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The Beauty and The Beast

29/05/2020 - Special Captures

Arriving at the lake I was rapidly made aware of a new bankside foe, the new full-time furlough angler. The lake was absolutely heaving with anglers from far and wide, all in search of the inner peace and tranquillity that angling provides us. Unfortunately, the warm weather and hectic bankside had turned some people into proper honey badgers, so finding out when people were leaving without being told to “F off!” was going to be tricky. By some stroke of luck I managed to bucket my 2nd choice of swim for tomorrow evening which would give me a chance to fish the channels in the weed about 30 yards out. This is also the narrowest section of the lake so any fish passing won’t be far away from my spots. A good friend was already setup 3 swims down, so we had a good social distance social discussing the lakes partially unknown stock until the small hours. By morning more anglers had turned up and somehow managed to shoehorn themselves in. At some point in the night a new swim was cut in the middle of a reedbed on the opposite bank, MADNESS!! While me and Steve watched the morning chaos his right-hand rod is away resulting in an epic looking mid 20 mirror. This was followed by another mid 20 later in the afternoon, top bombing mate!

By 19:00 I was setup in my chosen swim and I had managed to get 2 rods in a small cannel in the weed about 35 yards out, maybe a rod length apart. I was confident that any fish cruising past will drop and have a feed so I scattered 50 – 60 15mm oily chicken over the 2 rods. A few fish showed to my left that night but otherwise it was quiet. I was up at first light having a look for any signs of fish(not that I could move onto any I did see as the lake was rammed)and saw fish cruising on the surface quite early in the day. The water was warm and the fish quite active, surely it was only a matter of time before one comes down the channel. Around 10am I had managed to talk myself into having a re cast so I put on 2 new chicken wafters soaked in the one and got them on the money in the channel. I scattered another 40-50 baits over the top and the traps were set. Around 11:30 the right-hand rod has gone into meltdown with a fish taking line, fast. A brutal battle followed in and out of the weed beds, up and down the deep margin before I managed to net an amazing looking 29lb jet black mirror. Definitely one of the best looking fish I have ever seen and a real rare visitor to the bank. I didn’t recast straight away. I scattered another 50 baits over the spot and spent the rest of the day having a social distance social and takeaway with Steve as he had now moved into the swim to my left. 2 more chicken wafters were put back on the money in the channel and another 40-50 15mm oily chicken boilies spread over the top. Again small fish were seen to my left that night but no takes were forthcoming.

At around lunchtime the following day I was about to put some new rigs and baits on when the left hand is away. Another strong fish was keen on getting back into the weedbed but I was slowly winning the battle. The fish surfaced about 10 yards out and dived so we both got to have a good look at it just before the hook gently popped out for seemingly no reason at all! This was followed by the words “looked like a good 30 that bruv” Cheers mate, thanks for confirming that! I was a bit gutted so I scattered another 50 baits over the spot and went to the shop for supplies. On returning from the shops I had a chat with a few other anglers down to my left and it seemed most of the fish coming out down there end are milty males that are going berserk. Where are the big girls? Are they up my end away from the randy males? While putting my rods out that evening a big fish showed to my right. I saw it and thought that’s no spunker!! Maybe the big girls are up here. Again 2 chicken wafters were put right on the money in the channel with another 50-60 15mm chicken over the top. 7am and the right-hand rod is away and straight away I could tell this felt heavy and very strong. The fish just seem to take line for fun leaving me pretty powerless to stop it. After what felt like and endless back and forth battle I started to get the fish closer, so close I could see it was one of the lakes proper chunks. Another 15 mins of the fish charging up and down the deep, clear nearside margin and I finally managed to net her. Shaking like a junkie that had just escaped the Priory I peered into the net and saw a truly colossal mirror. Up on the scales she went 53lb 5oz, a new pb! She looked in great condition and couldn’t resist the oily chicken soaked in “The One”. Another trip to the shop for beers was followed by another social distance social and takeaway, celebrations in style! I put the rods out late that evening and no further action occurred. The next day was the hottest day of the year so far and the fish certainly looked like they were gearing up to spawn. With this in mind I packed up slowly and had a look at a different water on the way home. I was happy, I had certainly caught beauty and the beast.

Many thanks to everyone at DT, the quality bait that you produce always gives an immediate edge and I think The One is the best feed trigger on the planet. I dabbed some on my finger to taste it and immediately destroyed a double pack of custard creams. Thanks to you too Steve for doing some mega shots as always, top man.