After spending the last couple of weeks flitting around on different venues, it was time to head back to Church Farm at Yateley. I checked the weather for the week ahead and the pressure was expected to drop and a new South Westerly wind was forecast for the next couple of days, so I decided to go out for a two night trip on the venues back lake. I arrived at midday on the Tuesday and the car park was very quiet (which is what I expected being mid-week). I soon had the barrow loaded, headed up to the lake and to my surprise no one else was fishing.
I always find that swim choice is always harder when there are a lack of anglers on. I favoured a swim called The Reeds, as on recent sessions I have done very well from this area. With the bonus of a lovely South Westerly wind pushing into this bay, it seemed the obvious choice.
The right hand rod was placed down the margin to my right, where there was a lovely tree line and an area the fish love to spend time in. The set up I was using was 15lb GT-HD main line being tied to a length of 45lb CamFlex Leadfree and a 2.5oz inline lead. The rig presentation I decided to use was an Ultra D Rig tied with 25lb Ultra Skin and a super sharp size 6 Covert Dark Incizor presented around a tight batch of 12mm and 15mm Custom Bait from Active Bait Solutions.
On the right hand rod I decided on a helicopter lead arrangement with a hinged stiff rig, as the bottom was quite soft on this spot. The rig was tied using a 25lb Ultra Skin boom section and a super sharp size 6 Covert Dark Incizor. I spread around 100 free baits over the spot and got everything set up and sat back to watch the water.
Every so often a fish would drift into the bay and then drift back out. It got to about half 8 that evening and I saw activity over the right hand rod as a fish showed just off the tree line and I was feeling really confident of a bite. Everything was right, the fish were visiting this area of the lake regularly and the conditions were spot on. As night drew in the fish were becoming a lot more active and I could hear fish lumping out all over the lake. I checked everything was set and got some sleep.
During the early hours of the morning the right alarm screamed off and I was into my first fish of the session. It didn’t take long until the fish was under my feet and I soon realised that I was attached to one of the most sought after commons in the lake, that’s when the adrenalin began to pump through my body. The Long Common was soon in the net and as nobody else was on the lake, and the sacking of fish is against fishery rules, I rang my dad at 3am when he had work that morning! I put the kettle on and made a strong coffee for his arrival.
As I hoisted the fish out of the water and put it on the mat I couldn’t believe that this beautiful fish was finally mine. Up on the scales the needle was bouncing around and ended up settling on 31lb 12oz, a new PB and another target fish off the list. My dad took some awesome photos and I carefully slipped the beast back.
I was understandably buzzing and the campaign was accomplished! I had planned to do two nights but after landing the Long Common I decided to pull off that afternoon. My Church Farm campaign has nearly come to an end and a little earlier than I thought it would. I’ve had an awesome time at Church Farm; I really enjoyed my stay at the venue and met some lovely people. I’m looking forward to a new mission and hopefully catching some more lovely carp.
Tight Lines, Brand Butler