My next session was going to be a 3 day session on one of my syndicates lakes down South, I started to get everything ready on the Saturday as I wanted to leave early Sunday morning, the bait I was going to take was Urban Baits Nutcracker in 15mm, and to get them grubbing around I was going to use a combination of Nutcracker pellets and corn, that should help to get them grubbing around on the bottom, I was going to do something a bit different with the boilie I was going to chop the baits in half so I set about chopping up 5kg of Nutcracker with a boilie chopper.
It was late in the afternoon when I finally finished getting things ready, so I sat down to a nice meal with the family and I was off to bed early, just so I can leave and get to the lake for first light, I was up before the alarm went of, got dressed and loaded the car and made a nice brew to drink on the way and I left, the roads were empty and after a few hours I pulled into the little lane that led to the lake, I opened the gate and drove into a empty car park, I parked the car as close to the entrance as I could, put my jacket on and set of to walk the lake, to find out where the fish were, if I saw any if not I would go on what I know and where I think they might be, I walked the lake a few times and didn’t see anything that I could say was a carp, I saw a few shows but they looked like bream so I was going to go on where I think they might be, the wind was blowing down the far end of the lake where there were two small islands and a big weedbed, so I loaded the barrow and set off on the long walk to the far end of the lake, the good bit about being down that end is that there is only one swim no one can bother me with what I want to do.
The first thing I was going to do was have a lead around both islands to see what’s around there, after a few casts I found a couple of nice spots just at the bottom of the shelf around both islands, it felt like soft silt so that would be ideal for two rods then the other was going to go at long range up against the reed bed at about 140 yards after a few cast to the reeds I found a nice soft clay area about a rod length of the reeds, all three rods were clipped up so I could hit the right spots then I clipped the Wolf X-Spod up to the distance of the island rod first, then I would do the same with the long range rod, I tied 3 new rigs, hooks were sharpened so they were needle sharp, all 3 rigs were going to be my faithful Ronnie rigs with the boom section being the made of fluoro with a size 4 Mugga curve shank and to keep everything on the bottom I used the Evolve leader material for the last 2ft and a Nutcracker pop-up as a hookbait, the first two rods were cast out to the islands, then I set about spodding out about 2 kilo of chopped Nutcracker and pellet corn combination over each rod, the third rod was going to take a bit more time as it was at long range after about 20 minutes I had finished that rod as well with the same amount of bait as the others, all three rods were done, I started to sort out the rest of the gear, once that was done I sat down put the kettle on made myself a brew and sat down to just chill and relax and watch the water. I decided to have an early night and was up nice and early watching the water.
It was about 9 in the morning and the wind had picked up and was really pushing into my end of the lake, which made me really confident, I was still the only one on the lake which I like, as I can do whatever I want. I decided to have a climb of the tree next to the swim just to see if I could see anything out in open water, even though it was quite windy I did manage to spot one fish that just stuck his head out behind one of the small islands, I thought well if there’s one there should be more as the fish in here are normally in groups, so after about an hour up the tree I climbed back down sat down and decided to tie some new rigs ready just in case I needed them, all the hooks were sharpened and a blob of Vaseline on the point to stop it rusting. I was getting a bit hungry by now as I hadn’t eaten yet so I got the pan out and done myself a cheese toastie and washed it down with a nice hot brew, while I was drinking the brew the a mate came round for a chat so I made him a coffee and he sat down and we put the world to rights, he told me that the week before the fish had been holding up in the open water swims not at the end but they had had a lot of pressure out there and he had seen a few around the islands out the way of everyone, this is a strange syndicate as its busier in the week not the weekends, as I could see on a Sunday the lake is empty but I do know that there will be a few members coming down tomorrow morning, but it didn’t bother me as I had the only swim down this end, after a while my mate wandered off on his rounds and left me to think about what I was doing.
I was really confident in my rigs and my spots as I had seen 3 fish since my mate had gone, all around the two islands I’ve got baits sitting in good spots ready, well as the evening drew in and it started to get dark, I hadn’t seen another fish so I started to think that they had done me and moved off, so I thought I would drown my sorrows and was going to order a big fat Chinese, but first I phoned my mate, he only lives at the bottom of the lane, to see if he fancied one, he was up for it so I gave him my order and he phoned it over and got mine and his delivered to his house then came over with it, not only that he brought a few bottles of beer as well, so we made a good evening of it, we chatted about the lake, and other lakes and talked about the fish and what ones I wanted, well the during the evening we did hear a few fish, but we weren’t sure where as it was too dark, but they sounded like they were behind the island, so they were still down this end, then just as my mate was leaving we heard a right donkey come out the water over by the reeds near one of my rods, now my confidence was sky high, I heard another over there, I wasn’t sure if it was the same fish or not, I fired up the kettle, I was just about to take the first sip of the brew, I had two bleeps on the Icon buzzer on the long range rod, I switched the headlight on and looked at the rod, the bobbin had lifted and was just sitting there, I wasn’t sure if it was a liner or not, I turned the headlight off and sat back down to enjoy my brew.
Well it must have been a few minutes later when I had another bleep, headlight on, brew down, now I was up and down by the rod, I looked at the angle of the line and it looked like it was still going in the right direction so just put it down to liners, but as I turned my back the Wolf Icon bleeped 4 times and as I looked round in the torch light I could see the bobbin quivering at the top of the rod so I picked it up and bent in to it, I was felt with a solid resistance and there was a fish on, it was moving slowly to the left, which would take it towards the end of the lake and a big overhanging snag tree, so I tried to put strain on it to turn it and bring it back the other way, about at the distance I was fishing it was going to be hard to turn it but I was trying, as I was doing this a light came on down the far end near the lane and was coming towards me, I didn’t know who it was, perhaps someone had turned up to fish, well I managed to turn the fish it was now plodding up and down to the left of one of the island by now the torch light had got closer and I shouted to who it was and it was my mate, he had left his keys with me, I said I had one on and he was in my swim in a flash, I said to him it felt like a good one as all it was doing is plodding around near the two small islands, that’s where the other two rods were, he dipped those two rods so I didn’t catch their lines as this fish was now going up and down about 50 yards out now and I could feel the line pinging over the fin of the fish, which made my heart miss a beat a few times, it had been a good 5 to 10 mins and I still hadn’t seen the fish but it definitely felt a good one.
They go up to mid 40’s in here so it could be anything, it rolled a couple of times in open water then it did a long run to my right, now down to the right there was a load of trees overhanging and it was heading for them, the fish was still about 40 yards out so trying to turn it was going to be hard so I put some side strain on it and held on to see if it would turn it, but it didn’t want to turn so I plunged the rod into the water to try and keep the line away from the trees, the baillif walked down the bank and started to throw stones into the trees to make it come the other way, I kept pressure on all the time and I started to feel it grate, then all went limp, I had been cut off, I shouted a few choice words and threw the rod down, I was gutted as I new that was a good fish, I sat there with my head in my hands, gutted but I needed to get the rod back out, so I retackled the rod, re-wrapped the rod using the range sticks and tied a new rig on, I had the skyline mark to where I was fishing, so it would be easy to hit the spot, 3 casts later the rod went down with a crack and was on the spot, now I need to get some more Nutcracker chopped baits out there, so I set about spodding 2kg of chopped baits out and some more pellet and corn, about 20 minutes later I was done and I sat back down to think about what happened and have a nice warm brew.
Well I must have sat there drinking tea until the early hours when I finally got in the bag and got some sleep, well I didn’t get much as I kept waking up, so eventually I got up and sat down by the edge of the swim with a nice hot brew and some chocolate hob knobs watching it get light, I watched the water for a good few hours for signs of fish, the water was flat calm and I never even saw a roach top, I was hoping that I hadn’t scared all the fish off last night with losing the fish and then baiting up, the wind had started to pick up and blow down this end just like the day before so I was hoping if they had gone the wind might push them back, I was in two minds to recast all three rods but I decided that the rods were on good spots and just re-doing them might spook any fish that were there so I left them, I decided to do myself a big fry up as I was a bit peckish, so I did myself the works and sat down with a full plate, while I was eating it I watched two other anglers turn up, they decided to fish up the top end of the lake next to each other which I thought was a bit strange as they didn’t walk around, they went straight to those swims, perhaps they had baited them, so fair play, by now I had finished my breakfast and a nice brew and still hadn’t seen a fish, so I was now thinking they have they done the off! the sun was up by now and the wind had really picked up and was really blowing down this end, the fish should be here on this wind as it was only two days old, it hadn’t been blowing down this way for days and it wasn’t an old wind.
Well I sat there for a good few hours just watching, it was now around mid-day, I didn’t know what to do should I stay in the swim or move, just as I thought that I saw the first fish of the day and again it was just past the island, so now I really didn’t know what to do, I just sat there thinking and watching when again in the same spot a really big fish came out on the same spot, now that had made my mind up, I was staying put, so I sat back down in the bivvy, fired up the cooker and made myself a brew and as soon as I had done this my mate poked his head round the corner, so I had two cups now, he sat himself down and we spoke about what had happened last night, I was still licking my wounds about it, but after a while we started to have a good laugh about things, I said the other two went straight in those swims, he said they had been fishing them for a few weeks now and been baiting them up and had a few fish including the big girl at an all-time high, 46lb.10oz and a few other 30s as well, so you can’t blame them for sticking it out down there, I said to him the fish were still here as I had seen two this morning and as I pointed to where I had seen them, then another one popped his head out, this time it was in the middle of the island, now I was getting my mojo back I knew they were down here in numbers. We sat there for over an hour just watching the water, we must have seen another 5 shows all down this end, in the end he drunk his 3rd cup of tea and left to do the rounds and I was alone again by now, it was mid-afternoon and I was thinking again should I risk rebaiting the rods or not, I decided to leave them just so I didn’t spook them, I knew the baits would be OK as they are hardened boosted hookbaits, they would last for days.
Well as the evening closed in I made myself some tea and settled down for the evening I was lying on my bed watching the water when I had two bleeps on the long range rod up against the reeds, same rod I lost the fish the night before, I looked out towards the reeds to see if there was any coots as it would be easy for them to find the bait as it was only shallow and as I did I saw a fish head and shoulder out right on top of my bait, now had I just been done or not, I didn’t know, I sat back down and watched the sun go down behind the trees, the wind was dying down, it was now just a slight ripple still coming towards me, I wasn’t hungry tonight so I just eat a few snacks and a biscuit, I was supposed to stay for three nights but I had a phone call and I was needed back at work so I just had this night and a few hours in the morning and I would have to be off, I wasn’t happy about that but that’s life and work pays the bills, well I just laid back to relax and listen out for fish crashing, well I must have nodded off, because the next thing I know an Icon alarm was screaming at me, I was soon up and on the rod, it was the same rod as last night, I didn’t know what time it was and how long I had been asleep all I knew was that I was attached to one angry carp that was charging to the left towards a snag tree, so again I had to try and turn it which I did and now the fish was moving towards the two islands where I had the other rods, so I dipped the two rods just so this fish didn’t pick up those lines, the fish was trying to get round the back of one of the islands, so I had to turn it back the way it came from, after a while I had the fish under control and it was going up and down in front of me, it still hadn’t broke the surface yet so I still didn’t know how big it was but it didn’t fee like the one last night, this fish was moving too quick back and forth but I eventually got it to take a breath of air and in my headtorch I saw it was mirror, it looked a good 20 and after another 5 minutes it was drawn over the net and into its depths, she was mine! I was well happy with that, I didn’t care how big it was just nice to get one in and on my first session back, once it was in the net I made sure the net was safe and I sorted out my gear, the scales, sling and camera and mat and slid her in the sling and up on the scales she went at 26lb, that will do I thought then I placed her in a retainer and placed her in the deep water in front of the swim just so I could sort out the camera then take the pictures, then I sent her on her way to tell the others that there was some nice food out there, I rebaited the rod and cast it back out to the spot and it hit the clip first time and went down with a thud, spot on first cast so that shouldn’t spook the rest of them if there was any around still, I sat back down and made myself a nice hot brew to celebrate, I only had a few hours left as I need to be off, the lake was flat calm again so I could see anything if it moved and just like yesterday I saw nothing so I decided to pack most of my gear up and just leave the rods out just in case, well nothing happened so I packed the rods away, loaded the barrow and set off on the long walk back to the car. Car loaded and I drove out the gate a happy bunny, I was soon thinking about my next trip while I was driving back up the motorway so until next month tight lines and may all your nets be wet nets.