Fox-sponsored angler Ches Boughen takes a look back on a recent day session that turned out to be a real red letter trip…

This winter I’ve been fishing day sessions on a local day ticket pit. Due to work and family commitments longer sessions haven’t been possible, but thankfully by picking the right venue and approach I haven’t need to do longer.

The venue is 8-acres with a good stamp of high doubles and low 20's. It is tree lined on one side and some of these have fallen into the water, which has given the carp somewhere to hide and feel safe. In order to put a bait to this far margin a cast of 100yds is required, which is a good chuck to make accurately.

I normally turn up just before sunrise, set up everything in my chosen swim and then walk around to the far margin to bait up my areas before casting across. Knowing the water like I do I pretty much know they will be in the zone, so not much point in going anywhere else.

On my last session there I turned up in the car park at 6.30am, they said it would be snowing by 7am along with 14mph easterly winds. It was still dark with sun rise expected at 7ish. I unloaded the truck and set off down the muddy track with my barrow to the swim I know they are normally in. I set up the brolly just in case the snow was heavy and also to get out of the bitterly cold wind. I then got the rods sorted. I decided to use my normal stiff hinge rigs, tied with a Camotex Semi Stiff boom. On the hook front I went with the Edges size 5 Stiff Rig Straight and opted to fish my pop-up close to the lakebed, setting the hook section to only 0.5ins, whilst my hookbait of choice was a 12mm Milky Toffee pop-up. 

By the time rigs were tied it was starting to break light so decided it was time to walk around to the far margin and deliver them with some of my mix, which consisted of hemp, corn, Cell, Essential Cell pellet and 10mm Essential Cell boilies. I always like to start off with a small handful over each rod, then apply more if I think they are having it - you can always put more in but you can’t take it out!

Once back in the swim it was now light enough to cast in, having already got the rods all wrapped up. The first rod went in after just two casts and the other went straight in the small gap in-between the overhanging trees on the far bank – game on!

Half an hour went by with no success, then one single bleep on the NTX-R signalled a fish was on! As I am fishing locked up I am only ever fishing for bleeps not runs. I grabbed the rod and ran straight back to gather as much line as I could quickly. Following a 10 minute battle I landed my first fish of 2017, which turned out to be a common of around 17lb. It was a lovely start to the day.

A short while later the bailiff turned up to collect his day ticket money, speaking to him he told me it had been fishing slow the last few weeks with only one other person  catching, so for me to get one so quickly I was happy and confident of another. However, nothing happened again until early afternoon, when I managed to slip the net under a lovely, dark 19lb common. Considering how slow it had fished recently I really couldn’t grumble with a couple of lovely upper doubles.  

The rod was soon re-positioned and I sat back and put the kettle on to warm myself up with a brew. Just as I turned the stove on the right hand rod was away! Instantly this fish felt a little bigger, and my feeling was right as after a frantic scrap I had banked myself a 23lb common! 

She had lovely golden wintry colours and after a few snaps I slipped here back. Just as I was getting the rod ready to re-cast the other rod was away – the action was hotting up! After a very strange, short battle a small common of around mid-double was netted.  I quickly sorted the fish and set about getting both rods back in the water and fishing again. After a few attempts both were in position and I tried again to have a cuppa. The kettle had just got to the boil and I was away again! I couldn't believe my luck, this resulting in another mid-double common.

A short while later is started to pack my gear down and I received yet another take only for me to hit into nothing. On inspection of the rig it was all perfect and I think it was most likely a trailer. So that rod was then packed away leaving me just one rod on the deck. Some 10 minutes later I heard the line pull from the clip on my rod and I quickly lifted into yet another carp. This turned out to be my smallest and last of the day at around 12lb. It had been a fantastic session though with 7 runs resulting in 6 carp to 23lb banked. Not bad for a days fishing in the heart of winter.