There’s an old saying ‘You wait ages for a bus and two come along at once’. This age old adage often applies to occurrences in life, but I never thought it would be one that would be relevant to an incident experienced during one of my fishing trips. I’d like to share with you my latest session where it all came together, right at the last minute.
Due to family commitments and personal health issues, this was to be only my second trip out of the year. My previous trip out had been cut short due to being in excruciating pain whilst on the bank, the culprit being a kidney stone. After a short spell in hospital I was sent on my way armed with painkillers to fight another day. My good friend and fellow carp angler Dale Glover had been hassling me for a guesty on my private syndicate water. I was desperate to get out on the bank, but was a little wary of being in the middle of nowhere, on my own, just in-case my problems started again. This would be an ideal session to get back out on the bank, but at the same time have somebody there with me, so a date was set and a 24 hour session was organised.
Gardner Tackle range which consisted of a size four Covert Mugga hook tied knotless knot style to some Subterfuge Supersoft in conjunction with a Heavy Plummet leadcore leader, a Covert Lead Clip and a 2.5oz Bolt Bomb.” alt=”As for rigs I kept things simple, all of the components were from the Gardner Tackle range which consisted of a size four Covert Mugga hook tied knotless knot style to some Subterfuge Supersoft in conjunction with a Heavy Plummet leadcore leader, a Covert Lead Clip and a 2.5oz Bolt Bomb.” width=”776″ height=”582″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-13910″ />
The weather was looking good for a bite, south westerly winds with a bit of rain and low pressure. On arrival at the lake Dale and I decided to have a wander around to see if we could spot any carp. At first we were disappointed as there didn’t seem to be much about. Our disappointment was soon erased though when a couple of fish showed out in open water and on closer inspection (when the wind dropped slightly) there appeared to be a group of fish ‘having it’ on the shallow bar to the left of the small island. I did the honourable thing and let my ‘guest’ make first choice of swim. Dale opted for the island swim and seemed happy with his choice, so I dropped in next to him in the swim where a couple of fish had stuck there heads out in open water. I was happy with our choice because whilst setting up it became obvious that a good number of the lakes residents were out in front of us.
My set up for the session consisted of a single 20mm hookbait on all three rods in conjunction with around 200 freebies over each spot. I was using two different baits from the Mistral baits range, on one rod I had Rosehip Isotonic boilies and on the other two I opted for their Purple Plum, both baits I have had some cracking results on. As for rigs I kept things simple, all of the components were from the Gardner Tackle range which consisted of a size four Covert Mugga hook tied knotless knot style to some Subterfuge Supersoft in conjunction with a Heavy Plummet leadcore leader, a Covert Lead Clip and a 2.5oz Bolt Bomb. Fish had been showing at about 80 yards over a spot where the lake bed plateaus up from around ten feet in depth to six feet in depth, so my first rod was marked out and put on a spot in an area of silt just to the right of the plateau. My other two rods were put on spots where I’d caught from before.
We didn’t have to wait for long for our first action, Dale had opted to fish a solid bag onto the bar where the fish were feeding and within five minutes of casting out his left hand rod ripped off, unfortunately the fish was only on for a few seconds before the hook pulled. Obviously we were disappointed but it was a good sign that they were feeding! After copious amounts of tea and chocolate biscuits and sitting there putting the world to rights it started to get dark and despite no further action we headed for the comfort of our bivvies’ in a confident mood. There were still a lot of fish showing over the spots and we were certain that we would be getting amongst them at some point. Despite our confidence and fish crashing out all night, we awoke at first light a little bemused as to why we hadn’t caught anything. The kettle was once again fired up and we decided on our next move over yet another cuppa.
After our latest beverage we wandered down to the next swim, this is at the shallow end of the lake and on first inspection it became apparent that there were some fish ‘ripping’ it up on several spots. Again doing the honourable thing (I’m such a nice chap) I let Dale have a go for them, armed with just a rod and a net, a handful of boilies and some pellets, Dale set about casting a rig amongst them. This consisted of a small lead fished running rig style, a Gardner Tackle Trickster Heavy Camo hook link attached knotless knot style to a small size 8 Covert Incizor Hook in conjunction with a single 15mm boilie and a small Micromesh bag of chopped baits. After a couple of hours of fish fizzing right over the hookbait and constant liners the fish just seemed to move out of the area happy with their lot. This was again very frustrating because we were convinced that the rod would rip off at any second!
Fish were still showing, so we set about getting all three rods back on our spots. After another couple of hours we started to become a little despondent so Dale set off along the reed lined bank donning his Polaroids and armed with a bucket full of bait in search of some fish, whilst I stuck the kettle back on and watched the rods. After only a few minutes a very excited Dale came back saying that he’d got a group of fish feeding on a spot and there were some big uns amongst them including the big ghosty that resides in the lake. Once again all six rods were reeled in and off we set in the hope of fooling one of the lakes bigger residents. On arrival it became apparent that once again the fish had had a mouthful of bait and buggered off. Very disappointed, we once again returned to our original swims and put the rods out for what was left of our 24hr session. After another two hours we started the ‘slow’ pack up (as you do when you’re stretching a 24hr guesty to the limit!) gutted that despite our efforts, it looked as though we were going home with a blank under our belts. Little did we know what was to follow…
I had packed everything away and had literally turned my alarms off, when just as I was packing my receiver away prior to reeling in, my middle rod burst into life, the only indication being the sound of a clicking bait runner. I lifted into the fish and questioned myself as to whether I had hooked one of the lakes carp or a tench as the fish really wasn’t fighting and was hardly putting a bend in the rod. I reeled in quickly as the fish headed towards me and once in the margins it came to life, this was no tench! After about five minutes it became apparent that I was attached to a decent fish and as the fight unfolded it became more apparent that not only was this a big fish it was in fact the big ghosty Dale had seen earlier. From that point the nerves started to jangle with every lunge she made, her previous capture was a couple of years prior when on the scales, she went 38.10lb and my thoughts turned immediately to just how big she might be now? After an epic battle she finally went in the net and on closer inspection we could see that I had caught something really quite special, however, before we had time to deliberate her size, Dales receiver burst into life and he rushed along the bank to find his rod cast to the bar was away.
Now it was his turn to pit a battle of wits against what also felt like one of the lakes bigger residents, it was an incredible scrap during which the fish tried desperately to get around the island and then once out of danger attempted to make a tree on the inside bank. With his line grating against the overhanging branches and hanging on for dear life the size 8 Covert Incizor held firm and the fish started to tire and was subsequently netted. On closer inspection it was a nice common that we estimated at being very close to thirty pounds if not slightly bigger.
With both fish recovering in the respective nets we set about wetting my weigh sling and zeroing the scales in anticipation of finding out just how big the ghosty was. As I lifted her out of the water I knew she was going to weigh a fair bit but never, for one minute expected what was going to happen next. I couldn’t look as Dale gently lowered the sling onto the zeroed scales, ‘40lb 10oz’ were his words, I was completely gob smacked and asked him to check her weight a further three times before I could really believe what I was hearing. Not only had I caught a new personal best but I had also landed my first UK forty, I was absolutely gob smacked! We put the big girl into a retaining sling to give not only her, but me a few minutes to recover. Whilst we both recovered we set about weighing Dale’s fish and he wasn’t disappointed either, when a lovely looking common pulled the scales round to 30lb 10oz, his second biggest common ever! As with my fish we put the common in a retainer whilst we set up the cameras for some well-deserved trophy shots, some cracking pictures were taken and we returned our prizes safely into the lake to fight another day.
It just goes to show that you never know when it’s going to happen during a session fishing for carp, our confidence had been high and then shattered on several occasions throughout the session and just as it was at an all-time low and in the space of an hour the whole session had turned on its head! ‘You wait all day for a carp and then two come along at once’. We both headed for home extremely happy, It really is a session neither of us will ever forget and one, I’m sure we will talk about for many years to come.