Young Nash star Alfie Russell – the former Angler’s Mail Specimen Cup winner – recounts a few successes from the year so far…
SINCE the early winter, I had planned that I was going to spend the late winter on one of my local park lakes. I have fished it in the winter for a few years now, so I know each year how to approach it.
There is one particular fish in this lake that I had been targetting, a stunning old mirror of around 30lb. I started off the campaign in mid December, and was off to a flyer. I managed seven fish in 36 hours to 21lb, all dark old stunning mirrors – wicked action for freezing conditions. I baited before I left, planning to return in two days and have another go.
Unfortunately for me someone fished on my baited spot the next day, and caught the fish I wanted, but that is part and parcel of fishing a busy public park lake. Sometimes you just have to deal with it. After she was caught, I knew it was unlikely that I would catch her before the end of the season so I got myself busy and involved with Nash, attending all the winter carp shows and had a great time whilst also planning an exciting adventure as spring was just around the corner.
I was planning to fish a water I had done some time on in the autumn of last year. I had struggled a bit as I couldn’t keep an eye on the lake and didn’t really manage to get any really campaign going. However, with the coming of spring I began to make the effort to visit the lake baiting and watching.
Everything just seemed so perfect; the grass was growing and the leaves sprouting and the carp were becoming more active each day, giving me more clues that would hopefully lead to success. I started baiting with a prototype boilie from Nash Bait, along with a fair bit of hemp just to get the fish to clear a nice area as there was shallow silt on the spots I had chosen.
I used a bare lead to feel the bottom each time and the fish were definitely eating the bait and the spots were getting harder each session. I lost two fish in my first two nights on there, which was quite gutting as there are some very special uncaught carp in this venue. I sat down rethought through my end tackle approach. I knew I was doing it right, they were visiting my area, clearly eating the bait and clearly picking my hook baits up.
I stepped up a hook size, and changed from using hinged stiff links to chod rigs. I am really confident in my chod setup – landing loads of fish and losing only one in around two years.
My next session I managed to get on them again and this time they didn’t fall off! I had a stunning 35lb mirror, and a 26lb linear. Result! I was back and confident. The fish fought ruthlessly and thankfully stayed on so I was over the moon. I continued with the same approach and I have managed to catch consistently for the next eight sessions or so.
I couldn’t have been more happy with the way spring has panned out managing eight thirty-plus pound fish out in two weeks and a few mid twenties! The planning and baiting has really paid off and it has been an epic spring and very memorable indeed.
I wish everyone out there a good spring and that you all achieve your targets this year!
Click HERE to watch Alfie in video action for Angler’s Mail just after he won our Specimen Cup.
Official Nash website – sponsor of Alfie Russell