The Big Storm Brings Early Success

Featuring Simon Crow


Ian Russell gets off to a January Flyer

I had been waiting for a break in the weather to visit my friend Marsh Pratley’s Orchid Lake and when a storm with a massive south westerly was forecast, that’s exactly where my van headed.

On arrival, I was greeted as usual with a massive smile from Marsh and a lovely cuppa. Marsh informed me that the Alamo swim was indeed free, so not needing to be told twice, that was me for the next 48hrs.

The massive wind that was forecast cuts across this area driving the carp with it (hopefully). As the water level is quite low at the moment I chose not to fish to near the reeds but found a spot in 6 foot of water straight out, just behind some bumpy ground. So I wrapped all the rods at this range with the intent of fishing them tightly grouped unless fish sightings dictated differently. I spodded out a load of crushed Code Red Boilies & F1 Corn mixture and fished over this with my favourite LSK size 6 blowback rig with a Code Red Wafter and a single piece of plastic corn to top it off.


Scott off of EastEnders was across from me in the new middles and we started angling. The day was fairly calm but the wind was due after dark and it did not disappoint. Gusts of 50 mph smashed the area and trees bent and massive waves rushed past. Altogether quite scary to be sat under a HQ bivvy. At 7.30pm the left rod took off and playing a fish in such a strong cross wind meant holding the rod low as not to let the wind buffer the line too much. After a few hairy minutes a lovely deep mirror was netted and at exactly that time, the right-hand rod took off. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together. A strong fight again followed and unbelievably as I netted a linear mirror the middle rod was away. Now having carp in my two nets already, I called the chap next door and a 3rd net arrived. This was a very long common, now I was in total wipe out mode. 3 nets, 3 carp and a massive smile.


As I weighed and pictured each of the carp, the rods were reset which in this wind was no easy job I can tell you. First was a lovely deep dark mirror at 27lbs. The second, an equally lovely 27lb Linear. The third was over 30lb at 31lb 12oz of Common. Now Marsh has a rule that he must be present for every 30lb plus carp when photographed, so I retained it and made the call. Whilst waiting for the boss, I recast that rod and spent 20 minutes aiming a spod 20 yards to the left of the area it needed to land in.


Marsh arrived and pictures were taken. We sat around until 11pm drinking tea and talking all things Carpy. The night pasted very slowly with very little sleep as you can imagine, I was constantly staring at bending trees above my HQ. Daylight arrived and I pulled all the rods in to freshen them up and recast accurately. But considering the wind last night I noticed all were positioned correctly. I put out another small bucket of bait and the left rod was away, straight away. A 20lb 8oz Common was temporarily visiting my world and then returned to his.


The next take came at midday and I managed to pick up a drifting branch which in turn caught both the other lines and carnage ensued. As I was trying desperately to sort out the mess, Jason the bailiff turned up to lend a hand and an absolutely amazing 25lb 8oz big scaly mirror was scooped up with half a tree attached and masses of my other lines. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!


Sorting this mess out took forever but they all went in on the money so all was good. I again spodded out a small bucket of bait and had a hard-earned cuppa. Scott and Marsh turned up at 3:30pm and the right rod was off. This one was no problem and came straight in thankfully. The lads helped with the weighing and pictures and a chunky 28lb 8oz mirror was set free. This was my last take as the carp moved left in front of Scott and like the angler he is, he helped himself to an amazing 33lb mirror and an upper double. 12 midday and home was calling, so my time was up. What a lovely couple of very stormy days and a whole load of amazing looking carp. The Avid Outline terminal range definitely played its part in the daytime bites as the water was so clear, everything was exposed.

Anyway, in the words of the Big Fella, I’ll be back.

Ian Russell

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About The Angler


Simon Crow

Simon Crow is arguably one of the country’s top anglers and has worked in the trade for over 25 years.