March has always been kind to me, and this March has been no different. I have managed to get out several times and put a few fish on the bank too.

My first trip out was to one of Premium Carp Fishing’s bookable lakes, Abbey. It wasn’t a planned trip either. I was pottering around in the house on the Saturday morning when Tracey, my Wife, asked if I was going fishing. I said “I wasn’t planning on going”, she didn’t even have chance to finish saying “I don’t mind if you do” before there was a plume of dust coming off our drive!!

A quick call to Gary Spencer to see if there was anyone on Abbey and I was heading north on the A1.

I arrived at the lake around 12pm and after a quick look around I settled for peg 2, the middle of the bottom bank. The wind was blowing nicely into peg 1 to my right and it was a nice warm wind too, which is rare in the Fens!! This swim gives a good view of the whole lake and gives the option of fishing the deeper channel that runs round it, the large plateau in the middle or the reed lined margin on either side. Fishing the water before, I knew there is a lot of blanket weed on the bottom which can be deep in places so I opted for my favoured helicopter set up with a movable top bead that I set 6 inches above the lead. This gives the hooklink the chance to slide up the line to ensure it sits nicely on top of the blanket weed.

Initially I just chucked out 3 rigs with small sticks made up of a new stick mix I am testing. I also added crushed boilies, hemp, pellets and a good helping of liquid glug. On this occasion I was using Premium Carp Food’ new ‘Nut Job’ boilies which will be available from their web site by the time you read this.

Rig wise I was using a fluorocarbon ‘D’ rig on all 3 rods with a 10mm NutJob bottom bait with either a 10mm Mulberry, Stella Yella or Crystal white pop up fished snowman style.

One rig was flicked in the channel in-line with the small island that is slightly to the left of the swim. My second landed within a foot of the reeds on the right hand bank and the 3rd about 10ft off them about 10yrds shorter than the middle rod. I like to get my rods out quickly on lakes like this as they can produce a quick bite. Sometimes banging a marker around to start with can scare fish off. Remember, this time of year, although they may be getting hungry they can be put off by lots of disturbance but just one cast amongst them with a bait on the hook can produce straight away and on this occasion it did.

Not long after casting out I had a couple of bleeps on my right hand rod. Initially I thought it was a liner but then the rod hooped round and pulled the line out of the clip, I was soon on the rod and playing my first fish of the session. The fish didn’t do too much, just plodding up and down the deeper channel and it wasn’t long before I was pulling it over the net, a mirror of 22lb 8oz. I was hoping for at least one bite during this visit but now I had one so quickly I wanted more! Repositioning the rod back in the same area I was confident that another bite would be forth coming and after about an hour the same rod went again, unfortunately this fish found its way on top of the plateau which is only about 3ft deep and after a couple of flicks of its head in this shallower water and it managed to throw the hook!

It was now coming up to around 4pm so decided to get my baits sorted for the night. Earlier I had knocked up a spod mix containing hemp, Pellet, sweetcorn, whole and crushed boilies and again a good helping of glug. I only put about 10 spods out over my left hand rod which was in the channel. I opted not to put any over my middle or right hand rod due to fishing shallower water and the bird life can be a bit of an issue at times. Especially the resident swans who like to investigate any area they see you putting bait. On these rods I waited till dark before spraying 10mm Nut Job boilies down the reed line in the area I was fishing.

The fish were very active in the evening, showing themselves in most areas around the lake, however I never saw one anywhere near where I was fishing, had I made the right swim choice?

During the early hours I caught a scaley 14lber on my left hand rod. After some photos I put the rod back out followed by another 6 spods over the top, and settled back into my bed.

Waking up just before it was light, I was a bit disappointed the bobbins hadn’t moved since, but whilst sat having my first cup of tea of the day watching the sun rise in the distance I saw the reeds knocking and a tail sticking out of the water further along the right hand bank, probably 20 yards away from where I had cast the middle rod. I quickly reeled in, re baited and recast into that area. I actually cast into the reeds then pulled the rig back so it was sat just on the edge of them. Using sticks on the hook allowed me to do this as the PVA hasn’t dissolved and the hook point is protected due to it being pulled into the stick. I tightened the clutch fully as I didn’t want the fish to be able to get into the reeds if I were to get a bite. Just as I was setting the indicator the line got pulled from my fingers and I was into another angry carp. A short spirited fight resulted in a 19lb mirror.

About 15 minutes after getting the rod back out I had a few bleeps on the same rod. Looking over to the area I saw a coot spook from my spot. Thinking the coot had picked my bait up and dropped it I carried on with what I was doing. It was then I noticed the middle rod tip knocking and the line was tight. Winding down I pulled the rod up to be met with a solid resistance. Pulling back a bit more the fish started to move. It came into the deeper channel and started charging up and down the margin. I managed to get it up the marginal shelf only for it to bury itself into the reed bed to my right. Leaning out a bit further with the rod I got it free from the reeds only for it to charge off again. It did this several times but eventually I could feel the fish tiring and after a couple more short runs the fish gave up and came over the net cord. At just over 25lb it was the biggest fish I had ever caught from the venue. Photographs done she swam off strongly, fit to fight another day. I lost another one shortly after recasting but I think that may have been a tench.

I sat back with another brew feeling quite smug with myself when my middle rod tore off again, I couldn’t help but smile. This fish fought differently to the others. Staying deep in the channel, no runs as such to the extent I thought I had lost the fish and was just pulling in a big ball of weed. If it wasn’t for the odd head nod from the fish I wouldn’t have known it was still on. It came in without any problems until it got into the margins where it headed for the same reed bed as the previous fish. Changing the angle of the rod a bit quicker this time I stopped it before it had chance to get in there. It soon popped up to the surface, and as I drew its head over the net I knew it was a decent fish but when it span the scales round to 32lb 8oz I was buzzing. This turns out to be the biggest fish in the lake although a few pounds down in weight.  

I packed up shortly after this fish and drove home to Bedfordshire a very happy man!!

So 7 takes in just under 24 hrs, 5 fish landed including 2x20s and a 30 on a new bait makes for good reading doesn’t it. Told you I love this time of year!