After a hard day’s work, I made my way late as ever to the Water Park. The early finish I had hoped for hadn’t come to light and I found myself looking at a very busy lake with almost every swim taken. I settled for a swim on the north bank known as 007, although this peg had a lot of water in front of it, I didn’t think this was where the fish were and felt l needed to move.

A deadly combination, Trip Wire and Covert Chod hooksSaturday morning couldn’t come fast enough, and when it did I wasn’t surprised that all I had was a good night sleep! Several hours of walking around the lake, scouting for signs of fish and asking almost every angler when they were due to leave, I found myself chatting to a nice chap that informed me he was leaving his swim at mid-day. The swim was called high bank and was the opposite end to the previous night’s swim. Whilst stood discussing what he had seen and what he had caught during his 24 hour session I started to notice carp drifting through the swim in the shallow water, this had to be the place to be for my final night of the session!

High bank was a swim in an area of the lake called the shallows, true to its name it varied from a foot in depth to around five feet. Due to the amount of pressure down in the shallows I had a quick flick round with a lead where I had seen the fish earlier and clipped up two rods to a channel in the weed. During the afternoon when the gulls would let me, I baited the spot lightly and regularly with Tails Up 14mm Pro Fish boilies, without wetting a line. My thinking was that by leaving my swim baited and line free the fish would move away from the pressure around me, into my un-pressured water.

Playing the big commonAround five O’clock two hinge stiff links were tied on using the ever faithful Covert Chod in a size 6 with 20lb Trip Wire, and flicked to the clip landing in my baited channel. The lines were allowed to sink as slack as possible and with the bobbins laid on the floor I waited full of confidence that my next bite wasn’t to far away. I was joined by my mate James just as I put the kettle on, the hanger on the right hand rod cracked into the blank, the take was violent and the fish was ripping line off a tight clutch. When picking the rod up I was met by a solid resistance and the fish continued to take line. It bored hard for the weed bed behind the channel and despite my pressure nothing was stopping it, sure enough I soon had that gut wrenching feeling when all went solid and as the fish buried itself into the weed.

My target fishAfter a few minutes of pulling little happened and I started to feel like all was lost. I needed to try and change the angle of line, walking backwards whilst back winding I managed to gain a bit of height due to the bank behind the swim and as soon as I reached the top the fish started to move slowly. With steady pressure it came free and came in like a dog on a lead the rest of the way. Once under the tip I caught my first glimpse and knew it was one of the big commons and so did James who soon kicked his shoes off and jumped in to gain an extra yard or two. With my heart in my mouth knowing that the one I so dearly wanted to catch could soon be mine, I slowly and carefully guided her over the net cord. James was soon looking down into the mesh telling me how I’d done it and the big common known as ‘Johns’ was mine! On the scales the needle spun to 32lb 0oz, a little underweight but never the less I had tricked my target fish. With the pictures done she was returned unharmed, and I was left to figure out which one of the lakes mirrors was next!
Returning my prize