Let’s throw it back to the beginning, targeting a venue that provides surreal surroundings and hard waters, I knew of a few decent fish residing around the back lake. After having been on the main lake which is notoriously known for being hard, I decided to give it a break and stop the hunt for a certain fish that would blow most minds, so for this year’s season it was time to up sticks and move. It was January that I really started to put effort in, the first handful of sessions was about finding spots that provided me the option of being covert, I knew after last year’s efforts there going to have to be increased for this year! Being able to bait spots away from the basic anglers or other hard timers, I knew my chances were going to be slim, also with the lake being radically weedy in the warmer months I knew I had to get the bait in to create an area that the carp would graze upon to hold of the weed. With a plan of heavy baiting and a challenge to be covert, I knew most of my time to bait would be in the hours of darkness, so my plan was set!
The months went on and bait went in, after all the key to success is to get the carp looking for you, within three months I had already put 50kg of bait in areas that I found. It was the session over Easter that the first result came in, I had learned that the fish love a Northerly wind, possibly due to that end being shallow and weedy, I figured that the naturals must get pushed down and held up. So, I arrived at the water’s edge with a crisp wind hitting my face with highs of 6 degrees, it felt good, three rigs were made, and out they went with mega precision, only one spot was fishable due to others anglers being in the zone, the main spot originally was the size of a bucket lid, but had now become larger. The others went out beyond the weed into silty areas, with the night during in I took the time to take some snaps of the stars, with hitting the sack and drifting off I waited for the sound of my Qi alarms to ring, with a cold night I awoke at first light and stared into the zones for a hopeful sign, and then suddenly a quick bleep and bobbin pulled up I was in. After enduring a twitchy battle, I pulled a big scaled linear over the cord, known as the “Missing Lin”, with the fish not being caught since 2016 I felt amazing.
With a few more sessions after and being plagued by stockies, I knew soon I would be amongst the originals, with the covert baiting still under way I was travelling to the syndicate late at night and putting the boat out in stealth mode to prime my spots, just waiting for a sign that the spots were ready! I managed to get down for 24 hours and the weather was mega, nice winds rain and low pressure, I just knew it was time. I decided to put my rods on the three areas and wait, within an hour the left had rod went, with a decent little scrap another stocky started the tally, with rigs already prepared I unhooked the fish in the net and put the rod straight back on the spot.
40 minutes went by and the tip bent right round and the clutch was melting, with a hard fight and tip bent over I knew this was a decent fish, the same “Missing Lin” went over the cord again! I couldn’t believe it, I’ve had her twice within six weeks.
With the same plan the fish was unhooked in the net and rod straight back thinking of the chance that the big girl would be near, an hour went by and the alarm was screaming i was in again, this time this carp decided to strip braid like I was hooked into a marlin, the battle was awesome the fish was fighting out on the surface at 80 yards I knew this was an original, after a while this one went over the cord an old mirror known as the “Wolf” fish, ironic I know but the name comes from its over slung mouth.
With three fish of the spot, I had decided to put a larger amount of bait out and what a decision it was, the Qi screamed and the X1K tip was bent over, I knew this was different the fish took me through every weed bed but thankfully my braid made light work of that, after 20 minutes of arm aching machine powered battle, I caught a glimpse of colour and it was it, a submarine of gold wallowing deep in the margin, within an instant my heart was in my mouth trying carefully not to pull to hard, but with patience the fish went over the cord and an instant shout across the lake went out!
It was her the challenge the hunt for common was over, I called so many friends to tell them the news, whilst the fish was in the sling waiting for my best mate to arrive and the shots, the stove was on and I was awe, I did it the effort, 80kg of bait had worked. Pete had arrived and the scales where set they tipped round past my PB, and in into the 40 mark. Mega I had done it, I have entered the 40s club with a pristine common..
With shots and videos made she went back with a kiss, and have now turned on the hunt for the big mirror, the plans working and I will continue with it.
Until next time….