A new personal best from Northey Park


I have just arrived home from a 48-hour session at Northey Park. I am so happy to inform you that I managed to capture one of the residents, one known as Boysie’s at a fantastic 38lb 5oz and a new UK personal best. As you can imagine I’m on Cloud 9! To capture such an iconic fish, full of character was a great moment I won’t forget.

I arrived at the syndicate at around 10am. I wasn’t in any particular rush to get the rods out as I just wanted to take my time, have a good look about for any carp and get my location spot on. I started down the bottom end of the lake, trying to locate some of the Northey residents. It didn’t take me too long to work out that there wasn’t any signs in this particular area so I took myself to the next area.

Aaron Rilings

I spotted one carp cruising about in the upper layers, however I wanted to keep looking and see if I could find more activity to aim a bait at. With this in mind I thought I’d take a look over the opposite side of the bay, already seeing one present I assumed there had to be more about. I got myself to the other side and climbed up a tree. I had a better projection over the area and this aided me in locating the fish. To my amazement I immediately spotted carp. I counted a total of 19! It was obvious they were making the most of the Spring sunshine.

I sat up the tree for some time, observing their movements. My thinking being, they were clearly enjoying the sunshine and I was confident if I could put a bait somewhere along their patrol route then I might have a chance of a bite. To be honest I didn’t expect anything that day. I was aiming for night fall or the early hours the following morning.

So I had seen enough to have a game plan. It was evident carp were present, all I needed to do was present my bait right and hopefully I’d get my chance. I’d started off with one bait under a tree to my left hand side, the other on the edge of some reeds on my right and the third rod central over some weed using a naked Chod and small 1½oz lead.

Nothing prevailed during the night other than a few liners, mainly from the Naked Chod. Morning came with the decision to tweak the Chod rod slightly. I brought it in a few yards closer due to getting some line bites during the night. I felt that I may have presented the bait slightly too far. The day was soon passing and I was scratching my head wondering why I hadn’t had a bite. I knew the carp had been there. I began to ask myself questions. Maybe they just weren’t hungry? My previous guess may have been incorrectly judged. However it didn’t matter how much I questioned the situation and my previous choices, I just had an intuition that I still had a chance. Due to this inner instinct I decided to remain in the swim. After all the fish I saw the previous day couldn’t of all vanished: some maybe, but certainly not all of them.

The Winter swim
The rig that did the business
Recovering after an impressive battle

I climbed up and down the tree half a dozen times during the day. However I couldn’t see anything. Mid-afternoon came along, and with it so did the sun. I took myself to the top of the tree once more. Using the sunshine to my advantage again, looking through the layers of water I finally saw a couple of carp to boost my confidence for a second time. I got myself down, relaxed and made myself a cup of coffee. No sooner did I stop stirring my coffee when the Chod rod burst into action. In disbelief I took a double take before lifting into contact with a fish. The feeling of confirmation that I had a carp connected was so satisfying. Even more satisfying would be to land it, so I needed to remain focused.

Due to the weed in the lake I couldn’t afford to take any chances. Fortunately there was a nice slope behind me. Using the slope to my advantage, I walked backwards up it, not reeling down until I needed to, to keep the fish moving. I had to be mindful of the trees either side of my swim. The further I walked back the tighter the angle became to guide the fish into the front of the swim. It was clear the fish knew its home well, taking me around to the left hand side, under the tree using all its strength to try and escape the capture. I remained calm, kept steady pressure on the rod, hoping I could guide it back out into the open water.

As it came out from the tree it made an appearance. It was enormous, creating a whole new level of adrenaline firing through my body. The fish still didn’t want to give up and showed great spirit and energy causing me further issues, this time around my rod tips. I remained calm and eventually I saw it take on that big gulp of air we all love to see. I knew then I had won. I guided the fish over my net and the victory was mine. It was a truly epic moment. I had captured myself a new personal best at 38lb 5oz, an iconic Northey Park carp known as Boysie’s.I was and still am high on adrenalin. It is moments like this that we all fish for. The success of a well executed plan.

I used Vardis Tackle to create the Chod section with a size 6 Chod hook. A light scattering of Boilie with a Pop Up completed the rig. This is my third consecutive session where carp have been banked. What a moment and one I’ll always remember.

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