I met my mate Jamie at the service station not far from our Southern syndicate very early in the morning. We got some breakfast and with 48 hours ahead of us we talked about our plan of action. We decided that we would park in a swim known as Gate and keep our eyes peeled to see if we could see any signs of fish. It wasn’t long before we started to see a couple of fish showing out in front of the swim, so I unloaded the van and started to get things set up. I started with two bottom rigs cast around with PVA mesh bags of maggots and the third rod with a zig, which was cast towards any showing fish. The day passed quietly and as the evening drew in, I found a nice clean gravel spot eleven rod lengths out in line with a dip in the tree line on the far bank. I decided to put out three Spombs of 14mm Live System boilies and positioned all three rods over the top with little PVA mesh bags of maggots. That night I enjoyed a nice needed social with my mate, but unfortunately no fish came our way.

I got paid that morning, so I decided to reel in and pop to the shops to get some food and then head to the tackle shop for a couple of pints of maggots. When I got back to the lake I popped over to see my other mate on the opposite side of the lake and he had managed to catch one at first light on a zig! He told me the last few fish had fallen to zigs and at night too! I took note of this information and once back in my swim I whacked out two maggot zig rigs on top of fish that were showing themselves. I knew that the spot I was fishing at was roughly around 16 foot deep, so I tied up a couple of 12 foot zigs ready for the night ahead. These were tied using 12lb Gardner Zig Link and a super sharp size 10 Covert Dark Mugga hook.

Hookbait choice was a chopped down 14mm Pacific Tuna white pop up topped with a couple of maggots. I made a little mix up to Spod out over the top of each hookbait, which consisted of half a kilo of crushed Live System boilies, maggots, a good helping of Liver Powder and Ultra Amino. The fish were obviously not feeding hard, so the aim was to have a slow sinking mix around the zigs and also to try and put as much attraction around the spot as possible.

I got the rods ready for the evening, with two zigs and one bottom bait rig and put out eight Spombs out split between the three rigs. The fish started showing soon after and I sat their watching them boshing as they tried to clear the leaches from their flanks. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I had a run.

At around 5am my middle rod was away. I quickly got my shoes on and picked up the rod! It charged around stripping line, so I just let it tire itself out. As it came into the margins it tried to reach the snags to my right and take out one of my other lines, but I soon had it under control and I guided it over the waiting net. I could see it was one of the big commons, so I quickly zeroed the sling and scales and got her on the mat to be weighed! She went 40lb 8oz! A new PB common and on a 12 foot zig! I couldn’t believe my eyes, buzzing was by far an understatement.

A couple of mates came down to photograph the fish and I got some amazing photos! After that she was released back to her home after making me a very happy man! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has to offer! I wish you all the best of luck!

Gardner Products Used