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Shaun Harrison's March 2021 Diary

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 12 April 2021 |
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After starving myself of any angling for 2 months whilst trying to do the decent thing by not venturing out of walking distance from home during the second lockdown, I finally went to a local water on the last day in February and caught a mirror which I had not previously seen myself. Not only that, but it was up there in weight with the largest in the lake, so a lovely welcome back after the longest break from angling that I can remember since first starting as a kid.


Naturally with my appetite well and truly whetted once more, I was keen to get back out. My capture had come on a real short on the spur of the moment trip on the Sunday afternoon and it was not until the following Sunday that I managed to get back out. Saturday night had been cold and frosty with the forecast saying minus 1 degree. I felt in no rush to get out, so with having some work to do in my garden, I made myself busy for the morning and even cooked and ate a meal at mid-day before starting to gather my gear together for another short late afternoon session.

After completing a lap of the deserted lake I had a good idea where some carp would be and simply sat watching for a fair bit of time instead of rushing to get the rods out. I never actually saw a fish, but the bird life was indicating that carp were around. I set up a couple of 10 ft Bank Creepers and sneaked up a little closer keeping as low and slow as possible to not alarm the carp I was convinced were there.

An ounce and a bit lead on each rod and swung out as gently and quietly as I could stopping the leads in the air as they were about to hit the surface then following with the rod tip to literally kiss the surface rather than crash them into place.

I sat back and poured a drink from my flask continuing to watch. I spent the first 15 minutes with just single hook baits in place. One a Magnum Maple pop up and the other half a Rock Pool Rahja pop up and half a Rock Pool Rahja bottom bait to negate the weight of the hook. After a bit of a liner on one rod I knew I had got away with putting out the two presentations without spooking whatever was there. So then took the gamble of introducing some free bait.

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Rock Pool Rahja

This was quartered 15 mm Rock Pool Rahja’s one boilie at a time every few minutes. I changed to two halved 15 mm’s after a little time and liners were signalling interest from the fish. I find this a real exciting way of angling, up close and personal, but fishing blind. I knew carp were there and with the clarity of the water also knew I would see them if I stood up. Problem is they would see me too and be off.


Then it happened, the indicator on the usual long drop (to show liners without spooking the fish) slammed into the butt as my hand reached for the rod from my seated position. It was the 1/2 a pop up, half a bottom bait rod that had sprung to life and all hell broke loose. The fish erupted on the surface and went on a long angry run with its shoulders bulging the surface. It gave me a proper old run around on my soft actioned 10 ft 2 ½ lb rod. I love playing them on these and use them when practical to do so.

Well, I guided my rod into winning the fight and soon I was looking down on what I think is the largest common in the venue. I had my picture taken with it and then packed away after a real productive hour angling.

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I think it's the largest common in the lake

I could not help but smirk to myself that I had landed two of the best fish in the lake two weeks on the trot without anyone even knowing I had been. As much as I use social media, this was a fish I decided not to share at the time. The mirror I had shared but with me not knowing it I presumed no-one would realise where I had caught it, especially after a little editing on the picture changing the background. It did not look like anyone else had been on the lake, so I didn’t really want to fill it up with anglers realising they were up for a feed. I had enjoyed the couple of real short sessions, so it was back to keeping quiet for a bit. Old habits and all that.

Guess what I did the next two Sunday afternoons?

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I carried on catching some lovely carp on my real short sessions.

Yes, I went back for more short session fun.

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I even caught among the seasonal flowers

Rigs had been simple reverse combi’s with a stiff fluorocarbon section at the hook and the softer main section being P.B. Products 20 lb Silk Wire. Hook was a size 6 Curved KD and a 5 ft section of Stretch attack pinned the last few feet down in the weed in the tap clear shallow water.  

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Half a pop up and half a bottom bait.

Hook baits remained the same with one popped up and one slow sinking. Both produced more carp for me the following trips.

So March passed quite eventfully and April started in a similar mode. But that is for another Blog.

Best wishes as always
Shaun Harrison

About the Author: Shaun Harrison

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Quest Baits boss Shaun Harrison has put over 40 years of experience into developing his range of carp baits ” This bait range is the culmination of the bait knowledge I’ve gained throughout my carp fishing career, a journey which started in the 1970’s. It has truly been a long and winding road – frustrating at times, fascinating and rewarding at others….. Our range you’ll only find proven baits, the ones I use myself 

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