I had a week’s fishing ahead of me last Sunday and due to the booking system at Willows, I decided to fish Wyre for the first few nights. When I arrived on Sunday morning there were 14 anglers on there with only two fish out. The three days I was there, I blanked. I came home on Wednesday, had the three S's and was back out off up to Willows and into peg 1, which is directly facing peg 20 and is my favourite peg. The guy facing me, in peg 20, had a 34lb the day before and a 24lb common just as I arrived. I left a bucket at the back of peg 20 to mark my peg for the morning as the guy was pulling off. But in the morning I woke fishless! Against my better judgement I decided not to go into peg 20 and made my way to the opposite end of the lake. After the recent floods it was like crossing a swamp, but three trips later I was in peg 8 absolutely goosed! (I might as well have left the barrow at home!). I spent the night in peg 8 and had a 15lb catfish. Woke up Friday morning and not a carp in sight - was this going to be one of those weeks which I'm sure we've all been through at some point.
I knew another move was needed and the thought of moving again through that terrain was nearly bringing me to tears, bearing in mind that Willows is a 28 acre lake, but it had to be done! Three trips later of hand-balling all the gear, I was in the peg, sweating like pig in an abattoir. With all three rods set out, I then set about speeding 2-3 kg of the 20mm Salmon Noir boilies over the middle and right hand rod ,the left hand rod I placed in a 5 foot hole surrounded by 2-3 foot of water and I placed 4kg of boilies round the hole with a catapult. Due to me fishing close in, I slackened the bobbins right off and hit the sack only to be woken an hour later with a one toner which I initially thought was a small one until it started to wake up in front of me, but fortunately I landed her on the first attempt. She was in the net - a 31lb mirror - thank Christ for that!
Due to the recent floods, the bottom of the swim I was fishing was quite silty, so to compensate for this I was using 12 inch hooklinks fished blowback style, with two 20mm Salmon Noir on the hair and a size 4 longshank hook. I have no problems with my boilies disappearing in the silt, as I believe the carp will find them. Personally, I think that anglers get too paranoid about the presentation of their baits when fishing in deep silt waters; fish don’t live in a perfect world and have to forage and fight for their food, let’s not forget that.
At about 6-O'clock that evening, the middle rod shot off. I won't bore you with the fight, but all I can say, and have always said, is that commons fight to the death! In the net it went and as I looked down I nearly cried (again). Could this be my first 30lb English common - it had to be. It tipped the scales at 34lb 08oz – GET IN THERE! Now, anybody that knows me, despite the UK 30s and 40 mirror’s I've had in the past, will know that all I have ever wanted was a 30lb + English common. It meant the absolute world to me. A couple of StrongBows and a giggle later, I got in the bag.
At 4am my left rod, the one over 4kg of boilie, was away. Again, I was taken around the world. Twice I had it to the net and twice it tore away. My heart was pounding - I knew it was a brute! Third time lucky and in the net it went. As I peered down with my head torch on, I realised I was looking at the big common of the lake – 36lb 8oz - now I was in tears, what a session!
During this Willow’s session I also had a 17lb mirror a 22lb 8oz mirror; six days that turned into one of my best sessions on the lake, just for the fact I had broken my English PB common twice in one session! So, no matter what chaps, never give up, even when your chips are well and truly down.
Happy days and thumbs up to RedeyeBaits. All fish came to the excellent Salmon Noir boilies. I'd rename it, lads, to HNV Salmon Noir BF (Big Fish). It's a beauty!!!
It will be a weekend that I will never forget. To break my UK PB common was fantastic, but to smash it twice in the same session...well, that was a most overwhelming experience.
Mark Doodson a.k.a. Knobber
34lb 8oz Common Carp
36lb 8oz Common Carp