2017 was a great year for my fishing memories! I managed seven 30lb+ fish, one forty and also my target fish which is one of the nicest fish I have ever caught! In this article I will be reflecting on three sessions where I caught my target fish, my second forty and also my best session of 2017. First I will reflect on how I caught my target fish. This carp was called Kim and I had been after it since I first laid eyes on it 3-4 years ago. The week prior to catching it I was constantly talking to my mates about it at work experience and I knew in the back of my head it wouldn’t be long before she was in my net! I started off the session straight after I finished work and got down to my syndicate lake at around 9pm. I set up everything in the dark and quickly found two spots. I Spombed out some bait over the spot and then got the rods out ready to hopefully catch a chunk. The morning came quickly and there wasn’t much action at all. I waited until bite time before I wound in to quickly have a shower as I was in need of one. I came back to the swim and rebaited the rods and chucked them back out on the spot. A few hours later my left hand rod ripped off and I struck into a very powerful and heavy fish. It put up an amazing fight! I remember seeing it surface in the sunlight as it revealed it’s scales that spelt out Kim! I was physically shaking and started playing it in as gently as I could! I quickly grabbed the net and as she surfaced I managed to slip the net under her. I was absolutely buzzing and I couldn’t believe my eyes! My mate that had just walked around came back over and gave me a hand taking the photos and weighing her. She went 35lb 10oz but the weight didn’t mean a thing! I got some great photos and slipped her back. The rest of the session passed quietly, but this was irrelevant! I caught her using Pro XM main line and a combi-rig tied using a Trick-Link boom section, Trickster Heavy supple section and a super sharp size 6 Covert Dark Incizor hook doing the business.

My second session I would like to talk about is one of my best sessions of 2017. I arrived at my syndicate lake at around midday with a long weekend ahead of me. I spent the first 24 hours in a swim called Armchair. After the first night there was little to report and I hadn’t even seen any signs of fish, but I decided to do another night there.

The second morning came round and it looked very quiet. At around midday my mate arrived in the swim on the opposite side of the lake and gave me a call to inform me that he had seen a couple of fish showing themselves in the swim to my left. I walked over and within a couple of minutes the fish started to show themselves. I quickly ran back to my swim and wound a rod in. I rebaited the rod and walked back to the swim where they were showing. Before long a decent sized fish topped about 15 yards straight out and I under armed a single straight on its head and loosened the clutch before placing the rod on the floor. A few moments later I heard the sound of the reel ticking away by my feet. I pulled into a heavy fish that plodded slowly around in the margins and a few minutes later it was in the net. The result was a lovely dumpy mirror, which weighed 31lb! I got a couple of decent photos before carefully slipping her back.

I decided to move to that swim, so I quickly fetched the rest of my kit and started to find some spots. I put 8 Spombs of boilies and particle over the top of each area and got the rods out ready for the night. The fish stopped showing themselves, but I was hopeful for a bite or two during the night.

At around 2am I had fast take on one of the rods and pulled into my second fish on the session. As soon as I leant into it, it stripped at least 30 yards of line off of my spool! I soon gained back the line it had taken before it took a crazy amount of line again. This fish felt unstoppable! I soon had the fish under control and I fetched the net and got it ready. A huge common surfaced and I was quick to slip the net under it! I didn’t recognise what fish it was but it looked like a decent thirty! I quickly grabbed the mat and scales and she went 36lb 14oz! What a great way to end the session! I caught all of these fish on one of my favourite rigs, the combi-rig tied using a boom section tied from Trick-Link, a Trickster Heavy supple section and a super sharp size 6 Covert Dark Incizor.

My last session I would like to talk about is the biggest fish I landed in 2017. I started the session off in a swim called Gravely. After I found a couple of spots I put some bait out and then got the rods sorted for the night. I hadn’t seen or heard anything through the night, however I found a few fish in front of a swim called Comfy, so I decided to make a move to there. I wrapped all three rods up and Spombed out on my usual spots in that swim. The day went slow but I stayed hopeful. The following day was also quiet but I did see some fish across the other side of the lake and I was contemplating moving to them. I text my friend in a swim called Gate and he had also seen the fish and he was keen to move onto them, so I stayed where I was and let my mate move. I got a bit of bait out there over each spot and got the rods clipped up ready for the night. As it started to get the fish started to move down the lake towards me and it looked good for a bite.

At 2am I awoke to a slow take. I hit into a solid heavy fish which plodded around in front of me. It wasn’t long before it was in the net and I recognised it as a fish called the Slate Grey. I got her up on the scales and the needle went to 40lb exactly. First light came around quickly and I was eager to see her in the light. My girlfriend got the camera ready and I held up my second UK 40! Buzzing is an understatement! I got a couple of water shots then released her back to her home. I wish everyone a happy New Year and I wish you all luck in catching your targets for 2018!