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Cracking day session.

Posted by tomhaggett , 01 December 2014 · 232 views

15th August - Berkshire Stillwater
I only had time for a day session this week, on the quiet water this time.  I'd made sure to pop down a couple of days beforehand to have a look around put a bit of bait in.  I found a few fish in a snag that I have fished quite a lot in the past, albeit in a slightly different part of the snag than usual.  A kilo or two of bait was spread around the feature, making sure to concentrate the majority on both the spot I normally fish and the one closest to where I'd seen the fish mooching around.  I'd also taken my rods along so that I could get them clipped up ready so I could be angling within one cast.  
I actually managed to arrive nice and early, shortly after first light, and more amazingly, got the rods out on the money within a couple of casts.  I was quite surprised when a couple of hours later I was yet to see any signs but not long after my left hand rod, the one on the new spot pulled up tight and I was walking backwards to lead him away from the snag.  He came away fairly easily but the battle was far from over.  There is a bush to the right hand side of this swim that the fish always seem to kite towards.  When fish kite it is incredible difficult to put any real pressure on them and no matter how hard I heaved this fish still made it around the bush, picking up my other line on the way.  How I got it in I've literally no idea... I held tight for a minute before feeling a kick, then piled on the pressure and somehow pulled it through the middle of the obstacles.  Not in a million years should I have been able to do that but the fish came to no harm whatsoever and there he sat in the bottom of my net.  It wasn't a big fish but it was incredibly angry... from the second I put him on the mat until the second I slipped him back he was tensed up, dorsal fin erect, mouth fully extended, the full works!!  
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All went quiet after that drama so I decided on a move and after some careful observation found myself in a very shallow swim full of obstacles... weed, lillies and reeds.  After standing and watching for 10 minutes I'd noticed some reeds gently knocking as fish moved between them and with little else to go on thought I'd give it a go.  I was a little dubious as I'd never had much, well, any success in the swim before but after only 20 minutes of getting a little pop up in the alcove that I'd seen the movement a fish was hooked and a real tussle began.  Initially the fish powered into the reeds but steady pressure bought him back out fairly easily... then it kited into the bed of weed and locked up... I just held tight, keeping the pressure on but not pulling back until I felt a dull kick and a few bubbles started popping up... that was the sign that I needed so I piled on the pressure and sure enough, out he came.  Now I was in a right predicament though... he'd come out on the right hand side of the weedbed which meant I now had 10 yards of solid pads in between the fish and me.  Luckily he wallowed on the surface just as he reached the pads and I realised that was my chance... the pressure was once again pile on and I managed to keep him on the surface all the way through the pads and into my waiting net.  What a battle.  I'd spotted that it was a mirror early on in the fight and desperately wanted him in the net, having not caught a mirror from here in years.  
Just over 15lbs I think it went, a real beauty of a fish.  
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Just after putting that one back I'd seen the reeds twitching in a different area so, after sorting a new rig, I gently flicked it in with a handful of baits over the top.  Amazingly it only took 15 minutes or so before it was off again... I could get used to this.  Gladly this one decided not to fight at all and rolled into the net with no trouble at all and even better it was another mirror... even nicer than the last one.  It went just under 18lb.  
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This had turned into a dream session, disasters avoided, no losses and 3 cracking fish on the bank in the day on a water that doesn't normally produce many bites in daylight.  
That was until the recast rod screamed into life again, about half an hour after the last capture.  This time it steamed deep into the reeds but after landing all the others I just followed the same procedure, holding steady pressure on and waiting for it to come out.  unfortunately it didn't work this time and the lead came skipping back towards me a minute or so later.
A slightly dulled end to an otherwise fantastic session.

February 2019

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