October 15, 2018 4 min read

I booked Friday off work knowing that we were due strong Southerly winds and heavy rain throughout the day and not fancying working on a roof in those conditions. With a storm named after myself coming in, I felt it had to be a good sign. I finished work on Thursday and after showering and getting changed I headed up to South Cerney full of anticipation. I had planned on fishing Franklin's but decided to drive around Ham to see a friend first. I found him in one of 2 swims not closed off for the crayfish netting and with the wind pushing into that bank I decided to jump into the corner swim next to him for a bit of a social session, not really worried about whether or not I would catch a carp on my first ever night on the lake. The lake itself is quite deep with margins that drop off quickly. There are a few snaggy shallow areas around the lake that are roped off. Knowing that the fish love to hide in these areas in the day and then come out to feed after dark, I put a snowman in the deeper water just off the slope in about 9 foot and a ronnie in the margin to my left under some trees in about 4 foot of water. Both rigs were attached to mesh bags with about 10 boilies. The traps were set so I sat with my friend catching up, sipping on a beer and talking about the bigger fish in the lake. I was shattered from work so retired to my bivvy and was asleep by 10pm listening to the wind howl through the trees. It was soon 7 am and I was woken by a screaming one toner on the margin rod. I was on it in seconds knowing that there were a lot of hidden snags the fish could cut me off on. Luckily I had attached a backlead to the other line as this fish tore up and down the bank in front of me a few times. I shouted my mate telling him it felt like one of the little stockies but as he grabbed the net the fish tail slapped the surface and it was clearly a better fish than I originally thought with lots of golden scales being visible in the clear water. The fish came towards us and Josh managed to net it before it had a chance to shoot off again. As i peered into the net it was clear to see that it was a 20lb common and sure enough the needle span round to 23lb exactly. I was chuffed with that on a tricky water after my first night! I decided to stay for the rest of the weekend and after no more action through the Friday or Saturday I was starting to regret not moving out of the tight corner swim as the cray traps were removed and the rest of the bank opened up to anglers. I still felt I had a chance of another fish as I went to bed on Saturday night knowing that the temperatures were dropping with a northerly wind coming in and the swim I was in being sheltered off of the back of it. I was soon awoken by 3 single bleeps on the left hand rod again. As I climbed out of bed to investigate the alarm indicated another couple of bleeps so I lifted the rod and was shocked to find I was into another fish that had already left my swim and was in front of Josh next door. After a quick battle I bullied the fish into the loving arms of my net not wanting to let it get it's head down and really beat me up. It was clear from the width of the fish that it was at least mid 20. As I unhooked the fish and popped it into the sling to recover the rain really came down for 10 minutes so I sorted the camera and woke my mates to come and take the pictures. As soon as i opened the sling they both shouted "That's Single Scale!" One of the oldest fish in the lake and one of the biggest mirrors. I was chuffed as at first glance I thought it was one of the plainer looking simmo's that reside in the depths of Ham pool but as the sun came up I really started to see the colours and appreciate what a cracking fish I had managed to trip up. With photos done and a big smile on my face the fish was released to fight another day. I didn't manage any more fish, not that I was fussed as to catch 2 on my first trip was more than enough for me on a moody lake that can sometimes be quite tricky! Before I left I threw a kilo of boilies over the spot and promised to return for an overnighter in the week, knowing that there are some cracking 30lb commons in there due out any day soon. Once again thanks to Hinders for providing me with top quality bait! I can't wait to get back on the bank. Tight lines.