My rods had to be sorted first as I wanted to get them out and settled before setting my brolly up. I decided to use hinge rigs on two of the rods as the weed was starting to drop and I felt they would give me a better presentation. These were tied using Mirage boom sections, a Trip Wire end section and trusty size 5 Covert Dark Chod hooks. After a quick cast about with a bare lead I felt one of the spots was still very clean, so I put a D rig on the third rod with a hardened bottom bait.
Before casting my rods out I took a quick look in the swim next door which fished to the end of the bar. I could see there were quite a few fish around the pads in front of that swim, which is always a good sign for a night bite in the swim I was in as they moved off the bar in the night.
I quickly wrapped up the rods and cast each one out in turn. A hinge on the left-hand rod, a D rig on the middle and a hinge on the right-hand rod that was fished towards the tree line. After I was happy with the drops on each rod, I set about sorting the rest of my kit for the night.
It was already 7.30pm so I sat down with a cup of tea waiting for the light to fade before putting any bait out as it would make it difficult for the gulls and it would stop them from bombing the area and causing disturbance. Once the light had faded, I put out 20-30 baits around each rod.
It wasn’t long into darkness before I started to see fish rolling around to my left as they moved off the bar into the open water. I got into my bag feeling quietly confident and got my head down for a bit of sleep.
It’s weird how it happens but I always seem to wake shortly before I have a take and this night was no different. Shortly after midnight I stirred and opened my eyes to look out over the lake. I heard a fish roll further out and watched for the ripples hitting the bank in front of me. They took a while, so I thought it must be quite a bit past where I was fishing. Then I heard another, this time much closer. I laid there in the darkness just loving the feeling of sleeping outside with the added excitement of knowing there were fish in front of me.
After about half an hour one of my alarms sounded. The left-hand rod made a few quick bleeps and I was out of bed, shoes on in a flash and by my rods. My bobbin was still on the deck, so I initially thought it could have been a mouse or rat running across the front of the swim, but then I noticed my line was out of the line clip. I waited for about 30 seconds and gently lifted the line back into the clip. Almost instantly it started to lift very slowly and then stopped for a fraction of a second. I crouched there poised, just willing it to keep going then beep, beep, beep… up it went slow and steady, right to the top of the rod and then pulled out of the clip. I lifted the rod and was bent into a fish that was kiting around to the left.