A debut visit to top winter water Orchid Lake gave Paul Eaton this 33lb 8oz common.
The Oxfordshire day-ticket venue, which is known for its cold-weather form, was chosen by Paul as a break from his syndicate which hasn’t produced a bit since November.
He said: “Not knowing the lake, I wanted to have a good look around before committing myself to swim choice.
“On my first lap I found a group of around 30 fish under a snag looking active and up for some bait. Having chatted to the bailiff and seeing the lake had been slow I decided to do my first night in a swim called the Snags. This would enable me to scope the water in front of one of the more popular winter areas, the Alamo swim.”
After a quiet night, Paul was able to move into the Alamo with a friend.
He said: “Once set up in the swim I decided to fish the left-hand side due to there being deeper water out to the right and a series of gravel bars with deeper gulleys that the fish surely would patrol.
“The first night I decided to fish single hookbaits but by mid-morning on the second day I felt they need some bait to try to force a bite or cause the carp to investigate the baited areas.”
Paul baited up with corn and boilies to a spot at 85 yards and put all three rods in the area.
“At 6.30pm on my final night I had a really twitchy bite that led me to believe at first I'd hooked a bream.
“As the fish edged nearer it decided to wake up and stripped at least 60yds of line off me.
“After a lengthy battle I was greeted with my first Orchid fish at 33lb 8oz – result!”
Orchid is one of the best day-ticket venues around if you’re searching for a winter thirty. Swims like the Alamo and Top Dug Out face a noted winter hotspot, but don’t ignore tucked-away pegs like the All Alone. Sweetcorn and boilies seem to produce the majority of fish.
RIG & BAIT
- Hinged stiff rigs
- Hookbait: White CC Moore Pacific Tuna pop-up
- Loosefeed: 12 mini Spombs per rod of corn and 12mm CC Moore Pacific Tuna soaked in L030