We spent a while baiting an area well away from the spawning activity and soon there were a few fish mooching about on the surface. Though they were up on top they were being very spooky and it was a nightmare getting a bait to them without scaring them off.
They were moving in and out between some islands and that was making it very difficult to present a bait or, if we hooked one, play it safely.
After about 2 hours we had some moving on the edge of a weed bed about a rod length out and Charlie dropped a large chunk of bread a foot in front of it. Without any hesitation it swallowed it....game on!
After a 10 minute battle, with the carp crashing through the weed bed several times, we got the fish under control and safely in the back of the net. A 20lb7oz dark Common and a real stunner, Charlie’s largest capture off the top.
We tried hiding in bushes and poking the rod through a gap and freelining into holes in the weed, anything to try and buy a bite. Eventually it came....and to Charlie again. A scale perfect 16lb Common on a little piece of bread poked under a tree.
One on bagging waggler, one on pellet waggler and one on zigs, all fishing into open water with between 12 and 16 feet depth in front of them.
We mixed up a couple of kg of Nash Fish Frenzy Monster Crab method mix for the bagging waggler and added a few crab pellets to compliment the mix. I have found this to be extremely effective at Mill Barn.
For the pellet waggler we would feed crab pellets in 4mm and 6mm, trickling in a few every 30 seconds. On the zigs it was amber strawberry 10mm boilies in white, yellow and pink. We would change the colour every now and then as the fish seemed to spook off them after a while and the change kept the bites coming. It was just a case now of playing with depths on all 3 rigs until they found fish.
This didn’t take too long with the bagging waggler, recasting every 2 or 3 minutes and fishing about 18” under the surface with a bait banded 6mm Monster Crab pellet. The carp were coming up to the float and hitting it really hard as soon as it hit the water.
A quick adjustment was made to the depth of the pellet waggler and that was cast back out, pellets catapulted out every 30 seconds, the fish were all over it like a rash.
The zig took a little longer to sort out, and as the fish were so high in the water and the water so deep, we changed to a sunken float with a shorter hook link. This would make casting and playing fish a lot easier. After half an hour messing with the depth we finally got it right, now the fish were finding it and hitting it hard. We kept a trickle of bait going in over the top to try and attract the fish and it seemed to work well. If the bites started dying off it was a case of either cutting down on feed, or increasing feed accordingly.
If we overfed then the fish followed the pellets down to the bottom, if we didn’t feed enough then there was nothing to keep them there. Neither was a good scenario, so we had to keep working to keep the bites coming.
We lost count of the fish caught, it was a ridiculous number in the end.
It was time to go stalking, freelining corn or slow sinking pellet and see if we could snag a fish or three.
We looked in all the likely spots, under trees and bushes, next to pads and reed beds and eventually we hooked one. 1 piece of corn and one piece of buoyant fake corn, the weight of the hook just enough to give a slow sink. We swung it out and over a reed stem, allowing it to swing in to the reeds and lie there. Trickling in corn over the top it took about 20 minutes to get the fish picking up the odd piece. After 40 minutes the fish started picking up more frequently and soon made a mistake, picking up our bait.
Not a massive fish at just over 11lb, but a hard worked for fish and a good result after a tough day.