As I'm sitting here writing this the wind is howling around outside my cottage and this rain seems never to stop, it`s all gone a bit Noah and although it has affected my angling to a degree it has not stopped or deterred my passion for the countryside or angling...
Just before all this rain began I felt my phone go off in my pocket. It seemed like I had a text message, so I delved into the army combats I sometimes wear and read the message, it went something along the lines of: `Hi Adam - would you like a bit of winter fishing at my lakes until the end of March? Cheers from Toby." It took a minute or so to register what lakes and who from, but when it did sink in I was very happy and had a nice warm glow and a smile to go with it, and outside the wind and ever present rain was momentarily forgotten...
Of course, I replied back `yes please and thanks`.
Only ten minutes from my home is a nice complex of lakes that`s not open to the general public, but I have been friends with the family who own the place for many, many years so I'm familiar with it, but I have never really angled in earnest there... Also, there is a wide variety of species to go for, using a variety of methods and tactics....and of course, the perfect destination to use Haith's products on.
Another good point of interest is that you can drive to the edge of nearly all of the lakes, at least if you don't have a sports estate like I do...[more about this later, though].
Now Toby mentioned that I could bring a friend along too....the only problem being, in this case, is my best fishing buddy ('Green giant') was several thousand miles away navigating container/cargo ships, but he would be on leave soon so I asked him via email if he was interested, and he was. So the scene was set for some great fishing and great company.
Anyway not to waste time, and before `Green giant` came home I had a few exploratory trips on my own: I used a simple pop-up rig, coupled with Haith's pellets gently dunked into neat Liquid Robin Red. This is a devastating winter edge and I think on my first trip I had around five or six fish. Not bad I thought as I braved the elements - I found that it works best with a tangerine-sized mesh PVA bag with some matching freebies scattered around the general area to keep the fish interested.
Above the lake is a huge wind turbine and I used this to determine the direction of the strong winds so I could safely place my new brolly out of wind damaging gusts, although it was calm there a time or two.
Eventually, the time came when my friend returned home on leave, so obviously when he had spent time with his nearest and dearest his thoughts would return to his angling...We decided to try some of the other small pools before trying the main carp specimen lake...
One of the pools is right next to the small car park and this was to be our first trip together. We both fished very close in - using float fishing techniques and it wasn`t long before I had a nice roach and some rudd falling to my worm fished baits... However, the action soon dried up though until I started to feed hemp seed [from Haith's] in small amounts via the bait dropper. I was soon playing a nice carp, the first of several that day. No monsters, but great times on a cold winters' day.
We fished the small pool a couple of times together with John also getting in on the action, including an unusual capture for this venue.
Soon, however, our minds returned to fishing the complex`s big lake... When the weather was kinder, one could quite easily drive to the lake, which my friend did with no problems in his van. I however had a T5 estate with a low valance, so I barrowed my gear up to the pool.
We enjoyed some cracking winter sport on this lake, and I'm still fishing it now...with carp to low doubles....anyway as mentioned I didn`t want to destroy my car on the tracks on the lakes, so I bought myself a small SUV (with future hard-to-get-to pools in mind).
Even though it`s been rough out there at times, I've picked my days and enjoyed the short productive winter sessions.
Enjoy the countryside and your fishing.