I made my way back over to the larger of the two estate lakes I have fished this season and before leaving the car park I had a quick look in the logbook. Only one page had been filled in since my last carp there back last November. Since then, apart from a few bream, only a few doubles had been caught.

I made my way down the long slope and trudged up the lake. I knew where I was heading for, the open area of the lake that always held a few carp at the end of the season. The weather was awful, strong winds and heavy showers. I managed to just get the oval shelter up before another big black cloud appeared off to my right. I leaded about and found there was little weed but I had to stop as the rain fell down. Looking out across the lake with the rain falling I saw some coots diving on one spot, so when the sun re-appeared I leaded around there. Sure enough there was more weed here and just beyond it I found a nice area of clay, that would do for one rod. I set up with a small un-flavoured white pop-up and a 12 bait stringer and cast out the 50 odd yards. The line stopped at the clip and it splashed down right on the nose. The other rod I cast just to the left of the first on a slightly softer spot, again with a pop-up.

More rain fell before dusk but as it stopped I had a take on the left hand rod. I connected with a nice weight but it was coming a little too easily for my liking. Closer in though the fish fought back a bit so I thought it may be a small carp. In the edge, a tench rolled over and soon it was in the net. It was a big fish though with a huge frame weighing 7lb 4oz, a huge fish for the water and near the lake record. It was lovely conditioned fish that was soon powering away. I recast quickly and got under the covers, as the wind was really cold. An hour later I landed a 6lb bream on the other rod.

Full darkness was soon arriving and I wondered if the bream might ruin my chances. More rain began to fall but it was the wind that was worse, really strong and gusty. Around 9pm I was left in no doubt if there were any carp around when the right-hand rod, the one on the clay, tore off. When I connected with it I knew it was a carp. Dragging the net behind me I made my way off to the right to a more open area of bank where I could play the carp easier, and net it. The carp fought well far out in the lake but the wind was buffeting the line and rod a bit so I was worried about keeping the pressure on to keep the small hook in. The carp rolled a few yards out and I could see it was a good fish. However soon it was fighting right in the edge and it kept kiting left and right, tight to the bank which is something the stockie commons do a lot, so for a while I thought it was one of those. A couple of really powerful charges though soon made me take it more seriously and at last the carp rolled in to the net. I had a quick look and saw it was in fact a sizeable mirror.

When I lifted it out on to the mat I found it was heavier than I thought and over 20lb. The hook was nicely in and the carp was a lovely dark brown colour with an orangey belly. It was not until I was taking the pictures that I realised it had no pelvic fins, then I knew what fish it was, it was one I had not caught before so I was really happy. On the scales it weighed 24lb 7oz, a right result for winter, and on my first trip back. Soon the magnificent carp was back in the water and I stood there in the wind and thanked the heavens.

I recast, quite easily finding the clay and got under the blankets. I did not expect any more action being very happy with the mirror but just after midnight the same rod was off again. Another good carp was fighting well out in front of me. The line kept twanging so I wondered if it might have been a pike as the fishes tail was obviously hitting the line, so it was quite long. Then when I saw it was a carp I wondered if it might have been foul hooked. On the mat I was pleased to find it was a long common carp and hooked fair and square. It weighed 16lb 13oz and was in great shape, another right result. That was the end of the action though. At dawn I packed up, really happy.

Two days later I was back in more heavy showers. I cast to the same places and got set up for the night. The forecast was for the rain to clear and for it to get chilly so I was anxious to get a carp quick. Luckily I did just that at around 6:30pm when the rod on the clay tore off. This one gave an interesting fight as it charged off right up the lake but it was soon just thudding around so I guessed it was not huge, so it proved, a stockie mirror of 11lb odd. I quickly recast to hopefully get something else but I was quite happy already.
No more than half-hour later the same rod gave a slower take and again I hooked a heavy carp. Immediately I made my way up the bank as this one was taking line at 50 yards so I knew it was a better carp. There was less wind and the stars were shining well so I could see the carp when it rolled out in the middle, I felt the rod kick over as once again it charged off. The fight, although not spectacular after that, was prolonged as the carp only reluctantly gave ground. I was worrying about the hookhold after a while, especially when it was in the edge and kept rolling heavily on top. I expected the line to twang free any moment. Happily though on the fifth attempt the carp was in the net. It was another long common but this one had more gut; on the scales it just made 20lb with 5 ounces to spare. I could not believe my luck, no one on the lake and fantastic end of season fishing, a right result.

After I had put the gorgeous common back I sorted everything out and got back to keeping warm, the temperature had really dropped. By midnight there was ice on the inside of the oval and an hour later I could see white frost covering everything in the light of the moon. By the time I packed up everything was frozen solid with the rain freezing as well. The net and oval were a solid shape and back at the car none of the doors or boot opened. I had to laugh as Id had a great two sessions, but I wondered if the frosts might put the carp back to sleep. Time would tell.

Have Fun!