I arrived at Dinton at 5:30pm on Tuesday 11th April after work. Tuesdays are not a usual night for me, I normally only get out on a Thursday night for a quick work overnighter (5.30pm - 6.30am) due to work and family commitments. But with the Dinton Carp starting to show signs of waking up and the full moon and forecast clear skies, I knew I had to be there.
I started my usual lap of White Swan as I wanted to see what areas of the lake were quiet, if there were any signs of fish and check a few spots I have been baiting. I had a good look in one particular area that I have been baiting and saw a few signs of fish, but unfortunately the best swim to fish to that area was taken. I continued my lap feeling slightly frustrated, but hopeful as on my last overnighter the week previous, I had seen fish showing all over the lake at first light. I was very surprised to find a large number of the hot swims from previous years empty and a large body of water free from angling pressure, so I decided to sit and watch from a swim that gives you a good view of a lot of the lake. Within minutes I heard a splash, but did not see it, was it a carp or tench or bream? A few minutes later I heard another one in a similar area. I then started watching the area and saw a good carp roll. I did not need to see any more, so headed back to the car park to get my gear.
I got back to the swim and started setting up and before getting the first rod out, I saw another show. I found that the fish were showing over a relatively weed free area, so I got a rod on it with minimal disturbance with a Ronnie Rig and a White Nut 365 pop-up on. Whilst putting the second rod together there was another show, it seemed that there were a few fish in front of me. I left it for an hour or so to minimise the disturbance in the swim and watched for more signs of fish. I think I must have seen a further 7 or 8 shows, half on the spot where the first rod was and half a bit further out, so that gave me a good location for the second rod. Again, I quickly found that the area was relatively weed free, so got a Stiff Hinged Rig with a White Nut365 pop-up on the spot with a lovely drop. I then put 1/4 kilo of Nut365 boilies over each rod before dusk. The shows stopped after putting bait out and part of me thought I'd blown the chance.
As it got dark, there was a steady breeze blowing into my swim and with a clear sky and very bright full moon, it felt very cold. With work the following morning, I had no choice but to get to sleep. At 2am, I was woken to a one noted! The spool was spinning on a tight clutch. I jumped out of bed, grabbed my head torch and got my shoes on (unusual for me in the panic) and grabbed the rod. As I tightened the clutch further, the fish kept taking line and I saw it hit the surface a good 50 yards further out than the spot it was hooked from. From the power in the run, it felt like a good fish. However, after hitting the surface, it slowed down and started making its way in really easily. I then convinced myself it was only a little one. When I got it to about two rod lengths out, it made a powerful surging run for the marginal snags, completely flat rodding me, but fortunately I managed to turn it. All of a sudden it was ready for the net and I scooped it up first time. After a couple of deep breaths I turned my head torch on and was amazed at the size of the fish in my net. It weighed in at 39lb 10oz and I identified it as "The Hamster", I have never found it so easy to pack up at 6am (bite time) and go to work!