On his very first session of 2011, Tom Maker caught his target fish – this 38lb 2oz carp – from a southern stillwater.
Trickling bait into any holes which had appeared in the ice over the previous weeks on the nine-acre venue paid off for the Kent-based Fox consultant, who fooled the chunky specimen in the early hours of the morning. He used a snowman set-up consisting of a 14mm Mainline Baits Cell bottom bait tipped with a 10mm pineapple pop-up.
This was fished in conjunction with a three-bait stringer and cast to a clear area at 25yds, which he had caught from in the past.
“The lake had only thawed out a couple of days before my session and I hadn’t seen anything showing, so I certainly wasn’t expecting to catch my target carp for the year,” said Tom.
“I was woken by a single bleep on my alarm, but nothing else happened. After five minutes or so, I rolled over to go back to sleep and I then had a slow, steady run. I could tell it was a good fish from the slow, plodding fight and I was absolutely blown away to see the carp I was after in my net in January,” he added.
“All the while the lake was frozen I was still trying to get down there as often as possible to put a bit of bait into any small holes in the ice which I could find to try to get the carp eating my bait. So even when you can’t actually fish, you can still improve your chances of catching when you eventually do get to wet a line,” he added.
His winning presentation was tied with a size 5 Fox Arma Point SSBP hook, knotless knotted to a short Fox Coretex hooklink with a 3oz lead on a safety clip and 3ft of tubing.