Follow the crowds By Paddy Ramsden

My first three winter sessions on St Johns had produced a number of fish, including Linear’s oldest resident Blackeye at 36.3, therefore my confidence was up for a February session….if I could find them.

My gut feeling was that the carp had backed off away from the pressure and gale force winds into the shallow end of the lake. As is standard in winter, there was nothing showing so I dropped into a swim that offered access to a large weed bed with around 6ft of water. I catapulted a few 10mm Live System around the area and within minutes of casting I was getting liners which continued throughout the day and into darkness. I sat on my hands confident that the new LS Whites were presented well and sure enough around 11pm my middle rod indicator dropped back and I was into a hard fighting St Johns carp, resulting in a scraper 20.

After getting the rod back out, the liners had completely disappeared and it seemed the carp were gone therefore just before first light I moved swims to slightly deeper water to see if I could intercept wherever they were heading. After a few hours watching the water and nothing to show, I spotted a carp on the end of the 50mph winds that were smashing into the road bank. That was enough for me, I wound in and went for another mooch with a spod rod and a bucket 😉 After an hour or so, I saw another carp and my mind was made up. I flicked a lead out, found what I was looking for and put 5 small spombs of Live System 10mm, crumb and corn glugged with the amazing Amino 365.

Leaving the bucket in the swim, I headed back, wrapped my rods to the distance then packed down to move. Once in the new swim, I switched hookbaits to the ever faithful Northern Specials to try and draw them down in the deep water, as I felt due to the cold conditions they weren’t really on the feed. The rods had been out for about 45 minutes and my right hand indicator pulled tight then dropped, I knew the fish was swimming towards me so I wound as fast as possible until I connected with her. By now she was just 20yds in front of me but I knew my trusted 2.5tc rods wouldn’t fail and after a very strong but short battle I landed a good carp. I unhooked her in the net, popped a new rig on and flicked it back out…..

The scales said 40.14, a new 40 for the lake but as I picked the fish up for her picture the same rod was away again.

40.14 Two Tone B

Two tone 40lb 14oz

This fish stripped 15yds of line before I managed to halt the run and a fantastic battle ensued. After 20 minutes or so and a few scares, she too was landed. With a 40 already in the sling, this was the icing on the cake, weighing in at 32.8 and two fish on the bank at the same time!

32.8 A

32lb 8oz

I managed one more fish before I left, completing my session with a double, a 20, a 30 and a 40 in February…. epic!!!

Paddy Rramsden

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