After 3 years of waiting I finally got the big lake ticket on my local angling club. I was straight down, having a look around and having a good chat with other members that I knew from walking around the lake most nights whilst waiting for my ticket.
For my first session I turned up in the afternoon at about 1pm. I had a good look around and after doing a lap and talking to a few of the lads I ended up jumping in a swim known as High Banks. I started off by putting about 2 kg of 18mm creamy toffee boilies from A2baits over 3 rods fished 15 foot apart tight up against the island, the left rod was in the middle of the island on a clear spot, the middle was in a hole amongst an overhanging tree and the right was to the front but down the right hand side of the tree.
The first night I had nothing, only a few liners. But I wasn't expecting miracles as it was my first night on a new challenging water and I had to try and figure it out. I woke up at 4am for first light to try to catch a glimpse of a fish. I didn't see anything show for a few hours so I went and sat in my brolly out of the wind and got the bacon on and had a good think about what to do next.
After having breakfast I got up to clean the frying pan and got my foot lodged in a divot and my knee popped out of its socket! I managed to pop it back in and after resting my knee for 30 mins I reeled the rods in and had a hobble around the lake trying to walk it off.
I spoke to a few of the other anglers and found out that nothing had come out that night. I got back into my swim and sat on the bench next to my brolly looking at the water. I decided to stay where I was as I saw a fish showing itself against the island. Not very big, but it was the only fish I had seen all morning. I clipped up and flicked the rods back out at 88yards, back onto the same spots. I put another kilo out to draw the fish down, I opted to use a 16 mm squid and octopus 70/30 wafter on a D rig using hydrolink in 15lb black and a ultra sharp hunchbax hook in size 6. Just as it got dark I put a bit more bait out as the seagulls couldn't see it. I went to bed feeling confident that I was on the correct spots. The first run ripped off at 12.30pm on the middle rod and I landed a 34lb 2oz mirror my new pb.
Thanks to the angler next to me I managed to get some good shots of the fish. I wrapped back up using the distance sticks and got it back on the spot and another kilo went out.
At 5.45am the middle rod was off again, this time it was a very slow and powerful take. Once I made contact it was hugging the bottom and it was a very dogged fight. I finally slipped it in the net after a 25 minute battle and I was shocked when I looked in the net, it was a right chunk! Once I got everything ready we lifted it up to the cradle and it weighed in at 45lb 6oz, a stunning mirror known as The Grey, and also another new pb. I was over the moon to get off the mark and beat my pb twice in one night.
Once word of my catch had spread around the lake most of the lads at other swims had come round for a brew and to congratulate me on landing one of the lakes 40's.
I was packed up by 2pm as I wanted to get back home, put my gear away and rest my knee. I didn't think that much about it but after going to work for 2 days I realised I had done more damage than I thought. So off I went to A&E I came out in a splint. I was told I had dislocated it and when I popped it back in my cartilage hadn't gone back in the correct place so I needed to have key hole to sort it out. After a few months hobbling around at work and waiting for the operation I finally had it done and all I could think about was getting back on the bank.
I've now done 12 nights overall and have landed 8 fish with 5x doubles one 24+, one 34+ and one 45+. The lake is around 18.5 acres and has two islands, there are many different swims to suit different anglers with margin spots, from 60 yards to 130 yards including two bays where you can see the fish feeding amongst the weed. It is a 100 members only per season so you have always got a chance to get a good swim. I haven't had much time on the bank since my injury but I've got a few sessions booked up on the 18th-20th of December and one in between Christmas and New Year.
It's never been a good water to fish in the winter, but with the weather we're having at the moment the fish are still feeding and still coming out regularly. I will keep you all updated on my sessions over the winter and hopefully have another nice chunk to show you all.