July 23, 2018

After joining my new Cambridgeshire syndicate on the 1st of June, so far I had no opportunity to fish it due to the lake being closed for a few weeks for spawning, and the wife's commitments.  Needless to say I was absolutely chomping at the bit to get down there and get the rods out! It’s a fairly small lake of around 4 acres, gin clear, beds of Canadian weed, with an average depth of around 17ft and a stock of around 60-70 fish.

I had used the lakes closure to my advantage and had spent a few afternoons feature finding, and watching the lakes stock drifting around the upper layers in the crystal clear water.  Straight away I noticed one bank gets considerably more sun that the others and the fish clearly liked this as they patrolled up and down it all afternoon. That bank was also much more overgrown and looked like it hadn't been fished as much so straight away it was appealing.

Finally the window of opportunity to get the rods out was here, and I arrived at the lake straight after work on the Friday evening to find all the popular pegs taken, however the whole bank opposite was free so I headed straight round there. The swims can be quite tight down here, there were 2 swims very close to each other in the middle of the bank so I elected to have 2 in the more open swim and 1 sneaky rod in the next swim.

Initial tactics were to present 2 baits in a 15ft small clear area in open water, I deployed a couple of hinge stiffs with 12mm Fruit Salad and Blackjack Pop Ups over about half a kilo of the new test bait 10mm. With the 1 solitary rod i had managed to flick it around the back of a tree tight in the margin, the lead went down with a thud and felt around the 4-5 foot mark which was at the top of a very steep slope, which straight away felt better than being in the deep water during this heatwave!

I baited the margin spot with a few handfuls of Flatz, chopped test bait and Hinders Maize which I had cooked with added Betalin. Hookbaits I went for ESP Corn Stacks which had been soaking in Betalin Plum, I balanced these with a small shot tight under the hookbait and fished it on an iqd style rig.

With the traps set I got started setting up the bivvy etc, then out the blue the margin rod was away! I ran down to the rod and found myself attached to a very powerful fish, it took around 50 yards on its first run, every time I got it back somewhere near the margin it then powered off on another 30-40 yard run!

After around 25 mins, eventually it started to tire, and finally it was in the back of the net! I peered through the folds and saw one of the most incredible creatures I have been lucky enough to lay my eyes on, an absolutely immaculate zip linear and one that I dearly wanted to catch when I'd seen some photos of the stock.

At 24lb it was spawned out, but the weight was immaterial, I was floating on cloud 9 and what a way to open my account on a new venture! After returning the fish, even though I have caught much bigger, the feeling of contentment and elation was so strong that I had no desire to quickly get the rod back out!

However, after a telling off from the boss, I flicked the rod back down the edge and re-baited with around a kilo this time! All was then quiet for the remainder of the evening, until I was rudely awakened at around 2.30am by a 1 toner from the open water spot!  Unfortunately, after about 5 mins into the fight it found a large weedbed and disaster struck in the shape of a hook-pull, gutted!

Not too disheartened I quickly sorted the rod out, put about another 3rd of a kilo of 10mm test bait out over the top and crawled back into my pit for some much-needed sleep! The next alarm to go off was unfortunately the alarm clock at around 5:00am, I put the kettle on and sat there watching the water for a while enjoying my coffee, then the margin rod was away again!

I couldn't believe the power of the fish in this lake and another arm aching battle commenced, this fish plodded around much slower and I felt this one was one of the better fish. Again 20-25 mins later the fish was safely in the net, this time an old leathery type of fish and one of the better size fish in the lake. It spun the scales round to 31lb 8oz and I was now absolutely buzzing again!

Paul Brown 31lb 8oz

With the temperatures now starting to approach 30 degrees, I removed my rods from the deep water and placed them also in the margins until the evening. I managed 3 good size tench, all around the 6-7lb mark during the afternoon, again all off the single margin rod, and eventually at around 8pm it was off again with an ancient almost prehistoric looking mid double mirror.

All was quiet through the night, however at first light again the rod was away and another dark leathery looking mirror of just under 20lb was in the net! This was the last of the action, and I packed up Sunday morning absolutely shattered, but overwhelmed with how well the session had gone!  These are the kind of red letter sessions that in my opinion we as anglers live for, they make all the blanks and bad runs seem well worth it.

Treasure the moments it all falls into place as sometimes it can be a while until it happens again!

Until next time!


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