Make every second count by John Bassili


Thursday 17th May and I found myself with two days off…whoop whoop!!!

Up at 6.30am and before you knew it I was pushing my loaded wheelbarrow for a 24hr session at my new syndicate lake accompanied by my good friend, Carp World’s Joe Turnbull.

On arriving at the swims we had in mind, it was quite obvious that the torrential rain we’d had over the last few weeks had made the vegetation burst into life. The banks were still muddy but you could feel that the wet and cold was at last was coming to an end. The warm and dry weather was finally making a return…. Ahhhh.

Looking down into the water we immediately spotted a carp in the margins flashing on the bottom, it just so happened to be right beneath where my rod tips were just about to be set up and I didn’t waste anymore time – I set up instantly.

Trying to lower a rig without spooking this rather excited carp was a mission, but thankfully I got an opportunity as it decided to have a break and swim off the spot for a while.

Slowly went in the rig, followed by a couple of handfuls of the much talked about Bait-Tech chilli hemp that I had got my hands on the day before.

I didn’t have to wait long as within 30mins Mr Carp was back, but this time with a friend!! Now my heart was in my mouth as they were both taking turns to feed on the bottom and occasionally swirl near the surface.

In my mind I was thinking, surely it won’t be long now, but being impatient as I can sometimes be, I felt that my rig needed to be a foot further out as that seemed to be the spot they were mostly feeding on – which shows you how accurate you need to be sometimes, eh?

Anyway, once again they seemed to briefly vacate the area, so I quickly lifted the rig and swung it out that little bit further – perfect – but just before I went to lower the lead core, both carp appeared from nowhere and were now staring at it as it was still dangling vertically in front of their noses! Oops! I froze and waited for them to swim past as they did quite casually, before lowering it down and pinning it to the lake bottom.

I waited for them to return but alas they never came back!!

Moving on to Plan B, I decided to fish both rods on top of a bar at about 40 yards out with a depth of only 3 feet. I generally find in Spring, that fish seem to love the shallower water.

In went both rigs only a few feet apart, followed by 30 to 40 boilies, along with half a dozen spods of fresh chilli hemp, done.

Eager to do well this session I also decided to bait a shallow margin to my left, once again with a few handfuls of chilli hemp, and I have to say I am really impressed with Bait-Tech’s hemp products, cooked in the bag with no preservatives, fresh as it should be.

Once all that was taken care of, it was time for a mug of tea and a chill out for a bit, but keen as ever it wasn’t long before I wandered back to the baited margin spot to see if anything had turned up.

To my amazement I counted SEVEN carp in there hovering over the hemp. OMG!! What a sight.

Now what? I stood as still as I could while trying to get Joe’s attention who was couple of swims down from me, so he could experience what I was seeing. He soon clocked me, and it wasn’t long before we were both standing watching these carp munching on the hemp!

All sorts of things were rushing through my mind. Do I reel in the rods and place them here? Will I end up spooking these fish too? Do I just keep feeding them to get them confident? Then out of the blue a one toner from my right alarm!! Yes! I sprint to my rod and bend into a fish, the roller on my Steve Neville alarm was spinning so fast it was still screaming for another 10 seconds while I was playing it!

A tough scrap and a few minutes later I was holding a lovely 22lb mirror.

Out went the rig again, first cast, perfect, followed by 4 spods of hemp. I didn’t have to wait too long this time before I had a one toner on my left alarm!! Unfortunately this one came off after a few seconds. Dam!! Gutted!!

After this I decided to bait the area quite heavily with more chilli hemp, as they seemed to be really having it. Once that was done the waiting continued.

It was now only around 11am, I’d had two bites and was feeling quite chuffed with myself.
The rest of the day was a contrast to the morning as it seemed they had vacated the shallow margin to my left, as well as the action going quiet on the bar too. Mmmm I thought.

Well the night was also quiet, until 5.30am when I got one bleep on my right alarm. I shot out of my bag to find my bobbin had dropped to the floor, but as I tried to look out to see if my line had gone slack, I was so blurry eyed that I couldn’t see a thing! I wound the spool round and tightened some line to find I had loads of slack. I picked the rod up, wound down and a crafty carp was sure on and swimming towards me. Yes! I thought to myself!

Now this fish certainly knew how to fight, and after a long scrap she made it in the net all 26lb of Common, that will do lovely. Rig back out, and I opted not to top up the bait as this is prime time for a bite, and I didn’t want to spook anything.

You could feel it was going to be a lovely morning, the sun was rising, the birds were singing and it was all looking good. I had to wait until 11am before my last fish of the session which turned out to be another common at 20lb.

As I had decided to fish until noon the session wound itself up nicely. Joe had his bivvy down and was minutes from reeling in when his buzzer rattled off to save him a blank. He landed this rather strange looking koi and It looked like a cross breed between a massive ‘googly’ eyed goldfish and a common, and trying to keep the camera still from laughter wasn’t easy I can tell you.

Anyway that ended the session nicely and I was delighted with the outcome.

Generally when I go fishing I always try and make the most out of the session by baiting different areas. I am constantly scanning the water looking for signs of feeding-stalking and moving swims if I’m not getting any action – rather than just sitting behind rods waiting for the alarms to go off. I do go home absolutely knackered after a session but it’s generally well worth it!

Until next time…

Good Angling.

John Bassili


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