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Understanding Why And How You Are Catching
10yds from the bank. Without further
ado I legged it as fast as I could back
to the car park and loaded the barrow
with an absolute mountain of gear.
Not knowing what I was going to
encounter on my fact-finding trip, I
didn’t know what to take, so I decided
to take everything. Once back at the
swim I quickly tackled the rods and
fished them with small braided hook
lengths of about 3ins with a 15mm
tiger nut boilie bottom bait, and put
the whole lot into a solid bag filled
with small 1mm and 3mm pellets
with some boilie crumb and tiger nut
oil. I had decided that the solid bag
approach was best, as the area in
front was pretty weedy, and I didn’t
want to cast around to find a clear
spot and risk spooking the fish, which
were already present.
As it got lighter I was wondering
whether the rigs were sat in thick
weed and the baits were unpresentable, as I had seen several more
shows right over the baits, but had no
activity. I remember looking at my
watch before 8am, and decided to clip
them up before reeling them in and
rebaiting with fresh bags. The baits
came in virtually clean, with only a
small piece of blanket weed around
the hook, so with fresh bags on and
some extra boilie crumb, I put them
back out onto the same spots in
amongst the weed and made myself a
cuppa. I finished the cuppa and
couldn’t believe that nobody else was
down, and the next thing I can
remember was waking myself up
with a massive snore. I had slept for a
couple of hours, and had only woken
due to my snoring. I couldn’t believe
that I hadn’t managed a take. The fish
were still in the area, as they could be
seen drifting in and around the
weedbed I was fishing into. I sat for
another hour or so before I had a couple of beeps and a twitchy liner as the
bobbin pulled up a few inches before
dropping back down again. This was
repeated a couple more times, and I
realised I had the inevitable, and had
hooked a tench. I picked the rod up
and re-clipped the line in the reel so
that I could simply reel the tinca in
and then re-bag and re cast with the
minimum of disturbance.
The tench had sunk into the weed
(Above) New lake full-mooner.
(Below) Chestnut fish.
bed, which is why it didn’t go off on a
proper take, and now it was stuck fast
in the weed. I wound down and got a
couple of turns back onto the reel
before it started to give, and I could
feel the line grating as it came back
up and over the weedbed. However,
when it hit surface it was big, and it
obviously not a tench, but a carp. I
still didn’t realise how big it was, as it
was on the surface covered in weed,
and I was bringing it towards me. I
slipped the chesties on, threw the
landing net down into the water, and
then stepped into the deep margins
so I could pull the huge mass of weed
and fish over the net at the same time.
I still didn’t realise how big it was,
and the only thing I knew was that it
was a common. I bit my mainline and
chucked the rod back up behind me
so that I could start clearing the weed
from the fish. The more weed I
cleared the bigger the fish got, and
before I knew it I was staring at
another huge common in my landing
net. It was huge across its shoulders,
and was really deep, and I guessed as
it was so early in the season it was
pro ba bl y c a rry i ng s o me s pa w n,
which would explain why it was so
big. The last big common that I
caught only a few weeks previously
was 43lb, and this one looked and felt
as big if not bigger. I couldn’t quite
believe what I had just landed, and
once on the scales my thoughts were


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