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Off The Beaten Track
By Kurtis Burton
uring a hot summer’s day I strolled
down to a local private estate lake. I
walked around and
found the fish in a
shallow, snaggy and very weedy part
of the lake. I could see two clear spots
amongst the weed. These were my
chosen spots, and I was fishing a long
hooklength just in case it wasn’t bang
on the money. Fifteen minutes after
the rods went out I had a few bleeps,
and the tip bent around. After a short
but hairy fight the fish was in the net,
a stunning little mirror around the
average size of fish I’d had out of this
As the day went on the alarms
stayed silent. That day I’d been given
some new bait to try from a good
friend, Dave Gash at Vale Baits. This
bait was dark in colour but strong,
smelling of garlic and orange.
It got to around 3pm, and the right
hand rod was off. I was taking my
time with this one, as it felt a better
fish. Just as she went over the net
cord, the left hand rod bent over. I
couldn’t believe it; I’d waited hours
for a run and then they came within
minutes of each other. I had two mirrors on the mat, one very lean and
well muscled. I thought that would
have been it for the day, as on this
place three fish is a great day, but
minutes after getting the right hand
rod back in it was off again. This time
it as a very fat common just over 20lb.
This was the biggest fish I’d had out
of here and a real character.
Half an hour later I was in again,
and I couldn’t believe it! As the fish
got close in I could see it was another
one of the bigger fish in the lake,
another perfect common just over
19lb. I was over the moon with this
success, but little did I know the next
hour was going to be amazing. I’d
seen a few fish in the margins during
the day, so I’d been trickling bait in
and watching the fish go down on it.
I moved my left rod just inches from
the bank.
Whilst watching a fish come into
the margin spot and getting excited,
my other rod ripped off. This fish
broke the water as soon as I hooked
into it. It looked very dark. Playing it
easily through the weed, I eventually
got it free of any weedbeds and she
came in slowly. When it was close
enough to see I backed the clutch off
a little, not wanting to lose this one to
a hook pull. All the hard work was
paying off.


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