I have had a great years fishing this year catching ten thirties and my first UK forty. I have been concentrating on a syndicate water in Ringwood and this is currently my second year on there but this year I have managed a few special ones.

My first memorable session was during the middle of March and I decided to setup on the ‘woods bank’ which is an area I hadn’t fished before. I found a spot by casting a bare lead and got settled settled in for the night just before darkness fell, hoping a busy morning would follow.

At 5am in the morning I awoke to a screaming take! I was bivved up on the top of the bank behind the swim as it wasn’t fishable without waders. I quickly slipped them on and after a 5 minute battle I slipped a 21lb 8oz mirror in the net. An hour later I had another take and after a few minutes I landed my second fish on the session, which weighed 23lb 2oz.

The one we were after known as the Football Lin weighing 36lb 14oz.

An hour and a half later I had another take and after a great battle, which lasted for a good thirty minutes, I landed a 36lb 14oz mirror called ‘The Football-Lin’. This really was the ‘one’ we were all after. I was absolutely buzzing and couldn’t believe my luck!

After a few pictures and getting the fish back safely, 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. I put ten spods out on the area and clipped all three rods up to the spot. I had to wait until the following morning before any action occurred and at 6am I had a take, which resulted in a lovely scaley mirror weighing 19lb 10oz, which rounded the session off perfectly.

Another session I want to talk about is the capture of my first UK forty. As it was a Bank Holiday weekend, I was keen to get down before the Friday rush. As luck would have it I managed to get back into a swim I had fished the week before. There were still fish in the area as I had seen a few showing out in-front of the area that morning. I found the same spot that had done a few bites on my last session, which was about the size of a brolly and was surrounded by weed. I cast two rods towards his area and my third was cast to the main spot in the swim at sixteen wraps. I knew the fish were likely to respond to a bit of bait, so I put out eighteen spods over the area I had two rods close together and fifteen over the main spot where I had my third rod.

I knew the fish were likely to respond to a bit of bait.

At 2:30am the following morning, I had a take on the right hand rod and after a short fight I slipped the net under a 17lb 8oz mirror. After a couple of pics, I got the rod back out on the spot and grabbed some sleep. At 4am I had a take on the rod on the main spot, but after a fish slowly plodded around unfortunately the hook pulled. I was a bit gutted, but pleased to have bagged one on my first night. I recast the rods that evening and introduced 24 spods over the top of each spot. There were plenty of fish in the area and I hoped during the early hours they would get their heads down.

The night passed quietly and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t had a single bleep. The fish were in front of me, but I wondered if I had put too much bait on each spot. I kept the baiting to the minimum that night and got the rods sorted for what I hoped would be a busy night ahead.

The scales shot round to 44lb 8oz, which confirmed it was Single and a new PB to boot!

At 2:30 am I had a take on the right hand rod but unfortunately lost it in a thick weedbed. I was a bit gutted, but got the rod back out and headed back off to bed. I was awoken at dawn by a nice steady take, one of those that you know that a big fish is responsible for before you pick up the rod. The fish instantly flat rodded me and was almost unstoppable before it weeded me up. I kept steady pressure on it for a few minutes before it came free of the weed, only for it to go into another weedbed nearby. I kept steady pressure on the fish again and after 25 minutes I could feel the weed bed slowly breaking up. On the misty surface I slowly led a weedbed the size of my bivvy slowly back towards the bank. I had no idea at this point whether the fish was still on. As the weedbed got closer, I knew I wouldn’t be able to scoop the whole lot up in the net. With my waders on, I put the rod back on the rest and went in. As I broke away the weed from the leadcore, a big fish wallowed next to me and then shot off. I quickly grabbed the rod and my mate that I was doubled up with woke up to all the commotion. I slowly played the fish back in and within a few minutes the beast was safely in the net.

I saw it was decent one and it had a big single scale on one of its flanks. I said to my mate it was a fish known as Single, but he didn’t believe me. The scales shot round to 44lb 8oz, which confirmed it was Single and a new PB to boot! I got some great shots and whilst doing some returners, my right hand rod ripped off! After a 10 minute battle, I slipped the net under a lovely 28lb common. A couple of hours later I rounded the session off with a 22lb 10oz mirror, which finished my month off perfectly!

After a 10 minute battle, I slipped the net under a lovely 28lb common.

The last session I would like to talk about is the capture of my PB common. I arrived at the lake around 3:45pm on Friday and managed to secure a swim where I had seen lots of activity during the previous weekend. I quickly found two spots on the edge of a weed bed and got the rods out for the night. I awoke the next morning without a single bleep. I had seen a few fish that morning about 30 yards past the weed bed which I was fishing to. After bite time had finished I got my spod rod out and my Gardner Weed Rake and started the task on raking a channel through the weed, just enough to sink the line and get a fish through easily. After an hour I had cleared a channel and made a couple of casts with a bare led towards where I had seen the fish showing.

I found a spot out at 16 wraps and put eighteen spodfulls of boilies and particle out and five on the old spot, which I kept the third rod on. The rods were soon out for the night and ready for tomorrow morning’s bite time.
At 4am the following morning I had a screaming take from the new spot. After 20 minutes I had a decent sized common in the net. I unhooked it in the net and got the rod back out. I knew it was close to my PB common, so I got it on the scales and it went round to 36lb exactly! I was buzzing!

The super strong 15lb Pro Light Blend main line.

The other rod on the new spot was the next rod to roar off. It was just getting light as I struck into the rod and it turned out to be a very lively 22lb 6oz mirror. It was soon in the sack next to the common and the rod was back out on the spot. At 9am I got the trophy shots done and they were soon back to fight another day. Unfortunately no other fish was caught that session but I couldn’t complain.

Size 6 Covert Incizor’s, a hook pattern which has done me proud.

All of my fish were caught using the super strong 15lb Pro Light Blend main line, a length of Gardner CamFlex leadcore spliced to a Covert Kwik-Lok swivel, a Covert Lead Clip and Tail Rubber with a 3oz Gardner Distance lead. My rig consisted of 25lb brown Sink Skin brown 25lb and a size 6 Covert Incizor tied blow back style. I had a lot of these fish using a double 18mm Tuna and Garlic boilie by Urban Baits.
I knew it was close to my PB common, so I got it on the scales and it went round to 36lb exactly!