After three 'blank' day trips to Horseshoe and the ominous forecast of a scorcher I got up early and headed off to Lechlade, especially after my brother had managed two Mirrors the day before including a new personal best for him at 26lb 8oz. The lake was really busy and with Summer Bay full I headed off to look down the roadbank which was equally as busy so after a short walk I settled on a swim on the Witney bank. I could see a few fish boshing further up the bank but again these swims were taken so I set up a few swims away from them in the same swim my brother had fished the day before.
At 6am the sun was already hot and the surface of the water was covered in the carcases of a recent fly hatch. I had a few casts around with a lead and found a hard gravel patch under an overhanging tree so a solid PVA bag was cast in the hope of picking a fish up from the margins. But, I couldn't ignore the fly hatch so after a cast around with the marker I set a zig a foot below the surface with trimmed down zig foam to look ragged like a fly and dipped it in the awesome Betalin and Black.
After three hours nothing had occurred but the wind had picked up a bit and was blowing into the corner and I had seen signs that the fish were moving in as a couple of swirls were seen to my left. The zig was retrieved and cast towards the swirls and within ten minutes, the rod was away and after a spirited but very nervous fight my first Horseshoe carp, a 23lb 2oz Chestnut Mirror was nestled in the net. After a quick photo the rig was recast and within five minutes it was away again resulting in an 18lb 13oz Mirror. I retrieved the PVA bag rig and switched it over to a zig as well but it was over an hour before I had another Mirror at 24lb 6oz.
With the onset of midday it was roasting and I almost called it a day but the stubborn angler in me came to the front and I kept having just one more cast until at 2.30pm the rod tore off again and a bow wave across the surface revealed an angry little carp trying to escape. As I started to gain line the other rod screamed away as well - double hook up - where was my brother when I needed his help..! After a hectic 5 minutes two double figure carp nestled in my nets - 16lb 10oz and 12lb 2oz Mirrors. The rigs were dipped in the Betalin and Black again and recast for the definite last cast and as 3 o'clock approached I started to pack all my kit away. After a stuttering take and an initial run that stripped yards of line from the reel I caught the last fish of the day a chunky 21lb 12oz Common - a perfect end to the day - 3 doubles and 3 twenties.
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