After a challenging year in 2014 where my fishing time was severely shortened due to a new job, I found myself in the same position entering 2015 as once again work meant fishing had to take a backseat. I did manage to get out for an early session in January for a short session on one of my favorite winter locations, the Blackstone River. These are always fun sessions with plenty of small carp to go after which are usually willing to bite, even on the coldest of days.
As the winter bought a record amount of snowfall (nearly 100 inches in my county) I really felt the need to get away to warmer climes and a trip to Austin, Texas certainly fit the bill. I flew in on a Saturday expecting t-shirt weather, only to find a cool system moving through although I certainly wasn’t complaining as there was definitely no snow. I checked out a few places the first day before heading to Emma Long, a dammed section of the Colorado River. My first 36 hours were spent socializing and fishing a swim at the end of a productive area, due to half a dozen anglers also having the same idea. However, I managed several commons and my first Buffalo, a 35lb specimen.
As the other anglers were leaving to fish a Tournament I wasted no time in moving into what I felt was the best swim and spent the afternoon spombing plenty of bait out and getting ready for some hectic fishing! I was not disappointed as over the course of the next 36 hours I caught lots of commons, buffalo’s to 45lb and several grass carp to 43lb.
As the weather turned to high winds and a drop in temperatures I spent a night in a hotel before hitting Town Lake for a day session where I managed a few cracking commons in one of it’s iconic bridge swims.
Returning home to the snow and a busy job, meant I had little opportunity to get back out until June. I picked a day where the air pressure was dropping and went out for my first overnight session. The stars aligned and a had a great night catching several big fish, topped by my fifth capture of ‘The Pet’ and a common only a few ounces under the 40lb mark.
A change of jobs in early July, meant greater flexibility and a few summer day sessions kept me ticking over, with some nice tidal river fish and a low thirty to keep me happy.
I also got up to the Seneca River for two 24 hour sessions. Despite a 450 mile round trip my efforts were rewarded with over 60 carp, topped by a 30lb common.
What I was really waiting for was the start of the Fall. I managed to get to my venue a few times to pre-bait prior to fishing, which is a rarity for me and it certainly paid off. Over the course of six, one night sessions I managed several nice thirties and two more 40lb commons.
Moving into December I typically try and fit a session in on the Seneca River and this year it so happened that the weather stayed mild and my wife was working on Christmas Day. We decided to cook Christmas dinner a day early and open the presents. I left early morning for a traffic free drive of 5 hours and hoped that the carp would be where I thought they would be!! It only took a few hours before I was catching and I packed away by 10am the next morning having caught several nice twenties and another 30lb common.
Overall, despite not actually fishing that many sessions in 2015 I had some excellent results. This I put down to knowing my waters, being in the correct areas during good weather patterns and using tried and trusted tackle and bait. Looking back I caught over twenty 30lb fish and 5 forties with a few PB’s thrown into the mix.
I also managed to win the CAG Big 4 Fall Contest and also claim the Gold Pin for catch and release carp in Massachusetts as well as writing many articles, featuring on the Cover of North American Carp Angler and finally being interviewed as a guest on ‘The Carp Cast’.
I’m hoping 2016 can be just as productive.
Check out my Year in Review Video: