August 2000

A few days after the blank rudd trip I mentioned in my last update, I was back at the lake for another go. I tried out a few new ideas as far as rigs go, and these changes seemed to make a difference.

Firstly, I reduced the lead size to quarter of an ounce and fished it on a fixed, rather than running, link. From the water-knot, I had eight inches of line to the lead and twenty inches to the hook. Line was 4lb SightFree fluorocarbon and hook was a size 10. I superglued a lump of foam to the lead to reduce resistance to a taking fish. I also used a grain of foam on the hook so that the bait was popped-up off the bottom. I didn't use bobbins as such, just a mini isotope in a piece of tubing on a ring of heavy line that was threaded on between the butt and first rod rings. This was not only very light, but didn't need clipping on etc. as it was on the mainline. I used sweetcorn as bait and, as usual, dipped it in Hutchy's vile Secret Agent.

One of a brace at 2lb 8oz

On arrival, I catapulted a few handfuls of corn over a fairly wide area in a swim that the rudd are usually in at this time of year. I used two rods and expected runs from 11pm onwards. I had two runs, both of which saw line streaming out (the rigs are right!) and both of which resulted in rudd of 2Ib 8 oz. Not a bad result! I returned a few days later for another two pounder, but had to leave due to truly foul weather. I didn't go back, as the start of the season on the Crabtree syndicate (Berkshire) that I carp fish had come around and so it was time to dust down the carp gear and get over there.

This is one of the strangest things I find about being an all-rounder: As soon as I work out the formula for fish on a particular water, I catch a few and then move onto new challenges, instead of carrying on fishing and building up a list of specimens. I'm not one to go through the motions, I want to catch big fish of all species, so as soon as I've had one of one species then it's "Job Done!" and onto a new species. So, after the rudd, I moved onto the syndicate for a carp.

The lake opened on the Friday, so I got down on Thursday to get the swim I wanted, and I wasn't disappointed. I put quite a bit of bait in via the spod to a clear patch in the weed, and knew that I could sit on it until the fish got their heads down. In all, I must have used 4kg each of trout pellets and hemp and a kilo each of tiger nuts and boilies. As I expected, the fish switched off completely as a few bivvies went up and lines entered the water. But I guessed that, as people left on Sunday and the lakes went quiet, then the fish would start to feed.

My mates Andy and Noel take to the boat to try to free a big carp.

It all came good on Sunday night when I had four runs. One, at about 11.30pm was missed completely and probably a tench. The next came at about 1am and was a big fish which got stuck in thick weed. I was just getting into the boat when the hook pulled, so it was out with another P.V.A. bag and back to bed. A few hours kip later, I was into another fish which thankfully didn't make it to the weed. Instead of weighing it, I sacked it up until morning when I could do things properly. I was interrupted again at 5am by another fish, which was a slightly bigger mirror than the other. They went 18lb 8oz and 16lb and were a good start to the season. After a bit of food and a brew, I reeled in until the evening to get some quality sleep.

For all you rig fanatics out there, I was using a semi-fixed Korda 3oz flat pear with a six inch Snakebite hooklength, of which an inch next to the hook was peeled back. The hook was a size 6 Talon Tip and I used a critically balanced 15mm Nash Whiskey Airball pop-up dipped in a variety of Hutchy goodies! I also used 4ft of the Kryston Score lead core I told you about last update, to keep the 15lb Synergy mainline on the bottom.

"Self-Takes" of my first carp since the re-opening!

With the lake to myself and plenty of fish moving and crashing, I was really confident of a fish or two during the night, but actually I didn't even have to wait that long! I was just tidying up my dinner stuff, when at about 9pm my right hand rod streamed off at about 100mph! When the fish first came within viewing distance, I immediately recognised it as a mirrror which usually weighs 35lb plus! As you can imagine, the rest of the fight was pretty nerve wracking, but I eventually got it into the net and onto the scales. The big mirror, having just spawned, weighed a lower than usual, but hardly disappointing, 30lb 4oz! Another personal best and another "Job Done!", so instead of staying the night, I packed the gear into the car and went home!

A few days later, I spent a couple of hours on the River Windrush in Oxfordshire and had a fun mixed bag on light leger tactics using maggots and caster on the hook. I had roach to 1lb 8 oz, perch to just under 2lb, dace to 14oz and some huge gudgeon! I also had a few small chub for good measure. I am determined to catch a 2lb roach this season, so I'll keep going back until it happens. And believe me it will happen! (I hope!)

After that, I was off to Tenerife for a week's holiday, so that was the last fishing I've done. Hopefully, I might nab a big tench from the Crabtree syndicate before I get my A-level results next week! After that, I'll spend any free time after big roach, chub and pike, as these are my targets for the winter.

Job Done! An Anglers' Net Thirty!

While I'm writing about my plans for the forthcoming months, I'd like to ask anyone in the angling trade a favour: Having arranged a year out before university, I had a six-month work placement within the industry organised. However, I have just been let down for this work and am left with only my part time bar job to support me through my year out. Obviously, I'd love and suit a job in the industry, so if anyone has a job for me, then please contact me via Anglers' Net, who will pass my home phone details to you.

Well, that's it from me, hopefully I'll be back soon with a few more "Jobs Done!"
Tight Lines,
- 2000