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My start to 2016

Posted by Shaun Harrison on 25 February 2016 |

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Well with 2015 passing us by I can’t help but reflect on what an incredible angling year it had been for me and no doubt largely due to the fact that for the first time since starting Quest Baits I’d not spent most of the year wasting rod hours whilst tweaking and playing around with new baits.

Finally for once I was able to fish the whole season with baits that I had already perfected in previous years, I was so happy with the range that I really couldn’t see the point in bringing another bait out for the sake of it and my catches showed that.

I even made a facebook post at the end of the year of 52 of what I considered to be my best fish of the year to represent each week of the year. I don’t think I could have done that in many other years, not without totally scraping the barrel for mediocre sized fish.

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My last carp of 2015

So the year ended and joined this one with big fish from 4 different waters falling to my rods within a  three week period and multiple captures from 2 of those. One has a real poor track record of producing many winter fish so I was particularly proud of a catch of fish there. The old Magnum Whites with a handful of Fruity Trifle to add some bright colour to the swim encouraged the fish to drop down and have a bit of a feed as they always do. It still amazes me anglers still stick with baits that are going to be an issue for the carp to digest in colder water which then messes the fishing up for everyone else.

Friday January 1st 2016 – and off the mark with my first carp of the year on the first day of the year, only a double but pleased to get off the mark. It had fallen to a double Fruity Trifle Pimple Pop presentation over a light scattering of broken 10 mm Magnums on my normal home tied combi rig.

Sunday 3rd January 2016
I decided upon a change of scenery and visited another water and my first 20 of the new year fell to my Pimple Pop presentation.

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Wet through but happy with my first 20 of the year.

Wednesday 6th January 2016
It was a shock to the system sitting behind a desk all day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the festive break so I treated myself to a after dark, after work, mid week session on my third different venue of the year. I’m glad I did as I tempted another 20 lb plus fish which is a big fish for the venue I visited. This one fell for freshly glugged 10 mm Magnum White’s scattered with the catapult to spread a bit of scent in the area and the hook bait was one of the freebies with a PVA loop of baits around it – my haemorrhoid rig!

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It was worth the effort after work.

So 6 days into the new year and carp had fallen to my rods from 3 different waters, 2016 was continuing how 2015 had finished off.

Friday January 8th 2016
I locked the office mid afternoon so as to be able to sit and watch for signs of fish at my local Pit 2 with the view to making a early morning start the next day and whilst there cast a couple of hook baits out to try and pick up liners, anything to give me a clue for the next day. Suddenly the rod tip whipped around and I was playing my largest carp of the year so far.
Once again, I drove home with a huge smile on my face.

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I drove home with another huge smile on my face

Saturday January 9th 2016
Well, it was a no brainer really where to set up after my exploratory trip the day before. I’m glad I made the early morning effort as the Pit became very busy with Spombs sending maggots out here there and everywhere which I found quite amusing as the big winds and big undertow would make it impossible to know where those maggots were ending up before hitting the bottom in the relatively deep pit.

Fortunately I knew exactly where my Spombed Magnum Duo’s were ending up and the carp obviously had no issues finding them as I packed at the end of the day with 5 carp to upper 20’s. I only saw one other fish hooked which was great for my moral. So much written about maggots and so many putting all their faith in maggots, in fact one chap told me half way through the day that the carp were only on maggot!

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A great start to a new year

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A lovely chunky scaly

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Every one of them looked different

So, 2016 started rather well for me really. I tell a lot of people that if I have any edge in carping it is winter time. I landed my first snow caught carp in 1977 and over the intervening 39 years I’ve learned a fair few tricks along the way and know that simply employing my summer tactics, my indicators aren’t going to move too much. Bait and bite indication are the two things in my opinion that anglers get wrong during the colder months.

I won’t do a blow by blow account of every trip as I need to save a few things for the book I’m writing. So for now, I’ll sign off wishing you all the very best fishes.


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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