It’s not very often I get to spend more than one night at the lake, however, due to being on half term at college, I decided to use this time to my full advantage.
The first few nights down the lake were spent staring at huge carp crashing a million miles away, knowing they were well out of my casting range.
In my head, I knew I needed to move and in hindsight I should have. I had a strange but good feeling about this one swim, a swim that did the most amount of bites last year. However, the weather was absolutely terrible and I decided to stick it out in the swim that I was currently in (bad angling to say the least). On the last evening, a good friend of mine arrived and decided to drop in the swim that I had a good feeling about. To cut a long story short, I was awoken with some news that he had a 34lb mirror in the retainer.
That day consisted of kicking myself for not moving and I actually wound myself up that much that I ended up packing up. I decided to have one last cup of tea with Dan, and before I knew it, I was taking pics of another fish, this one being a respectable 48lb mirror! I went home with a smile on my face and instead of kicking myself, learning from my mistakes.
The next few days were spent walking around the lake at every bit of free time I had and I even managed to get a quick night in on the Friday evening before work. I agreed with a friend that he could hop in behind me, and he went on to catch two from the swim. This left me buzzing for the following week, and I couldn’t wait to get down on the Monday.
I finished work around half 4 on the Sunday, and decided to go for a walk. After finding out my friend was in the swim I wanted to be in and wasn’t leaving for 2 days, I decided not to fish the Monday night, but instead to arrive early Tuesday morning.
Thankfully I was able to wake up early, drive to McDonald’s and get to the lake for about 8ish. The weather was looking prime and a nice gentle south westerly was pushing to the right of me. I was gagging to get into the swim.
Whilst waiting for my friend to pack up, I tied up a few rigs. I opted to use the same rigs I use everywhere as they never let me down. Three hinged stiff rigs were tied using 25lb Trip Wire, size 6 Covert Chod hooks, and a few size 12 ring swivels. The boom sections were around 8 inches in length and were tied using 25lb Trick-Link. I was fishing over the back of a gravel bar into quite a silty area so I needed to balance my pop ups so they sank as slow as I could get them to. A blob of the Critical Mass putty did the job nicely.
As my friend was reeling his rods in, I wrapped up my rods to just over 100 yards which was where I had fished on the Friday night. As soon as he had left, I began to put the rods out. Without trying to rush things, I got them out as quickly as I could, as I had seen a couple of fish show near to the spots. I decided to put 3 singles out for the day as I didn’t want to spook any fish that happened to be passing through.
Nothing happened throughout the day, however as the afternoon progressed, I noticed that the fish were starting to show closer and closer to me. At around 5 o’clock, I started to put some bait in. Nearly 4 kilos of CC Moore’s 15mm Pacific Tuna was spread over only two of the rods as I wanted to keep one off the baited area.
As the evening closed in, one of my friends bought me over a pint from the nearby pub, and we sat and watched a few carp showing over my rods. After he left, I laid down to read my book. I was reading it for around an hour, until I decided that it was time to go to sleep if I wanted to be up for first light. I put the book behind my bedchair, turned my head torch off, and laid there looking out at the lake, when out of nowhere, my middle rod melted. I raced out of my bed, still partly deafened from the screech of my bite alarm. As soon as I lifted into the rod, I was greeted with a really angry carp. The fish must have taken near on 60 yards of line before I could slow it down and start reeling her in. After a very hairy 20 minute battle, I pulled the net under a very large mirror.
Whilst the mirror was in the net, I called my girlfriend seeing if she would come down to give me a hand with the fish, as anybody knows an extra pair of hands is always a massive help! She arrived shortly after I had called her, and she helped me weigh the fish and put it in the retainer. With the fish going 45lb 2oz, this was a new personal best for me and another 40lb carp to add to my list.
I tied up a fresh rig and got the rod back out there as quick as I could, as there was a very good chance of me catching another one. I got back into bed, and kept slowly falling in and out of a light sleep, checking to see if the mirror was alright every time I awoke.
Around half past 3, the right hand rod was away, and I found myself bent into another very angry, big pit carp. My heart was pounding, and I needed to get the waders on. Luckily, Emily had decided to stay the night, and was there to help me get them on. Ten minutes later, there was a lovely orange looking mirror sat in my net. I honestly couldn’t believe it! I raced down to somebody I knew who was fishing a couple of swims up and asked him if I could borrow his retainer (I can assure you, it’s not every day you need to use two retainers on this place). Up on the scales it went 35lb 4oz. I was over the moon.
With a brace of just over 80lb safely sat in the retainers, there was no getting back to sleep for me. Thankfully, I called Craig, a good friend of mine, and asked him if he would take the photos for me.
A couple of hours later, and he was down, camera in hand and a huge smile on his face. “Are you ready matey?” he said, as I stood there looking dazed, staring at the numerous amount of carp still crashing over my rods. Plenty of quality photos were taken, and both fish were returned back safely to their 60+ acre home.
The next night was very quiet, and it seemed as if the fish had moved away. Never mind, I still went home with a huge grin on my face and a couple of slimy hoodies. Nobody was ruining my mood that day, that’s for sure!
Roll on next time!