It’s been a bit of a mixed bag over the last couple of weeks, we have finally left winter behind and, apart from the odd cold snap, its been a glorious start to March.
At the end of February it was show-time for me, I travelled out to France with TF Gear for the huge French Expo which is by far the largest carp show I have ever seen.
We had a stand there and, although I can’t speak much French, I could tell straight away that certain items were getting lots of attention. The new range of DL carp rods went down a storm but, by far, the biggest interest was in the clothing, especially the thermo-tec range.
We have recently added a couple of new additions to the range, including a lighter weight version of the smock top that I use all the time so now, thankfully, I can wear it all year around. It was nice to get such a positive reaction to everything and I think we will be making good inroads into Europe this coming year.
The very next week was the Five Lakes show in Essex, where I had a slot booked on the stage both mornings for a forum type chat with Chilly and Darrel Peck. I thought that went really well and between us we put the world to rights, or tried to anyway!
On the fishing front it started off a bit slow but I suppose the water temperatures were at their lowest, what with all that melted water ice pouring in but it picked up eventually.
I fished a session just at the beginning of March and, for once, I actually saw a few fish showing in the morning, this made the location a lot easier and a little bit of black foam fished on a zig rig done the rest. Presenting the bait six feet off the bottom in fifteen feet of water I had a typical jerky type bite and connected with a hard fighting carp, one that I sort of knew was fairly large right from the outset. It had that slow and plodding feel to it that often comes from the bigger mirrors in the lake and, as soon as it appeared from the gin clear depths I knew I wasn’t mistaken. I played him carefully up to the surface, aware of the tiny size eight super specialist hook that was keeping us connected but, in reality, I need not have worried as he was nailed in the toughest part of the mouth. At thirty six and a half pounds he was the biggest fish out since the thaw and I was well pleased with my result.
Unfortunately I went on to lose another one later that afternoon when the hook didn’t find quite such a good hold and the weed proved just too much to overcome, although I convinced myself it was only a small one. It’s always a lot easier to bear if you can kid yourself it wasn’t a big fish isn’t it?
The strange thing was though, the nicer the weather became, the worse the lake seemed to fish. The first day of the session it was howling winds and overcast and there were bites all round the lake but, on the second day, when the sun shone through in glorious fashion, the lake just seemed to shut up shop. In retrospect I should have fished much longer links on my zigs as I am sure the fish were up near the surface but, as they say, hindsight is a wonderful gift!
My next trip will be back to Black Swan Lake, the big gravel pit I targeted in the summer as the season on there finishes at the end of the month and I’d like to get a couple more carp out of there while I have a chance, I’ll let you know how I get on.