Feeling very pleased with myself, I made a brew then re-set the trap – a pinch of maggots on a little size 16 Target hook tied on a hair, with the point drawn back to the section of Zig Foam to keep them in place and balanced. All easy and effective and the baited rig was again primed with a PVA bag of crumb’n’maggots. I climbed back in the bag with Dylan, but it seemed to take a age for me to defrost.
In what seemed like no time at all, I was awoken by a flurry of bleeps again as the same rod was away. This fish was stripping line and felt like another good one. It kited massively left, and I had to bury my tip and hold on to avoid the marginal snags to my left. I was stood in my long johns for what seemed a lifetime playing this one and I was shivering. There was a full moon and it was like daylight. The fish’s head came up and it took one big gasp of air, I quickly slid the net under and really had to push hard to get the length of this one in.
I secured the net and proceeded to get some layers on and perform a good 50 star jumps to get the blood flowing and warm me up. Unsurprisingly, Dylan was looking at me like I’d just dropped down from space. By this time, it was nearly light, and a friend was in the car park loading his barrow for the day. He came around and had a tea with me, whilst I relay the details of my night’s antics. It looked like that it was a hattrick of thirties in January from what I had seen in the net.
With the light breaking so were the herds of anglers. I was trying to keep my campaign and captures under wraps as I didn’t want to feed the sheep. I managed to talk people who walked round into the fact I was up one end and the fish were up the other. Some may say cruel, I say every man for himself.
We positioned ourselves where no one could see what we were up to, I got the retained 32.8 and we took some quick shots then sent it on its way. The fish in the net I managed to unhook in the water. I could see it was a real dark long one. I rolled the net up and carried it to my mat. On pulling the mesh back, there it was the massive dip in the back and the long dark flanks. I’d done it! We hoisted it up on the scales, 37lb 3oz it went. I was properly charged by this capture. We got some shots then sent old Dip Back on his way.