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Andrew Murray - May's Blog

09/05/2021 - Bait Articles

Hi, life continues to be extremely busy, it’s a wonder I have time to sleep at times! Fishing-wise this month I had a trip to Stickney Brick Pits in East Lincolnshire and then I finally got to have a couple of trips fishing on my own water - the A1 Pits at Newark.

We were overdue to get some filming in for Wolf as we haven’t been out on the bank too much due to the restrictions. We met at James’s water-Stickney Brick Pits, it really is a lovely little water, very atmospheric, lots of nooks and crannies for the carp to get into. There are some lovely carp in there as well. So, the plan we had was to get some filming in during the day on the Icons and the new Mozzi Zappa. Then we would have the rods out during the night, well, it would be rude not to. That was the plan anyway, the weather had other ideas though! The forecast was for it to be cold, huh! It didn’t say it was going to be absolutely Baltic! The temperature went down to -5 degrees at night, no wonder the carp didn’t want to come out and play. We also had problems with the filming was the everchanging light levels due to the Hail, rain, clouds, sun etc. Then the planes, tractors, etc. So, the filming didn’t go too well. We had to re-convene in the office studio a couple of weeks later and redo the lot, such is life heh?


Finally, I got to fish my own water for the first time this year, the A1 Pits at Newark. There are 6 Pits in all and a good stretch of the river Trent as well. So, there is fishing here for everyone, the smallest lake is less than an acre, the biggest pit, which I like to fish is around 50 acres and can seem daunting and is a real challenge at times, which is why I fish it of course, I love that challenge. Some anglers fish here for a season and don’t get a bite…I tend to do okay and get a bite or two most trips, but it does take some work, given my limited time, if you ever drive past on the A1 you will see there are some serious long session anglers on here. So, it’s not just a matter of finding the carp, its competing against others who have the luxury of being able to put a bed of bait out and sit on it for days at a time, a tactic which does work on here. I just love looking out over the expanse of water, one day I will get to put in some longer sessions…one day. If I can’t get on a swim I want on Pit 6, then I will drop on to Pit 5, which is much smaller at just over 20 acres but still a good size, I have found this is a better option than sitting it out for the sake of it, which a lot do. I tend to fish Sunday through to Tuesday every two weeks or so, as I’m self-employed, I can work around that, it also means I’m turning up as most of the weekend anglers are leaving as well. I do think this gives me a bit if an edge, as I said about turning up on a Sunday though, I do think that when a lot of lines are pulled out, the carp will have a bit of a move around, for a little while at least.


My first trip of the year to the Pits was a couple of weeks ago, I would normally start here early March as the light levels start to increase, this was delayed this year, firstly due to lockdown and then due to me being busy elsewhere. I couldn’t get on the swim I wanted on Pit 6, so I went and had a drive round Pit 5. One of the other reasons I like fishing on this complex is that I can fish out of my T6, most of the swims can be fished from a vehicle, which is one of its appeals for a lot of anglers. I have my bedchair setup in the van all the time. I also have racks for the rods, so everything is to hand for setting up quickly and then also packing away. As I was looking around Pit 5, I was concentrating on the Shallow corners as the sun was out and it felt warm, so I presumed that’s where the carp would be. I wasn’t wrong, I pulled up a little way off the Railway bank corner of the split bank. I could clearly see carp moving around just under the surface. I knew they would spook easily, so I took my time watching to see how they were moving through. Now Pit 5 is like an egg box, there are loads of bars, little humps and dips. I hadn’t fished this swim before and I didn’t want to spook any carp that were about by casting around too much, I knew there was a clear plateau at around 50 yards, so after a while I risked having a quick lead around to find it, there it was, a four-foot-deep plateau with 9 foot drop off all around it. One rod went on that with an N-Blend Wafter and small bag of chops. I used one of the Wolf XK1 10 footers to put a very small bag literally in the edge in the corner, as I know they come right in here, I have in the past seen carp move down this bank right under the trees, literally swimming under rod tips and ignoring them. My third rod was on an adjustable Zig fished a few inches under the surface as I had seen the carp at this level, moving through a round 3 rod lengths out, hookbait was a small DT Zinger popup. The evening was quiet, just after dark the Zig rod screamed off, ‘great’ I though, a carp on my very first trip down, however it wasn’t to be, it came off shortly after. I fish Zigs quite a lot especially early in the year, this year I have been trying a slightly different set-up, that’s two carp lost in two trips, time to change back I think, once they are hooked in the middle of the bottom lip, they shouldn’t be coming adrift! I felt the carp had drifted off in the dark, I did think they would come back in as the sun came up after first light, but the following morning there was a heavy freezing fog and the area stayed devoid of carp. First thing that morning, I received a message to say a good friend of mine had just passed away after a long fight with Cancer. That knocked the stuffing out of me, I packed up and went home, feeling a little guilty about been out doing what I love, when someone I knew dearly had lost their life…

My next trip was two weeks later, and I was back on a Sunday again, the forecast was for huge winds and weather, so I knew I wanted to be on Pit 6, they do like a blow on there. As I arrived at the lake, I bumped into Dale the Bailiff, he said ‘go and take a look at the headland off the A1 bank’, which I did, there were a number of fish showing, though at range. I thought they might come in with the wind getting up. There was always a chance they would go past me as well. I have seen this many times on here, with a wind going across in front. I decided to fish of the point on the A1 bank, the wind was really getting up and it made it difficult to get out to the spots I wanted to be at. It took me about an hour to get three rods at a hundred yards or so, due to the very heavy side-wind and rain, but eventually I was fishing. The wind was brutal now, I had positioned my van so I could watch the lake from the driver’s seat, so could watch the water all the time without getting battered. The carp did seem to drift past during the afternoon, but I knew the wind was going to change and come straight in at me by dark, I felt the carp would come across at some point over the rods. The water is quite deep on this side of the lake and I would usually try and get some bait in as I do favour fishing over bait to hold the carp. But I had really struggled to get much bait out at all, I class myself as a very fair caster, but struggled to reach the spots, even with the Competition Spod, so I was relying on getting the odd bite, rather than any major feeding spell. I’m using the N-Blend, what I like to do is chop and crush some boilies, mix with some Monster Particles Nutta Mix and then add a few half and whole boilies as well, this is finished with a good glug of the DNA Liquid. I have put a picture of the mix I am using. This creates a nice cloud and ‘smell’ in the water with a fine covering of different size bits on the lakebed.

The wind did switch after dark, and the carp moved across as I thought they would, at 1am the right-hand rod was off to a steady take, the Icon alarm had stayed perfectly quite with the waves crashing around it, but now was in full song. I picked the rod up and then the carp decided to swim across the other two lines, the wind was coming straight in and battering me! It was difficult to know what was going on at times, it was just one of those great fishing moments, man against the elements, eventually I netted the carp, a low twenty common. The other two rods had been dislodged as well while playing the carp, so they all had to be recast. I really struggled to get all the rods back on the spots due to the weather, but I did my best. I didn’t put the carp in a retainer as it would have got banged about with the waves hitting the bank, so settled for a quick mat shot. Now, I have to tell you, I’m not overly precious about trophy shots, and I know this may sound arrogant to some, it’s a nice capture, but it’s just another 20lb carp, I realise that may raise some eyebrow’s, in fact if I didn’t need shots for articles, I mostly wouldn’t bother, unless it was a larger sized carp. As I have said before I fish on my own terms and for my own pleasure. The buzz for me is that alarm sounding off. That tells me I have got the parts of the jigsaw right, that’s the bit I really enjoy, sussing out what is needed to get a take. Anyway, that was it, the carp had moved off and I headed for home in the morning. So, two trips and two bites, both on over-nighters, I’ll take those averages for the rest of the year, as I said, this can be a difficult Pit to fish, so I’m off to a good start. 

That’s it for now, next week it’s the DT gathering at Berners and some filming with Carpology, then I have a social trip to Trent View, with a few friends, maybe after that things will settle down and just maybe…it might be summer! I’ll tell you a bit more about the Pits as we go along. I am still hopeful we will get to France in early July as well. I’ll let you know how I get on with all these things in due course.

Catch you next time.