We have another new blog instalment for you, this time from Peterborough-based angler Mike Jarvis who recaps his winter angling and looks ahead to his spring target...Above: Rods out - fingers crossed...

This past winter, I decided to stick with the carp rods instead of switching over to targeting pike, which is what I have done in previous years. The main reason for this was I had got a winter ticket on a local lake called Deepings One, whilst not known for its winter form the fact it was home to a 60lb+ carp was enough to convince me to give it a go! I managed to do 7 nights over the winter with no success sadly. In fact I only saw one fish show during the time I was on the bank. With limited time due to family, festive times and being really busy at work I felt I couldn't get in touch with the water like I like to do but I did enjoy the short amount of time I was at the lake. My last session on ‘Deeps’ was two weeks before the end of my ticket and conditions weren't really in my favour with sleet, snow and a bitter north-easterly blowing. I felt I was just going through the motions so I packed up my gear and headed home feeling slightly dejected but still glad to have given it a go. 

Above: Family and fishing - perfect!

The next couple of weekends I had a lot of work on so the fishing took a back seat apart from a day session one Sunday, which was a suggestion from my girlfriend, Christie. We took our 2 year old daughter with us and I set her up a 4m whip, and it was great to spend some family time together and watching my little ‘un enjoy being by the water.

Above: Set up on East Delph's Front Lake for a social with good mates.

Before starting my spring on Bundys Pit in Cambridgeshire I had a social trip booked for the first weekend of March with a few local friends. We headed over to the impressive East Delph Lakes to fish the Front Lake in search of some of the scaly mirrors that it holds. The weather looked wet for the Friday so this meant I would be finished work by lunch time and could get down in plenty of time before darkness fell. 

The Front Lake is around an acre and a half in size and has a great stock of young, beautiful carp. I spent a good hour trying to locate their whereabouts when one poked its head out next to the island (that’ll do for me). I went in with the snowman rig I had done well with at the end of summer last year, which now coupled with the new Edges Wide Gape Beaked hooks meant my confidence was even higher in the rig. The snowman was constructed using 25lb Semi Stiff Camotex in Light Camo, along with a size 5 hook, a Line Aligna Adaptor and a rig ring on the shank fished blow back style. 

Above: My snowman rig that has served me so well.

I cast about and found a firm area at 60 yards so placed both rods on this with a light spread of Pacific Tuna boilies along with some crumbed up baits and some 6 & 2mm Krill pellets. The first night was slow, only a couple of liners to show for my efforts. The weather had turned into a (dare I say it) lovely spring morning. A gentle breeze and the sun beaming down it was time to get the Zigs out. For the last couple of seasons I have been struggling to find a Zig hook that suits how I would like them, a razor sharp straight point, out-turned eye and a strong wide gape. Thankfully within the new Edges hook range I am now able to find the perfect pattern in the form of the Zig & Floater pattern.  

Below: Let the good times roll!

We were all fishing on the same bank so with our traps set we got together for a full on social and the BBQ was fired up! All manner of meats were thrown on followed up with a good helping of ales too to wash it all down. It's these kind of socials where it's brilliant to have a break from the challenges we set ourselves on syndicate/club lakes, sessions where you can sit back and enjoy good times with good mates. The afternoon was slowly going on when our food comas were interrupted by one of Lee’s rods, which resulted in a beautifully scaled low double - just what we had come for. A little later I decided to reposition my rods for the night ahead and spread 30 or so 15mm Pacific Tuna’s over the area. Both rods went out perfectly and it was just up to the carp to play ball now. The night went on with the kettle doing the do and the boxing on the iPad and not a lot of action from the carp. This was unusual as there are a good head of fish present but lake owner James did inform us it had been slow recently. 

Above: A stunning Front Lake mirror at first light.

Just at first light the left hand bobbin hit the floor and a fish was on! Now it had been a good few months since I had felt a carp pulling on the other end so the adrenaline was pumping. A short spirited fight come to an end with one of the scaly mirrors was laying in the arms of the net. I secured the fish and noticed my mate Dan also in too.

Below: My mate Dan also got in on the action on the second morning.

With our fish photographed and return we set about demolishing a breakfast of bacon, sausages, eggs and black pudding sandwiches. With rain forecast we made a quick decision to pack away, however we were too late as the heavens opened and gave us a good soaking – typical!

So that brings me up to speed with my fishing I did recently do a quick overnighter back at Bundy’s but with little to report, however my good mate Ian did recently banked a lovely upper-30 common so they are definitely starting to wake up so I am keen to get out as much as I can and hopefully bank the carp at the top of my wanted list – the might upper-40 known as Hole in the Dorsal, which the aforementioned Ian has caught a few times, so hopefully the carp Gods will let me have my picture with it this year.

Below: My good mate Ian with my spring target - please carp Gods - please!

Hopefully by the time I write Blog pt.2 I will have a picture of me holding it to show you all…