Window of opportunity

It was the last week of the season on the Lincolnshire pit that I’ve been fishing over the spring with it due to close on the 1st June for a month, leaving time to just sneak one last session in. Being the last weekend, a Bank Holiday and the weather being good I knew the lake was going to be busy so I left work earlier than normal, and was amazed when I arrived to see only a couple of cars in the car park.

My aim was to get into a swim known as Last on the Railway. One because it was the shallowest, two it flanks the out of bounds area and three it had been in great form this spring. The swim was free but on the downside another member was set up in The Shallows, another swim that fishes against the out of bounds. Would me dropping in put too much pressure on that particular area and ruin the chances of action? I set up in the next swim down where I could keep an eye out on the other swim and with the lad in the shallows due to leave the following day anyway a move the next day was always an option.

Singles in The Middles

I flicked the rods out in The Middles for a night just on singles. It had been a very warm day with temperatures up to 25 Centigrade, and I struggled to sleep, sitting up most of the night but never seeing a carp. Eventually I drifted off before almost immediately it seemed my alarm on my phone was ringing in my ear. The weather had gone full circle, overcast with a strong easterly, slightly cooler and spots of rain sounding against the Titan. After getting the kettle on I took a wander down the bank to The Railway swim and there were carp all over it. One showed then another shortly after. I must have seen over thirty shows within twenty minute they were definitely there in good numbers, so it was time to move and quickly!

Before I got the rods out I tied up fresh rigs, whilst watching the swim to figure out the areas the carp were showing in the most. The first rod was waded out down towards the out of bounds and positioned on a hard spot tight to a reed bed. It was completely clean so I opted for a Ronnie Rig with a Scopex Squid pop up, preferring to keep the hook point up so it couldn’t get damaged on the gravel. It was followed by five or six good handfuls of whole and halved Key Cray and Scopex Squid. The other two rods were on a single pink Citruz and a Key Cray homemade cork ball pop up, both cast where carp activity seemed the most intense.

Breakfast bite time

After the rods were done it was time for a brew and a bit of breakfast. The rain had eased, and it wasn’t too long before the right hand rod towards the out of bounds was in meltdown. I was scrambling to put the waders on before picking up the rod, needing to keep enough strain on the rod  as the fish was powering off down the margin. A long battle followed under the rod tip until eventually I slipped it into the net, a lovely Lincolnshire mirror at 31lb 4oz.

The rain had picked up again and looked as if it was in for the day with dark clouds everywhere, it looked spot on and carp were still showing all over the lake with a good number in front on me. Back down the margin I went with a fresh rig, dropping the rig on the spot again followed by another 5-6 handfuls of bait.

After the early move I tried to get a bit of sleep but it must have been only a matter of minutes before the same rod was away, this time a 25lb 8oz dark male common was the prize.
The weather conditions were just getting better and I had that feeling it could be turning into one of those red letter days, but morning passed into the afternoon and I had gone a couple of hours without another bite even though the fish were still showing themselves. A quick recast on both the rods fishing out into the lake this time with a kilo of bait over the top of each rig was the next tactical change – they were clearly keen to feed so gave them a bit.

Terrible trio of losses

The result was a hectic few hours with three bites through the afternoon one from open water and the other two from the rod towards the out of bounds. Unbelievably I lost all three due to hook pulls – ridiculous as for over a year I’d not lost a fish then three in succession. That evening I tied up three fresh rigs and shortened my links. In other situations I would have preferred a larger lead but the lake rules don’t let you fish anything over 3.5oz.

As the sun began to set I repositioned all three rods, and just as I was slipping my waders off the right hand rod pulled round. It was a bit touch and go, it’s never nice playing a fish when you’ve had a run of losses. Some twenty minutes or so later a pair of wide shoulders popped up to the surface and brushed over the net cord. With it almost dark I made sure the fish was safe in the net and waded the rod back out to the spot.
That job done, a chunky mirror swung the needle around to 32lb 8oz my second 30 of the session. Moments later one of my other rods was away with a scraper 20. I struggled to get off to sleep again that night, partly with the heat but mostly due to the excitement not knowing when the R3 was going to go off again!

Honest morning’s work

My phone alarm didn’t get a chance to wake me as at first light one of my open water rods was away springing me out the sleep system. As I bent into the fish it felt solid as if the fish was snagged on something. Steady pressure saw it starting to move until eventually I was in direct contact. I coaxed the fish towards me at a steady pace, the mainline had been rubbing against something and I didn’t want to risk a breakage. After missing the fish first time with the net the second time it went straight in, this one an honest 29.14.

As the morning wore on it was beginning warm up again, the wind had changed direction and the pressure was back on the up. It had completely changed from the day before and in fairness didn’t look like any more bites were on the cards. One of the other members popped his head around the bivvy and unexpectedly, mid conversation we were interrupted by another bite resulting in a clean half linear mirror of 28lb 8oz.

What a great way to end a session, a really mega result from being there when the conditions were just right. With my wife due to go to work it was time to drive back home to look after the children with a real grin on my face!