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48 Hours On The Church
‘The Lizard’ weighing 36lb 8oz – a truly unique fish.
right move. I didn’t really get a good
look at this fish before it went in the
net, but Lew and I both estimated it at
an upper 20 mirror when on the bank.
We were right, and on the scales she
weighed 28lb 12oz, a beautiful dark
mirror, well proportioned like the others. Again, Lew took some pictures of
both sides for me before he went back
to get his rods out. I slipped the fish
back and tied up a new rig before getting the rod back out for the night.
I was really confident for the night,
and was therefore quite despondent
at first light when nothing had
occurred. I made another cuppa, lay
on my bedchair and watched the sun
come up – what a view! I started to
see signs of fish again as soon as the
mist was burnt off, leaving me maybe
three hours for a bite before we had to
be off! Now after catching a UK 40lbplus mirror earlier in the year, I set
myself a target of a 30-plus common,
which are few and far between where
I come from!
Lew had already packed up and
came round to sit with me for the final
couple of hours. I jokingly said how it
would be nice to finish with a 30,
especially a common! Well I certainly
talked it up when after only five minutes I had a take on my middle rod
again! I picked up the rod and was
completely overwhelmed by the
power of this fish; it was like nothing
I had hooked before! It flat-rodded me
as it sent out a massive bow-wave
down the lake towards my first swim!
It must have taken about 40-50 yards
on its first run and I was worrying the
fish was going to kite and head for the
gap between the islands, almost guaranteeing a cut-off. I looked back at
Lew, who just sat and watched in disbelief as this fish continued to take
I had to slow the fish down, but at
the same time, remember I was using
a small hook and a light hooklink. I
tightened the drag up slightly, just
enough to apply more pressure to the
fish. It worked, and luckily, as she
turned away from the islands, heading for some reeds to my left. This
wasn’t much of a problem, and I soon
found myself knee deep in the margins, playing the incredibly fit culprit
in open water to my left. I grabbed my
net and started to make my way to
the left to make netting easier. After a
few nervy twists and turns in the margins, a massively long common
appeared on the surface in front of me
and I scooped her up first time! I was
gobsmacked, absolutely convinced
that I had one of the real big’uns in
the net!
Whilst she was in the net, Lew and
I both estimated this fish to be in
excess of 40lb, but after seeing her
more clearly on the bank, it became
apparent that she wasn’t quite going
to make it, being so skinny at the tail
end. Nevertheless, we weighed her in
at a massively satisfying 36lb 8oz!
Lew did some fantastic photos for me,
before I slipped her back and began
to pack up. I was later to find out that
this fish was known as the Lizard, a
truly unique fish. I packed up straight
after that, and whilst doing so, I
reflected on the events of the last 48
hours. Church Pool is without a doubt
a magnificent water, and one that I
feel truly privileged to have fished. We
left half an hour before we were
scheduled to and started the drive
home, overjoyed with the previous 48
hours’ fishing. n

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