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3 January, 2024 | Carp | Angler Blogs | Articles

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Ian Russell’s Diary December 2023

For his final diary piece of 2023, Ian Russell reflects on another superb year in fishing and reveals some of his favourite catches and moments…

December 2023 diary

Well as 2023 has now drawn to a close, it’s time to reflect on how the year has treated me…

It was a relatively slow start to the year for me as in early January I was taken in for a Hernia operation so I was gonna be out of action fishing wise for about six-odd weeks. Dynamite Bosses Daryl and Duncan are for me absolute legends and were so kind and understanding – in fact Daryl said: “Don’t worry, on your return we will start you on gudgeon fishing lol.” How’s that for incredible bosses?

The time soon flew by and my first trip out was with Total Carp on Linear’s Hunts Corner and a trio of 30s to 38lb was truly a baptism back into work and lifting heavy objects.

No rest for the wicked!

 

By this point the final samples of my own named range of pop ups and wafters with the Dynamite lads were nearing completion and the feedback of results was really exciting and quite humbling to be honest. The faith that Dynamite had placed in me was enormous and I was not about to disappoint them. The range as we speak were released to the shops in this November and have been received beyond my wildest dreams (Thank you!)

Ian’s range of pop-ups and wafters really have hit the ground running!

The year trundled on and with the weather peaking and troughing, it was quite difficult to stay consistent with the many venues I visit with work but I did manage a few great-looking carp along the way including an amazing looking Chagoi at low 30s from Layfield Lakes in Norfolk whilst on a guestie with my good friend Tony Bond. I soon followed this up with another incredible looking Ghostie at 32lb from Tony Kingdon’s Furzebray Lakes whilst making a promotional film there for Go Catch.

32lb of Furzebray’s spookiest!

My testing of hookbaits was producing well for me in my own personal fishing and a big 30lb common from W1 on the Choccy Malt 12mm pop ups was most welcome. In fact, I found myself using the Choccy Malts more and more and it wasn’t long before I was holding a nice 40 whilst on a road work trip to Germany. It really was doing the business!

 

As the year rolled on I decided on a trip over to K1 – now the grape vine said it was fishing slow which to me cried out solid bag fishing so a bucket full was knocked up at home and K1 it was.

The first night was spent in a swim called ‘The Bream’ and my first bite was a 41lb VS Linear mirror (bags r us).

What a fish!

3 x double figure bream then followed so in the morning a move was required and as ‘Dog 1’ was empty and there were signs of carp, I was soon on the move.

Well I started at midday and by 6pm, when the carp moved out of the bay, I had totalled 12 takes – all on solid bags of Dynamite’s awesome 3mm Halibut Pellets and 12mm Choccy Malt pop ups then filling the bag up with Tiger Nut Evo Oil before casting out.

The afternoon gifted me 2x 40s and a much sought-after common of 39lb 2oz amongst others as well. I also had 3x hookpulls – 1 of which was looking like it was in the high 40s. See the list below in the pic to see the action for yourself!

Mental angling and all on little bags! I stayed the night but knew really that they had moved off so I packed away shortly after first light.

The year was only getting better and a charity trip to an old haunt in Frimley pit 3 yielded 4 carp to a best of 41lb 8oz as well – Happy Days!

So up to date, a filming trip was planned at Dynamite which involved Steve Coe on camera and me angling on Linear’s Manor Farm. I fished peg 3 for the night to no avail and unfortunately Steve was taken ill and had to head of home so filming was put on hold.

Now I still had 24-hours so after a cuppa in the office with the Linear crew, I headed over to Oxlease where at the far end I found exactly what I was looking for – namely CARP.

Dragging my kit to the opposite bank and setting up, I loaded the area I had caught from before with my trusted winter mix of 12mm Monster Tiger Nut boilies, Frenzied Hemp and Sweetcorn and applied 3 x Choccy Malt 12mm pop ups over the top.

The day passed with a few more odd shows and a few liners but I knew from previous winters, the bites would be overnight to first light and at 7.30pm, a 25lb mirror told me I had made the right decision to stay.

At 6am a 24-pounder was released back into its watery home and just on first light I hooked into something much better and after a long drawn out tussle, I landed a long 38lb Oxlease mirror.

That’ll do!

As the Total Carp lads were due anytime, I left him in the net as they dragged their kit round and many pics were take. We laughed the morning away and at midday I was off home.

Matty took over the swim and between the 3 of them they managed 18 winter carp with a whole bunch of 30s to 39lb between them.

That was my angling done for 2023 as my van was being sold the next day leaving me without wheels until the New Year. Not too bad a year after all!

Here’s to a brilliant and as usual, busy 2024 – HAPPY NEW YEAR to All!

-Ian Russell

 

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