The ECAC Part Two by Luke Church

The ECAC Part Two by Luke Church

We decided to give the rods another hour or so and then recast them with fresh bags back to the spots we had been fishing. Hopefully something would show some interest throughout the day. Heron Lake was looking great and it felt like I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be fishing at the time. With no action on the rods several cups of tea were consumed, however we had seen two or three more fish show themselves in the main weed bed in front of Kev’s side of the peg. Not as many as the day before, but enough to say was a number of fish still present. We had decided before we would leave them in piece in the weed bed, but I started getting itchy feet as the corner I had been fishing in started looking increasingly devoid of fish. I suggested to Kev that maybe I should try and find a clear spot in the weed where the fish had been showing the whole time we had been in the swim. After a bit of thought and discussion, I was soon stood in my chest waders knee deep in water casting a bare lead towards the weed whilst trying to keep the disturbance to a minimum. The first cast landed exactly where they had been showing, it landed with a slight donk on the lead. I was kind of expecting it to be quite choddy as most of the surrounding weed was on the surface, but I slowly pulled the rod to the side and it was lovely and smooth. Straight away I said to myself it must be one of them magic spots you occasionally find when fishing in weed.

Heron Lake was looking great and it felt like I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be fishing at the time.

A few casts later I had the rod clipped up and marked to the spot, now it was time to get out rig out there. After Kev got the only bite so far on a solid bag rig, we had decided for the night our approach would be to fish all four rods on solid bags. I planned to switch the hook bait to a 12mm Pink Northern Special to the new spot and fish the bait as a solid bag only. The bank sticks got moved across the swim and I sent the solid bag flying through the air to the glowing spot in the weed and it landed perfect. We possibly only needed one more fish to win our match, this rod was fishing as a one bite tactic.

Going into darkness on the second evening we were very confident. My remaining rod had been recast with just a solid bag and no more bait applied to the spot as no action had taken place, whilst Kev spodded out a bit more bait just to top up his spot as it was likely the colossal 51lb Common had eaten most of his bait. The rods were left to settle for a while, then Kev and I stood looking across the lake in the hope of some more action; it was starting to feel a bit nervy for us.

After Kev got the only bite so far on a solid bag rig, we had decided for the night our approach would be to fish all four rods on solid bags.

As in most cases when fishing, out of the blue my rod cast out in to the weed sprung in to life and within a matter of seconds I pulled into a very hard fighting Heron resident! My legs instantly started to shake a bit with the adrenaline and the fish was pulling very hard through the weed bed. I applied as must pressure as I dare given the situation and then before I could really get any control and it bumped off! GUTTED! The hook was perfectly fine, I guess with the pressure from the rod and the weed on the line it resulted in the hook coming out of the fish’s mouth. I felt devastated, but I couldn’t dwell on it and the rod was soon cast back to the spot.

I was still very confident of another bite from the area. As we got further into the night it was evident the fish weren’t showing as much and with an early start ahead of us and we decided to get some shut eye around 12pm. I woke up at 5am the next morning, with no further action on the rods, other than the odd liner. I woke Kev and I got ready to go to the club house to draw for the next lake at 6am. I arrived at the clubhouse knowing that our next lake Wild Boar, had been producing from one end of the lake with the majority of the fish showing there and not the other end. I knew there were only 3 or 4 pegs I really wanted to draw. Three of these had already been chosen by the time I got there. Unfortunately drew the complete opposite end to where the fish were and as they say, that the luck of the draw. I found out at the draw the lads who were winning in our match had caught a 41lb mirror through the night, so we were likely to finish second place on Heron.

I arrived back in the swim to tell Kev the not so great news, when my Bug Indicator on the weed bed rod slammed into the alarm and I was away. This time the fish instantly locked me up solid in the weed. We called for the boat straight away and I went out with the rod, a net and a mat ready and equipped to land the fish successfully. My helper who was rowing the boat, got out to the fish and started to pull the line up so he could free some of the weed attached to it. Seconds later we saw a swirl in the water and the fish was still on! I just wanted to get this one in really badly, so again he did the same and the fish kicked backed and really bolted off this time, which resulted in the leader parting! I was completely gutted and very angry to say the least! I learnt from this experience to never let anyone else try and pull on your line when out in a boat. We returned to the bank and Kev and I had about 10 minutes to get all of the gear packed down, so we could move across to Wild Boar. All of the gear was soaked and we were on a bit of a low after the two losses. We still finished second and wasn’t too far off the pace with a long way to go…
Drop Out Lead Inserts were essential due to the weedy conditions.

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