One of the countries most consistent big carp catchers, Luke Edwards, starts a brand-new blog series with a look back over his recent angling, which included banking a 60lb+ common from the UK!

I haven’t written any blogs for some good time so please bear with me as I get back into doing so! Having to deal with the running of a business and working on site along with making sure I have family time now limits me to how much time I can spend on the bank, so I have had to adapt my fishing to suit, so preparation is the key and I now spend more time in the garage making rigs, preparing kit and bait. In fact I spent the Christmas period getting prepared and this meant I would be ready for when that window of opportunity presented itself.

My last 8 months fishing had been somewhat stop and start, so let’s roll back to the summer I had recently re-joined the Avenue Fisheries part of the RH Fisheries portfolio, I like to fish Rob's waters as they are secure, clean and hold some lovely big kippers. The opening of the Avenue is mid-July slightly later than some other waters this allows the fish to spawn without angling pressure and most importantly rest after spawning. As the countdown to the season begin so does the adrenaline and the excitement of what the season has in store, I like the opening weeks meeting new members and catching up with the old ones!

I wasn’t able to get there for the first week or so as my work had become busy and we had a family
camping trip booked down lovely Salcombe the thought of putting my feet up with the family and
having valuable family time was too good to turn down. I eventually got down on the third week and I was buzzing fishing was steady and the big ones were due out, I walked around till I found a group of fish on the warm wind and set up for the 24 hours I had in front of me. I finished last season on a high banking captain scarlet around 49lb so I planned to fish the same rigs, but a change in the rules meant I had to adapt my favoured D rig setup, so I changed to a blowback rig fished straight through on fluorocarbon. Back to the session I spodded 20 spods out of mixed bits and my tactics were to sit and wait and let them tell me if they needed anymore bait, the avenue doesn’t do many night bites so you could imagine my excitement when the NTXR came into meltdown around midnight after a spirited fight I was looking down at my first 40lb fish of the season that was the only fish out for me during the 24 hours but I was buzzing what a start surely I could carry this form on? 

Above: A lovely 40lb+

I had a job cancelled the following week and managed to get in the same area, conditions were the same and everything was right a bite was coming I could feel it, the night passed uneventfully and I was looking at a blank, I was just packing up when I had a one toner and I was latched on to a big kipper after putting my Horizon XT rod into good use I guided a massive framed kipper into the net, here my good run was about to change, as I was about to get the fish out the net the fish was lively and managed to escape I was mortified as were the other members standing behind me, she obviously didn’t want her picture taken with me do you blame her, the fish was over 45+ my luck wasn’t in!

I managed to keep on coming over the coming weeks and my catch rate plummeted I hadn’t struggled on here for some time but this was 5 sessions, 10 nights now without a bite and my confidence had gone. I convinced myself it was the new rig, the new barbless hook rule, the weather - I blamed absolutely everything! On what was my last session I decided to have a rest and do some time on some easier waters to get some confidence back,
that night I packed up and a member had moved in behind me just as I was leaving, within minutes he had a lovely thirty pounder in the net - that was that my head had totally gone!

Over the coming weeks, I was spending more time with the family and we bought our 1st house so I
didn’t want to go fishing on the Avenue if I wasn’t going to give it 100%. Come the end of October, my friend Alex from the Monument rang telling me my favourite swim was available on Monument 2, so I arranged a few days off and these coincided with the maggot fishing starting - the venue allows maggots over the winter-only and I am a massive fan of maggot fishing! Within 20 seconds of casting in on that first session I was away but I soon realised it was the wrong target - Mr roach was on the end! After another cast or two I realised it was too warm and the roach were too active. I packed up for the night and came back with my boilie and particle approach the next day, and that day I went on to have 7 fish including 5 x 20 pounders - my love was back! I did a couple of sessions over the coming weeks and managed to catch well including a lovely 30lb common

It was the Christmas period and my time was again limited so again fishing was none existent, however I did do a curry night with the members of RH Fisheries, where the younger members aimed some banter at me that I couldn’t catch out of the Avenue and I had lost my touch! Good banter as always lads, but I did tell you I’ll be back!

With my work quite in January and February I managed to get back on the avenue my window of opportunity, the first session was a day session in the first week of January I was playing around with rigs still not confident I got royally turned over the fish clearly done me, I then went back to the rigs I first started on in July and after twenty minutes a mint 30 was mine. The next week I got back and I was buzzing, prepared for the session and confident. I got down the lake and where I caught previously was taken so I opted for a peg on the front of the new sw wind. I was doing 24hr so I spodded heavily and the traps in position, I started receiving liners early doors the next morning suddenly my left rod was away I had a funny take exactly the same as a known common I had Tarka, I said to Leon next door this is tarka he laughed I said its the same conditions foggy and the indicator only lifts up and down slightly, as the fish popped up Leon went its Tarka. I then got her ready for weighing as I knew she’d be big and I was right she went 60-8. on the scales I was shocked, I got to share the moment with my mate Alex Lister, who kept me going during my struggles so I was made up all the members were really good so that night I headed up to the pub and celebrated!

Above: The mighty Tarka at 60lb got me on the Carp-Talk cover.

The next session was two weeks later as my good form continued as I had a massive hit for by the Avenue's standards comprising - 3 x 40s, 4 x 30s and a 29-pounders. The best fish going 49lb and nown as The Cream Fish.  

I then rounded of my season on the Avenue a week later by banking two 30lb+ specimens. I was chuffed that the winter had outshone the summer. All along I was doing nothing wrong and it proved that you’ve just got to stay confident in what you do.

Above: I have a couple of overseas adventures planned.

So that brings me up to date. Over the next few weeks I’m off to Domaine le Ribiere in France and also Euro Aqua in Hungary. Then I'll hopefully get back on the Avenue for a few sessions before the season ends but that’s perhaps somewhat optimistic as my wife is 32 weeks gone so it will be back to family time and work!

Well hope I haven’t bored see you soon