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Dual Breakdown Bait - Lee Wagner

Arriving at my 12 acre midlands syndicate lake for my second session of the season on my new water the lake looked as tough as I had been warned it could be. Clear skies a north easterly and the coldest night in weeks forecast,it did not bode well for a take, In this tough nut the fish are old and wily and even in the most favourable carp catching conditions you can somewhat unexplainably, with rigs on prime spots still not get that one take you are fishing for.

(or so I had been told).

I could afford to have this slight air of smugness as my first session of the season had been a 72 hour stint the previous week,and had resulted in two beautiful carp one of which was a 33lb 9oz mirror and to top that a personal best 46lb 2oz whacker "get in there!" These both fell to my premier baits custom recipe fished in conjunction with the faster breakdown version of the same boilie, I really think that after a few hours in the water this mixture of softer mushier cloud inducing bait and firmer more traditional washed out baits is a great edge this seems to be proven by the fact quite a few members last year did the whole season for only one or two carp. and a similar story too can be told about my previous syndicate.

To then further buoy my confidence in the dual breakdown approach this session a 48 hour stint had resulted in a take after having only had a rig in the water for 45 minutes! I had spotted some fizzing in an unfamiliar swim and whilst setting up a large carp crashed in the same area. unfortunately though this time I had made a dire error with my new reels too light a drag setting had resulted in the savage take birds nesting my spool, once sorted I quickly wound down and to my surprise connected with the culprit who was locked down solid in the weed, unfazed I was in now in carp catching mode, and having slipped in to my chesties  I started to move in to the lake, where 10 yards out, down the shallow shelf the silt was starting to engulf me to the knees and the water loomed menacingly near the top of my waders , It was then I decided in my haste to try and lift in from the weed from here. I figured at the time it was catch or bust.

Unfortunately it was bust.

As the fish turned the hook slipped straight out and the chance was gone.

Having re-positioned my rod on the spot I quietly contemplated and came to the conclusion that the savage  take had spun the spool so fast the fish had not felt the full weight of the lead and therefore the hook hold was compromised. This may not have been the case but one thing I always do in my fishing is try to  paint a picture in my mind of what has happened under the water with all evidence at hand ,then treat that as gospel and adjust my setup to nullify it happening again.and over time I believe you gradually reduce all the variables you can concur and hopefully up your fish landing percentage.

obviously the way the lake can change topography over the season sometimes adds variables faster than you can nullify them but hey that's angling!.

I knew that for the next time a tighter drag and a quick switch to my 3 1/2oz bolt bombs would do the trick, so my mood was lifted. 

I really feel a lost fish is as much a piece of the puzzle as a banked fish can be.

and by taking the visual and physical evidence from each take it can result in more fish on the bank

I unfortunately then started to contemplate which resident it could have been that had just done me, and with five bigger fish than my last capture swimming in front of me and lots of other beautiful old warriors out there I tried unsuccesfully to convince myself it was a Tench.

My mood for a second time that hour darkened!

The rest of the evening passed quietly fish wise, unfortunately the same could not be said on the banter side as a good friend of mine fishing a couple of swims down attitude, had long since changed from the serious contemplation of how I had lost the fish & mournful reminiscence of the event, to the more jovial sniggering at me and the playful taunts of " who forgets to set there drag  ya noddy" and "id stop using them rubber hooks if I were you!"

The following morning the initial signs of fish I had seen in front of me upon arrival had long since disapeard and the idea of a move was growing stronger in my mind.

However after an hour of scanning the calm mirror like lake no other opportunities were jumping out at I decided to get some elevation.The next swim down had a cracking spotting tree i had found last time where with careful climbing you can get 40 ft up for a good view of any sly fish cruising just under the surface, I had noticed on my previous trip that they like to be just under the surface rarely breaking the glassy top or giving themselves away so up I went binoculars in one hand and coffee in the other ,by 11 am The sun was high in the clear sky and that cool north easterly was agitating the once smooth lake "bite time" as I had imagined had gone.

Just as this sombre thought was plaguing my mind a single beep on my receiver nearly made me lose my sap stained grip. straight away I started to move down through the maze of entwined branches towards the ground then bleeeeeeeppppp!

A one toner!! result! I do not remember how I got down the tree it all happened in such a fluid motion but I was safely on the ground & scurrying towards my rods half expecting to see a pair of swans nibbling at some dropped particle at my rod tips I had saw no signs from up the tree so it couldn't be a fish!, as I got into my swim no swans or wildlife meant it must be, upon a quick inspection I saw the bobbin was to the blank and the tip was lurching towards the water, I lifted into it and sure enough she was still on!, same rod - but to my dismay same weed bed! fortunately not the same result this time though, with my drag tighter and the heavier lead the hook hold was true and with some high rod work and gentle persuasion up she came, minutes later she was slipping over the net cord and to my delight inside lay 39lb 10oz of beautiful mirror.

Needless to say that friend of mine from a couple of swims down, came round and strangely enough after a quiet night for him also,he wanted to borrow some of my rubber hooks.

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