I found my self fishing a couple of old haunts in early to mid-January, where there were a couple of cracking mirrors I dearly wanted in my album. After finishing work with night spare I headed down to do a mid-week over night with forecast show heavy rain all night and the temps up to 12 dergees. With the rods going out sweet, I felt very confident with the weather opportunity. At around 4.30am I received a stuttery take, I was play a fish plodding around on a tie line, I slipped the net under a beautiful mirror known as The Big Twin in her full winter colour! I was made up to say the least, one very high up on the list, she went 32lb 10oz of Ringwood’s finest!

For the rest of Jan and Feb I managed a couple of other small ones from a couple of different venues but all the while I was thinking of the coming months I was planning to spend back on the big pond. During where mid-March, a lovely low-pressure front was forecast, with temperatures hitting mid-teens and 50mph South/South Westerly winds. I couldn’t resist getting back and getting myself on the end of the wind before it was due to turn up.

The follow morning after getting the rods out, the wind started to howl and the trees were bent double. I watched intently for any signs of fish and saw one definite carp and one possible show very close to the rods. As the wind was so strong, I had to leave the rods that I had put out in the dark the evening before, and I had faith that they would be ok!

It had been dark around two hours and the wind was just starting to ease, when the right-hand rod was away. I quickly gained control and was locked into a very angry carp. After a great fight I soon slipped the net under a lovely yellow 33lb 10oz mirror. What a way to start on the big pond! I was buzzing!

I came close a couple of times in April, however at the end of the month I managed to get in a great open water swim known as Peg One for the weekend. After getting the rods out I decided to leave them for the weekend to minimise any disturbance. At around 11 o’clock that evening one of the bobbins pulled up tight and as I was using mono I had to hit it. After playing a big ball of weed all the way in to the next, I scooped the whole lot up, not knowing if there was still a fish attached. I peeled back the weed to reveal an old face known as The Pug. She went 36lb 4oz on the scales and once again I was buzzing with the result.

During the month of May, the lake became very busy, so I ended up having a few trips away to other venues. I managed a couple of nice fish, one being a nice 30lb mirror. I got my head back in to gear over on the big pit after they had finished spawning and had time to recover. I started noticing a lot of fish turning up in close, in the bays and in the corners. I was constantly walking the venue and viewing fish from the treetops. I started to bait a couple of little areas that were tucked away in one of the corners. It wasn’t long before I started to notice signs that the fish had been visiting the areas as the small areas of silt turn has been polished off to clean gravel. I just had to get a rod on each spot.

The first night was a success and I was almost immediately rewarded with a 28lb 5oz mirror. I was so made up, but little did I know I was just about to experience one of my best summers carp fishing.

I managed a second fish towards the end of June. A fish known as Mr Angry weighing 38lb 4oz and as the name suggests he gave the battle of all battles during the hour of darkness. At this point it became very apparent that there were a lot of fish in the area during the day and the night, making for very exciting fishing. I decided to do the Sunday night and pack up for work the next morning. I was awoken during the early hours by another screamer. I was up to my knees in water playing what can only be explained as a Rhino! With any big pond carp, many fight like they have never been hooked before. It fought all the way to the net and with the lake getting increasing weedy, I peeled back a big ball of weed to find a fish know as Waddle and what was a fish he was! Waddle tipped the scales around to 45lb 6oz and I had a new PB! I made my way to work wet and stinking but so made up! All day I just kept thinking that I had to get back down the lake, so after work I had a quick shower and made my way back to the pond only to find someone had setup in the little swim. I felt gutted, but after watching the water for a while I noticed a lot of other fish moving around on the opposite side of the bay away from the pressure, with some good fish amongst them. I got the rods out on some old spots from the previous year. I felt exhausted from the early start and the late set up, so I sat back with the last 45 minutes of light, relaxing before bed.

I had only just got comfortable in my bag when the left-hand rod bent over double and the reel that was screwed down tight started to give line. I hit the rod and I was connected to a very strong fish, which felt so heavy that I thought it must be covered in weed. I slipped into the water and made my way out, so I could slip the net under it. The fish was not giving in one bit, but as it came up in front of me, I took a massive deep breath when I saw the size of it, before siding the net under the giant carp. I quickly rolled the fish over on it’s side and I instantly recognised the one scale on it’s side. It was Single Scale! I stood there for several minutes in utter awe of this true giant. I called my friend to come and help me get her out of the water do some pics. We got her up on the scales and they read a massive 54lb 10oz. I was truly blown way and I had landed two PB’s that day! After getting the pics done I was a total mess, but I had to try and get some sleep as I had work in the morning.

The following weekend and I was back on the bank still buzzing from the madness of the weekend before. I got back in the same area I had been baiting and where I had seen several fish. The spots felt clean and I was very confident with them by now. With the rods out, the evening quickly turned into nighttime, and not long after darkness had set in my receiver went into meltdown and I was in. After a real hard dogged fight another mirror slipped over the cord and weighed 33b 6oz. I couldn’t believe how it was all coming together!

In morning it was hot with high pressure and these were the conditions that were perfect. More and more fish started to turn up in the area and it was looking really good for another bite. At around 9am the same rod sprung into life. I hit the rod and as I did the fish came to a stop and it’s back came out of the water and it started trying to get into the weed. This time it was a common and what a beautiful common it was and one I hadn’t seen before. It went 27lb 14oz and it was a dreamy dark, golden, yellow wood carving of a common.

The rest the day and night passed quietly, but fish were still evident in the area and I just had to stay for the Sunday night, which meant I would have to be up early in the morning for work. After a uneventful night I had everything packed up and I was just about to leave for work when the last remaining rod in the water was away. I leapt into the water and had another great battle with a really fiery fish. It was another common and another fish that I hadn’t seen before. It was completely different looking to the first and weighing 29lb 14oz. It made me late for work, but I really didn’t care. I really couldn’t have asked for anything more.

The weed in the areas soon became almost unfishable and the fish didn’t seem to be in the zone come bite time. With the weed being so bad it was stripping the oxygen out the water, which meant I had to start thinking about the rest of the lake. I enjoyed a couple of socials catching up with a couple of other friends from different waters. It’s always nice to make the time to see friends.

At the end of August I was back on the big pond and I was finding myself moving around a lot. I was still seeing them in the bays but they weren’t staying put. I had been watching very hard and one morning they moved out of the bay, meaning I could get myself set up in the area ready for the next morning. I found some fresh spots and once the traps were set, I felt there was going to be an opportunity.

After a couple of nights the rods were quiet. I had heard them and seen them where I wanted them to be at what I thought would be bite time. After having a night off, I was back down to do a work overnighter mid-week. The rods went out sweet and I got my head down ready for work in the morning. At around 4.30am in the pitch black my left hand rod was flying, I ran to my rods cutting a hole in the sole of my foot on some concrete (badly) but none the less I was now slipping my waders on and play a fish. The result was a lovely 31lb 4oz mirror, which made the work overnighter worth it. That day at work, all I could think about was getting back into that swim, so I made myself available and I did just that. Once again, the rods went out sweet and the night passed quietly until I had a take on the same rod at 5.15am. I couldn’t believe my luck after another fish was safely in the net, I was soon holding up a lovely golden 32lb 5oz common for the camera.

That was the last fish I had from the big pit, but I couldn’t have asked for more and I made some great memories along the way. With the summer turning to autumn, I started to take my foot off the gas on the big pond. With work and weather not looking great I decided to have a guest with my friend Jim on a local water where we had a great laugh and Chinese take away. Jim managed one the morning I arrived, so after getting the rods out, I couldn’t wait until first light. Dawn soon passed and at around 9am I received a take from a lovely silvery common called The Pact Common, which went 33lb 7oz. Jim managed one a couple of hours later weighing 37lb, which made for smiles all round and a perfect social.

I had a couple of other commons from an old haunt, which was nice on a quick night. I was really interested in having a dabble on a syndicate lake in Oxford that I had, which contains some lovely old carp. With time being eaten up by working and I wasn’t really feeling the big pond, I thought it was time to go and try the new venue out.

I arrived late after finishing work on the Friday and then the time it took to travel there. After arriving, I had a good look around, but with little to go on I decided on a swim called The Barbel, which covered the middle area of the lake and offered a great view. It was late after I had got the rods out and it wasn’t a surprise that I didn’t have anything and I didn’t see anything all day. I walked the lake again that afternoon and I decided to stay in the swim I was in. The night passed quietly, but during the morning I did see a couple not far from my rods. At around 8:30am I had fish fizzing, showing, rolling and just demolishing the spot. I sat on my hands thinking there must be something wrong, but at 10am the middle hander peeled off with a stunning stockie going 26lb 10oz. I was made up with that one and as we went to do pics the remaining rod was away with yet another banging looking mirror know as black eye, which made my first session really special!

I haven’t got out much recently as life has been quite busy. I am sure as the end of December comes around I might be able to sneak out one or two more though. If not I’ve have had one of the best fishing years of my life and I feel very grateful for it. Lets hope 2020 can be a good year too! Tight lines x