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Understanding Why And How You Are Catching
A brace of big commons that night.
throwing themselves out, as well as
bow-waving, and the whole lake
looked alive and inviting. It looked
electric, and you just knew that a
buzzer was going to sound at any
time. Before the light had faded the
moon had already started to rise; it
was a massive full moon so with the
clear cloudless sky it was going to be
an excellent night for sitting out and
fish spotting, and hopefully catching a
big common.
When dawn broke I had managed
to catch during the night, and landed
a rather sorry-looking mirror of just
under 30lb. It wasn’t the big common
I was hoping for, but what made me
happy was the area that I wanted to
fish towards was now fishable, as the
wind had blown the big floating carpet in towards me, and if I fished with
my tips raised I could now fish over it.
If a fish were hooked, I would simply
put the chesties on, wade through the
weed and net it on the other side.
With all three rods now fishing long
out towards the spot I wanted to fish
in the first place, I didn’t have to wait
long before I had my first take, and
after a spirited fight that saw the fish
bow -waving all over the shallow bay,
I eventually waded through the weed
and landed a low-30 mirror. The rod
was re baited and chucked long, and
within an hour I had another take that
just saw the bobbin pull up tight to
the rod, and I was able to lift the rod
and be in contact with the fish before
the line had pulled from the clip. The
fight was amazing, and the fish made
every effort to stay in the weed. It was
lucky that I had a mate with me, as by
now he also had his chesties on and
was trying to bundle the fish into the
net along with a ton of weed. I could
see that it was a common but it didn’t
look that big, and it wasn’t until I had
managed to lift the whole lot onto the
mat and peel the weed back that I
recognised the dark flanks of the
Chestnut Common, another rare visitor to the bank, and at just over 36lb it
was at its top weight. Even though I
had caught the fish during the afternoon, and I’m sure you will agree from
the pics it is a mint fish, I had caught
her during the full moon phase.
T h e r e s t o f t h e l a t e s u m m e r,
autumn and early winter passed with
some truly amazing catches that saw
me land no fewer than ten 40’s in the
year, and a further 24 fish over 35lb as
well a number of other 30’s. Nearly all
of these fish were mirrors, with the
only commons being in the 20’s, and
the occasional low-30. My next big
common came during the night on a
very cold session. It was a proper cold
winter’s night with a massive full
moon, and I spent ages drinking cup
after cup of coffee whilst sitting on
the bedchair. It was in the early hours
when I had take, and I was on the fish
and fighting with my chesties once
again. The fight was unreal, especially
as the water was so cold; you would
expect the fish to be really slow and
ponderous in its movements. It tried
to get around the back of the island,
and I could see some branches on the
end of the island moving in the bright
moonlight. All of a sudden there was
a large crack, and the coots went mad
and were squawking and flapping all
over the place. It was quite unreal to
be stood out in the lake on a cold
frosty night playing another lump on
a long line. As the fish got closer it
had picked up my other lines, and it
got to a stage where I couldn’t get the
fish in any closer as the other lines
had become snagged. I was as far out
as possible in my chesties, but I
couldn’t get the fish any closer, and it
was just sitting wallowing on the surface just out of netting range. I could
do nothing else but to take one more
step and fill my chesties up just so
that I could net the fish. It was then


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