After knuckling down and getting a load of revision done, as my college course was coming to an end, I decided it was finally time to get back on the bank. I hadn’t really had the sticks out for a decent session for a while, so I decided to hedge my bets and get down to the lake Friday afternoon and hopefully miss the weekend rush and fish 3 nights.

On arriving at the Church Farm complex in Yateley I really wanted to attack the Back Lake. I had come with a plan in mind and was well prepared for the session ahead. I decided to fish an intimate corner of the lake that the nice south westerly wind was pushing into. This corner has a nice tree line to the right, but there was a slight problem – the swim itself was flooded out due to the amount of rainfall we had that week.

I set my right hand rod with an inline flat pear 2.5 oz I tied up a short 4 inch Ultra Skin hooklink ‘D-rig’ style using a size 20 Target swivel to connect the bait onto one of my favourite (ultra sharp) size 6 Incizor hooks. All very simple, but very effective with it. This was baited with an ABS Custom Mix boilie that was balanced using a whittled down a pop up, creating a really nice slow sinking hook bait.

With a bit of effort I managed to creep round to the right, through all the overgrown area, to literally drop the rig precisely under the canopy of the tree and place a handful of baits spread widely around the area as I wanted to draw in the carp in and have them feeding confidently before they took the hook bait. This particular swim gets fished in the same manner week in week out so my approach needed to be different as they are very spooky after all the pressure they have received in this particular area of the lake. The spot I had dropped my rig onto was actually a nice patch of ‘blonde’ cleaned off ground adjacent to a small patch of weed and areas of silt

I was using the new GT-HD line and was really pleased with how it was performing in a fishing situation and behaving on the reels. I really like the way that it has low stretch – so the contact to the lead is better on the drop when casting, but I also found that it sinks like a brick and that the colour was excellent as it blended into the margins perfectly. An important consideration as I was only fishing a rod length out.

My left rod was positioned about 20 yards out using similar methods to the right hand rod – and then I was all done and finally fishing…

The Back Lake hadn’t been fishing particularly well recently, but I was brimming with confidence and was absolutely positive that things would change over the course of the weekend.

Just 2 hours into the session, and just as I was about to get a bite to eat, the bobbin sprung to the top and the rod tip was bent right round with a powerful fish on. The ATT Snag Backs did their job keeping the rods securely in place and I struck into the vicious take steering the fish away from the canopy. Within a few minutes I had a lovely looking mirror in the net which went 23+. What a great start to the session!

After resetting the traps (this time positioning the rig more conventionally, that meant doing a few under arm casts as I had to make sure it was right on the money) I had the rod back in on the same place with the same approach and a handful of mixed sized baits scattered round the area.

Just before nightfall I managed another take, this time ending up with a really nice mirror of 24+ safely drawn into the waiting net.

That night I settled down after making sure everything was perfectly set. I thought that the fish were following the wind and looking for cover as they came down from the top end of the lake, and hoped that I would get a couple more chances as conditions looked really good. I decided to get my head down for a few hours and set my alarm for 4.00AM as I wanted to be up for the break of dawn when I would get up and make up a few rigs, all tweaked and ready to go.

Just as I was getting my head down the receiver lit up to a fast series of bleeps and as I looked across to the rods I could see the bobbin was tight under the rod. I couldn’t believe that I was already into my 3rd carp of the session so soon.

After slipping it over the net I lifted it up and shone the torch in to see what I had caught. She turned out to be a nice big framed mirror, and after putting her on the scales she turned the needle to 27+.

By now, knowing the venue, I was building a picture up of the session and knew there was more to come. I didn’t get much sleep through the night as there was activity around the lake, and was surprised I had no more takes as I knew I was fishing on the right spot so sat I on my hands and waited until morning.

Just before first light my right hand rod ripped off and yet another carp graced the net. With the moon still very high and the mist hung across the water – it looked absolutely perfect! It was only a small mirror but very welcome.

Amazingly, the action continued throughout the day and I was regularly having takes using the same approach with bites coming every 4-5 hours. At the end of the session I had managed to land 12 carp – so it was an absolute awesome session and the kind of result that is unheard of, especially on the Back Lake.

I packed up first thing on Monday morning and nipped across the road for a social at Trilakes for the day. As I was pushing my barrow across the road I couldn’t help but think I would probably never have a session like that again on the club water, but one thing I know (as I chuckled to myself) was that I had all the right ingredients.

In the end the total tally of carp caught were mirror sof 28+ 27+ 24+ 23+ 21+ 19+ 18+ and several other doubles and a 18+ common.