Jim explained: “I arrived at my syndicate around 5.30am on Friday morning for a rare weekend’s fishing. There were already three or four people dotted around the lake and well spread out. A swim that had been kind to me over the spring was free, and as it was a weekend, I thought being in that area could only be beneficial, as the swim I fancied is the only one giving access to the area of lake I fancied.
“By about 7.30am I had all three rods in position, two down the margins fished in around 18 feet of water, and the third rod towards the end of an overhanging tree line in around 22 feet of water. I had three different presentations on the rods, one was a Withy Pool rig with a home-made washed-out pink pop-up, another was a Hybrid snowman and the final rod was a little hinged stiff rig with a mini Milky Toffee pop-up.
“Each rod was fished over a kilo or so of mixed Hybrid and Cell, apart from the longer-range rod, as I used the throwing stick to bait up the spot, so that had 18mm Hybrid spread around the area.
“Early afternoon and the middle rod fished to the tree line pulled up tight and after a typical long-range fight over the deep water the lake is famous for, I landed a stunning common known as Shoulders. He whacked the scales round to 32lb 8oz; talk about pleased and what an awesome way to start the session!
“I had to wait until just after midday the following day before any more action came my way. This time the left-hand rod (fished on the Withy Pool rig over a bed of Hybrid and Cell) pulled up tight. The fish responsible was a gorgeous mirror known as the Pretty One, which weighed in at 30lb 10oz – I was buzzing. I decided to rest the area for a while and reeled the rods in, baited all three spots with about a kilo of bait on each area and wandered off for a chat and a cuppa with some of the other lads.
“About 2.30pm I’d got the rods back out and sat back to wait for events to unfold. It looked good but I didn’t expect the action to come so quickly, and only a couple of hours later my middle rod, fished on the hinged stiff rig, pulled up tight and the fish slowly took a little line from the tight clutch.
“This fight was a little different as the fish hit the surface early on and I could see I was attached to a good ’un. After a powerful fight under the tip, during which I saw the fish several times and could see that it was a really good common, I eventually netted what was obviously a good fish. I sorted out the mat and scales and on the mat I could see the little Milky Toffee pop-up hanging from its bottom lip and the size-8 Choddy hook safe and secure in the bottom lip. The scales pulled round to a whopping 41lb 10oz. Talk about buzzing! The lads came round and we got some stunning stills of the immaculate fish and watched her waddle off to the depths. It didn’t end there either, as during my final night and morning I went on to land a further three fish including two twenties. Happy days indeed.”