Every year, around the beginning of May, I take a week off to focus on my syndicate lake. It’s usually a productive time as the water is warming up nicely and the fish begin to feed heavily ahead of spawning. However, this year the recent cold weather has put us back at least a month and I knew that the week ahead was going to be a tough one…
Arriving on the Sunday afternoon I had good look round and opted to fish at the far end of the lake. I was keen to “give them some bait” this time and so set about spodding a couple of kilos of the excellent Gulp Chilli hemp and seed mix that I had recently been sent.
All settled for the evening, with just one other angler on the lake, all looked good and the anticipation of the week ahead was high. Just before dark I started to see fish showing in numbers in front of the second island, about 300yrds down the bank. I tried to pretend that it wasn’t happening but knew there was only one thing to do. I hastily packed everything away and moved to the swim where the fish were showing, with light fading fast I managed to get 2 baits out right on top of the fish before sorting the rest of my gear out in the dark. My plan was to do the night here and then move back to the baited area in the morning. Shortly afterwards I started to receive line bites so knew I was in the right spot
At about 11pm, as I was finally having my tea I heard strange noises in the swim next door, followed by a couple of large splashes as some complete idiot decided that the he was going to fish in the swim next door to me and launch two PVA bags the size of dogs into the water in front of me – this was on a lake with only one other person here!! He didn’t even have the courtesy to come and have a chat and find out where I was fishing. Needless to say that put paid to any chances of fish that night as he was possibly the noisiest person I’ve ever had the displeasure to fish next to and the fish very clearly did the “off”.
I was up extremely early and by about 6am, having seen no signs of fish I was packing my gear for a move. I reeled in the left hand rod to find that the bait had come off -I remembered tying some 360 rigs the previous day and not “blobbing” the floss after tying the bait on due to the wind at the time. I kicked myself for this school boy error and reeled in the right hand rod, which had been cast approx 110 yards out straight in front. The lead however was at 90 degrees to the right in the margins. I couldn’t believe it, a fish had some how kited an extremely long way and then managed to eject the hook. The “line bites” I had the previous evening were probably actually the take. Again I kicked myself. I had fished relatively slack, clearly with hindsight I had fished far too slack.
I dusted myself down and moved to the swim I had baited the previous day. The baited area was tight to an island and due to the increased wind strength was a tricky cast now. My run of bad luck continued as I stuffed the first 3 casts into the tree, loosing a rig every time. Eventually the rigs were in place and I sat back and made myself a brew. Nothing happened for 24 hours but early the following morning I started to get a few line bites. These stopped around 9am and I started to get itchy feet. I had seen some shows a couple of swims down and walked 20 yards or so down the bank to watch the water there. At this time my left hand rod signalled an absolute screamer – I ran back and picked the rod up – the fish was kiting quickly to my right. I leaned into the fish and then the hook pulled! I was gutted. The lake had punished me twice now and it hurt.
Through the day the only shows I saw were in front the swim I had moved to a couple of evenings ago. Part of me wanted to stay and wait for more fish to turn up on the baited area, but my heart was telling me I had to move, so I did. Again I wanted to fish over some bait so I set up the spod rod and launched a spod as far is I could in the hope of reaching the island margin about 110 yards out. I could just make it so filled up the spod and launched it to the horizon. The spod went out to the horizon, but too did the rod tip which obviously hadn’t been properly attached, much to the amusement of the anglers who were now setting up on the far bank. Luckily I managed to get everything back. Once again I dusted myself down, before double checking everything and finally landing a few spods of hemp on the money. Within a couple of hours the fish started showing heavily in front of me and the swim next door, where a mate Andy had just set up. Within less than an hour I heard commotion in the swim next door and popped my head round to see Andy slipping the net under a mid-20 mirror. This was a good sign as he was fishing a similar distance to me. Sure enough, within half an hour and just after we had done the photos I had a take and finally landed a pretty mirror of 23lb 8oz. I was beginning to think I would blank for the week so this fish was a huge relief, Hopefully now I could build on it…..