October 11, 2018 5 min read

With the leaves beginning to fall from the trees I feel that autumn is well underway. This time of the year is a truly special time to be on the bank. The outside world can be simply beautiful with so many different trees and bushes donning some truly special colours and shades. The fish are in peak condition and generally are feeding that little bit more than normal getting ready for what is destined to be a long drawn out cold winter. There is some many reasons to get out on the bank during this time of the year.

This trip coincided with a few light frosts that did very little to determine me from loading the car and heading straight to my chosen lake. Unfortunately I have managed to get out for a few weeks due to family commitments. I had kept in touch with the lake via a few friends I had met whilst fishing the new lake. From what I was being told it had been fishing extremely poor. Just a single fish out in the past few weeks meant that I knew location would be key.

I scrolled through the forecast for my 24hrs I would be at the lake and hatched a plan as to where I believed the fish would be holding up. I would be getting to the lake around mid day and knew it would be hard to locate them.

As I drove down the bumpy dusty track I hoped to see no cars in the car park. Unfortunately my hopes were to be dashed as the car park showed at least five other anglers were on. Oh well I thought and grabbed a bucket from the boot and headed of round the confines of the lake. The first few swims were empty which did make me smile as these were the swims I thought most likely that would be holding them up. This area of the lake is holding the most weed by far and these usually are key areas in the autumn as the natural food is flourishing. Further along the bank a lad I knew harry was set up a quick chat with him revealed nothing had been out for a while. Unfortunately he had lost one but seen or heard very little. Further on my travels I met a further four anglers at the far end all of which had no action to report. I headed back towards the first few swims and stood there staring at the rippled water glaring with the clear blue sky reflecting like a giant mirror. It felt so much warmer at this end and so much more confident, I was sure this area was more likely to be holding a few fish. After what seemed an age finally saw my first sign. Around a hundred a forty yards out one crashed out to the wrist of its tail. A beautiful dark mirror slipped back into the ripples surface with no noise created whatsoever. I dropped the bucket and headed back to the car to load the barrow. I felt confident something was telling me I had got the location right.

I mixed a bucket of hemp, tigers, Monster Munga, 12mm Mystic Plum Boilies and a good splashing of Chilli Hemp Oil. For rigs I was using a simple blow back rig with a Betalin Soaked Tiger as a hookbait. After getting the rods out all at range I set the brolly up and fired up the kettle. The kettle hadn’t even boiled when the right rod was screaming for attention. After a very lively fight a 24lb leather was soon having its pictures taken.

I certainly didn’t expect a bite that quick the rod only being in position for a maximum of 30mins. I repositioned the rod double quick with around a further kg of bait deposited on the area. The rest of the day slipped past uneventful of which surprised me after such a quick bite. In the half light before dark I saw a few shows beyond the rods and simply hoped they moved closer during darkness.

As I layer in the bag around ten pm I heard a few fish crash out in the distance. As I drifted off to sleep I couldn’t help but feel something was soon going to be dragging me from the comfort of my warm sleeping bag. My thought were soon corrected as around 1am I had my first fish. A slow take had me scrambling to the rods. Instantly I knew I was connected to a good fish. The fish surged out at distance trying its hardest to shed the hook. Fortunately the hook hold stayed secure. A large dark mirror was soon engulfed in the net. Instantly I noticed that it looked similar to a 34lber I had landed around three weeks ago. I weighed it at just over thirty six pounds and popped it into the margins whilst I checked my pictures from previous and got the rod back out. Just as I though it was a repeat for three weeks ago up in weigh by over a pound and a half. I released the fish back without causing it any more stress.

During the hours of darkness I managed a further 3 fish all coming in a brief hour feeding spell before first light. The pick off the three being a incredible looking twenty eight pound and ounces linear. I also managed a thirty pound mirror that unfortunately escaped out of my friends borrowed sling. The final fish being a mid twenty common. The morning was a cold and crisp morning that felt around five degrees. The lake looked silent with just the birds scuttling across the mirror like surface. The lake looked lifeless. Considering what had just happened before first light I expected the spots to be alive. But no further fish came my way that morning.

By midday I had everything packed away and on the barrow ready to face the traffic. I noticed a small slick over the right rod and decided that I would give it another ten minutes. Harry from next door popped in ready to leave also. I said I would give it five more minutes so we stood chatting about the session.

Suddenly the right rod absolutely tore off and that extra ten minutes was certainly worth it. The fight to be fair was more like a tench and I pretty much winded it all the way in for a hundred a twenty yards. In the clear confines of the margin I half expected a big old tench. Suddenly a long dark common could be seen twisting and turning trying to free itself of my size six wide gape. I couldn’t believe a fish of that size to fight the way it had so far. I urged Harry to grab the net and after a few last minute runs Harry scooped up the cracking thick set common. Instantly we both knew I had just landed my third thirty of the trip. The scales confirmed one of the best sessions and most enjoyable trips this year at thirty five pounds I certainly drove home with a massive grin displayed on my face.

Bag a biggun

Craig Runham