This year I have been targeting a large, local syndicate. I fished last year, and had some success, landing four fish up to a new PB of 49lb 8oz. This year I have been catching with a bit more regularity, the highlight so far being a new surface caught PB of 37lb 14oz. However, as we are now coming into autumn, temperatures are dropping and the fish start to be more on the feed in open water ready for the winter, my tactics change and I’ve had some awesome results recently!

The first session was going to be a three nighter. I arrived to find my favourite swim on the lake free, so going with my instinct, as the fish hadn’t been showing a lot, and the lake was fairly busy, I set up in there. The swim fishes towards a deeper area of the lake, and from past experience I knew there was a large weed bed at 150 yards range. I decided to fish my rods just in front of the weed bed on the smooth silt; this was also where I had caught a few fish early season which helped build my confidence.

Covert Continental Mugga and Sink SkinThe rods were rigged up with 12lb Gardner Pro Carp main line, a shockleader and a 5oz Ranger Distance lead. I like to keep the rigs simple but tangle free as when range fishing tangles can be a real problem, and when leaving the rods out for any length of time it’s imperative to be 100% confident they’re not tangled. Therefore I use 25lb Gardner Sink Skin hook links and a large length of large Covert Shrink Tube to kick the bait away the leader. The presentation was finished off with a sticky sharp size 8 Gardner Covert Mugga. The bait was CC Moore Odyssey XXX in 18mm, and the hook baits were snowmen made of matching bottom baits tipped with white NS1’s.

fish in the netAll the rods went out well the first night, and I spodded 2kg of chopped and whole boilies over the top, and sat back waiting for a bite. I didn’t have to wait long, as about three hours later my right hand rod signalled a bite, and after a good scrap I slipped the net under a mid 20 mirror. Unfortunately it was a recapture so I did a few pictures and slipped it back. After recasting the rod I went back to sleep, and woke up to motionless bobbins in the morning, so in the early afternoon I reeled in and re-did the rods, topping up the swim with some more bait as well.

38lb 10ozJust before first light the next morning my middle rod screamed off. The fish fought really well all the way in, causing me a few problems under the rod tip when it picked up the other lines, but fortunately it went in the net at the first time of asking! It was a big fish, so I called for my mate who was in the swim next door to come and give me a hand. The fish was in immaculate condition, and pulled the scales round to 38lb 10oz! I was really happy with this result, as two in two nights was a very good result for this lake.

The rods were all re-done again and I was confident of another bite on the last night, but it seemed the bream had plans to ruin my chances as I had two in quick succession, with one wiping out one of my other rods. I was fuming, and unhooked the bream and tried to sort out the mess when the only rod left in the water tore off! The fish went on a mental run, taking easily over sixty yards of line, and it was a stalemate at extreme range. Slowly, but steadily I worked it back, and eventually it was in the margin where I could see exactly what fish it was; one of my targets which I desperately wanted in the net! Finally, it gave up and I netted it, a fish called “The Lord”. A small group of mates were soon in my swim to help with the weighing and photos. The fish pulled the scales around to 45lb 12oz, and being one of my target fish I was absolutely made up, and held it proudly for the photos!

The Lord 45lb 12ozI packed up soon after, on cloud nine, but keen to return to try and bag another one of my targets. I had the final of the UK Carp Cup the next weekend, where I came seventh after drawing a bad swim, but most of the time was planning a return to the syndicate! I decided I was going to do a quick overnighter before college on the Monday, and fortunately managed to get back in the same swim I had caught from the week before.

The rods all went out smoothly, and with another few kilos of boilie over the top, I was confident of a fish. The right hand rod had the first action, an absolutely savage take and a powerful fight resulted in a mirror of 30lb 2oz being sat in a recovery sling awaiting photos. I was pleased with this as it made four takes in four nights, but I couldn’t have expected what happened next!

big linear 46lb 12ozMy middle rod (which I had forgotten to loosen the drag on) was wrenched forward, and again I lifted into a powerful, but very heavy fight. I took it very easily and steadily, I really didn’t want to lose this one, and when it rolled in the margins, I knew exactly what fish it was again. It was soon in the net, and it was the one I really wanted “The Big Linear”! Before I had a chance to do anything else, my last rod was screaming off! Another incredibly powerful fight brought a fish that looked like an upper 30 into the margins. At this point I realised I didn’t have a net as my only one was already filled! After some frantic shouting a friend from further up the bank brought one down, and the fish was netted soon after. We sorted the linear first, and on the scales she went 46lb 12oz!

39lb 10ozI couldn’t quite believe it, and quickly put it in another recovery sling while the last fish was sorted. It was an awesome scaly one, possibly the best looking fish in the lake, and another one I really wanted! This one pulled the scales round to 39lb 10oz! I was absolutely blown away, and needed a minute to recover! The photos were soon done, and I decided to stay on another night, and was again rewarded with a 22lb 6oz mirror.

This topped the most crazy five nights’ fishing of my life, and just shows what the autumn can bring!

How to tie Calum’s rig

Components are 25lb Brown Sink Skin, a size 8 Covert Continental Mugga, a Small Covert Rig Ring, half a section of large Covert Shrink Tube, four feet of Plummet Leadcore, Covert Kwik Lok swivel, a Covert Multi Clip and Covert Tail Rubber.

Step 1 – Strip back roughly 5″ of Sink Skin.

Step 1

Step 2 – Tie a hair loop, cut the hook length to 12″ and thread on your chosen hook bait. Slide on a Small Covert Rig Ring, and attach 1cm from the bait using two overhand knots.

Step 2

Step 3 – Slide on a size 8 Covert Continental Mugga hook and set the rig ring to as far as it will go down the hook without being able to come off the point (roughly on the start of the bend). Attach the hook with a 7 turn knotless knot.

Step 3

Step 4 – Set up the leader with a loop at one end and a Covert Kwik Lok swivel and a Multi Clip at the other end.

Step 4

Step 5 – Thread the section of Large Covert Shrink Tube onto the hook link. Strip back around 2″ of the hook link and tie the hook link to the Kwik Lok swivel with a blood knot. Push the Shrink Tube over the Kwik Lok swivel, then steam the whole rig!

Step 5

The finished rig

The finished rig

The Shrink Tube is imperative, eliminates 95% of tangles when range fishing!