A gamble pays off for Les Bowers as he enjoys his best ever session on Frimley Pit 3.
What a 44 hours’ fishing that just turned out to be! The other week I’d mentioned to Nigel Sharp the next time I was down at Frimley Pit 3 I was going to go in heavy with the bait – and it worked!
I arrived at 4pm on Friday and went for a look at a swim I’ve been giving a bit of attention to. I saw a few fish present and set about catapulting out 10 kilos of Mainline Hybrid and Cell boilies. Over the top of this I put out five kilos of Carp Particles Hemp & Snails. The salt content in the snails gets them grubbing around, but the only real food is the boilies.
There is a 48-hour rule on the lake, so this was going to be a risk; it would either work or I’d blank and someone else would move in and reap the benefits. Once it was all in, I set up the brolly and got the rods into position, two on the big baited area and one on a close-in spot I’d found and had success from previously. This rod had a fair amount of bait too. The rigs were my ever-faithful multi-rigs tied with size 4 Samurai hooks, Bore Rings and brown Skinfull hooklinks, with Zipp leads on Rig Marole Freefall Lead Clips and one-metre brown Linktec leaders.
I wasn’t really expecting much to happen in the first 24 hours after all that bait and disturbance. To be honest, it’s usually the third day before a big baited area kicks in; hence the risk I was taking. As darkness drew in though, I started to see bubbling and fizzing over the baited area. Just on dark the close-in rod tore off, only for me to land a double-figure pike! I managed to get it back on the spot and took a couple of painkillers for toothache. These knocked me out and I was soon asleep.
Around 3.30am I got a screaming take on my middle rod. I piled the pressure on the Aviator rod to pull it away from a set of pads and, once away, continued the fight in deep open water. I had to move the close-in rod whilst playing the fish, as it would have hindered landing it. There is also a thick set of pads in the margins of this swim and, boy, did that carp make use of them, but once I got its head up I managed to net it first time. I peered into the net to see a good common which went 30lb 6oz on the scales. After a few self-takes, I slipped her back whence she came, none the worse for her ordeal. I was over the moon to have caught from the baited spot so soon and could relax as I wasn’t going to blank. Little did I know what else was in store!
The rod was put back out on the spot and I climbed back into bed. The tablets I was taking knocked me for six and I was soon fast asleep again. About 8am I heard a few bleeps on the alarm and looked out to see two swans on the bar my line was running over. They were dipping their heads under and I thought they had caught the line. Cursing, I got out to shoo them off, but as I did the clutch started purring and the alarm went into meltdown – it wasn’t the swans! They dispersed as I played an angry carp between them, and soon another of Frimley’s pristine commons was lying in the net, all 35¾lb of it.
A friend, Luke, was fishing further along the bank and I called him up to ask him to take a few pics for me, which thankfully he did. I was ecstatic to have caught two thirties, and the fish were still fizzing away on the bait, so I got the rod back out on it and made Luke a well-deserved coffee.
I had a text from my good friend, Mike Reddy, to say he was popping down to see me, and as he arrived in the swim, the same rod tore off at speed. After a spirited fight Mike netted a lovely fish for me. It went 24lb 15oz and after a few shots she was back swimming strongly away.
It was good to catch up with Mike. He’d made and fitted the wooden handle on my old Technium MGS reels and we’ve been good friends since. As I waited for the kettle to boil, the close-in rod decided it wanted a bit of attention. I had to walk backwards to bring the fish away from the far pads, but while playing it in, the fish found its way into the margin pads. For a while it was a stalemate, but steady pressure had it moving and into the net. I couldn’t quite believe it as another big common went on the scales at 35½lb. After the camera work was done, Mike left to go fishing himself.
Unbelievably, at about 12.30pm the right-hand rod screamed for attention too, which meant I’d had a bite on all three rods. The fish tried to get behind the far set of pads but by walking backwards again and reeling forwards I managed to get it away. Once past the bar, I could play it properly in the deep water, and when it turned I could see I finally had one of the mirrors. It weighed 27lb 14oz.
I was over the moon with five good fish in such a short period of time over a big bed of bait, and I only needed one more to beat my personal record for how many I’d caught in a weekend. I only had about five kilos of boilies and Hemp & Snails left, and I waited until 4pm before catapulting in the rest of the boilies, then Spombing out the last of the particles.
Watching the water I started to see the telltale bubbles coming up from the baited spot again – it was looking good for another bite. I was getting liners all night and at 6am the middle rod was off again. It felt good as I played it and fought like a demon, then I saw the scales – it was one of the pretty ones! In the margins it didn’t want to give up and actually powered out of the net the first time. At the second attempt in it went. It was nearly light, so I got everything ready for the shots, but put the kettle on and had a coffee first to calm me down and give the fish a bit of time to recover from such a fierce fight. On the scales it went 34lb 7oz, not that I cared as it looked absolutely stunning.
I packed up about noon and made my way home with a huge smile on my face – what a weekend! They aren’t always like this, but every dog has its day. The gamble of baiting heavily from the off had paid off in spades.