The End of Winter! – Andy Wakefield


After what can be described as a very difficult winter on my local club, over 200 hours spent on the bank trying to winkle out these very old, bank shy carp, I was beginning to think the dreaded “curse” was going to run even deeper.


Started the session on Friday with the end of storm Doris passing through, got the rigs in around 18:00 presented in a dying weed bed where I knew the fish have been holding for a while. Bait-Tech Poloni 14mm Natural Pop-Ups that have been dipped in Bait-Tech Poloni Glug was the plan of attack. Around 03:00, I was woken to the singing alarms (thought I was dreaming it has been a while and I almost rolled over to go back to sleep), swinger slammed to the top, I’m IN!!!!! 60 seconds later it was gone, it weeded me up which resulted in a hook pull. Horror, my heart sank, all this time and I blow it so quickly, is there a worse feeling?

Time for a cup of coffee, a little cursing and a deep breath. Rod recast, same area but came just off the weed bed this time. Saturday passed without any more bites, but a fish boshed out in the swim and positives thoughts were back again.

Sunday morning soon arrived, session almost at end and that feeling of going home with a dry net was sitting heavy especially with the earlier events. 10:00 came and the alarm was singing again, wow, a second chance! the carp gods (apparently, they exist you know!) were smiling down on me, I jumped straight onto the middle rod and gently lifted into it. It was on, adrenaline was pumping, I guided it around the weed bed successfully, it was nodding away slowly then, bang, it was gone!!! Another one lost, how, why, what is going on? I walked up and down the bank having a serious word with myself, thinking what have I done. I almost packed up right there and then, I still had four hours left before the wife was expecting me back, so after a long sulk, I made some new rigs with fluorocarbon and double checked the point on the new hook, I added on another Bait-Tech Poloni 14mm Natural Pop-Up and recast back to the exact same spot.

13:45, bleep, bleep, bleeeeeeeeppppppppppp. I’m in again, this time, I was so nervous straight from the start, I felt like a kid again. Again, round the weed bed nicely, 5 minutes of it plodding away and after it making a few lunges in the margins that had me cringing, a friend slipped the chord under the sulking common and it was mine. Sheer delight and the winter curse is over!

A quick weight in and some pictures taken resulted in a more than welcomed 16lb 12oz Common Carp. Size really didn’t matter, it was a winter battle with the lake as the lake has only produced two fish since November (both in the last week mind!) and mine made it number three, plus it was the biggest of the three also which just added an extra smile to my already grinning mug.

I kept going to the end even though I felt defeated and wounded, perseverance paid off in the end. It’s not all about monster carp, it’s about carping and conquering your quarry. Keep at it no matter what, as long you have a rig you trust in, a quality bait on the end carefully placed to likely area, you are in with a chance.

2017 has started finally!

Tight Lines

Andy Wakefield
Bait-Tech Carp Team


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