17th June 2021

 John Claridge enjoys a successful return to his target water, landing several fish topped by a brace of forties!

Real life stuff often gets in the way of our angling, it’s the way of the world for most people out there unfortunately. However, when the time does come to get back out bankside, it is certainly all the sweeter, especially if you end up having a successful welcome back! This is exactly what happened to John Claridge, as he made a return to a low-stock pit in fine style.

Free amino acids flood out from your baited area, which help draw carp into your swim and keep them there for longer.

John said:

“With the lockdown affecting my early spring plans, I was keen to get going but with the relocation of the Tackle Den where I work, I knew it was going to be the latter stages of May before I could get my fishing head on.

“I had worked 13 long days straight and was looking forward to a day off to go angling and so I headed off for an overnight session on a low-stocked tricky pit. I had done a little bit of time on there the previous autumn but had not even seen a carp and with the crayfish being a nightmare, it was a headbanger to say the least. The prizes within however were worth some effort, with one big mirror in particular being a fish of a lifetime.

“The weather was warm so I headed for the shallower end and after finding a few in an out of bounds area, I set up as close as I could. Having fished the swim before I put a lead across the known spots and adjusted the clips accordingly. Rigs were dispatched and a few spombs of Manilla Active went around each hookbait.

“It was nice to be back out angling and I was hopeful the fish, which I had seen earlier, would drift past me and with the bait pumping out it’s attractors would result in a pick-up. Unfortunately, a tench hung itself first but then in the early hours, the middle rod’s bobbin pulled up, after feeling the line it was bowstring tight and I pulled into my first carp from the water. In the moonlight and shallow water, it was a fraught ruck but after 15 or so minutes a plump mirror succumbed to the battle. At 34lb it was an encouraging start and gave me the confidence they could be caught.

“A couple of trips later my fortunes took an upward turn and once again in the early hours, a couple of bleeps, a click from the clip and as I hurriedly stepped into the chesties, I heard her swirl on the surface. The rod was locked up as buoys were in the vicinity and as I lifted the rod from the rest, I instantly had to walk out into the water as the line was under full tension. Typical of a big fish, the carp had power, weight and deliberation and as I played her out in the moderate breeze, I prayed it was one of the elite.

“A good 10 minutes passed and at the first attempt of netting I messed it up as I didn’t allow for how long the fish was and with its tail hanging over the drawstring, she slipped out. At the next time of asking she drifted round from the side and this time there was no mistake. With the net propped up, I shuffled back to the bank and now armed with my headtorch, I pinged it on to reveal a monster common – result! I struggled with her out of the water and on to the mat, she weighed 43lb 10oz, a truly stunning common and just 4oz shy of a PB common!

“Full of confidence, I was back the following week for a two nighter, and just a couple of hours in, a steaming bite had me backwinding and the clutch spinning as an extremely powerful and angry carp rinsed line off me. The initial run must have taken it out of him and just a couple of minutes later he wallowed in on the surface and another big common lay sulking in the mesh. This one went 40lb 12oz and was a different shaped beast but just as impressive as his plumper cousin of the previous trip. The bait was scoring well and with the release of the attractors and the breakdown of the Manilla Active paste, I could keep smell and bait in the water despite the increasing crayfish attention.

“After a heavy amount of tench attention on the second night, I had given up recasting, but after a hearing a fish show, I dragged myself back out  of bed and recast a rod and was rewarded with a 25lb 2oz common an hour or so later, a reward for not giving up!”