It was late Wednesday night and with my daughters tucked up in bed and girlfriend watching the soaps, I headed off to the lake armed with 3kilo of C.C.Moore’s latest bait, Equinox. Released in March, this bait is set to be pretty special.
I arrived at the lake to find only one other member fishing. Pre-baiting can be a massive edge in fishing as long as you do it in the right manner and, with this in mind I set off around the lake. At the first swim I arrived at, Back Bay I bumped into my friend Mick who was already set up for the night. After a short chat I asked him if he didn’t mind me pre-baiting. I had walked the complete lake without seeing any worthy signs of Carp and had almost driven straight out the gate, but just going the extra mile really can make the session of a lifetime.
Another lap was on the cards as I stood in a swim called The View where I saw a big lump waddle past and down a tree line shortly followed by a smaller mirror. Surely this was what I needed. Closer inspection was required and, after climbing a few trees to see if I could locate any spots, I felt happy with where I’d chosen. All 3 kg’s were baited just off the trees near the weed and I was sure the fish would eat it.
Thursday afternoon and with the car loaded, I was soon racing off towards the lake. No one was in The View as I set my two rods up. The rig I set up on the harder bottom was a big 5oz drop-off inline lead with a short 5″ combi rig and a size 8 Korda Longshank hook that I’d sharpened with a J.A.G file and vice. The other rod was fishing more into the silt, that was running off the gravel and was a small 1oz lead slightly pushed on a Korda lead clip and a long 10″ soft rig with a size 8 sharpened Korda wipegape hook. Two completely different rigs but two different situations – both in the ‘zone’.
As the sky got darker I was full of confidence that I would get a take on either rod if the fish stayed in the area. I needed to pack up and be out the gate at 5am the next morning for work – maybe I was expecting too much in such a short time.
As I sat on the bed chair, thinking about getting my head down for the night my left rod in the silt gave out a flurry of bleeps and the hanger hit the rod. I was on it in a flash. I picked up the rod and the fish was on the surface indicating the leadclip has dropped the lead – There were no real problems getting the fish in the net and I could see it was a decent 20lb mirror – the scales don’t lie and I recorded a weight of 25.10lbs. I was very happy with the fish on a short overnighter but could another fish be on the cards? I cast back to the same spot and topped up with 1kilo of Equinox.
A whole five hours had passed without even a liner and I was a little disappointed to say the least. I decided to add another 1.5kilo Equinox over both spots. I got the tactic right and my right rod screamed off. It was such a violent take that I was scared to pick the rod up – it was so powerful and I couldn’t stop let alone take control. The fish was hitting every weed bed in the small corner swim as what felt like hours passed by.
I had a tonne of weed under my rod tip and, thinking I’d lost the fish I lay my rod down and started picking the weed off the line. Suddenly I saw a large tail waving at me. I jumped towards the net scoping the whole bundle up. Yes! Fish number two was in the bag! At 34.4lbs I was buzzing.
I unhooked her, popped her into the floating sling and managed to get the rod back out with one hours fishing time left to go. It was starting to get light and another member, Paul, came down to take some super trophy shots for me. We stood with a cuppa, talking bankside banter and fish stories, with me thinking it’s going to be a long 12 hours at work without much sleep. Paul had had a few fish himself and he went off to check his rods. My silt rod had a Bream-like take but I didn’t get excited. I lifted the rod and the fish took the whole test curve on the rod, she wanted to give me a song and dance – a very slow and heavy fish. She kept hitting the weedbed, I tried to stop her, concerned my end tackle wouldn’t hold.
The fish weeded me big time and I had started thinking my luck had run out. Gutted was an understatement. I never wanted to lose any fish and getting closer to my target, I started thinking I should have got the boat to see if the fish was still attached. Paul came back in the swim and we stood talking, me armed with a rod in one hand and feeling the line with the other. I couldn’t feel any vibrations so I thought the fish was off. My phone alarm began to ring signalling work time. I didn’t want to be late so I put the rod down and started packing all my other gear up. With it all loaded on the barrow I returned all my attention to the weeded fish. I picked the rod up and started reeling the slack line in. The Carp God’s were on my side as the fish powered off from the weed towards the treeline where it was hooked from. This meant more danger so I tried stopping the fish but it’s power was incredible – it was a typical big fish run, slow and powerful. What seemed like a lifetime had passed and I was still standing attached to an angry fish. Some 10mins later I had the fish almost ready for netting, just then Paul called over, telling me it was a fish called Twin Scale – cheers mate! Knowing it was last out in the Autumn at 44lbs my legs turned to jelly, my heart was racing faster than the express train and every turn felt like the hook was coming out but it was a strong hold and the fish was soon resting in the bottom of my mess COMMMEEEEEEE ONNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!
I was happy with a good 20lb, a 30lb and maybe a 40lb fish for a quick overnighter.
Was it good rigs, good bait or just luck? Maybe all but I didn’t care. I said to Paul I was going to load the car and then asked if he could help me with the weighing and photo’s of the beast, Being a true fisherman, this wasn’t a problem.
With the Chub Unhooking Mat wet, scales and camera ready, we set about getting her from her watery home. Feeling big and looking in great condition we settled on a weight of 40.12lbs . This was down in weight after a good spawn but it was a step closer to my target and was a stunning fish as well. Paul did a great job with the camera and we talked about the great night’s fishing I’d just had. I love talking Carp but realised I should have been at work in the next 10 mins. It’s lucky I have an understanding manager who is also a Carp Angler. I head to to work stinking of fish- happy days indeed! Hopefully my target Single Scale will soon be in my heart…