I woke up at 3am to the sound of a car alarm, I couldn’t tell if it was coming from the car park or the local housing estate so I told Barry I was going to investigate, I grabbed my head torch and walked up to the car park in the dark just in case it was one of our cars. Fortunately it was coming from the housing estate and our cars where all safely locked up with no sign that anyone was around. I headed back to my swim and decided to start fishing again. Barry made another brew and I dropped the rods back on the same spots again and topped up the swim with bait just as I’d done before. Haiths red band pigeon conditioner and pellets on one rod and just pellets over the other.
It was a good half an hour before anything happened, the right hand ‘pellet’ rod fished straight out in front of me rattled off and after a short fight I netted what turned out to be my smallest fish of the night, a common of 8lb 8oz which I didn’t bother photographing. I baited the rod and under armed it into position again. Thankfully the next run felt like a decent fish and it gave me a decent fight in the margins before slipping into the landing net after 10 minutes or so. It was another common in the same weight range as the two 17’s I’d caught earlier and after hoisting the fish up on the scales I settled on 17lb 2oz, my third 17lb+ fish of the night.
After a third 17lber things went a little quiet for a while, I heard what sounded like a big fish crash along the margins to my left. In the still of the night it sounded like someone had thrown a pig into the water and I sat waiting for my next run hoping that some of the lakes bigger fish were finally moving in. Surprisingly it was a good half an hour before the right hand delkim finally burst into life with another screaming run. The fish didn’t take a lot of line, twice it kited to the right but some heavy side strain kept the fish from going into Barry’s swim. In front of me the fish just kept deep in the margins and it took a considerable time to bring this particular carp to the surface. Despite a long and protracted fight in the margins it still didn’t register that I might be attached to a big fish and it wasn’t until the carp went into the net that I actually realised. I switched on my head torch to be greeted by a stunning looking common, it was a long fish with a girth that instantly said 20lb+!.
I knew I had one of the fish I wanted and I quickly got to work setting up the camera ready for some photo’s. When I actually lifted the fish from the water I knew it was well over 20lb and the scales gave me a weight of 23lb 14oz. I was delighted to have caught such a big fish for the water and it certainly made the trip worthwhile for me. Barry was on hand and a lot of photo’s followed before I returned my common to the water. As the fish went back I couldn’t help wondering if this fish was the carp I’d heard just along the margins half an hour earlier.
That was it for me, I finally got the big fish I was hoping for in what was probably the last hour of darkness, I put a fresh pellet on and topped up my swim with freebies again but the desire to keep working and keep pulling fish in was gone now I’d got the result I wanted. I planned to be off the lake around 7am, I had a long drive home and I was tired so I decided 7am seemed a decent time to leave, there would be very little traffic on the road at that time which would be just as well as by now I was fighting to keep my eyes open again!.
As it got light the lake had one more surprise in store, this time it was the left hand delkim that signalled another screamer, the fish hadn’t really gone for the red band pigeon conditioner in a big way, I was actually expecting this rod to do the most fish but this turned out not to be the case as the majority of fish came to the pellet rod. It was well away this time though and the spool on my infinity reel was whizzing round as the line peeled off. I hit it and the rod hooped over as an angry carp tried to get under the tree in the margins. I quickly applied some heavy side strain to keep the fish away from a snag and once I had the carp in front of me I felt I’d gained control of the situation. A few minutes later I netted my 14th carp of the session. I quickly got the fish onto the mat and weighed it at 15lb exactly, a nice fish to round the session off with.
Bearing in mind I’d slept for 3 hours I‘d still had a red letter session, in that time Barry had racked up another 7 doubles to go with his earlier fish and I reckon I could have easily had that many again had I not had a few hours on the bedchair. My other mate Steve who was further down the bank finished up with 11 doubles of his own. Between the 3 of us we’d had some superb fish but I’m not sure I could face another night on such a prolific water. I won’t return to this lake again until winter at the earliest, I find the lake is more of a challenge just fishing days through December and January so I’ll return then for another look at this prolific carp water.