For the last few winters I have sat behind motionless alarms pursuing my carping addiction, with maybe the odd take here and there. You really do have to be committed to winter carping, enduring tough conditions for little action. I can see why so many folk hang up their gear for the winter especially if all they do is fish for specimen carp.
This year my friends have finally convinced me to give light lure fishing for general predators a go. I have to say, because of my stubbornness, I wasn’t very keen on the idea to begin with because I love carp fishing so much. Needless to say I purchased a little 6ft Wychwood Agitator Dropshot rod to pair with an old Daiwa Phantom match reel I had from years ago. I then loaded this with some 8lb braid and purchased a few bits and bobs like fluorocarbon leader, readymade dropshot rigs, jig heads and a few lures to get me started.
My fishing time has been limited lately as I’ve been sharing the other half’s car… when she lets me. I know – every fisherman’s nightmare! And probably every woman’s nightmare too! I really need to get a van sorted. Anyway because of this the perfect opportunity has presented itself to snatch a few hours here and there to find out what all the fuss is about.
To date I have managed to sneak in 4 sneaky sessions on the local ponds / rivers, often getting there for first light and being home in time for lunch with the bride. My good friend Jack Mellor, who is a seasoned predator angler, has also been with me twice to show me the ropes. And let me tell you, I absolutely love it! I haven’t had a winter buzz like this… ever!
I’ve caught a few chub up to just under 3lb and last week I managed a PB Perch of 2.2lb. I was slowly retrieving a little green curly tailed lure when I had a little “pluck” signalling something was interested. I kept slowly bringing the lure in when suddenly the rod tip wrapped around I was away. My first thought was that it was another Chub, but as the fish approached the bank throwing itself from left to right I saw its stripey side glimmer in the sunlight. It looked massive in the water and that same heart racing buzz I get from carp fishing filled me up. What a relief it was to slide my little telescopic net under it!
I’ve now invested in a specific lure box and a separate bits box which I have filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful things. So a word of warning, buying lures becomes an addiction!
In all seriousness, don’t miss out on this epic way of fishing like I have done for so many years. It is unbelievably good fun and you literally only need a spare hour or two to fit it in. It’s perfect during these dark and cold winters as it allows you to pick your moments and still target specimen fish. Imagine a cold frosty morning roaming down the canal with just a bag, rod and net with the chance of catching something amazing – who knows what could be swimming around in our waters!?