The Roll Continues

Nelson at a spawned-out 42lb 1oz – what a character

After bagging a PB common and mirror in one session, Daren Norman returns to the scene of his success.

After such a superb result on the previous session, I was keen and exited to get back down to the lake. I don’t really know what it was, but it seemed as though I couldn’t put a foot wrong and I had hoped that the lucky run continued.

Unfortunately, on arrival the swim I fancied was occupied. I sat there having a chat with the chap and kept my eyes peeled on the lake. I noticed something out of the corner of my eye, so I went and stood in the swim next door. I saw a fish poke its head out, followed by another and another. It was the obvious choice, so off I went to get my gear.

The roll continued with this solid mid-thirty common

I noticed a glowing spot which looked clean and shallow, perfect for presenting a bait, and I put a couple of rods on it, both on my trusty Krill wafters with around 100 baits over the area. It felt good for it and I was hopeful that I hadn’t caused too much disturbance getting the rods out. The following morning was calm and still, and just before 5am the rod was away. The fish gave me a right scrap, as they always do in there, and before I knew it there was a glorious common safely in the net. It was a cracking fish of 35lb 10oz, a real breeze-block – the roll had continued.

I had another trip a week later, which resulted in a nice little common of 20lb 6oz. I was back again not long after, this time for a three-night session when I had to work hard at it. I set up for the first night to no joy and during the night I noticed the fish were moving out the area. I made a move to a different bank, but the fish vacated again. For my last night I had to up sticks again, but I was bivvy-bound during what can only be described as some sort of monsoon. I could see from the forecast that it was going to continue raining solidly, so I bit the bullet and moved to the other end of the lake where I had seen the fish showing. By the time I got around there with the kit I could see fish everywhere, and when the rain eased off I noticed a lot of fizzing over a shallow bar. Not willing to lead around, I assembled a few naked chods, mounted my Krill pop-ups and flicked them out on light leads. I got the rods out quietly and the fish didn’t seem too deterred. I managed a bite from a cracking 24lb 6oz mirror, and I thought there were a few fish on the cards, but that was it – the action stopped.

They don’t have to be massive – this 24lb mirror is a glorious example of the incredible stock
A long-lean fighting machine
Dawn in one of Daren’s favourite swims

I had one night left on my ticket, and with the spring going so well I was already content, but one more would have been a nice little send-off. I found a big group of fish in the left-hand Orchid swim, which was a favourite of mine and one that had been kind to me in the past. I got the rods out quickly but smoothly, and was rewarded with a lovely 28lb 2oz mirror the following morning. The fish was immaculate and a joy to behold, and with my ticket ending for the spring I left overjoyed with how everything had unfolded.

I fished elsewhere for a few weeks, landing a few nice fish and catching up with some friends. Before I knew it the summer ticket was about to begin and I was back in a familiar area: the left-hand Orchid. There were a lot of fish present and at first it felt good for it. However, after watching the fish swim over the baited bars for nearly 24 hours, I wasn’t convinced that this was where they were feeding or spending their time at night. I made a move to another area of the lake, but they seemed to leave that night too.

A classic looking 28lb common
Krill wafters have accounted for nearly all of Daren’s big fish this year

I chose to fish the final night in a swim at the other end of the lake where I believed they were moving to during the night and early mornings. I decided to have a good plumb around and pinpointed a few clean feeding spots. I spodded the areas too, which is something that I hadn’t done so far. A mixture of chopped and crumbed Krill boilies with a few handfuls of hemp made up the mix and I sat back hopeful of some action.

I woke the following morning to a lot of fizzing over one of the rods, then the rod tore off and I was doing battle with a powerful fish. Then, it all went solid, ground to a halt in a weedbed and it was stalemate. Sadly, the hook pulled... Although gutted, I tied a fresh rig and got it back out to the spot. No more than two hours had passed before the same rod was away again. Amazingly, it found the same weedbed and my heart instantly sank. A bit of fortune struck when a friend came around to give me a hand. Over the next two hours, with the help of a couple weed rakes and a lot of patience, the fish freed itself and my friend slipped the net under a large framed mirror. It turned out to be one of the biggest in the lake, a fish known as Nelson well spawned out at 42lb 1oz. What a result! Another of the lake’s gems in my album, and the year just gets better and better.

Bringing another one ashore for a few snaps

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