I did a fair bit of weed clearing for the left hand rod. I was happy with the spot, a firm silt area, but the line lay leading up to it, not so. I was getting quite paranoid about it actually, so I decided to try out the new Mirage Platinum Fluorocarbon to somewhat ease that paranoia, which helped, as in my opinion, it is the best carp fishing mainline Gardner Tackle has produced to date. It’s versatility, sinking properties and strength were streets ahead of the nearest offering, but I still needed to do my prep work to get the best out of it and that was painful to say the least aided with the Gardner weed rake! But, they say time put in, equals reward!?
After a couple of short trips in the beach, I was on the move again, as the fish were showing in pretty much the furthest areas from where I was fishing. With my patience dwindling, I again found myself jumping from swim to swim in an attempt to be on the fish, feeling more and more detached from actually getting amongst the carp.
It was on one very sunny afternoon that I saw a group of fish in front of the beach again, in fact I was desperately looking for anything to move onto as I was so bored with what I was doing at the other end and had another night to fish at my disposal. This really was a gift, they were at multiple levels, some on the surface and some feeding on the bottom.
Another angler was fishing a swim to the right of this and out of respect, I didn’t cast a lead in the lake until the activity had settled down. He was going later that day, so that eased my conscience despite the area being the beach’s water.
The spots were easy to find and two rods with good line lay were positioned. I’d baited those spots on numerous occasions, so I was feeling confident and as the beautiful day moved into night, I pulted a good few hundred baits around the zones and then proceeded to throw the ball for Barney my lab, up and down the path behind, to wear us both out for the night!
There were still fish slopping out in front of me and the lake was quieter than usual, so I was really hoping that I would be in with a chance, overnight.
However, nothing. Where were the fish, I thought as I made the first cuppa of the day? There wasn’t a breeze on the lake. Both Barney and I took advantage of the lack of people and the tranquillity of the early dawn by standing at the edge of the swim, eyes peeled! If something was to show, we would have seen it and it wasn’t long as a very large, dark looking chunk showed a good 150 yards over the other side of the lake, which wasn’t ideal, but it was still in the middle area of the lake, which I took as a positive.
Thankfully, what seemed against the odds, the swim came alive at just after 8am. Sheets of bubbles were evident in multiple areas indicating a few fish and before long this was complemented with the signs of carp just breaking the surface with their heads.
I rang my mate Phil and said ‘it’s got to happen, they are all over me, mate!’ He was at the other end of the lake on the start of a campaign that required a healthy dose of commitment! I was now getting nervous about the whole situation, as I only had a few hours left before I needed to pack up and to leave the swim without a bite would have left me in a state of bewilderment. An opportunity like that doesn’t happen often, so you have to make it work. Eventually, the right-hand rod just ripped off and without so much as a thought, I bypassed my waders and jumped into the shallows to connect with the fish that sought sanctuary of the weed beds before finally being greeted by my net. My dog looked at me as if I’d lost the plot when I started punching the water as a show of immense satisfaction!
Phil came around to help with the photos, recognising the fish as a ‘proper’ one in the form of the 2nd Big Fully and he did a masterful job with the camera. With its heavily plated scales glimmering in the faint sun, it truly was one of the country’s stunners!