In this article I am writing about one of my most memorable sessions, catching the biggest resident from my local syndicate lake. I was keen to get down a day before the Friday rush as it was a Bank Holiday weekend. As luck would have it I managed to get back into the same swim that I had been concentrating on and catching from in previous weeks.
I set my rods up and found the same spot that had done a few bites on my last session. There were still fish in the area as I had seen a few showing out in-front that morning. The spot was about the size of a brolly (enough to put two rids on) and was surrounded by weed. My third rod was cast to the main spot in the swim at sixteen wraps.
I knew the fish were likely to respond to a bit of bait, so I put 18 spods on the right hand spot and 15 over the main spot. I was still using the same tactics that had been so successful for me that year. My main line was the super strong Pro XM in Light Blend, which is ideal for playing big fish in weedy conditions. My lead set-up consisted of a simple Covert Lead Clip and Tail Rubber, with a length of CamFlex leadcore to keep the line around the rig pinned to the lake bed. A blow-back presentation was tied incorporating 25lb brown Sink Skin and my favourite hook pattern, a size 6 Covert Incizor. Hookbait was an 18mm Tuna and Garlic bottom bait, tipped with a matching pop up from Urban Baits.
At 2:30am the following morning, I had a take on the right hand rod and after a short fight I slipped the net under a 17lb 8oz mirror. After a couple of pics, I got the rod back out on the spot and grabbed some sleep. At 4am I had a take on the rod on the main spot, but as the fish slowly plodded off into a weed bed, unfortunately the hook pulled. I was a bit gutted, but pleased to have bagged one on my first night. I recast the rods that evening and introduced 24 spods over the top of each spot. There were plenty of fish in the area and I hoped during the early hours they would get their heads down.
The night passed quietly and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t had a single bleep. The fish were in front of me, but I wondered if I had put too much bait on the spots. I kept the baiting to the minimum that night and got the rods sorted for what I hoped would be a busy night ahead.
At 2:30 am I had a take from the right hand rod but unfortunately lost it in a thick weedbed. I was a bit gutted, but got the rod back out and headed back off to bed. I was woken at dawn by a nice steady take, one of those that you know a big fish is responsible for before you pick the rod up. The fish instantly flat rodded me and was almost unstoppable before it weeded me up. I kept steady pressure on it for a few minutes before it came free of the weed, only for it to go into another weedbed nearby. I kept steady pressure on the fish again and after 25 minutes I could feel the weed bed slowly breaking up. On the misty surface I slowly led a weedbed the size of my bivvy slowly back towards the bank. At this moment in time, I had no idea whether the fish was still on. As the weedbed got closer, I knew I wouldn’t be able to scoop the whole lot up in the net. With my waders on, I put the rod back on the rest and went in. As I broke away the weed from the leadcore, a big fish wallowed next to me and then shot off. I quickly grabbed the rod and my mate that I was doubled up with woke up to all the commotion. I slowly played the fish back in and within a few minutes the beast was safely in the net.
When I walked over to get the fish out, I saw it was decent one and it had a big single scale on one of its flanks. I said to my mate it was a fish known as Single, but he didn’t believe me. As soon as I felt the weight of the fish as I hoisted her up onto the mat I knew it was her! The scales shot round to 44lb 8oz, which confirmed it was Single Scale and a new PB to boot. Buzzing was an understatement! I slipped her into the sack whilst my mate was on his way down and started to wake all my mates up and tell them what had happened. When my mate got down we got her out for some memorable photographs.
I got some great shots and whilst doing some returners, my right hand rod ripped off again! After a 10 minute battle, I slipped the net under a lush 28lb common. I placed her into a sack whislt I had a little rest and a few minutes later she was on the bank taking some more photos for the album. A couple of hours later I rounded the session of with a 22lb 10oz mirror, which was the last fish of the session and finished my session off perfectly. I could never of expected a better session than that in my life and I hope more sessions will be like that in the future!