August 02, 2018

I found myself at a loose end as to where to fish as the searing summer was well and truly upon us. The south-east was well and truly in an Iberian heat wave. The conditions simply did little to lighten my spirits on the big pit I was currently fishing. I prayed for some rain and low pressure to arrive.

I decided to look at a new venue for my upcoming trip and I knew just the place. Once again I was soon walking around another big pit relatively local to myself. I had never even looked at the pit in the past and instantly I wondered why. It was a stunning place surrounded by old oak trees and heavy foliage. Instantly I began to get a buzz for the place and I hatched out my plan for a return with the gear a week later. I was like a kid at Christmas building up to the trip and the excitement was simply too much.

I arrived at four thirty am to a cool summers morning dawn just breaking and the sky was filled with a light orangey glow. It really was a stunning summers morning. As I neared the first swim that you come too I could see a silhouette of brolly against the silver backdrop of the ruffled surface. I carried on around and the next swim gave a fantastic view of the lake. I sat on my bucket and perched myself at the front of the swim. Instantly I began to realise the mosquitoes had already tasted my flesh and was hovering all around me. A decent mosquito repellent was a must I thought to myself. Within the first twenty minutes, I had seen enough. Two fish showed in a similar area well up the lake so I was instantly on my toes with my bucket in hand. Once again the swim the fish had shown in was occupied. So I carried on further up the pit. The next swim I came too not twenty yards out a fish cleared itself out the water up to the wrist of its tail. In complete shock I stood there for a moment watching a large set of bibles disappear. I dropped my bucket down before racing to the car to get the gear. On my arrival in front of the swim it appeared to be going off. Feeding bubbles littered the surface. I smiled to myself as it looked so easy to get a quick bite and a first from a new venue. Oh how wrong was I. I flicked two hinge soft rigs out baited with Mystic Plum Pop-Ups and catapulted around a dozen over the area. They continued to feed for over two hours but my rods laid motionless on the floor with the line hanging limp from the tip.

Craig Big Pit Mirror Carp

Eventually I realised my chance was over as the fish moved off and all signs of fish feeding disappeared. I was gutted if I’m honest and couldn’t understand how I had not had a bite. I skipped the rods in and checked everything was okay. I shouldn’t have worried as everything on inspection was perfect. I leant the rods against the barrow and went off on another look around. I got as far as the swim the swim next door when I noticed the bloke was packing away. He had been in the swim for three nights and had nothing to show for his efforts. As we chatted about the place two fish showed out at range. As he walked off with his barrow I hurriedly moved mine into the swim. The swim offered so much loads of open water and a large shaggy island protruded from the water around a hundred and twenty yards out. Bite time was clearly morning as it is on so many big weedy pits. I took my time getting everything perfect and located three lovely silty areas at range. I decided to bait fairly heavily as I was down for two nights. I also took off the hinge rigs and decided to use Betalin & Plum Tigers on blowback rigs. I knocked up a large bucket containing Mystic Plum Boilies of both sizes, Hemp, Monster Munga, and a mixture of Elips and Flatz Pellets. To this I added a good amount of Mystic Plum Glug and Chilli Hemp Oil. I started with around two kilo of mix on each spot and see their response.

I was in no rush to get the rods out as the temperature was over thirty degrees and I felt resting the swim was a better idea. The rods were out around nine pm and I sat down feeling optimistic of a bite come morning. I awoke to lifeless rods and stared out in the half-light at the spots. The lake appeared lifeless with not a single sign of a fish anywhere. Out of the blue around eight am the middle rod pulled uptight and the line sprung from the clip. I picked up the rod and instantly felt a fish grating through weed before everything came to a halt. As I always do with a weeded up fish I kept the tension on and eventually I felt something give, unfortunately for me it was my hookhold. I hate losing fish especially from a new water where chances are hard earned. I put it down to bad luck and got the rod back on the spot.

Craig Mid Twenty Carp

Thirty minutes later the left rod signalled a violent take. The rod almost being pulled in in the process. I grabbed the rod and was met with a very angry powerful fish. Over thirty yards of line poured from a tight clutch at over a hundred and thirty yards out. As it came to a halt I managed to gain some ten yards of line before once again being flat rodded. Suddenly the rod sprung back. I stood there for a second shaking, with adrenaline pumping through my veins. I’m not going to lie I swore well quite a few times to be fair. I was totally gutted as I knew I had just lost a special fish. It’s very rare I lose many fish but to lose two in the same morning I was well and truly unhappy.

The rest of the day passed by in a blink of an eye and I was soon putting the rods out for what I had hoped would be another busy morning. I just hoped the outcome would be in my favour this time.  Around four am I was dragged from my slumber by a screaming Delkim. I rushed to the rod and picked up the alarming rod. The fight was hardly spectacular and soon a mid-twenty linear was staring back up at me looking sorry for itself. For a first fish I was over the moon and grabbed a few self-takes before slipping it back into the cool margins. I hurriedly got the rod back out on the spot followed by another kilo or so of the mix and popped the kettle on. Before I got a chance to finish my cup of tea my right rod was away. This time I was faced with a very slow moving fish that stood its ground around a hundred and forty yards out. Slowly but surely the fish began to tire on a long line, before I knew it a decent sized mirror rolled over the net cord. In the net it looked to be well over the thirty pound mark. I called for another angler to give me a help with the weighing and some better pictures. As I thought it was over thirty and the scales settled on just under thirty-three pounds. I was over the moon with my great start on a new venue and was still happy when nothing else came my way that morning. I packed away that morning with a smile on my face. I was able to get back down the following day as I was on holiday from work and I couldn’t wait.

As luck would have it I managed to get back into the same swim and it started off well again with the capture of four fish that first morning. Including a upper twenty mirror and some stunning twenty-pound mirrors. I felt like the spots were getting better and better and they were loving the mixture I was putting in. On my last morning of the session I managed to catch a stunning thirty-three pound twelve ounces mirror with large apple scales running the length of it back. Looking very spawned out, unfortunately. So far I had managed to account for nine carp losing my first two bites. The mix I have been using has been simply incredible with large slicks the length of the lake alerting me of the fish's presence.


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