With autumn fast approaching my thoughts turned to big baiting, increasing my quantity of bait per night with the hope of generating some sort of hit. As always around this time on the mere the fish respond really well to big beds of hemp and multiple captures can be on the cards. On average when boilie fishing I use roughly one or two kilos as a start and then introduce more bait if I pick up fish, but as I have said hemp is used in huge quantities going in to the autumn and my plan was to bait heavily. My plan was to go straight in with roughly five kilos of hemp, chopped tigers, whole tigers and then my usual all season red boillies chopped and whole. I would then add to this if I fished a second night. Now this might sound like a lot of bait to go straight in with over two rods but realistically this is nothing to a small group of 20lb+ carp. Following my capture of stumpy I had planned to do the following Friday night but with a late day off work booked I actually got to the lake on the Thursday at around 10pm. Walking with my barrow along the shallows to a swim that commanded a huge area of open water I was near enough running with excitement. The breeze carried the drizzly rain straight in to my face and made walking to the lake in the dark even trickier. I got a couple of rods out in a horrendous cross wind and got my head down in the hope of seeing something at first light.

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I woke to the alarm at 5am and it was still dark so I made myself a cup of tea and lay on one side watching for signs. Not a lot was seen that morning but I had heard one crash out in the night so I knew here was one or two out there. The day was quiet and I was soon sorting my rods for the night with two carefully balanced wafters and around four kilos of bait spombed over the top. At around 1.30am I had a very strange bream like drop back but on picking up the rod it was soon apparent that a carp was attached. A hairy fight with the fish taking the other rod out too, I soon had a pretty upper double mirror in the net. I still felt confident for a morning bite but that never materialised and I went home with just the one fish to show for my efforts, still it was another to add to the bank.

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After a long dragging week at work I was heading back down to the mere for two nights. There had been a strong southerly wind on for the last 24 hours and I was convinced they were going to turn up in front of the northwest bank. The fish had been held up in an area that sees a lot of bait this time of year and quite a few had been caught so as you can imagine it was hammered. I decided to gamble on the fact that they would end up on the end of the Southerly wind and got myself in to my favourite swim on the northwest bank. Once again the spots were checked with the braid rod and they were sweet, nice firm silt. I much prefer using a lead only on braid to check spots rather than a marker, it’s much more unobtrusive and much quicker for checking spots that I had jotted down in my notebook. Once I was happy, the rods were all clipped up and I deposited around five kilos of my mix out on the money and then positioned a rod either side of the spot. The weekend was very quiet and I hadn’t seen anything to perk me up. I had really made a bad decision anticipating the fish would turn up but on a busy lake a lot of the time you don’t get the chance to get straight on fish.

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By the Sunday I wasn’t happy at all and was ready for the off by 9am. It was a warm still morning and I started to notice a few fish passing me close in at around 30-40 yards. A last throw of the dice saw me bringing a rod in and retackling up with a chod rig which I waded out and swung around 10 yards, a hand full of boillies over the top and the trap was complete. I walked the rod back, set the bobbin and then mooched in the woddos swim next door. I hadn’t been there 2 mins when a few bleeps from the Neville followed by an absolute peeler had me sprinting back to the rods. Fish on! A short battle followed and I netted a lovely dark low 20 mirror. Photos and weighing done I reset the trap but as the day passed so did he chance of another bite. It was a relief to bag one though and I left happy.

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We are now really on the way to autumn mode down the mere and the fish are getting caught over big beds of bait. I’ve had a couple of blank nights but being honest I just haven’t been on them at all. It’s painful watching fish getting caught in areas that are stitched up at times but unfortunately that’s the reality of fishing a busy circuit water.

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A short spell of good weather saw me back down to the mere for a single night and after speaking to a friend Matty, I knew that the fish had been been down the shallows in numbers but had started to vacate. I settled on a swim that was a good interception point as the fish left the shallows for deeper water and after hearing a good fish slosh out just in to dark I knew I was on to a winner. Shortly after 11pm an absolute ripper had me scrambling out of the warmth of my bag and leant in to a fish. A slow heavy battle ensued and I soon lifted the net around a big carp that turned out to be stumpy for a second time in six weeks.

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I was a little disappointed with it being a recapture but I suppose you can’t hand pick them and at 33.1lb it was hard not to be a little satisfied. I made sure to call Matty straight away and apologise as I knew he really wanted that one. Things have really slowed down now on the mere and currently there hasn’t been a fish out in nine or ten days. Super high pressure and the cold starting to creep in has really put them off, all I can hope for is a break in this high pressure and maybe il get anther chance before the winter arrives.

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