I got into work nice and early and worked right through specifically to secure an early escape Friday afternoon. No effort is too much to make the most of my one night a week session. Getting there early gave me time to look, and after some serious searching I found a big’un feeding in the edge in what could only be described as an obscure place. So I ran back and got the gear out the car, eager to have a go at the carp I’d spotted.

Upon my return to the ‘obscure place’, I surreptitiously set a trap in the edge as quiet as I could, hoping the lump would return. It was just a rod and net carried into the swim, whilst hiding the rest of my kit well out the way; it was all proper stealthy.

An hour had passed and the big mirror hadn’t returned but I had an idea where it may have had headed. With this in mind I moved up to the windswept snaggy end of the lake, once again keeping everything low key, and managing to place my trap effectively first time using a mixture of whole and crumbed 15mm fishmeal custom mix from ABS.

After about an hour a big mirror reappeared to my left, coming right up on to the shallow clean gravel, belly touching the bottom and it’s back almost breaking the surface. It was happily sunning itself, unaware of my presence; then after 5 minutes or so just disappeared back into the murky depths. About 30 minutes later the alarm sounded a take and the rod hooped round on a locked up clutch, and after a typical big fish scrap she went and rolled over the cord first time of asking!

At this point there were 3 of us gazing down into the net, and all 3 of us agreed the fish might top the magical 40lb mark. After readying the mat, wetting and zeroing the sling to the scales, we carefully carried her out and placed her ancient wrinkly grey body onto the mat. We treated her with the upmost respect; she looked as though she’d lived a life and seen plenty of action – a real old ‘character’.

So, after carefully removing the size 4 Covert Dark Chod, we weighed her and although I was enormously happy I was a bit dumbfounded at a weight of 35lb 2oz. She looked absolutely enormous on the bank too, well plumped. Never mind, she was a chunk all the same, and after a little treatment with some Intensive Care Carp Spray I returned her back to her home.

My plan was to move into the main lake for the night, but by 3PM anglers had arrived in their droves and my planned move just wasn’t to be. So I stayed on in the same swim which by this point was surrounded by other anglers. Just after dark I managed another bite, this time a repeat capture of a chunky low 20 mirror. After that the night past with no more action forthcoming and I was off by late morning, leaving the gate this week much happier than last week.

I used the amazing 0.39/18lb GTHD combined with 3ft of Silt Camflex Leadcore, and mounted the rig helicopter style. A 4oz Bolt Bomb attached to a Drop-Out Chod Safety Clip. The successful rig was tied with 6 inches of the new Stiff Ultra Skin with a size 4 Covert Dark chod, using a bottom bait presentation.

I’m pleased with the way things are going in my angling at the moment, staying mobile and making the most of any opportunity that presents itself to me. Confidence in my bait, rig and approach will hopefully keep the bites coming and put me a step closer to my goals for this year…