Continued from part 1…
I was back the following week, this time for a single night. I went up the other end setting up in a small swim again by a big bank of snags. This swim only needed two underarm flicks with little 1.5oz Bolt Bombs, and again I was rewarded the following morning just before packing up with a bionic 25lb common that really went berserk in the confines of this tight swim.
The next trip was with my youngest son, who was off school as they had a teacher training day and was desperate to do a night out with me. I had thought about where to take him, as although he only wanted to camp out, I knew it would be nice to have some action on the rods too. A friend told me about a lake that fitted the bill, but although I had the ticket for I’d never actually fished. So the following day after I eventually worked out how to get in, I went for a look. It was far better than I had imagined it would be, a decent size of around 15 acres, with snags and plenty of carpy looking areas, as well as being child friendly and safe.
The following week Matthew and I were down, and both fitting under my Tempest Air. I’d found a couple of decent spots in a swim that had a nice big chunk of lake in front, and although nothing had shown it seemed a good starting point. I had been told there was a few fish to go for, but saw nothing until about an hour before dark when suddenly the lake became alive, as fish after fish rolled and jumped all over the place!
Several showed on me, and it was clear we were in for some action. With the boy fast asleep, at about 10PM I had a take and soon landed a cracking mid 20 linear, which was followed up with two more low 20s as the night went on – none of which woke Matthew!
I was shattered come dawn, but a quick move to the snags that morning gave us two more takes and another two 20lb fish. It was great fun, and we had enjoyed a fantastic session.
The lake really got me thinking, it was quiet and a nice bit of fishing. In fact I quite fancied a couple more trips myself, it was exciting too, not knowing what it held. I guessed from the odd bit of information I could find out, plus the fish I’d seen, that there wasn’t anything massive, but I wasn’t worried.
I did a quick work night that week, and it followed a similar pattern to the last trip, in that come dusk it came alive, and that night I had a 23 and lost another at the net that I got all the way back from 90+ yards! It certainly seemed to be a night bites water, and while work was really busy, it suited me down to the ground with the time that I had.
The next week I had another night, but had hatched a new plan. It was clear they liked a bit of bait, and to that end I put it all in at the start, with no intention to top it up. I walked all my lines off and clipped them up, before whacking out 5 kilos in the Spomb in one hit, really in preparation for the night time productive spell to come.
It came earlier than that, and within an hour I had a 25lb mirror on the Pink Salami pop up. They really do fight on this lake, and with absolute belting one tone takes, it was exciting stuff.
Soon after that I was doing battle with a powerful fish, and one look showed it to be my first common from the lake; a stunning long one that went 31lbs! This one was absolutely mint, and looked as if it had never been caught before.
In the end I caught another 4 carp that trip, one of which was probably the fattest carp I’ve ever caught, the length of a low 20, but weighing in at a whopping 34lb 4oz!
With the fishing going so well, I managed a two-night trip soon after. I bought a fair bit of bait this time, and the first afternoon I put out 8 kilos on the two spots. One rod was fished along the margin, and the other two nice and close together out in the silt behind a small gravel bar, and all at a nice comfortable range.
The weather was perfect, dull, warm with light rain, and I was brimming with confidence after the success of the last couple of trips. My legs were covered in bites though, not mosquitos, but this place had these small black midges that bit you in the day, and which felt like you’d been cut with a razor. They bloody hurt too!
The margin rod was the most prolific in terms of takes, but the spot out in the lake behind the bar seemed to bring the better fish. This pattern continued, as I had a couple of 20s from the margin, but it was the other rod that gave me a lovely 31 mirror. The following day was quiet, and after re-tying several rigs, and loading up with another 4 kilos of B5 boilies I was looking forward to the night ahead. It was a busy again, and I had another 5 takes, catching carp up to 29lbs, before packing up in the rain for work, tired but very happy.
I knew now was the time to get back over my favourite lake, the one that I’d enjoyed so much the year before. I’d kept in touch with what was going on, and indeed several serious fish had been out. I changed all my kit over, and got the boating gear out, changing my spools to Hydro-Sink braid and charging up my outboard battery.
A few days later I was launching my little boat and heading off, full of excitement, out into 60 plus acres. I was determined not to set up until I had found fish, which after a 5am arrival took me 3 plus hours of hard looking. That morning I saw 3 show, all at similar ranges in front of a swim I had only fished once before. That was all I had to go on, and I spent the day getting everything ready for the following morning, which I hoped would bring my best chance.
I was up early again, and didn’t dare take my eyes off the water for risk of missing something. By 8AM it was clear the fish weren’t here, as I hadn’t seen anything, but soon after a text came through saying they were spawning in the shallows. I’m not one for staying when they’re doing that, and within an hour I was on the way home, but looking forward to a return.