In the first issue of The Session I won a competition for a set of Greys Torsion rods. I have never written an article before but thought I would have a go and let everyone know about my progress following winning the competition. I guess I should start by telling you a little about myself and my fishing.
My name is Adam Johnson, I’m 15 years old and I live in Hull. I have been Carp fishing for 5 years now having started on local runs waters with my dad teaching me the basics. Since then I have had some valuable tuition from some top anglers including Lee Collings, Jake Wildbore and Elliot Grey. I enjoy nothing more than finishing school on a Friday afternoon and going straight to the lake until Sunday afternoon. I haven’t caught anything massive as yet and my PB is a common at 23lb 4oz.
After spending this winter on my local runs water I decided it was time for a new challenge and start fishing waters with a harder reputation. After some careful thought and discussions with my dad we decided to target a 7 acre lake that has a history of being hard to fish, however the rewards are way more than satisfying.
Come spring it was time for me to start doing my homework on our chosen lake and I began by making a visit to meet up with the owner. I think he was expecting me to be a little bit older as he was reluctant to allow anyone under 16 on his lake but after he had chatted with my dad he allowed me to fish under his supervision.
I asked him as many questions about the lake as I could think of and took everything he told me on board. On my first session I walked a couple of laps of the lake looking for any signs of Carp but never saw anything. Talking to the other anglers already on the lake they were saying that they hadn’t seen anything either so, after deciding on my chosen swim I took out my marker rod and searched for any bars, odd contours or different bottoms (gravel, silt and clay etc). I found a clear patch amongst the weed and decided that’s where my traps were going. On that session I had two runs and lost both fish in the huge weed bed in front of me.
Knowing that on my next session there was a strong chance of me loosing fish in weed again, I decided to look through some of my favourite magazines and websites for tips and guidance. Whilst on ‘The Session’ website I saw a photo competition with the winner depending on the votes of the community, the prize was a set of 3 Greys Torsion rods of your choice, so I entered hoping to win. Every day following entering the competition I’d check on my number of votes and each time I checked the amount slowly crept up, until one day when I came home from school I received an e-mail from the team who product ‘The Session’ saying I’d won. I was in disbelief that I was lucky enough to win the competition; I chose the 13ft 3.5 test curve rods with a 50mm butt ring, to help me with casting and playing fish. I was buzzing with excitement and couldn’t wait to get such a fantastic make and a high quality rod out on the bank for the first time.
Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to go fishing for 6 weeks or so as I had GCSE exams to do. However, my final exam was on a Friday, meaning I could go fishing at the weekend. So in a hurry I rushed home so my mum could take me to meet my dad at the lake. In all the excitement I just grabbed my gear and left, not realising that I had previously taken my old rods out of my rod bag and not replaced them as the Torsions were too big for my rod bag. As I got to the lake I went to open my rod bag and disaster struck! I realised I had made probably the biggest mistake in my whole angling life, in panic I called home to see if my rods could be brought up but they couldn’t unfortunately come until the next day, I was gutted.
Nevertheless I used the time to my advantage by watching the water and looking for signs of fish. I noticed some Carp following a route along some snags on the far margin, then into open water around ¾ of the way out and lay up in a weed bed before returning back to the snags again. This is where I decided to bait up and let them have a free feed and with no lines in the water with the hope they will become more confident whilst they are feeding in this area.
The next morning my rods had been brought up to me and I eagerly set them up and attached a length of rig tubing and an inline lead to accompany my solid PVA bag. As for my rig, I was using a braided hook link. My hook of choice was a size 6 wide gape barbless with shrink tubing to create aggressive curve to enable a better hook hold. For the hook bait I used a monster squid pop-up and a standard monster squid boilie to create a snowman effect. I then made up a PVA bag which consisted of crushed monster squid boilie. After that I placed a piece of PVA foam on the hook to make the hooklink sit vertically so my hook point is protected and my hooklink didn’t tangle.
Once my rods were ready I knew where I was going to cast to as I had being baiting up an area and saw 2-3 small groups of Carp amongst a weed bed basking in the past 3 hours. The time had come to make the first cast on my new rods and put a trap in the swim and catch a Carp, so I lined up my cast with my target and with a small, effortless and precise chuck around 60-70 yards, it was on the money just in line with the left of the closed peg. I was now confident with how my rig was presented in the weed knowing there were no tangles and it was perfect and irresistible, the two key ingredients to fool a wise carp.
After a few hours all of the fish had moved up the lake, I was unhappy as they neglected my hook bait but there was still plenty of time to catch one. Due the unpredicted disappearing act I thought it would be a perfect time to fire some freebies in, because they had cleared my area out of bait. One or two fish appeared on the surface later that evening, feeling luckier than before I sat on my hands waiting for the illusive carp. I saw some Carp topping around my chosen area just as the light dipped under the horizon allowing darkness to cover the lake.
I settled down for the evening, I put my receiver on to vibrate; earphones were plugged in as listening to the pre-hype tension of talk before the big fight between Haye and Klitschko. All of a sudden my receiver vibrated at the same time of the first round bell. What are the chances of that?
As I lifted my rod, my heart was racing. I then pulled back on the rod and started to wind down gently to feel my first of many huge and yet stunning creatures to be played on my new rods! Within seconds the Carp had dashed for a weed bed, desperate to keep it moving around and not losing the precious Carp, the hanging willow tree was its target I pointed the rod further out taking full advantage of the extra foot I had along with the 3.5 test curve to pull her through the strong weed in front of me and past the willow’s snags. I was able to keep the beautiful beast under a lot of control and lure the 18lb 8oz mirror in to my net. It was finally here, after a long wait with 110% effort put in, it had paid off. Shaking with excitement I unhooked her and had some photos to show my first ever fish on a new lake and my new rods.
My next target for me is one of the lakes 20lbs, although I don’t think size is a major factor as these scaly wonders are fantastic to angle for, and I will just be happy to catch one from the weedy depths of the beautiful, mysterious and majestic lake.I had had her in the net after a nerve racking, heart stopping and epic battle, not knowing if she was going to come home.