It had been around 5 weeks since I’d last graced the banks of my syndicate; this was mainly due to the fish having sporadic spawning spells. In fact, I take that back, I had visited two weeks prior and guess what? They started again at around 4AM, so the rods were wound in and it gave me a good chance to have a look at the fish that were buzzing up and down the margins without a care in the world – well care free apart from a bit of the old ‘sexy time’!

The next two weeks saw me very busy at work, spending a week up north visiting some of our key accounts, so as you can imagine, the only thing on my mind was returning back to the syndicate to try and winkle one out as soon as humanly possible.

Deluxe Weed Rake

My only chance to get a pass to go back down was to get out on a Sunday night, after spending the weekend with the family. Upon my return to the lake I was shocked at just how much the weed had blossomed. Most of the spots I had fished were now overgrown with weed, so finding a drop was going to be a long drawn out task.

Unfortunately (as is the case with most circuit waters nowadays) I arrived to a busy lake, but after a couple of circuits I found a few fish nestling amongst the a marginal weed bed and the swim next to it was vacant. The disturbance after a good few casts with the lead wasn’t filling my confidence, but I persevered feeling for a clear drop but failed to find anything presentable, so out came my trusty little Gardner Weed Rake and after 10 to 15 casts I had manged to clear a patch that I was confident enough to fish.

I’ve found from previous sessions on the lake that finding clay on your lead was key to getting a bite, so after I got a nice thud down with the lead and finding clay smeared on it, this really boosted my confidence. Some people will certainly say ‘chods for nods’ or something to that effect, but for me this was a sure way of getting my bait presented effectively on the chosen spot. The rigs were tied to perfection – and incorporated one our outrageously sharp ‘Specialist Sharpened’ size 5 Chod hooks tied on a short section of the low viz green Stiff Link material. When I say it was tied to OCD levels of perfection, I am not kidding you.

carp fishing clay covered lead
Sharpened Chods
Tackle Used
Green Stiff Link

The same general approach was applied to both the right and middle rods; but my confidence rod was definitely the left one. I sat up most of the night buoyed by the fact I was receiving plenty of line bites, like a coiled spring waiting to pounce on the rod at any given moment. Alas, the night passed without any action.

Having finally drifted off, at first light I was awoken to an absolute belter of a run from the confidence spot. I can’t even remember tackling the long run down to the rods, but I soon awoke properly when I picked up the rod and bent into what seemed like a good fish. Then the inevitable happened! Yep, she weeded me up and managed to dump the hook on me (some swear words may have been belted out at his point) if you catch my drift. I was GUTTED! After all that hard work I couldn’t believe my luck.

Pack up time was looming, and a friend popped round for a brew. After sitting there for a while and chatting carpy things the confidence spot had come to life again, this time I was ready, basically I’d had my first brew of the day, the world doesn’t rotate for me until then.

BEEEEEEEEEP! The rod bent right around in the rests and I was on it like a beardy action man (with eagle eyes) riding a rocket! Zooommmmmm… FISH ON!

The Anchor

She managed to find the first weed bed, but by keeping the pressure on I manged to get her through it, only to find she’d discovered a second one! Luckily for me my special friend, James Coffey, was there to save the day! He threw on my waders and literally jumped in the lake to free her. What a man. After another few tussles he manged to get her in the net. Phew, I let out a huge sigh of relief!

It’s always nice to peel back the cord and look at your prize, and to say I was somewhat elated to see it was one of my target fish would be an understatement, I was over the moon! As is often the case at this time of year she was a little low in weight at 39lb 10oz, but that didn’t bother me, I was just happy to have the pleasure of meeting ‘The Anchor’ in person. We manged to get some cracking shots, and after a short time I returned her and started the pack down, with a broad grin spread on my face.

Well, that’s it for me on the syndicate for another couple of weeks, I have a French social trip to attend so will keep you all posted on how it goes…

Much love,

James x