My last ‘proper angling trip’ was back in early October if my memory serves me well and I decided to take the Friday off work and do my best to get on the fish. Keen as mustard, I was down at Swan well before first light and after a thorough lap looking and listening for signs of carp, I found myself none the wiser. With nothing to go on I decided to make a start in a swim I’d fished recently as I knew exactly where to position my rods. It also allowed to me to keep an eye on the main body of the lake and react, should an opportunity present itself.

I went about positioning two rods tight to the far bank foliage, in the hope of intercepting any carp that were patrolling the wood work. I sat back patiently tea in hand anticipating what might happen as the day unfolded, when I noticed some activity going on down my left margin. Something was clearly having a munch as it was fizzing big time. Rather than putting a rod straight on it, I decided to let the activity stop and the fish drift away before I repositioned one of the rods, as I didn’t want to risk spooking what had been feeding. On the second time of asking the lead felt down with a proper thud and shortly after the Dissolving Rig Foam surfaced giving me a marker to catapult twenty halved ABS MGM 15mm baits around. At around mid-morning I heard something break the surface, so I got up and walked 5 yards down the bank to see if a carp or indeed birth life was responsible. Suddenly my left hand margin rod absolutely melted off. After a bizarre battle amongst some decaying weed off the margin shelf, I scooped up an ancient looking mirror. It was certainly a fish I’d not seen before and one I was truly happy to have it in the album.

After a few self-takes I slipped her back and no sooner had I tied up a fresh rig my right hand rod bobbin slammed up tight and I was away again. This time it was a strong spirited scrap until the fish found sanctuary amongst a weedbed. Fortunately the size 4 Covert Dark Mugga hook held firm and the 0.39 GTHD stood up to the test. After a bit of cat and mouse, the most gorgeous golden common was soon resting in the bottom of my net. I instantly recognised it as a fish I’d caught before, but as I had a mate stood in the swim at the time, I decided to weigh her, check her over and take a quick picture before slipping her back.

Later that day the banks started to fill and there was to be no more action forthcoming in my relatively short session.