A Cold Start

cluster 30lb 10ozweb

Mikey Farrall gets off to a good start

With my favourite time of year fast approaching, my thoughts turned to priming areas and keeping plenty of digestible food going into the lake. With the syndicate slowly getting quieter, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do so, with it becoming more apparent that most Sunday evenings the lake would become devoid of anglers, this would be the time I’d proceed to bait the chosen areas.

With me doing a lot of the hard work mapping out the contours of the lake bed earlier on in the year I knew just the areas I was going to target. The first of which being a deeper bowl which gradually sloped down to around 18ft at its deepest part. The second of which was a snag line with a depth of around 9ft. Between these two areas I thought it would give me the best possible chance come the colder months.

The essentialsweb

My approach would be to get down every Sunday with a sack of micronized flaked maize along with 5 kilos of my chosen boilie and spread them across my previously chosen areas. Having fed fish meals throughout the year I would continue with these to start but slowly introduce a bird food/nut base boilie as it’s a lot better for the fish with them being more digestible during the colder months. Rather than keep the bait on a tight area I aimed to spread the bait out as much as possible to keep the fish moving which in turn should see them needing to feed due to using energy searching for the bait.

Conditions looked good!web

With us now getting into October I knew I wasn’t going to get a huge amount of fishing time due to a family holiday being booked that month, but with the two areas already seeing around 80kg of bait I was hoping things would all come good towards the back end of October/ early November. Low and behold it wasn’t until the last week of October I managed to get down for a quick overnighter with me turning up to the lake late Saturday evening.

I was surprised to see the lake completely empty not always a good thing as at times it can give you a little something to go on chatting to other anglers, but with nightfall fast approaching I decided I’d drop onto one of the baited spots just about getting the rigs into position before dark. I quickly put up the ascent brolly & stuck the kettle on and settled in for the night. I woke the following morning to the bobbins in the same position. Before I knew it, I had to be off, taking my first blank on the lake in a while with me. I started to question my decision. Still, I wasn’t going to give up in a hurry.

mid double commonweb

My following session saw me have a little more time to play with. This time I had a full 24 hours and arrived at the lake early Saturday morning and again to my surprise, a completely empty lake.

I decided I would load the boat with the gear and drift around the lake until I saw something of any significance. With me seeing the odd blows in the deeper area of the lake I thought I’d drop into one of the baited swims. I pulled the boat up along the platform and decided to sit and watch the water for a while when suddenly, a good fish came clean out the water on the other bank in around 6ft of water. I jumped straight back in the boat and headed over to investigate. I saw a good set of blows around 20 yards out and thought I’d be crazy not to move onto it. I was soon settled in & put one rod in the area I saw the fish show. The other two rods I decided to put onto my baited spot as it was still accessible from the swim I dropped in to. 20 minutes later, I started to get the odd liner off the deep-water spot, more than I had on my previous session. So, it was a good start as I’d had a late-night Friday I thought I’d get my head down for an hour or so obviously, the fish had other ideas as the middle rod burst into life!

mid doubleweb

I was away with my first bite off the baited area. I was over the moon, all I had to do now was make sure it kissed the spreader block. It wasn’t long before I had a low twenty sulking in the net! I soon had her on the mat for a few shots before slipping her back and got the rod back on the area. I decided I would now get my head down for an hour, this time the fish duly obliged, waking around mid-afternoon. With no more action, I topped up the area with a little bait and re-cast the rigs with fresh baits.


With the nights now dropping dark very early, I decided I’d cook myself up some food and get an early night. It wasn’t until around 9.30pm when the same rod was away again!

This time after a short battle, I had a mid-double common in the net. After firing off a few stills I slipped her back and put the rod back out and got my head back down again until I was rudely awoken around 3am with the same rod again!

One in the net one in the slingweb

I soon had another double figure mirror in the net, but with the rain now coming down I slipped it into the retainer to sort the pictures first light. I set my alarm for 6am to have a quick brew and sort the fish out in the retainer. But before getting chance, the same rod was away again! This time I instantly knew I was attached to one of the better fish in the lake. With the fish slowly kiting left and right holding its ground out in open water, I was just hoping I’d see this one over the net cord. With around 15 minutes gone, I finally had her within netting distance and after a few hairy moments she was soon mine.

cluster 30lb 10ozweb

I decided I would sort her out first before taking a beating off the one in the sling. As soon as I slipped her on the mat I was in awe of this amazing creature. I hoisted it up on the scales to see the needle swing around to 30lb 10oz!

The returnweb

I was absolutely made up and my third fish over 30lb in a couple of months. Once I’d sorted her out, I proceeded to get the mid double mirror out for a few shots before slipping her back which brought an end to a very memorable 24-hour session and hopefully the start of a good winter campaign.

Until next time be lucky!