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In Pursuit...

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Last Updated: 23rd November 2012

I had been checking on a regular basis whether anyone had been fishing on the Duck Lake, a syndicate water not far from where I live. With the water temperatures now dropping to 9oC most of the other anglers had seemingly thrown the towel in, so it was time to start doing some overnighters during the week.

I had been baiting the deepest part of the lake regularly with a few handfuls of 16mm Club Mix (flavoured with Ester Blend) because I know that through the winter this is where the carps’ holding area.

After picking up my partner in crime, Clochard my dog, I arrived at the lake just before darkness. With the rods already clipped up it was a simple case of flicking them out and scattering some freebies around each hook bait. For the first two trips, a dry net was packed back into the van, but I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. With the carp being less active in the colder water they eat far less and so, especially on short sessions, bites can be hard to come by. Still, the third night is always the lucky night… or so I hoped.

At 5am on the third overnighter the indicator smashed into the rod butt and we were away. After a long battle in the cold, early-morning air I finally caught sight of a long common being carefully guided towards my waiting net. At 35lb, and measuring 38 inches long, I was a happy chappy and headed off for work with a spring in my step.

I kept trickling a little bait in, but the next two overnighters didn’t bring any more bites, so it was time for a change. I shortened the hook link from 9 inches to 6 inches, scaled down from a size 6 101 hook to a size 8 and critically balanced my snowman hook baits.

On the very next session a single bleep broke the eerie night silence. I looked down at the rod tip and watched as the line gently tightened between the rings and started to cut, ever so slowly, up through the water. Steadily the bobbin pulled tight until it was jammed against the roller, but I was unsure as to whether a bream was the culprit, as there are a lot of big bream in this particular water.

I picked the rod up and the resistance was far greater than any bream could put up… it was definitely a carp. The fish stayed deep and kited hard down to the right, and because the swim I was in was rather tight I needed to pile the pressure on to get it back out in front of me. Fortunately it did turn and after plodding around for a few minutes it suddenly surfaced right in front off my landing net... “Oh yes baby your mine!” I muttered as the fish slid into the net.

I recognized him straight a way the mirror named Calimero, renowned for being one of the harder fish in the lake to catch. He weighed 37lb and topped that session off perfectly. As it is, I’m back at the lake as I write this… I’ll keep you all posted because somewhere out there is the jewel in the crown, the big common.

Until next time, Alain Servaes