After joining my new syndicate around September 2012, I started at a really busy period, regularly just making up the numbers on a Friday. Four nights in and I’d had two bites, one that managed to reach the sanctuary of an island snag and the other I landed which came in the form of an original fish known as ‘Moonscale’ which of memory weighed around 22 lb or so.

Moonscale!After this little flurry of success I didn’t get back down for a while and then when I did return it was at the start of an eleven week period where the lake didn’t throw up anything. With the fish not playing ball I targeted other venues until eventually word got out that a couple of fish had graced the bank. I started a new campaign despite the very wintery conditions of ice, sleet, snow, rain and freezing winds. Despite using everything in my armoury I just couldn’t seem to get on the fish.

It soon became apparent that the guys who have been consistent had been on there for several seasons. I was nearly at my whit’s end trying new areas, different presentations, hookbaits, flavours, sizes etc.

I decided to start applying the new Mistral 4 Seasons bait after dark during the week over several spots around the lake in a bid to get something going. It was after seven cold overnighters and two day sessions that I felt like I was getting close. I was starting to see a correlation at last, and on my eighth overnighter since my first capture, I had a quite an unbelievable chuck to a snag bush under a tree line to an island, sending my rig right into a prime position. The Rigwise Dissolving Foam rose and signalled its precise location filling me with confidence. The other two rods were fished out in open water.

Tools for the jobAbout two hours later I received a pick up from a coot but due to the heavy plugged Gardner Ranger lead and semi stiff Chod Skin material I knew my hook bait was OK.

At around 10pm my locked up snag rod signalled a take and after a spirited fight a stunning immaculate scaley mirror lay in the folds of my net. By this point another member Phil had heard the commotion and came over and offered his services with the weighing and photographing. Typical of the syndicate carp it looked bigger than it weighed, but at 21lb 12oz who cares when they look so stunning.

A beautiful fish!