Posted by Aqua Products Wednesday 18th October, 2017
Wild Waters


The wind swept, turbid waters of a wild, open, untouched pit fill my body with excitement. You never quite know what might lurk beneath. It’s that feeling of mystery that really fires me up to go angling. As my fishing has progressed since a child, I rarely find the motivation to target day ticket waters, or overcrowded ponds rammed with anglers. I can’t stand the hustle and bustle fighting for swims and spodding the granny out of a water just because the bloke next to me is doing so. I respect anyone that does this, but this isn’t the magic of angling for me. Over the years, I have spent much of my time researching and hunting for the unknown. The quest for a fish that may have never seen a boilie, let alone the bank, is something a bit special. Big, rubbery lips without so much as a blemish is so rewarding, no matter how big or small they are. It’s a challenge and one that I revel in.



It’s not just big, windswept gravel pits that light my fire mind you. I have been lucky enough to access some more intimate, overgrown, almost forgotten ponds that boast lovely old characters. One such pit was in Cambridgeshire. This was an adventure that I will never forget. The little duck pond was tucked away in the middle of nowhere. It was tree lined, weedy and a few of the swims were accessed by walking across rickety, rotten old wooden boards, that felt unsafe to say the least. It had a real character about it, almost like it was lost in time. The carp were no different. Many were of the Leney origin, a strain of carp that I long to target. They were rare. Some boasted scaly flanks, others were jet-black, long, powerful characters, while others were more leathery and solid proportioned. There was an A-Team of around five fish, with a healthy amount of backup fish. Using a wobbly old wooden boat, with oar, I would carefully place my rigs by hand. The experience was something that will live with me forever. I saw many weird and wonderful things along the way; one of them being this intriguing carp bunker where the fish had clearly fed so hard, they’d created a huge crater in the lake bed. I would see the same old friendly fish in the boat, they’d often follow it, whereas the more wary, trickier specimens would only reveal themselves now and then, some not at all, until I’d actually have my picture with them. One such carp was the old lin. He was a mysterious old character and the one that I joined for. I had one glimpse of this fish in my whole pond experience, then one day I had him in the net at over 40lb – the most prestigious linear in the lake, unreal!



These off the beaten track type of venues are often quite weedy, so the gear must up to the job. I’m a big fan of braided main lines and large hooks. Quite simply, I don’t want to lose anything that I hook! These raw, more open pits, like the one I’ve been targeting the last few years, are savage and quite demanding. The wind cuts across the lake and so a little brolly would be smashed to bits. I opt for the M3 Compact on such venues. It’s a little brute in the wind giving me not only a solid base but also that compact, quick breakdown should I need to move swims quickly or pack down in the rain. I don’t take hoards of gear either. Mobility is always key in my angling, I can’t stand clutter. Consequently, I keep it minimal – a Roving Rucksack, RS4 quiver which I keep my M3 Compact  in, bucket of bait, bed and a few other essentials is all I need.



For those that haven’t experienced this type of angling I can really recommend it. The buzz watching a fish show on an unknown pit sends shivers down my spine and if you’re lucky enough to get a take it really is a knee jerking experience. When you finally slip the net under something a little bit special it is a moment that you will never forget and that photo will be cherished forever. One such moment was a few years back on a misty, chilly, autumnal morning. There was a real air of dampness. The rod ripped off at first light and feeling rather small in my little wooden boat I was tugged around the pit by a giant. The result was a mid forty, uncaught mirror that will stay in my memories forever. Wild-pit carping, get on it!



James Armstrong


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