It was now Tuesday evening and having been at the syndicate lake since Sunday, I had finally caught a fish and put the terrible start behind me. Nothing happened after the capture and by next morning the fish had done their usual disappearing act.
For the first morning in a long time the sun had come out and the weather was actually very pleasant. I knew exactly where the fish would be so packed away my gear and headed for the shallow “out of bounds” bay. Sure enough the roped off area was a sun trap on the back of the Northerly wind and already contained about 30 fish sunning themselves. As it was only about 8am I knew more would follow.
I had a plan up my sleeve that had led to me bagging a few previously in open water as they entered and exited the bay so I was keen to put this back into action. A short while later the traps were set and I sat back enjoying the sunshine, expecting a take at any minute. Eight hours later every fish in the lake must have passed over my traps and nothing had happened! As it got dark that evening there were still a good number of fish in the bay and I know my best chance would be when they vacated. Eventually at around 11.30pm the fish began to head and shoulder over my baits as the exited the bay. This happened for about an hour and I was convinced it would just be a matter of time before I had a take, however the indicators remained motionless and I went to bed extremely frustrated.
The following morning was much cooler and an Easterly wind was forecast later in that day. Although cool, this wind would blow straight towards me so I opted to stay put in anticipation of the new wind bringing some fish with it. A few fish began to show in deeper water to my right at about 10am I finally had a take on a rod cast to one of these shows. The fish kited quickly to the right and proceeded to take me right round a corner and into the car-park bay – the line was grating through the bramble bushes on the corner and I really did think I was going to loose it. Fortunately luck was on my side and the fish decided to switch directions and head back out towards open water in front of me. When it did so it then shot under the rope and into the out of bounds area to my left! I plunged my rod tip under the water as the fish ploughed through the shallow water leaving a big bow-wave as it went. I could feel the line pinging off al the loose twigs that littered the bottom in the shallows and again I thought I was destined not to land the fish. Eventually though I managed to coax it back and after one of the most impressive fights I’ve ever had I finally netted an angry mirror which, although a nice fish, was nowhere near as big as I expected to be.
The fish weighed 29lb 8oz and I am honoured to say that carp fishing royalty in the form of Roger Smith and Kerry were on hand to take some pics as Roger’s dog Tipsy span round like a demented gibbon as she always does at the site of a carp.
An hour later I followed the 29 up with a mid-double common and early in the afternoon I had another take on the same rod. The fish immediately charged under the rope but I managed to coax it out into open water after a couple of minutes. At this point I just let the fish plod around in open water tiring itself out – this was a big mistake as I completely forgot about the snag which lies in the deep water. The fish knew exactly where it wanted to go and yet again I was punished for a schoolboy error. All went solid and I tried all sorts before eventually having to pull for a break an hour or so later.
The area I had caught the fish from was verging on the water controlled by a swim opposite so I jumped in there for the final night, although I ended up with no more fish.
I had received 6 takes in 5 nights which is not bad going, particularly as there were only 3 other takes on the whole lake during that week. However I had only landed 3 of those which I was not happy with at all. What is worse is that I could have landed the other 3 fish. If only I had fished tighter lines on the first night, stood next to my rods when I had the second bite, and not allowed the third fish to plunge into the deep water where the snag lies….I had learned some very harsh lessons indeed!