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Royal Engineers Carp Section Winter Match


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Just got back from a 3 night match with the Royal Engineers Carp Section on Waterbeach lake in Cambridgeshire. The session proved a tough one with everyone struggling to put fish on the bank.


The temperature had dropped considerably over the past week in Cambs, so for the first night i decided to fish solid bags filled with low oil pellets and a 14mm Discharge Black Magic Pop Up as hookbait. I'd seen one fish show a couple of rod lengths from the island in front of me at about 75yrds so both rods were fished to this area.


Well by morning i'd been thoroughly beaten up by the bream with 7 falling to the solid bags, but no carp, and no more shows. Time to drop the pellet!


I changed things around and fished again Black Magic pop ups on my reverse combi rigs in conjunction with a 4 bait stringer of Squid and Ylang Ylang. This time i kept one rig in the area where i'd seen the show the previous evening and fish the other in slightly deeper water at about 50 yrds.


To cut a long story short, even after keeping my eyes glued to the water until the daft hours of the morning I didnt see another single show, and by morning I was scratching my head and looking at a distinctly dry unhooking mat.


Everyone had approached the lake much the same at this point with everyone fishing either single hookbaits or bags. Although a few fish had been out by this point to those tactics they had all come from the deeper water off the road bank, a good 500 yrds from where i was stuck (This was technically a match, so a move was not an option). With this in mind, and with nothing left to lose i decided to give them a bit of bait. If they were to pass through my swim during the last night i wanted something that would stop them in their tracks. I once again got the marker float out and found a spot ever so slightly deeper than the last, but in nice soft silt as opposed to the previous spot's crunchy gravel. I then set about spombing around 8kg of hemp, 3kgs of pellet, and 1kg of boilie, all with lashings of Black Magic Dip and fished a snowman rig on both rods over the top made up of the Squid and Ylang Ylang bottom baits and the Black Magic Pop ups trimmed down. Coupled with 3 bait stringers they quickly sailed out to the spot.


The gamble paid off and at 0130 the left hand rod rattled off. I can't ever remember praying for a fish not to fall off quite so much. The lead had discharged on the pick up so the fish rose quickly to the surface and didn't put up too much of a scrap. Within a minute or two i had a chunky little 14lb common in the folds of the net. One of the smaller fish that inhabit the lake but nevertheless the pressure was finally off, and the blank avoided. I was a happy man. Sleep was hard to come by after that, but as is the way with these things i'd finally dropped off again at around 0300 when the same rod rattled off again.


It was obvious from the start that this fish was of a better stamp. Despite the lead once again ejecting on the take this fish stayed deep and was content to plough back and forth at long range. It took me almost 15 minutes until i saw the leader knot break the surface. The fish was really scrapping. At this point i really thought i was attached to one of the lakes upper 30s. Alas it wasn't to be, but at 26lb 10oz i was more than happy when i slipped the net around it.


No more carp fell to my rods after that. But i awoke the next morning more than happy with my lot. It transpired that my partner in the next swim had also manged 3 20s during the night which actually meant that we'd won the match (albeit a friendly...). Happy days!


And here's the pics:





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