Brace of Commons – John Bassili


Fortunately for me this time of year, I get to spend a fair bit of time fishing, with work taking a step back until September, I make sure I try and make the most of any opportunity while I’m on the bank.

This session saw me venture to one of my usual day ticket waters in Essex, a place that’s oddly very quiet in terms of anglers in the week, on most occasions I have the lake to myself. That has a big impact on how the fish behave as they are naturally more comfortable with less lines in the water. On arrival, with me being the only one there again, I was spoiled for choice! I could see fish in the shallows fizzing and rolling, up against the island I could see a few patrolling the margin, and in this little quiet bay to my right from where I was standing, a few of the lakes residents were enjoying stirring up the clay bottom.

Arghh! I could have done with 8 rods!

I settled for the island swim, where I could also cast one right into this bay that kept calling me to cast a lead there. With bank sticks in, fox alarms on, Poloni pop up on and critically balanced, I casted the left hand rod about 2 feet from the island in appox 3 ft of water on the shelf, I felt a lovely ‘donk’. I catapulted around 40 to 50 freebies of fresh Poloni boilies in 14mm around the spot, clipped the bobbin up and tightened up fairly tight.

I was a bit hesitant with the right rod as I could still see couple of fish in the bay that kept diving down and stirring the bottom up. I eagerly waited until I couldn’t wait any longer. I catapulted a pouch full of boilies to move them off the spot and in went a 2oz lead just off the patch they were feeding! Not ideal I know! Had I blown it? I wasn’t sure.

With both rods in and waiting for action, the all important job was next. A brew and a doze was in order pondering on how the day will pan out. One of my favourite parts of a session, sitting down after the anticipation, the buzz, the preparation to get here, it was now time to chill and enjoy the surroundings. I sat there on the grass sipping tea, watching fish to cruising along, making me wonder whether I was fishing it right. Zigs came to mind as floater fishing isn’t allowed on this venue. It was still early days, but this was almost the first time this year we’ve really had that summer vibe, and the fish were feeling it too.

I decided to give it until 11am and if nothing happened, zigs were going to be the order of the day. On the island, I could still see fish teasing me by cruising over the baited area but they seemed reluctant to go down. Time for a change! I reeled the left hand rod in and I swapped it with my other rod already set up for zig fishing.

I do seem to come fishing a bit like a match angler these days, 4 rods all set up with various tactics. As I said, I want to make the most of every minute while I’m on the bank fishing. I had a bag of Big Carp Method Mix Tiger & Peanut that I mixed up and sieved to create a lovely fluffy ball of groundbait to create the all important attractor while zig fishing.

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As for hookbaits I keep a tub with different coloured foam and Hi Viz boilies dunked in Tuna oil….irresistible. Today I chose brown foam.

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In went the adjustable zig rig and decided to fish it one foot below the surface, 10 spombs of groundbait went over it, and fish were already circling the zone! Come on! Surely a matter of time… Well after 2 hours fishing with a zig, I couldn’t get a bite. It seemed the fish were very cagey of the rig today for some reason and decided to be moody. A slight tweak to the presentation, hoping for a bite, I mounted a size 12 hook. Not ideal in the middle of summer, I know! In it went, followed by another 5 spombs of Big Carp Method groundbait.

Five minutes later, couple of bleeps on the left alarm made me leap up in the air, and then a full blooded one toner….YES! Fish on…And it felt like a good fish too, a slow plodder that did not want to come up with the little pressure that I dared to apply. All I kept thinking was this tiny size 12 hook and the size of a carp’s mouth made me tremble even more! Couple of minutes later the inevitable happened and I pulled out.

I wasn’t amused but not that surprised neither. The fish were being really difficult, and I was just being a bit desperate to get a bite. While I was sulking and racking my brains on what to do next, my right hand rod in the bay bent round and the alarm screamed out!! That’s more like it I thought! Now this had a size 8 Gardner Mugga hook and a very confident angler behind the rod! Sure enough I had the fish in the net with no dramas. Happy days.

A lovely looking common just under twenty pound. Lovely. Just what I needed to settle me in.

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A fresh Poloni pop up back on, a quick test in the waters edge to check it’s buoyancy and it was back on the spot in no time. Now back to the other rod… I decided to sack the zig and try something totally different. Can you guess?? It took all of 3 mins to get a bite and another common in the net!

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Good Angling everybody

John Bassili
Carp Team


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