FL02 PDF (212pp) - Page 145

A Personal Best Common
ach season I set
myself personal goals
or targets. They are
never the be all and
end all, but I find that
it helps to give me an
extra incentive in my fishing. I’m
quite a competitive person, so I suppose it’s my way of adding that element of competition into it. Anyway
this year I had set myself a couple of
targets, one of which was to catch a
personal best common. With the
waters that I had recently gained
access to, I knew that it was a realistic possibility, and so it was with great
excitement that I pulled into the car
park of a new syndicate I had joined
at 5.30 on the morning the ticket
started. There was an angler in the
first swim that I came to, so I had a
chat with him while I waited for my
mate Kev to turn up. The angler (Tony,
I think?) had caught two during the
night up to 26lbs, but had only seen a
couple of tench since first light. In
fact I saw a couple of tench myself as
I stood chatting with him. As soon as
Kev turned up we went on a tour of
the lake. We stopped in every unoccupied swim, and had a really good look,
willing a carp to show itself, but all we
saw were tench. It was already 8am
by now, so a decision had to be made
if we were to try and catch the end of
the morning feeding spell. We didn’t
really have much to go on, and there
were two areas that I fancied. One
was the point where a few fish had
been caught recently, and the other
was a swim between two islands that
looked like a good natural holding
After a lengthy debate, Kev went for
the point, and I set up in the swim
between the islands. I was quite
pleased with that, as it was an area I
had fancied on a previous walk about.
It was also just about the furthest
walk from the car, so I guessed that it
was probably the least pressured area
of the lake. Setting the traps was a
whole new ballgame. The area was
quite weedy, and, as I didn’t want to
cast around too much, I had to make
do as best as I could. I flicked the left
rod out to the nearest island, but it
landed quite soft. I wasn’t overly
happy with it, but I decided that it
was best to leave it until I saw something that gave me a reason to move
it. The right one went out with a bag
of SSSR onto a gravel hump about
40yds out. Both baits were out by
about 9am, but after an hour had gone
by I hadn’t seen a single fish in the
a r e a . N o w, I k n o w t h a t a n h o u r
doesn’t sound very long to wait, but
the water was very clear and the area
quite shallow, so I felt sure that if the
fish were there then I would have
seen them. I was completely devoid
of confidence, so I wound in and had
another wander. Once again my
search proved fruitless, but as I
returned to my swim, I saw a fish in
the edge. After it had moved out, I
dropped a rig amongst the weed and
scattered a few baits around it. The
other rod went back out onto the
gravel hump, because at least I could
see that it was definitely clear on that
spot. At 10.45 the sun came out, and
as it did I suddenly had a new found
c o n f i d e n c e. F i s h w e r e c o m i n g
towards me from all angles! I quickly
wound in the margin rod ready to cast
at showing fish, but before I had the
chance I saw a fish move over the
gravel spot. Even at 40-odd yards I
could see that it was feeding, such
was the clarity of the water, so it
came as no surprise when the bobbin
whipped up and I struck into a solid
There was no epic battle to retell,
but it was obvious that it was a good
fish from the start. It felt like I was
dragging a bag of sand back to the
A great way to start – 36lbs.


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