Brian Holland

The Five Hundred

As I have previously stated the single pop up is my go-to starting point, but things went completely awry.

We all blank its part of fishing especially carp fishing, but it gets to a point where we question the very essence of our abilities. Now when things do not go to plan, we look for outs, Mine was magazines and on- line, this super bait, that super rig, do it like this, do it like that. This is the rabbit hole I went down. The issue was that it took over five hundred hours of blanking and a lot of soul searching to get out the other side.

 I remember it started in October and lasted until April the next year, so I did cover the coldest months of the year, but you still expect to at least have a sniff. Ok I will admit that some of the waters I fished were not quite runs waters, two 96 hours sessions on horseshoe lake one being over Christmas included, for those who do not know it is only 62 acres. Looking across that amount of water on a freezing day can demoralise anyone when the bobbing’s are not bobbing.

After the first month the I changed bait to a “winter bait” to see if I could increase my chances to no avail so I changed again and again. By April I had 6 different boilies and untold amounts of coloured pop ups in different sizes and flavours just to catch that one allusive fish.

After the second month the rigs got changed as I tried chod, spinner, kd, stiff, and hair rigs. Now each one of these I changed hook sizes and styles and baits. Nothing not a bloody thing worked. Everything seemed to be against me, but I had to keep going and not be beaten.

I was now the biggest in joke at work not only with the fishermen but also those that did not fish, after every weekend head down I would get to work to get the abuse about another fishless session.

But I had to persevere and I did, after a lot of thought, I return to basics, I got rid of everything, I returned to the shop bought the first bait that I had started using and a pot of yellow pop ups, I threw away all the rigs and changed to a hook style that I have previously used but upped the size.

I went to my regular lake, tied a multi rig with a pop up, casting up against an island with a couple of catapults of boilies and sat back, not sure how long I was there but the sound of the alarm screaming was the excitement, relief and astonishment we all wait for, now trying to keep calm fighting a carp and just praying it doesn’t fall off especially at the net for what seemed hours but probably was only five minutes and then going over the cord was an accomplishment that will never be forgotten.

Since this was two years ago I have changed bait but not my rigs, I always use pop ups on a multi rig with a scattering of boilies, over the last few weekends I have blanked but lessons learnt is to bear with what I am are confident in and it will come right in the end, do not chase alternatives.


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