Dave Lane Carp Fishing Diary – January

Well that was that then, the second coming of the ice age soon put paid to my little run of catching carp.

I turned up last Monday full of confidence of finally achieving my lifetime ambition, a big carp in the snow. The white stuff was falling out of the sky in flakes the size of white sugar mice and an even crisp coating covered the banks, but not enough to put a damper of my carp fishing enthusiasm.

The drive through the Estate was pretty hairy as, half an hour before light; mine were unsurprisingly the first set of tyre tracks on the lane. Even in four wheel drive it was more than a little slippery but I arrived in one piece and with no dents or scrapes.

Pushing the barrow was easier than normal though as the sloppy mud on the paths had frozen solid and I trudged straight up to the swim I had been so successful ion the previous two visits.

Surely this would be the week that I returned victorious with a camera full of images a big golden carp against a Christmas card background?

I knew I was up against it though as the forecast was for a rapid deterioration in the conditions and hideously cold temperatures during Tuesday night, this combined with a swing in the wind to the East meant there was a very real chance of the lake freezing over.

To start though it looked perfect, the snow kept falling and the baits all went out in the right spots first time. I put the bivvy up to shield my kit from the snow and settled in for the duration.

The first bite time came and went, shortly followed by the afternoon chance without as much as a sniff.

As soon as grew dark I knew I was in for the long haul as I have only had the one take in darkness and the nights seem so interminably long at this time of year but a film on the mini DVD player and a good book helped to pass the time.

Once again the morning feeding spell came and went and I busied myself by making a snowman for company, it was looking really good until Paddy decided to eat both his stick arms!


Once I had re-cast all the rods with fresh baits there really was very little to do apart from sit and wait some more and consider the sanity of doing another night as they were predicting temperatures of minus eight that night.

Luckily I had come well prepared and the layers of thermal fishing clothing I had on kept me nice and warm despite the biting easterly winds.

Once again darkness fell only this time the forecast came good and by midnight I knew that my chances of that magical snow photo were as far below zero as the thermometer was.

I snuggled down for the night and, as I awoke on Wednesday morning, I was actually surprised just how nice and warm I felt, I had my trusty Hard-core Sleeping bag tucked up around my chin and the fleece lined cover keeping in all that lovely warm air, it was quite a shock when I peered out of the bivvy doorway and saw fifty ducks all walking in single file across the middle of the lake, my quest for a carp had failed but I suppose my testing of the new winter range of clothes and sleeping bags had been a roaring success. I was tempted to just stay in bed and pretend I was still fishing but, eventually, I had climb out and start the long and arduous task of packing away a frozen bivvy and breaking the ice to retrieve my lines with fingers that felt like frozen sausages.

As they say though, you have to be in it to win it and there is still plenty of winter left to try again, and plenty more snow on the way.