The weather forecasts had been dominated by the likelihood of snow all over the UK. Cold air meeting warm air with a likelihood of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall was too much of a temptation. Every carp angler dreams about catching whackers in the snow, myself included and there was only one place I simply knew I just had to be. I woke up at 5am Sunday morning and had a quick peek through the parted curtains to be greeted with the glow of thick white snow coving the Swindon landscape. It had settled in abundance, far more than anticipated. It really was now game on! I only had one night at my disposal but I just had to be in the game. I never got above 30mph on the journey to the lake in the darkness which added an hour to my usual 45 min journey.
Once I was there, I had a quick catch up with Marsh before heading round what can only be described as one of the most beautiful scenic mornings I have ever witnessed. The luscious Orchid scenery resembled a Christmas postcard with every single drooping branch covered in snow.
The lake itself was covered in a slushy snow which had settled on the surface covering the majority of the lake. A bitterly cold biting northerly wind had just started to appear as I stood on the road bank. It was so cold I walked briskly past until I found some shelter behind the island. I continued to do a lap of the lake and soon realised spotting fish was seriously off the cards so I dropped into the sanctuary of the Alamo. A swim which had been a little off form for a period of time but still I always feel in with a shout given the amount of water in front and the different options at hand.
I decided to concentrate on one spot with 2 rods, an area I felt they like to sit in winter. On this spot at a little over 75 yards range, I put around 25 big Spomb’s of bait out. I was a little defeatist in a way. I felt like I had no chance of a bite and decided to put out all the bait I had with me at the start on the grounds that I did not want to take any home.
My third rod I decided to cast round on solid bags. A tactic that served me well the previous winter.
I was soon set up and had the kettle on. It really was bitterly cold and had only just stopped snowing. I was soaking from head to toe and freezing cold. Luckily I had a spare set of clothes in the van.
The rest of the afternoon I spent drinking hot drinks and trying to stay warm and the darkness soon had me in the warm confines of my sleeping bag.
The lake had started to freeze over during the hours of darkness but a brisk northerly wind turned up in the early hours that soon pushed the ice away.
The night was uneventful as expected and in all honestly, it was that cold I’m glad I didn’t have to leave the sleeping bag.
The morning was even colder and I had virtually had enough already. I decided I was going to pack up early and that I had perhaps made a mistake even thinking about going fishing in such adverse conditions.
Then out of the blue one of the rods over the bait was away. My Ronnie rig had been snaffled up and I found myself attached an Orchid carp. I couldn’t feel my hands but managed to keep it together enough to be able to coax the fish towards the net and in she went the first time.
It wasn’t the 30lber in the snow I had been dreaming about but still, I was absolutely over the moon to be holding a beautiful old Oxfordshire scaly warrior for a quick self-take in the remanence of the snow storm.
I got the rods back out for another couple of hours before packing up and heading into Oxford to meet up with Dave Ellyatt from ESP to discuss some exciting new products that are in the pipeline to be released in 2018.
Until next time, tight lines and be lucky, Kev Hewitt