16/06/13 – June the 16th has arrived and my plans were to tackle the Small Pit for my target fish as I did last year. As I was fairly successful last season I opted not to change my tactics and continue with what I knew worked. I had heard through the grapevine that a few more anglers were expected to be fishing the small pit this year and that It would receive more pressure. I set off, parked up in the car park (three hours before the draw) and walked down to the lake. My plan was to find the fish, making the swim selection easier however this was not the case and I spotted one carp that threw itself from the heavily padded area in the out of bounds bank!. Choosing my swim blind and going on my knowledge of the lake I selected four swims and put them in order of “most wanted”, 10, 6, 1, 8.
All membership cards were in the bag and the draw began. There must have been over forty anglers gathered in the car park and although not all of them had their eyes on the long lake I knew a few had been interested. I felt that swim 10 offered the best chance of a fish for various reasons and so this was my first choice. As the draw plodded along my name was finally called out near to the end and I asked what swims on the Small pit were still available. 10, 6 and 1 had been taken so I settled in 8 for the night slightly disappointed.
The session was planned for a whole five nights and six days as I really wanted to get off to a great start and bag a few fish early on in the season. New lead core leaders were spliced on and my reels re-spooled with 15lb line. All my kit was serviced, cleaned and I was more organised then ever. It really was a military operation and everything had to be spot on. I spent weeks selecting a bait suited for the time of year and lake etc., sharpened all my hooks for maximum hook holds and tied a selection of new rigs. I was ready to tackle the lake and succeed.
The first night drew a blank but luckily I managed to have chat with the man set up in swim 10. He was leaving in a few hours and so I quickly jumped in the swim and set up feeling more confident. Swim 10 offers more water to fish and was where I had seen fish moving so seemed a good option. The night again passed uneventful and I began to scratch my head. Only a small double figure carp had been caught by this point which considering open season had just started and six anglers were fishing a ten swim lake seemed low. The lake was fishing hard and a change of tactic was required.
I decided to move into swim 1 located at the opposite end of the lake to 10. I was aware that the weather was to change and become extremely hot for two days. I figured that since the fish had not spawned the incoming hot weather may trigger the yearly spawning. This would push the fish into the shallow area of the lake (swim 1) and I could pick of a few carp. At 4am my right rod let out a few beeps and I bent into a fish. Finally I said to myself as I played what I though was a small carp. After a weak battle I netted a beautiful Tench that was sure to be my PB. The fish had sever fin rot but was a lovely olive green lump, weighing in at 8lb 2oz smashing my previous PB (above left). This personal best Tench raised my spirits and I began to think of my next tactical move. I reeled in my rods and went to see my mate who was fishing another lake a few minutes walk from my swim. As I walked along the path I noticed a dead mole on the path (above right). I haven’t a clue how it got there but it was an amazing sight as you rarely see them dead or alive.
After my third night of the session I decided to head back to swim 10 where the fish had been showing all week. The fish were preparing to spawn and were all held up in the thick pads at the back of the lake. I decided a long cast with a single hi-visual hook bait positioned at the entrance to a gully that ran through the back of the pads. I thought this would be my best shot at picking out a fish as they moved down the far margin and this was the only accessible are to fish. Within four hours at approximately 4pm the left hand rod positioned in the bay ripped off. A strong health fight followed and I landed my first carp of the season. A beautiful 16lb mirror (left) with a great scale pattern. Another fish from the small pit and one I have not caught before. I was so happy to be of the mark.
I caught no more fish during the session but with another carp out the Small pit and a PB Tench I was not complaining. I will continue to focus my attention on the lake for the next two weeks until I have a stab at some specimen Bream fishing. Until next time “Tight Lines”
03/07/13 – Decided to fish a work night and stuck with swim 10 that I have been baiting heavily. I had no fish to show for my efforts. I was asleep by 8pm and did not wake up until 6am. After completing the long walk back to the car and getting a McDonald’s breakfast I was ready for work.
04/07/13 – Settled in swim 10 to the end of the lake for a quick night session before work. I managed to see a few fish crashing at the far margin but had no takes.