.

Using my Korda ‘Katapult’ I put out three quarters of the hemp soaked boillies in an area of about half a tennis court. I wouldn’t go fishing without my pult, it’ll easily fire 16mm’s out to 80yrds with no disturbance and the gulls can’t handle four at the same time!
Instantly after baiting the surface slicked up with the hemp oil dispersing from the boillies, hopefully pulling carp to the area throughout the day.

8am and off to work I went for an 8.30 start. I always get a smug feeling when I’m in work knowing I have bait in the water, it’s like I’m practically fishing. ….. I’m just not there!

Working through my breaks and lunch I clocked off at 4pm and I was away. Arriving at the carpark, parking next to the only other car there “please don’t be in my spot” I muttered. Luckily he was on the opposite bank.

With my gear at the central swim I looked out onto the water to see a very slight slick in the ripples over the baited area. Which brings me to reason two!

This slick gives me confidence that either my bait is still out there pumping attractions into the water columns or that there’s carp on the spot munching the bait and passing the oil through their gills as they eat. I was hoping for the latter.

Hinged stiff rigs already tied with 16mm StickyBaits Krill white pop ups were cast onto the spot. I know there’s a bit of dead weed on the lake bed and hinged stiff rigs will give the perfect presentation.
Check out fellow team member Stuart Broadbank’s article on how to tie these rigs yourself, dated 11th February.

My Trakker Cayman bivvy erected and the kettle on I sat watching the water into darkness. 9pm and my left rod screemed off, striking into what felt like a small fish resulted in a 20lb 4oz mirror. Buzzing!

Giving myself a few minutes to set up my selftake camera kit I carried the fish over from the water to the mat and admired the scale pattern in the moonlight.

She was quickly slipped back after a few happy shots!

A new pop up tied on with Korda Floss and the hook sharpened it was cast back to the spot.
The remaining one quarter of hemp soaked boillies were quickly pulted out and I got into my bag.
I got a good few hours sleep until 2.30am when the left rod was off again. I soon had a 14lb 6oz mirror in the folds.

The left rod was off again an hour later. This time I was convinced it was something big, diving and taking line under the tip. It turned out to be a beautifully scaled 11lb strong mirror!

Up early I watched the water for any carpy signs to take note for future sessions whilst thinking I should of re-cast my right hand rod during the night with it be motionless from arriving. Maybe the rig wasn’t sat correct or the hook point buried onto weed? Somthing to think about next time I suppose.

I packed away for 7.30am and shot off to work, feeling even more smug!

Thanks for reading. For more pictures of my session follow my Instagram dave15johns.