Against the Clock
Loz East begins a new series about the life of a short-session carper.
After four hard weeks on my syndicate water and only one lost fish to show for my efforts, I decided to drop on my club water for an overnighter.
I arrived at the lake at 3.30pm to discover it was fishing slow, with only a fish or two caught over the weekend. However, as I was driving past the lake, I noticed two fish show at around 80 yards on the back of the wind, and that was all the motivation I needed. I cast a Spomb of bait over the area where the fish were showing and clipped the rod up, before putting six more Spombs out to the area. My mix consisted of chopped Mainline Cell and Activ-8 boilies and matching Response pellets, soaked in Bloodworm Stick Mix liquid the night before. I then put three Diamond White pop-ups soaked in Toasted Almond liquid over the top.
I attached my hookbaits to multi-rigs, constructed from 20lb Kamo and sharpened size 6 Kurv Shank hooks. I always use a micro swivel rather than a rig ring to tie on pop-ups, as that allows me to make them up in advance of my session and saves me time on the bank. I also believe a micro swivel gives the bait more movement.
It didn’t take long before my right-hand rod was away; five minutes, in fact! The result was a 29¾lb mirror. Before dealing with the fish, I decided to put a couple more Spombs out and recast the rod. It proved to be the correct decision, as the same rod was away again while I was setting up the self-take kit. The culprit turned out to be a lovely 25lb mirror. Once the fish were all sorted and the rods were back in position, it was time to put the kettle on.
By this time the swim was a mud bath as a result of the heavy rain that had come down, and without a groundsheet, it was less than comfortable. There was no time to relax, though, as one of the rods was away again… Everything up until now was going to plan, but as I went to net the fish, my luck suddenly ran out. My landing net gave way on me, so I had to jump into the water in my chest waders and carefully guided the fish into my retention sling! As soon as the fish was safely secured, I was on the phone to a friend asking for help in the form of a landing net and dry clothes. Just then one of the other rods was away! I had to land the fish in my second retention sling in the same manner as before. I then quickly wound the third rod in before anything else happened. Obviously this situation wasn’t ideal, but with no other anglers around and because I was concerned about the safety of the fish, it seemed like the most appropriate way of landing them safely in the water.
The two fish turned out to be mirrors of 31lb and 29lb 3oz, and I was only an hour and a half into the overnighter. Fish continued to show over me, but with a broken landing net, wet clothes, no bait left and an alarm clock set for 5am to go to work, I decided to head home with the job done. As I was packing away, other anglers were turning up in the dark to set up next to me, so word had clearly got round!