3rd August 2021

Jack Funnell reflects on his late spring and early summer, which saw him welcome back angling into his life again with a bang!

Fishing week in week out can be some people’s dream, but to others it’s a nightmare and at some point or another, every angler out there can feel they need a break to refresh themselves. Sometimes, this is the best thing for it as when you return, you will be far more enthusiastic and hopefully make up for lost time. Jack Funnell decided to have a break from his angling during the busy period of the early part of the pandemic, but once things calmed down and with a new ticket looming, he got back on the horse, and it seriously paid off!

These Fluoro hookbaits really stand-out and offer a perfect blend of both instant and prolonged attraction.

Jack said:

“At the start of 2021, I was lucky enough to be offered a ticket on a lake that holds a large head of huge carp and after seeing several images of the stock, to say I was feeling excited was an understatement, the 1st of April could not come quick enough!

“The first weekend of the season fell on a bank holiday weekend and so I was expecting a few new syndicate members and a busy lake. At the time, I only planned to go for a quick walk but on arrival there were only three anglers fishing. You guessed it, temptation got the better of me and I decided to stay the night! Unfortunately, it was quiet all round, nothing was caught and I didn’t even see a carp but with the water temperature still low, I knew it would be a couple of weeks before they started to wake up.

“At the end of April, a big weather front moved in; low pressure, big winds and rain, weather that carp absolutely love. On arrival there were five anglers fishing, unsurprisingly all sitting comfortably on the back of the wind as it was a freezing cold easterly. After seeing very little, I decided to set up in the coldest swim on the lake, fishing right in the teeth of a freezing cold 20mph easterly. This paid off, as the following morning I was rewarded with a bite, the fish fought hard, stripping line from me, kiting hard right trying to find sanctuary in the reeds that line the lake’s perimeter. My heart was pounding, legs shaking as I knew it was a good fish. It eventually surrendered and my first fish from the venue turned out to be a stunning 32lb mirror. In the meantime, I had had a couple of blank sessions, changing approach regularly, trying to put a fish on the bank, but this spurred me on to try and figure them out.

“I returned a couple of weeks later, at the end of May. A big south westerly wind was due to hit on the Monday morning, lasting for several days. I knew I had to be out on the bank making the most of the perfect weather. Upon arrival, I headed down the bank for a walk, the big winds had already started and I was expecting to see a few fish showing. The first swim I came to was on the end of the wind and after standing in the swim for several minutes I noticed a fish show, then another and another! So, I rushed back to the car to grab my gear and secure the swim.

“After a quick lead about, I found a promising area amongst most of the shows, a hard spot with the occasional tap of gravel. Two rods and six spombs of bait later, the rods were sorted. Only a couple of hours passed, when the left hand rod burst into life and after a long battle under the rod tip I found myself netting my second carp from the venue, a stunning large-finned 32lb common, my only fish of the session. Even though the wind persisted the carp pushed slightly further from the bank, out of my reach. At the end of the session, the water started to turn a slight brown colour, it was the start of an algae bloom! I knew the fish wouldn’t like it and would go off the feed for a few weeks, until the water clarity cleared up again.

“It was around four weeks later when the water clarity finally improved, I knew it was time to get back down and give it another go. During the spring, I fished a number of nights constantly changing my overall approach. I had given most tactics a go; zigs, singles, solid bags, fishing pop-ups, wafters and bottom baits over bait and just off bait, big beds and small, fluoros, fishmeal and nut-based baits. This wasn’t just in one area either on the 30-acre lake, I fished long and short range, in the wind and on the back of it, margins and open water, different depths and substrates. All of this chopping and changing during the spring had given me a great idea how to target the lake going forward. During my brief time away from the lake it had given me an opportunity to think about how I was going to target the lake in the summer months ahead.

“Location came first, both the fish I had caught in spring had been in the teeth of a wind with them regularly showing no matter how hot or cold. Substrate – the lake has almost every type of substrate you are likely to find in a UK. I was looking for a very smooth bottom with the occasional tap of gravel, perfect for presenting bait and rigs. Bait and baiting – after my attempts at fishing zigs, solid bags and singles had failed miserably, I decided to fish over a bed of bait, around 12-15 large Spombs. The bait was a mix of 12mm Manilla, sweetcorn and 6mm pellets, fishing 14mm yellow or pink Mulbz pop-ups on spinner rigs over the top.

“For the following three weeks I was lucky enough to put my theory and approach to the test. Each time I set up in the teeth of the wind, found a smooth area and applied plenty of Manilla, corn and pellets. My days off work and the weather aligned perfectly for each 48-hour session with perfect fishing weather of low pressure, high winds, cloud cover and rain. Across three 48-hour sessions, I managed to land another 11 fish; six over 20, a 30, 32, 38, 39 and a seriously chunky 42lb mirror. My new approach really paid off with some incredible looking carp!”