March was a great month for me!

It started with a 48 hour session in a swim where I had seen a fish bosh out whilst I was walking around the pit looking for a sign. I ran and got my gear in the swim, quickly getting it all ready for the night. However, the next morning I didn’t see a thing, so around midday I reeled in and took a walk round.

I saw one straight away, a few swims away, so once again I packed up my gear and moved. It was getting dark so I leaded about and found a nice spot, clipped all my rods up and then spodded my bait out over the 3 rods. The next morning the area was still quiet and needed to reel in as my services were required to take pictures of the first fish out of the lake this year, that came out to an angler on the other side of the lake.

When I got back around to my swim I put the rods back out on the spot and started to pack up. Just as I was putting my bits on the barrow I had a screamer and landed a 24lb 8oz mirror, the second fish out this year, so it seemed obvious that they were just waking up.

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Two weeks after I returned and went on the ‘woods bank’. Once again I found a spot by casting a bare lead around and spodded over the top just before dark and got settled in for the night, and hopefully a busy morning to follow. At 5 o’clock in the morning I had a screaming take!

The swim was unfishable without waders, so I was bivvied up on the top of the bank behind the swim and I slipped the waders on and struck into the fish. After a 5 minute battle I slipped a 21lb 8oz mirror in the net and sacked it up. An hour later I had another take and after a few minutes I had a second fish sacked up, which weighed in at 23lb 2oz.

Another mirror joined them an hour and a half later! After a great battle I was had a 36lb 14oz mirror called ‘The Football-Lin’ in the sack. This really was the ‘one’ we were all after. I was absolutely buzzing.

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We got the pictures done and then I reeled in to have a walk around the lake, still buzzing like hell. There wasn’t much coming out anywhere else on the lake so when I got back to my swim I decided to put a little more bait out, so I put 10 Spombs out on area and clipped all three rods up to the spot. After that I waited till the next morning and when 6 am fell I had a take which was a lovely scaley mirror weighing 19lb 10oz, that turned out to be the last one of the 4 fish haul.

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The following weekend I went back into the same swim and did exactly the same thing as I’d done the previous week, but the morning came and I didn’t have a touch. I kept watching the water and sussed out there wasn’t any fish in the area and they were on the other side of the lake.

The swim that I wanted was taken for the time being, but the angler was going at midday so I barrowed my gear around and as soon as he left I started setting up my rods. I fished them on the main spot, at 17 and a half raps, and got them out there. Just to the right of the main spot was a deep hole, around 12ft, which my right hand rod was on. My spod mix consisted of a mix of pellets from 2mm to 18mm with some 18mm Hybrid mixed in for good measure. I put 8 Spombs over the top then left it quiet for the rest of the night.

At 5:15 I woke up to a screaming take and struck into a beast. As it was getting close in to my margin it got snagged on something so I tried to bring it in from another angle and it came through. As it went in the net I saw it was a beasty common that was wrapped around a bundle of old line. This was obviously what I was snagged on but fortunately there was no damage done to the fish.

I hoisted her up onto the scales and the needle shot straight down to 35lb 8oz! A new PB common and I simply couldn’t have wished for a better start to the year!

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Most of these fish fell to a maggot combi-rig which absolutely nailed all the fish I caught. This was made up from the Gardner Trickster Heavy in combination with a 25Ib Trick-Link boom section. it was tied blow back style with a size 6 Insizor and instead of a hair I tied a rig ring on the end which a pop-up went over the top and then I tied a ball of maggots to stop it from coming off. I also had a bit of Supa-Shrink tubing over the hook eye to help get a better hook hold, which obviously worked!


Hopefully the rest of the year will be just as good…