For the last 3 years I’ve chosen to target a really tricky low stock pit for a few months every summer, timed to coincide with the fish spawning on my syndicate lake. In that time I’ve toted up 28 nights with only one tench to show for all my hard work and effort; but seeing the odd picture appear here and there always inspires and draws me back to have another go.

This year I decided to give it yet another go, but this time I chose to go in with a completely different approach. I’ve been investing some time, walking the lake lots on weekday evenings, visiting the lake after work.

I would regularly grab the marker rod and have a feel around certain key areas, searching for tiny clear spots in and amongst the weediest areas. This process took me hours on end, but I knew that finding the perfect hole in amongst the fresh thick weed could really pay off, especially if I was able to keep them primed with a few Spombs of bait on each spot every couple nights (or when it’s quiet enough to do so without affecting other anglers).

I excitedly headed down to the lake for my first night back in over a year and was extremely happy to only see one motor in the car park when I pulled up – which filled me with confidence that I could get where I wanted to be.

All 3 rods were cast out in no time as I certainly didn’t want to thrash the water around, unsettling the fish that could be present, on the night I was fishing.

I decided to fish all the rods on critically balanced baits, mounted on a D-rig made up of 25lb Trick Link and a size 6 Covert Dark Continual Mugga hook.

Each spot received 4 Spombs of hemp, pellet, tigers and crushed and halved Live System boilies and that was that. The rods were out until I had to leave.

It was so nice just to be back out amongst such beautiful scenery; it’s always so quiet and peaceful.

A very quiet night flew by and I was up during the early hours of the morning watching the water, and despite hours diligently watching there were no shows or signs of any fish activity.

I just sighed and laughed to myself, thinking this is how every morning goes on here and allowed myself to drift back off to sleep for a hour or two before packing up. I was convinced my luck was over but at around 10AM the left hand rod signalled a single bleep followed by a tight clutch ticking away at a rather good pace!

I picked the rod up and it was bent double and whatever I had on was weeded up solidly (as expected). After 20 minutes or so of slow and patient pumping, the weed bed rose to the surface around half way out and a big dorsal fin appeared and then tore off, breaking a lot of weed away.

I was shaken up more than I have ever been with my fishing! I was out in the water fully clothed and knew I had to get this one in the back of the net. I was praying to god for the good old Mugga to do me well…

The fish decided to give this thought a good seeing to, with some big powerful runs a few rods lengths out. I was shaking so much at this point, but before I knew it the weed was back on the surface with a massive dark common following so I sunk the net under the weed and the fish and I had done it!

To be honest I couldn’t quite believe this had just happened. It’s moments like these I can only dream of. An absolute ‘pearler’ in the net which probably hasn’t been caught in some time and has also lived in here for many, many years.