CASTING out a single hookbait without any feed around it can take a leap of faith - but Andy Liptrot proved how effective the tactic is with a five fish haul from Rookley Country Park on the Isle of Wight topped by a 31lb mirror.
The 46-year-old local prison officer had seen a few dimples on the surface of the water which he suspected might have been caused by carp and cast a couple of single 11mm Condensed Milk flavoured Proper Job Pop Ups towards the area.
He said: “From previous trips to the venue I knew there was a small hard clay patch surrounded by softer silt close to where I’d seen the activity. After a couple of casts I felt the lead hit down with a solid donk so I knew the rig was bang on the money. It’s not a very big patch so I didn’t want to risk overcrowding it with two rigs, so simply cast the other rod 20 yards to the side in the silt.”
It didn’t take long for his first bite to materialise, resulting in the biggest fish of the trip at 31lb. Three other carp of 26lb 12oz, 26lb and 22lb 8oz were taken off the clay patch along with a 23lb 1oz mirror which came from the silty area.
He added: “They all fought really hard and none of them had leeches on so they’ve obviously been fairly active over the winter. There had been a cold easterly wind blowing for the last few weeks so I decided to just fish singles as I didn’t want to risk killing the swim by putting too much bait out.”
Andy mounted his hookbaits on rigs incorporating seven inch coated braid hooklinks and size 6 Fox Arma Point SSC hooks.
“A lot of people scale down in the winter and use smaller hooks. I’m not a fan of this, however, and think that the carp find larger hooks much harder to deal with and eject.”