Early Spring Success- George Treadwell
Scraping the ice off the windscreen of my van, it certainly did not feel like springtime. During the journey to the lake my mind was fixated on where the fish would likely be holding up. With the temperatures still cold at night, but the sun permeating the top layers of the water in the day, and with water temperature well on the rise now, my first port of call was to find sun traps that were out the way of the wind. Having studied Google maps intensively on the lead up to the session, Dredger Bay seemed like a good starting point. As I arrived at the lake, the sun had just started to creep above the horizon, the birds were chirping, and a light mist rolled across the water with not a cloud in sight. With my game plan in mind, I headed straight for Dredger Bay (gaining its name from an old, rusty, partially sunken dredger), and most probably one of the most iconic spots in British carp fishing. As I walked onto a point overlooking the bay it was not long before several carp gave themselves away. The far margin was littered with fallen trees and snags, and now with the sun starting to beam down on the area it looked like the ultimate carp haven.
I wasted no time in getting my gear out of the van and carted round to the swim. With 3 rods ready to go and a bucket of ready tied solid bags all I needed to do was find a suitable spot. The Ridgemonkey Transmit spod and marker braid made light work of finding an area at considerable distance amongst the weed and close to the snags. After finding the ‘money spot’ and wrapping up my rods. I swapped my feature finding lead for a Spomb and the baiting up commenced. With the sheer number of fish that I saw showing in different areas, my thought was to bait one area and fish all rods on it so as not perpetually chase the fish around. Given that there were clearly numbers of fish in the areas I decided to put out a dozen spods of mixed CC Moore Odyssey XXX boilies, sweetcorn and liquid with the thought process that a bed of bait would generate multiple captures.
With all three rods now fishing at a little over one hundred yards on a tight spot it, unsurprisingly it did not take long for the alarm to register the first bite of the session. After a relatively short battle I scooped him up a cracking mirror into the net. After safely securing the fish, my thoughts instantly turned to getting the rod back onto the spot. A solid bag in conjunction with the Zero lead free leader and Connexion Uni lead clip made easy work of getting a fresh rig onto the spot. I have always found that using the Uni lead clip in solid bags is a great way of ensuring that the bag is compact and tightly sealed - perfect for casting long distances. With the added assurance from the Uni lead clip that the lead will drop off on the take, it truly makes playing fish a dream.
With the rod now back on the spot, it was time to reveal my prize and get it on the scales. But before I could even get my camera out the bag I was in again. This fish felt different from the offset. Having dropped the lead on the take, the fish instantly breached the surface of the water sending waves across the bay. Stripping line from the reel, the fish kited on a tight line heading straight for the dredger, most certainly knowing where he could find refuge.
With the rod at full compression in an attempt to slow the fish down, the Apex hook stayed strong, however the carp still managed to kite just past the dredger. Trying not to panic, I kept steady pressure on the fish and eventually managed to persuade it into open water. This truly was a testament to the Silk-Flex hooklink and the Sub-Zero leader. Now back in open water, thankfully the fish showed some respite and I started to gain line. As the fish came closer to the net, I quickly realised that it was a special carp. Eventually I slipped the net under a jet-black dinosaur, and it was instantly apparent that it was a considerably bigger then the first fish. Once again, I wasted no time in swapping the old rig for a pre-prepared solid bag and casted it straight back onto the spot.
Before getting the camera out and taking some pictures I had to top up the area with a few Spombs as they were most certainly taking a liking to the bait. Just a couple of Spombs is all that is required in this circumstance to keep the fish visiting the spot. I wasted no time in weighing and photographing the first mirror as I was excited to reveal what was sulking in the second net. Unzipping the sling, I was greeted by one of the most stunning jet-black leathery carp I had ever caught. This was truly a moment to soak up, especially catching such a fish from iconic venue like Wraysbury, and in Dredger Bay just to top it all off. After a few pictures it was time to return the fish to the crystal-clear water. At 27lb 8oz, this mirror had already made my session. But that was not to be the end!
As I returned the dinosaur to the lake my alarm went into melt down yet again. As I picked up the rod my middle rod also pulled up tight. My instant thought was that I had crossed lines whilst casting, but as the fish kited away from the other line it was apparent that I had a double take. Concentrating on the first fish and getting it into the net was of importance first, but once the fish was secured in the net, I quickly wound down into the second rod and thankfully it did not take long to connect with the fish. After a short but scrappy battle fish number 4 was in my net. At that very moment my final rod on the spot burst into life.
After a spirited fight, three fish were sulking in the nets, and with no rods in the water I desperately needed to top up the spot with bait to keep them feeding. As it was clear that the fish were up for a feed, I dispatched fifteen Spombs of bait then moved onto preparing three fresh solid bags. Thankfully, the first rod went out perfectly, however disaster struck on the second rod - my gorgeous cork handle rod that I had for the past five years snapped on the cast. Feeling absolutely gutted to have just snapped a rod, I turned my attention to the three stunning carp that were resting in the nets.
With night-time now looming, and a rod down I still had faith that it was going to be a busy, and I was not wrong! By the morning, and with very little sleep, I sat watching the sun rise once again over the bay reflecting on the eleven fish that I had caught, including two ancient 27lb mirrors. It was clear that spring was certainly here!
George's Success Mix: