I decided to put a good hit of bait out and get all the disturbance out of the way, so a 3-hour spodding mission followed. 5kgs of boilies, a bucket of particle and a bucket of pellet – all dosed with a bottle of hemp oil. I had prepped the particle a few days before, giving the buckwheat time to absorb the oil and the boilies had been giving a good soaking too. The massive slick on the surface flattened off half the lake!
The first day was baking hot and after the early start and the spodding I was knackered, so collapsed on the bed for the afternoon. The first night passed with nothing to show for my efforts, but the fish were active the next morning, with the weather changing on the second day and the full moon due that night I felt I was in with a chance.
At 2AM I had a classic bream bite with 1 bleep up, followed by a massive drop back. I reeled in the snotty giant, swore at it and slipped it back. I decided not to recast that rod, as the light was really poor, and I wasn’t confident that I’d get it back on the spot. About an hour later the same thing happened on my other rod and I slipped another big bream back. Now, both my open water rods were propped up on the bivvy, so I decided to chuck them both back out and hope for the best. To my surprise both went back out first time, hitting the clip and the left-hand rod cracked down on a nice firm area.
I was just getting back in the bag when only 30 minutes later a single bleep had me cursing the bream, and as I slowly put my shoes on it ripped off – obviously not a bream then!
It felt heavy right from the off and slowly plodded about as I gradually eased it back towards me. There were a few tense moments as it dived into a couple of the bigger strips of weed, but after about 10 minutes I had it within 10 yards of the bank and I was hoping to slip it straight into the waiting net. No chance!
The fish powered off to my left, stripping line and flat rodding me. The sudden burst of power surprised me, and had my knees knocking and my heart pounding. I dearly wanted to land this fish and it was trying it is hardest to shed the hook, ploughing up and down the deep margin. At times I could feel my line grating on the weed along the marginal shelf so I waded out as far as I could to try and get my line away from the ledge. After five or six powerful runs I saw it for the first time, a massively framed fish rolling over in the torch light. This was one of the special ones, I eased it closer and got a better look this time and could see the distinct features of the big leather. Knowing what I was attached too did me no favours whatsoever, I was in bits. After one more powerful surge I felt I had it under control but still muttered one last prayer for the hook to hold, as I dragged the massive beast over the net cord. Yes!!