Steve Kitcher details a session where he experienced 90 minutes that he will never forget
I arrived at the lake at 4.30pm and was pleased to see only one other member fishing. To make things even better, he had just caught, so I was confident of a chance or two. Shortly after I arrived the other angler began to pack up.
I had been baiting an area for some time and had already managed four fish from my previous two trips, so it was always going to be a good place to start. I positioned the first rod at 5pm and, unbelievably, it was away whilst I was erecting the brolly! I stood there in amazement for a second – it had been in the water for only five minutes! I picked up the rod and was soon connected to a lively carp. After a spirited fight, I slipped the net under a nice mirror of 14lb 5oz, a lovely scaly chap. What a start!
I sorted the rod out, attached a fresh, new hookbait and catapulted out about 100 or so Equinox baits of mixed sizes around it. This is a tactic that I like to employ, just to keep them guessing and prevent any preoccupation on one particular size. Once it was settled, I flicked the remaining two rods to their designated areas, sank the lines so as to keep them out of harm’s way and sat back to enjoy what was left of the day.
Not long afterwards, one of the rods ripped into life and I was in again! It was 6.20pm and I couldn’t quite get my head around two fish in little over an hour in the middle of February! This one was more sluggish, however, and hugged the bottom – it was clearly a better fish. After about 10 minutes, I managed to slip the net under what looked like a beautiful mid-twenty mirror. It was a real peach of a fish and went 26lb 1oz on the scales. To say I was buzzing was an understatement, but never did I dream of what was still to come…
Just as I freed the fish back to its watery home, the other rod indicated a few subtle bleeps; the bobbin dropped back a few inches, rose and then stayed in that position, holding tight. That was enough for me and I decided to pick it up. At first it was a very scrappy fight and I thought it was another of the doubles, but then it started lunging and plodding slowly. It hit the surface at about 20 yards out and kept rising. I could only think of one fish that surfaces a lot while it’s being played… At that point I started to think about the hook hold, as it seemed like an age that I had been playing it. Thankfully, all held firm and then a massive common rolled just as I tried to put the net under it, and I immediately went into panic mode! I pushed the net deep and managed to shuffle her into it at the first attempt. I peered into the mesh to be met with the sight of a huge common and I knew straight away it was well over 40lb! I shouted for joy and just stood there in total disbelief, in a complete daze after the mad 90 minutes that I had just experienced.
I let the fish rest in the net for a few minutes so I could get myself together and then made a few calls. I stood there shaking like a leaf; I had managed to finally catch the common I had been hoping to catch for the previous two years! On the scales it went 45lb 6oz, a new PB and a new lake record!
While the fish safely rested in the retainer sling, I waited for Tim Oatley to arrive (he is the owner) and then set about taking some shots of the immense common. It seemed to all happen really quickly and I was just flying on cloud nine the whole time. What a buzz – a truly awesome carp.
After a while, both Tim and Andy went on their way and I was left to sort out the carnage in the swim. I put the two rods back out, topped up the bait and set about sorting my sleeping bag for the night. Nothing more came to the rods in the night and I awoke at 6am to an incredible sunrise. I packed up a very happy carper and floated to work.
Again, the Equinox had done me proud, combined with the new Dairy Supreme Hellraiser pop-ups and fished snowman style. I have now managed to catch seven carp in three trips on this deadly combination, so it’s something I will continue to use with extreme confidence.
As I sit here writing this, I still can’t believe it’s actually happened – and on a quick work overnighter in freezing conditions in February! Just goes to show that effort really can equal reward. Get out there and make it happen!