The first thing I did was get the stealth brolly up, as I was doing this Barry shouted over to ask if I wanted a brew, what a star, I’d not had time to think about eating or having a drink so I gratefully accepted Barry’s offer and cracked on with getting my gear sorted out. Once the stealth was up I got my bedchair and my trakker sleeping bag set up then pushed them both under the brolly. The rods and pod were all quickly set up and within 5 minutes I was settled down and ready to start fishing again. Barry was literally 5 yards away from me as we were occupying adjacent swims and he popped his head round the brolly with a nice steaming cup of tea just as I was hair rigging a bait on my first rod. As I was fishing the margins casting and baiting was easy, the left hand rod went just off an overhanging tree in the margins and the right hand rod went straight out in front of me, the left rod had a small bed of red band pigeon conditioner with a few pellets fed over the top and a pellet on the hook whilst the right hand rod was just pellets, one on the hook and 20-30 scattered around the rig itself.
I managed to eat a bit of food whilst I was having my brew and I stood chatting to Barry about our chances for the night ahead. As the light faded we were both expecting a sleepless night, it was just a case of how many we’d catch rather than would we catch anything at all!. Barry was in first, as we stood chatting one of his antique Super XL bite alarms burst into life and he began doing battle with a decent fish. Like me Barry was fishing the margins so his fish took off like a rocket and gave a really good account of itself. It was another common and a decent fish at 18lb plus a few ounces. The fish was documented and returned to the water and not long after my left hand delkim gave a single bleep. This was the rod that was fished over the red band pigeon conditioner and I guessed it was a line bite. I didn’t have to wait long after that, just a few minutes later the left hand rod was away with a blistering take!. I was on it quickly and just like Barry’s fish a few minutes earlier, this one gave a really good account of itself as it bored up and down the margins for 5 minutes or so. With 15lb big game line on my spools there was no way any of my fish were going to get away and it was just a case of wearing the fish down until it was ready for the landing net. There were no problems and I netted my seventh carp of the session. The move next to Barry was looking like a good one when it came to the size of the carp, along with Barry’s 18lber, I’d also caught my biggest of the session so far, a common weighing 17lb 6oz.
An upper double each was a good start to the night ahead, my 17 had arrived at 21.30pm and I had to wait another hour for any more action. I could hear carp crashing all over the lake and I was literally sat on my hands waiting for another bite. It was the right hand rod this time, this was the rod that was just a pellet fished over more pellets. There was no warning, the alarm just went off and the spool on my infinity baitrunner reel just fizzed, I have my delkims on low so the sound of my spool ticking is as loud as the alarms themselves and under cover of darkness a full blooded run still sounded like it could wake the dead!. This fish played out just like the last one, it felt slightly heavier than the carp I’d caught during the afternoon and after a good scrap in the margins my thoughts were confirmed when I weighed and photographed another 17lb fish, this one was slightly heavier than the last at 17lb 12oz.
I re-baited my rig and a gentle underarm cast had another pellet back in position, I topped up with another 20-30 pellets and sat back to await the next run. This was my plan for the night, keep the traps reasonably small and fish for them one at a time rather than bait heavily, I was only fishing the margins anyway so it was very easy to keep just a little bit of feed in the swim, enough to get them on the bait but not enough that I might have to wait long for a bite!.
After my second 17lber I didn’t have to wait very long for another fish, I think we knew things would most likely kick off big time and no sooner had I dropped my rig back in when it was away again!. Being out in the Cheshire countryside it would have been pitch black if it wasn’t for the moon which was just about giving enough light to land my fish. Like the two 17’s this fish fought really well in the margins and it was great to see these fish taking line off the spool rather than just wallowing into the net from long range. I eventually netted this fish after playing knit one pearl one with my left hand rod. I’d positioned my unhooking mat at the back of my brolly and just left it there, I didn’t see the point in hanging it up to dry when I knew full well more fish were likely to follow so by now I had a system going and was able to get through weighing and photographing pretty quickly. I switched my head torch on to unhook my fish and noticed that I’d caught another mirror my third of the session in all, it weighed in at 14lb even which was the same kind of weight range as the previous two mirrors I’d had in the daytime.
It was getting ridiculous, every time I dropped in I barely had chance to get in the sleeping bag before one of the alarms would start up and the reel would scream. Another common of 11lb 6oz quickly followed the mirror and after I returned it I felt like I was completely shot!. I couldn’t cope with any more runs and Barry was having a quiet time next door. It just seemed that I was intercepting the fish as they came along the margins and with my bait being the first they came across I was getting most of the runs. Just before midnight I decided to wind in and have a bit of a kip, I was tired, my back was aching and I just felt like I really needed to close my eyes so I dived in the bag and settled down to a few hours sleep.
This story seems to be turning into an episode of war and peace (lol) so I’ve decided to split it into 3 as there’s more to come, until next time, tight lines everybody.