I decided to fish the same area now until winter as there were obviously carp around there. It was a sunny day when I arrived back but still mild so when I arrived I was not surprised to find some carp in the edge where I had been putting some bait in. I moved along and set up in the main swim, then wandered back with a stalking rod. Two carp were feeding quite well but neither looked that big, suddenly though a better fish came in and started feeding on the particles and crushed boilies immediately. I was eager to get a bait in amongst them straight away. All I managed to do was spook them completely so after an hour waiting to get a better chance without luck, I went back to the main swim and cast the baits out to the usual spots, a hole in the weed and to the back of an island. I spent a while spodding some particles out to the hole in the weed, quite a lot really but as I do two or three sessions close together, often consecutive nights, then I tend to put a lot in the first night and then none in on the next night, or two.

All remained quiet until after dark when after a single bleep the rod in the hole in the weed tore off. It was a good fight; the carp was obviously a decent size so I led it up the bank so I could play it in more open water. I let it thud around getting it closer and closer until at last it rolled into the net, it was a nice solid looking common carp of 16lb 6oz, a great result so early in the session and in mid October. After admiring it for a while I slipped it back, very happy. After recasting I got back under the brolly as the stars were out and the temperature had dropped a bit. Just on midnight the rod by the island absolutely ripped off and when I struck I connected with a fast running fish that took a lot of line. I managed to slow it down and was leading it back the 60 odd yards towards me when the hook pulled out for no reason at all. It felt like a nice fish but it was not pulling too hard but it is hard to tell, it took the edge off the 16lber thatís for sure.

The rest of the night was quiet and the temperature dropped further at dawn when I packed and left. I was back later that day and returned to the same swim for the next night. There was no need for more bait in the hole in the weed so I just cast out stringers on both rods together with a few freebies. The wind from the night before had dropped and the clear skies ensured it was a cold night. The bailiff turned up around 10pm for a chat and as we talked the rod in the hole in the weed ripped off after a few line bites. It did not feel like a big fish but I was gently leading it to the net when again the hook pulled for no reason. I had changed from double baits to single baits because I had pulled out of a few carp but now I was on single baits - but I had still just pulled out of two fish in two nights, it was time for a rethink. To make things worse, the rest of the night was a blank.

I came back with a new hook pattern a couple of days later to get back amongst the carp, again in the same swim. It was a warmer night and I was more confident. Again I did not put too much more bait out and sat back and waited. Around midnight the rod out in the weed ripped off and with some trepidation I began to gain line. The carp fought quite well but I did not put too much pressure on it afraid of the hook pulling but no problem this time as it rolled in to the net, a chunky looking common of 11lb 4oz. The hook was well in; the new pattern seemed to have done the trick. I had actually changed from a wider gap thicker wire hook to a thinner wire smaller gap hook; I hoped it was the answer. There was no more action that night but I looked forward to the following week.

I now decided to cut my sessions down from three nights a week to two as winter was getting nearer and the effort of packing up two hours before light to go to work was not easy but I still hoped for some good carp before the frosts. I went back to the same area and after casting out the island rod, I set about spodding out some particles to the hole in the weed. On the fourth spod out, as the spod settled, a large swirl appeared next to it and I found myself connected to a good fish. It did not fight much and in a minute or two I netted a long pike. I attach the spod on the lead link and then after spodding put the lead back on, this means the hooklink flies free whilst spodding so the pike, that had either taken the spod, or had been chasing small fish attracted by the particles, got hooked on the loose hook. Whatever, it weighed 13lb 3oz and was hooked neatly in the scissors. It looked a thin hungry pike, not a well-fed one at all and it looked unhappy as I slipped it back. I finished spodding and cast the real rig out.

The night was quiet but around 4am I had a run on the rod in the hole and again after a nice fight I netted another solid chunky common, this time a bit bigger at 11lb 14oz, I was pleased the carp were still coming, if not big ones and was even more pleased that the hook was well embedded in the carp's bottom lip. The following night I was back but the weather was against me as shortly after getting set up a strong easterly wind came up and, just as my mate Ian was setting up further up the bank, the heavens opened and we had a severe thunderstorm. The thunder and lightning were right overhead and it was a little concerning for a while as there are not many trees around that part of the lake and we were a bit exposed.

The rain soon abated but it still continued on and off all night. As a result, all I caught was a bream and Ian lost a carp when his buzzer packed up because of the heavy rain. I was however pleased with the continued action, and that I seemed to have sorted out the hook pulling problems. I was now hoping for continued mild weather and more carp the following week.

Have fun!