It was a Birthday Social trip to remember for Brand Manager Mat Woods this November, with five day ticket beauties falling foul to Mat's simple tactics.
He was joined by fellow Avid Carpers Andy Blower and Daz Bailey. During their 36 hour session at RH Fisheries Monument 1 Lake, day one really kicked into gear nicely. Daz sunk the net under a 33lber (apt as Mat is now 33) plus a lovely 35lber, known as the 'Horse'. Daz used Combi-Rigs with maggots and worms, flicking singles to flat spots in front of his swim, just a mere 30yds from the bank.
Mat also managed to sink the net under two 34lbers, two 20s to 28lb and a stockie the following day, as fantastic angling conditions rolled in with low barometric pressure and a strong northwesterly wind.
The first bite came after a wet and windy night – a stunning 34lb 14oz mirror, which according to onsite bailiff Tom Forrester hasn't been caught for two years. It was quickly followed by a lovely 28lb mirror, with a very distinguished 'Harry Potter' scar on its flank.
The bites kept coming in the low air pressure, with a stockie – one of the lovely mirrors that's bound for big things in the future.
A small lull in activity brought a quick recast, that didn't take long to take effect. As the clouds flew overhead, the BoBBin tightened to the top as the fish struggled to shake the rig. This was another heavy battle, and Mat was delighted to see one of the Monument's oldest residents, Pawprint, in the bottom of the net.
"I quickly unhooked the fish as the last feeding spell was so short. Before doing the photos of Paw, I dropped the rig back to the spot and within minutes, the rod was away again, this time with a stunning common," explains Mat.
With a 34lb and 24lb fish in two nets, Mat's birthday trip was complete.
All fish came to the same tactics – a small bunch of maggots on top of a Code Red wafter, with tiny PVA bags glugged in Code Red Glug. These were fished on 18lb Outline fluorocarbon hooklinks, with a size 8 CRV hook.
"I didn't glug the bags on day 1 and struggled for bites. Giving the rigs a complete dousing in Code Red made a big difference, I'm sure. These carp have taken a real liking to Code Red this year."