I’m not the most gifted angler, in fact I’m pretty average and I am willing to take advice when times are hard, that I’m not ashamed to admit. After talking to a very good angler who catches consistently it seemed the only difference between him catching and myself blanking was bait. Me being on boilies and him on tigers.
After obtaining some of Haith's tigers and preparing them my confidence was thickening just as much as the sugary gloop they were sitting in. The following session I arrived to find the lake busy, but fortunately for me one of the lads was moving out of an area I had been concentrating in and with the amount of fish in the area this was time to see if they would make a difference. Clipped up and one cast later on each rod I was set and praying these ‘magic beans’ would work. Sitting up a tree I made out shapes of fish coming into my area, a smaller fish over my right spot and then two huge fish over my left spot. Grouping together they were meters from the bank and seemed unaware of my existence, watching them in crystal clear water was something special indeed. After ten or so minutes they left the way they entered, with not a single bleep. Gutted was an understatement as the two big ones were definitely two of the 3 big ones, both 45Lb plus.
Despondently I stayed up the tree and then 5 minutes later one of the big ones came back in on the same route and next minute the spool was spinning. End result was the second biggest in the lake and a new pb at 47lb.
Safe to say I left rather happy.
The following week I returned for a work over-nighter and after a few laps of the lake I found the lake empty of anglers and seemed the same on the fish front. Once again, after climbing the tree and scanning the water I noticed small holes in the thick surface weed, which would lift now and again. On closer inspection each hole had a carp just below the surface and it appeared this was the place to set up. Knowing the spots I cast out and got a firm drop on both within the first cast.
The night passed quietly and with the birds waking me up early hours I rolled over to see motionless bobbins and a still lake. Looking for a few minutes I saw a huge boil over my spot and then the alarm burst into life. Resulting in another one the A team and another 40lb’er, at 40.10lb. To make matters even better the other rod tore of out of the blue an hour or so later with a lovely 20lb stocky.
All fish falling for tiger nuts fished ronnie rig over a handful of baits scattered over the area. This success continued throughout the rest of the season including another scraper 40 and one that i was desperately after, a stunning 27lb old withered fully scaled.
So from blanking for a couple of months to then catching two 40s on the bounce, tigers were now a bait I would have permanently in my bait arsenal.
Recently I fished a little low stocked lake where the tench to carp ratio was crazily out of my favour. Boilies were a no go due to the eels and ravenous tench. Putting the every faithful tigers to test was the way forward. A few visits with some mixed Haiths particle consisting of hemp, groats, peanut granules and scattering of tigers positioned on some spots got my confidence super high. Its only a small lake, but super snaggy with the majority of the lake un-fishable due to overhanging trees and bushes surrounding the perimeter of the lake.
Returning for an overnighter I soon positioned the baits and sat back to watch the water in the pure hope of seeing one of these elusive carp, it wasnt the case. The only signs of fish were the numerous tench topping and flapping in the flat calm water with the ripples highlighted by the moon.
Early hours of the morning and one of the alarms went from nothing to a continues roar as an angry fish realised it had made a mistake. Unaware of what was happening at first as although I was confident, with only around 12 or so carp in the lake I thought it was going to be a long struggle to finally catch one. What followed was one of the best battles I have had and after a while I had a stunning looking common in the net. On the scales she went mid 20 but weight was certainly irrelevant as it was immaculate and the sense of achievement outweighed fish of larger size.
A venue that I had seen in countless mags and recently on the internet that had always got me in awe was the mighty Christchurch lake at Linch hill. After planning and planning on going I finally got the opportunity to go and managed a 72h session mid week, with the hope of it being relatively empty. On arrival I was not only wrong, but very very wrong. I think there was around 2 swims available and I soon set up in the one that felt better. Next morning with only a pike that had wiped my lines out early morning to show for my efforts I was feeling far from optimistic. A lad was walking around who after a chat turned out to be a regular informed me of a few lads moving in a few hours time and advised to bucket a swim sooner rather then later. Im not used to these circuit waters and luckily I took his advice as within an hour there was a continuous flow of anglers walking around, and it was only 7am! Time passed and I was soon set up in the new swim which gave better access to where the fish were showing. Finding one of the main features of the swim I set two rods up on it and opted to fish the third in the margin. As fate would have it a coot picked me up numerous times and I decided to put the third out on the same spot. The first two rods landed with a donk and was on the hard gravel spot but the thirds landed of it and was in softer silt. Tigers on the hair and a small bag and I was happy.
Early hours of the morning and I was stirred from my slumbers to a bobbin pulled to the top, donning the waders I slipped into the water playing a magical Christchurch carp. Thoughts of large apple slice scaled fish danced through my mind and after a fight in the pitch black and silence I netted one. Pulling the fold of the mesh back I saw a nice dark mirror, RESULT! Few lads came down and she pulled the needle around to 31.4lb. and I was ecstatic. Only the one fish came my way but that was more then enough to make the 100 mile journey home a happy one.
Theres Tigers and then theres Haiths Tigers!