May 26, 2020 4 min read

My first trip to my new syndicate lake was due to begin on the 18th of May. Rigs and bait prepared in advance to cover all possibilities. I like to make sure when targeting a new water all eventualities are covered. We were aloud to enter the fishery at 8am and choose our swims I was 3rd in line and chose a swim that not only covered a lot of water but also offered me a great view of most of the lake. Being my first trip to the venue I always try to pick a swim that offers a great view so I can suss out what’s happening around the lake.

I opted to fish a trusted hinge rig on one rod with a white C-Food pop up. The other 2 would be fished with tigers soaked in Betalin. A visual corn topper was used in conjunction with the tiger hookbait. The first 24 hours passed by with only a tench falling to one of the tiger rods. I gave the rods till 11am and decided to reel in and go for a walk. Despite being up at 4am I was yet to see a carp show. By now the temperature had reached mid twenties. I found some fish on the surface in a snaggy area of the lake and fetched my floaters. Unfortunately as soon as the mixers left the pouch of the catapult what seemed like every seagull in the area flocked in spoiling every carp in the vicinity. I gave up on the idea and decided to carry on with a lap of the 30 odd acre pit. I reached a bottleneck of the lake the wind pushing gently into the bay it looked to be a perfect place to see a carp or two. I climbed a railing and peered into the clear water. Instantly I noticed clouds of silt emerging from the bottom of the shallow marginal shelf. With my eyes peeled to the area I soon began to see the off tail and plumes of fizz popped on the rippled surface. This was enough for me. I raced around the pit frantically packing away all the gear and pushed the several hundred yards to the swim that covered the area I had seen the fish. 

Within the hour I had the rods in position. New rigs where despatched to likely looking areas. Over each rod around 2 pound of hemp, tigers and new C food baits was despatched over each rod. I set up camp feeling excited and hoped my first carp from the new syndicate would come my way soon. Unfortunately I had only managed 4 more tench up until darkness fell. I felt like with the amount of disturbances in the small intimate bay would have messed things up. 

Darkness fell and with it came savage liners that got me out of my bed several times. Out in the darkness I knew that the carp had returned. I heard two large crashes out in the dark in the vicinity of my left rod. The re entry of a clearly large fish sent ripples pushing back into the boards at the front of the swim. It was 1am and I still hadn’t slept when another savage liner had me clambering towards the rods in the darkness. The bobbin dropping to the floor once again. 

I decided that sleep was simply not going to happen so fired up the kettle and had a nice strong coffee. And decided to read some of my book I had with me. It must have been 4:30am when the bobbin on the left rod crashed into the blank and the line pinged from the clip. Finally a definite take as the clutch began ticking as I got to the rod. Instantly as I got in contact with the fish I knew it was no tench. A clearly powerful fish tried to make every snag possible within the bay. I held firm not giving any line and prayed my fox size 6 naked choddy hook stayed firm. Finally the fish rolled at close quarters and I knew the battle was almost won. I scooped the fish up with the first opportunity. A quick look into the net illuminated a cracking looking mirror. I knew when I went to lift the fish out onto the mat it was a special fish. On the mat I recognised it as the lakes biggest fish, a fish known as white tips. I couldn’t believe what I was looking down at. I had been seriously lucky. My first carp from the lake and the biggest fish in the lake. Sometimes it’s funny how these things happen. I hoisted her up on the scales and confirmed a weight of 40lbs 8oz. A simply stunning mirror and a moment that will be etched into my memory. 

Bag a biggun 

Craig Runham


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