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A dream come true
Scott Lloyd takes us through the time, effort and dedication it took to land one of the country’s finest carp
S

o Scott, you are from and live in Cheshire, so what made you venture down to Oxford in the first place?
“I had fished the meres and plenty of the local lakes for years before setting off and fishing over on Linear Fisheries. The stock in those lakes is unreal compared to what we had around our way, so it was a good place to go now and again. I caught some lovely carp too, including The Big Plated from St Johns and Spike from The Manor. You can never sit there trying to catch them all and it was beginning to dent the old bank balance fishing over there all the time. I loved it though and the fish around that neck of the woods are just different gravy.”

I suppose the obvious step next was Linch Hill, which is just down the road?

“Totally, yeah. I had read about it in Terry’s book, which of course was a totally different lake to what it is now. He wrote about Christchurch and the late Petals and I was just in awe of the place before I even set eyes on it. I got a ticket for the place, which covered three lakes. Christchurch was the most popular, being around eight-acres in size and full of huge carp. Then there was Willow, which has a slightly smaller average size of fish but lovely fish though. The biggest of them all was Stoneacres, which had some of the best fish in the country. It is 50-acres or so and had Chocco and Bitemark as the stand out big fish. This is where I wanted to end up, but I started off by fishing on Christchurch.”

How long did you spend on Christchurch and did you enjoy it?

“I did a couple of seasons and absolutely loved it. Although the stock is insane, they are some of the cutest fish I have or ever will fish for. They know the score and you have to really think about your angling on there. This is where I began to fish fluorocarbon leaders, putty, everything I could to disguise my tackle as much as possible. I learnt a hell of a lot from that lake and caught some lovely carp too.”

When did you make the decision to move over to the big pit?

“I had caught the Slate Grey in the autumn, which was my number one target from Christchurch and I knew it was time. I had a few mates on Stoney’s too and would always go sit with them and listen to what they had to say. I wasn’t driving at the time, so was getting a lift from whoever I could, normally it would be Myles Gibson, as he was fishing over on the big pond. The journey back and forth from the lake would just be an exchange of stories and I would always take it in. Myles is an exceptionally good angler and is always on the ball, so when he speaks you would be a fool not to take it in.”

That must have been a nightmare fishing on other people’s terms, especially when you work full time?

“It was really hard and relying on good friends and they have to be that to be willing to do it. I had my brother Baz, Myles and Brooker who lived locally, but there was even times when I knew it was going to happen, I would beg people to pick me up and drop me off too. I think I even drafted you in a couple of times when I knew it was right and I couldn’t get down (laughs). I work shifts and my hours are all over the place. I could be working nights, weekends, days, 12-days straight or have five off. It can be all over, so it was a mission in itself getting down there. I tried to do a lot of work and overtime during the winter, just to enable me to be more flexible in the warmer months.”

How did you go about approaching the big pit?

“It was a whole new challenge but I wanted to do it my way. Back then, it was all casting and no dropping of rigs, which played in to the hands of big casters. People like Myles would be fishing 170yds to spots and I just couldn’t compete. The fish spent a lot of their time out in the middle of the pond, but would venture in to the edges too. I was getting up trees and fishing close in. I loved it and caught some lovely fish too; I think six for the first year including The Bus, which is one of the top fish in the lake.”

The first one of the year: a lovely 28lb mirror caught at really close-range
One of the older fish, Goldshoulder at over 38lb, which made up for losing a few
The weed was up and it made making the correct line lay even more important
The spot was rocking and more beautiful carp ended up in Scott’s net, including this 30lb 2oz common
The spot kept receiving bait and the fish were returning regularly
Krill wafters presented on an aggressive bottom bait rig was doing the business
The fish knew it was good for them and became totally addicted to the Krill
An old mirror known as 5-Scale from a new area of the lake and one of two thirties landed in the morning
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It is worth mentioning the tree climbing because it is pretty insane what you do?

“Ha, it is a little bit crazy, but I am good at it. It started for me from day dot, being an outdoor kid I was always up trees. We used to have rope swings going across streams and rivers and I would always be the one that would tie the rope. I work on the railway lines and that involves working at heights a lot, so I have no fear of them but respect it too. It is very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. I have actually gone on training courses on it too: always keep four points of contact, a good centre of gravity to the trunk and always have a good back up plan. I would never climb a tree that was above hard ground. I would always climb up something that had the lake below me; just in case I did fall, I would land in the water not the ground. I can quite happily climb 60ft trees and be safe too and what an edge that gives me. I can see so much, almost everything at times and watch how they are behaving and feeding. I remember once that the birds were a nightmare diving on the spot I was fishing. I had to stay in the tree and shake it when they came over the spot. This was the only thing that would spook them. I took a rucksack up with me once and had a kettle up there and everything!”

Did you fish in the following season too and did you stick to that approach?

“I didn’t fish the year after. The rules had changed and you could now drop the rigs. The syndicate was split too and Stoneacres was a ticket on its own and the others were day ticket. The lake was never that busy, but now you could ‘drop your rigs’, it seemed that everyone came out the woodwork and wanted a crack at it. Before I knew it, the tickets were gone and I missed my chance of getting back on there. I was gutted to be honest, but after I sat there pondering what to do, I decided to go and do a bit more on Christchurch. My brother planned to fish it so I joined him through the spring. I caught loads of fish and was using boilies more than I have ever done before. I am usually a tiger and particle man, but the Krill was working well on the lake and I knew it would. It’s a proper fishmeal, which is something that big carp just love and I had so many fish that spring. My confidence was sky high and I had hoped that I would be able to get back on Stoneacres.”

The other 30 from that morning, one of the Pinch Bellies looking golden and glorious

Did you get your ticket because I can imagine the list was pretty long?

“Both my brother and me did thankfully. I think because I was already a member before and we gave Julie a lot of publicity to help boost Christchurch, she let us on. I was so excited it was unreal; I had missed the place massively.”

So you were back on the lake, were you fishing close in again even though you could now drop the rods at range?

“I wanted to catch them on my terms and went straight in to hunting mode. I was constantly up trees looking and chasing them round. It took an eternity for them to get close in, probably late May. My brother was straight on the dropping approach and it worked for him, catching the one everyone wanted, Bitemark at 49lb 1oz. I was actually fishing next to him at the time and the fish were out at range. It then sprung a warm southwesterly and the fish moved straight on it. I just couldn’t ignore it and had to move on them and even when they were showing on me after I moved, Baz got the bite and it was her. It really did make me think that if I wanted to catch some of the trickier, bigger carp, I would maybe have to sit on my hands a little more.”

Mr. Magoo: a truly incredible carp that weighed 42lb 6oz

Were you on there fishing for certain fish or were you just happy catching anything?

“I would be a fool to say I wasn’t trying to catch anything that came along because they are all stunning carp. But, my main targets were: The Bus, Magoo, Kev’s and Bitemark, especially now that Chocco had gone. They are all such incredible and unique carp, I was just itching to get them in the album. I had already caught The Bus, but the rest were right at the top of the list. Bitemark was the one though and the top target for sure. It was only recently we knew she was a female; it was that rare that she would give herself up. It would go years on the missing list and generally, if it did get caught, it would be a spring capture and that’s it.”

Did you look at the boat a little differently now that you had seen Baz wait it out for the biggest fish in the lake?

“Yes! I told myself that it was no longer a carp scarer as such, more of an extension of my tree climbing. When I am up the trees I can see so much: how the weed has changed, silt that’s been disturbed or gravel spots appearing. You can do all this from the boat too, so decided to use it a lot more.”

So, you were now using the boat to drop, did this help at all?

“Well, it did at first but just reverted back to running round after them again. I did catch a few, six again I think, but it was such an odd year. The fish had changed their behaviours massively. When I was casting, they could get away with feeding on small spots at range and now they couldn’t. They had been caught on bright hookbaits on the big blatant areas before, but everything changed. They were now riggy too and it made them much harder to catch I think. I had to have a big re-think for the following season that’s for sure.”

When did you start back on the lake in 2015, I think I remember it being quite late?

“It was, yeah, not until late May. My work gets busier in the winter so I worked my arse off to allow me to fish more in the summer. I was fishing for bites in the spring and chased them round, and then I was going to fish the bait-and-wait game at times too. I was tackled up and ready, so gunned up and raring to go, I was convinced this was my year, I just had it in my head. They were a lot easier to catch in the spring because they are so active. Once you see them show, you can go out in the boat and see what they are up to and place a rig accordingly. On my first trip I actually found some carp close in; I could see a few carp feeding on the marginal shelf. I couldn’t get a rig in without spooking them, so I catapulted a couple of Mixers over the top of them and a few mallards came over. They semi-spooked the fish and it gave me a chance to get a rig in position. Within ten minutes I was away and I had a lovely 28lb mirror in the net. My confidence was sky high and I was on it from then.”

Did you continue to chase them round or did you begin to stick to an area?

“It is tricky to pick a swim to bait on a busy water, but that’s what I wanted to do. I chose a swim that was very rarely if ever fished though. It was a swim known as The Bins and had the deepest water in the lake in front of it. The bites, if they did happen, would nearly always be in the night or in the morning. This meant that I could use it as a rest place for the night and go off fishing for them elsewhere during the day. I picked a spot at range that I knew they liked to visit and I began trickling in some bait and kept an eye on the spot.”

My brother Baz was on hand and was a real pleasure to share the moment with him
Another stunning Stoney common at 28lb 4oz
31lb of night-caught heavy-plated mirror carp
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What did you bait with as I can imagine you can quite easily get trigger-happy?

“You can, but I would measure out and take only what I needed in the boat. I placed all the rods on balanced wafters and began to bait with small items, things such as bloodworm pellets, powders, particles, chopped nuts and a few broken up Krill boilies was what I went for. I wanted everything to eat it, bream and tench included to try and clean the spot. There were quite a few other anglers on the Krill already and they knew what it was and loved it. Adam was actually top rod the year before and he was fishing over quite a lot of boilies. I began to bait it for a couple of weeks before I even fished it. I had a couple of submerged mini-markers at the back of the spot and I gave them half a bucket at the start of the session and another half at the end. By the time the start of June came I couldn’t see a thing and the clarity had completely gone. I lowered leads down on to the spot and I could feel it getting firmer and firmer.”

When did you decide to fish it and how did you assess it was ready?

“I planned to fish it on my fourth session and the wind was hacking up to that end of the lake. They love a northerly on there and it looked perfect for it. The fish were showing out there and finished work on a Sunday evening and got down just before dark. I wanted to get the rods out as soon as possible, so I quickly whizzed three singles on the area with no bait around it. The plan was for them to turn up and actually look for the odd bit of leftovers to try and get a quick bite.

“The next morning I saw huge eruptions of fizzing off the spot and large flat spots. It got to late morning and I was just debating moving before one of the rods rattled off. The lake was really weedy at the time and I had already spent hours raking the weed out to give me a good line lay. It meant that I could have my lines going out well, but I did still need to use the boat to land one. It must have taken a good 60yds of line and made my way out to the weeded fish. I could feel the odd head shake and got above the fish. I began to hand line it when I caught a glimpse of a huge mirror with a yellow belly. As it came closer, I could see that unmistakable big scale on the side: Bitemark! I was just about to net it and the weed pinged off its eyes and she bolted off again. Another ten minutes or so passed and I knew she was losing her energy. She flat rodded me again before everything went slack and the hook pulled. I don’t normally get angry, but knowing what it was I was totally mortified.”

How did you deal with that?

“I went and sat with my mate and tried to calm down. I then jumped on the bike and took a ride round and chill out for a bit. I accepted it and decided to sort the rods out for the evening. The following morning it looked just as good and the fish were back. Thankfully I managed to nick a 27lb common in the morning, which I really needed. I had one rod left out there and didn’t re-do the others, just left it out for the last night. I had another bite on the final morning and unfortunately that came off too. I was gutted and left to go home feeling so low. Still, there were plenty of others to go for and I was back down the following week and headed for the same swim. I had baited with a good bucketful when I left and when I got back, I just took out three singles again. It worked again and the next morning I landed one of the A-Team, Goldshoulder at over 38lb. Nothing can really make up for losing the fish of your dreams, but catching that one certainly helped me.”

33lb of autumn gold, things were coming together nicely
Scott could see what the fish were up to and finding the natural areas became key in the summer
The lake’s sneaky one, the Ghostie, a fish that had cost me so many fish in the past
A cracking mirror known as The Fighting Machine at 33lb 6oz, which was part of a mental few days where they just switched on
Ad’s Linear at 32lb, one of the lake’s real gems
Driving down for overnight sessions seemed mad, but this 34lb common made it all worthwhile
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Did you keep fishing the spot even though you had lost the one you were after?

“I did, yes, mainly because I knew it wasn’t going to come out any time soon and I had the spot rocking. It was now just a numbers game, trying to catch as many of these beautiful carp as I could. I did catch quite a few more off the spot and the fish had absolutely smashed it to pieces. By the end, I began to catch quite a few bream and tench and I knew that it was time to move on. “It was early July and around that spawning time, which fell perfectly. I got married on the 4th of July and they ended up spawning on the 3rd. It sounds bad and I hope the missus doesn’t see this, but I was so happy that I could get married and not think about the lake at all! I could happily leave it for a few weeks and let them chill out. When I got back, the lake had changed and the fish did their usual thing of refusing to eat. They are really hard to catch once they have spawned and this year was no different.”

Blimey, it sounds like it began to almost take over your life?

“Ha, you know what it’s like! I still have a great life balance, work and family comes first but my own time is spent fishing. I don’t have kids and have very little responsibility, other than paying the bills. There will come a time in my life when I won’t be able to disappear fishing, so for now, I wanted to fish the lakes and catch the carp I wanted to catch. Bitemark also got caught after they spawned, which was very unusual. We didn’t know if she was male or female as she never came out in the summer, but at around 42lb and completely empty, there was no doubt she was a female. I then just decided to fish all out for bites and not concentrate on catching that one.”

What did you do for the summer then when it fished so hard?

“It really got to me to be honest, but I kept plodding on. I felt a bit of pressure, which it shouldn’t have but it did. When companies are supplying you bait and tackle, you feel that you owe them something in return. Thankfully you were so understanding and I even remember you calling me a daft idiot, and just crack on and enjoy my fishing.”

I remember that well and I can also recall it wasn’t long after that you were back catching carp?

“Yeah, I got my driving license and it was game on. I could arrive on my terms and it helped so much. I began to arrive late at night and this is when they were showing. I could find them every time. I found them working the first bar, right from The Island Point down to Peg 3. This was around 400yds long and they were smashing all the naturals on the silty channel at the front of the bar. I was baiting as many spots as I could, trying to get the fish used to coming across my bait without getting hooked. I knew they were smashing it and it was game on again. I remember putting in 5kg on a couple of spots and left them too it. The next morning I witnessed obscene displays all over it and when I went out in the boat, every last bit was gone. They were addicted to it and I have never seen anything like it before. I had a couple of thirties one morning in Peg 4 and that was the turning point for me. It was actually a double take and each fish had bait flying out of it like a bait gun and I could not have been any more confident. I baited a couple of areas and by now I was just fishing straight boilies.”

A New Year, new approach and bait

Then came the capture of a very special carp?

“It certainly did and what a morning that was. I got down late and found them showing in Island Point again. I didn’t fish for them; I just chucked the bedchair out and sat there listening. I got the rods sorted the next day and they had obliterated the spots that I had baited. I lowered three Krill wafters down on their respective spots and baited each with around half-a-kilo of chops.

“Nothing happened until early morning the next day. It was an absolutely mental fight and I was convinced it was either her or one of the other big fish. I must have been out in the boat for a good half an hour and eventually netted the fish on the other side of the island. I remember saying to my brother, who was fishing next to me, to keep an eye out for my head torch as I’m going out in the dark. It wasn’t her, but one of my main targets from the lake, which was a fish called Mr. Magoo. It is one of the best out there in my opinion. It’s totally unique, littered with armour-plated scales, deep bodied with a famous red eye. I slipped her in the sling for half hour and I remember ringing you. Thankfully you were up the road waiting to get in Linear to shoot a feature with someone, so you came flying over and did the honours with the camera. She weighed 42lb and ounces and what an incredible buzz that was. She looked immense, so dark in colouration and what a carp. I got a good soaking from the boys, which is a bit of a tradition too.”

It is a truly special carp that one and I was so glad to be there to witness it. You moved after that didn’t you?

“Yeah, the fish seemed to have moved and I went round and stood at the opposite side in The Bins. I saw a few fish and when I went round, one came clean out around 40yds out. I quickly grabbed the phone and took a picture of where it was. I moved round and let the fish move up a bit to the shallows before going out in the boat. The water was so coloured from where they were feeding and it made it hard for me to find a presentable spot. Eventually the clarity came and they had been digging out a spot naturally. I lowered a couple of hookbaits down and left them as that. I didn’t want to put rods long on to my normal spot and risk them cutting off this new area they had created. It paid off and I had a nice 26lb mirror in the morning too. I was so in the zone and everything seemed to be coming together nicely.”

There is a lot to be said about confidence and you were full of it at that time, did that continue on to the next session?

“You are allowed two weeklong sessions on the lake each year and I had booked in for one of mine the next session. I had five-nights ahead of me and I was so confident it was unreal. I turned up in the night and found fish in a quiet corner. I had only planned to camp that night, but there were literally coming out 10yds from the bank. I quickly made up a couple of long, supple hooklinks that would compliment a balanced bait. I flicked them both out with light leads and got my head down for the night.

“It was just about getting light when I got the bite and all hell broke loose and after a mad boat battle, I landed a fish known as the Ghostie. It was always one I wanted to catch, purely for how many fish it had cost me in the past. This thing is the most intelligent fish I have ever seen. The times I would watch a few fish happily feeding in the edge, when this little bugger would come in, flank all over the rig and push the others away. I have never seen anything like it and it rarely got caught too. She weighed 34lb 6oz and was a good start to the session.

“I actually moved to Island Point the next morning, where there seemed to be a big group of fish showing. I had baited this swim a lot too, so it felt right. I had two rods out on the silt channel that I caught Magoo from and the other went on a shallow bar to my right. I could see the fish have ripped it all up, so it seemed a good a place as any for a bait.”

Baby Bungles was the first fish of 2016 and what a lovely carp she is

Was the lake quiet at this point?

“It wasn’t too quiet, but I kept in contact with a few people to try and make it a little busier. It sounds odd, but having the lake busy works in my favour. If I’m the only one on, the fish will just leave from the pressure. If you can get yourself installed in a good area and know when they will be coming, you have a better chance of catching a few. I had been keeping in contact with Manny, who doesn’t get much time, just the odd weekend here and there. He was itching to get down and when he did, it all kicked right off. The fish went mad and he had a few cracking fish to 38lb and I ended up with six carp that week. Towards the end I actually found Bitemark feeding and she looked big too. I kept it quiet and was due back down the lake after a six night stretch of working nights.”

This was around the time of the phone call wasn’t it?

“Yeah, it was a few days before I was due down and I got the phone call from Manny to say he had Bitemark from Big Point, right next to the swim I had been fishing and baiting. I was over the moon for him, but knowing how close I was, and the fact that he had it on the Krill made it hard to take. Still, he was a good friend and I was buzzing for him, but knew that was probably the season over.”

Did you keep fishing it with as much effort?

“Of course, but I didn’t think solely about that fish again. I had worked a lot early in the year to enable me this time to fish so I was going to do it. I carried on fishing and catching too. Even right through until nearly Christmas, I was as keen as ever and still catching carp. I had a few fish over Bonfire Night to 33lb and a few more nice commons to 34lb too, which gave me the ‘top rod’ for the year, which was nice.”

It doesn’t have much form in the winter months, but with it being so mild did you fish it?

“I did the odd night, but my main focus was to work my arse off to allow me to properly go for it in the spring. It was now or never and I had already decided that after the spring I was on to pastures new. Sometimes your name is on them and sometimes it isn’t.

“I had really thought about things and wanted to fish it differently this time. I knew from a few seasons ago when Baz caught her, he used a bait that we were all playing around with from Sticky. It has now since developed in to the Manilla and it was playing on my mind to use it. It has been hard to ignore the sheer volume of carp coming out on it and I wanted to mix it with some chopped tigers. It seemed the ideal choice, even though I had used the Krill for the past couple of seasons. I wasn’t fishing for bites; I just wanted to focus on that island. Bitemark always gets caught not too far away from the island, so that was the plan.”

The mobile approach and having the gear in the van was a huge edge
The moment of truth
Mini Choco at over 35lb, what a creature and caught on a Choddy cast to showing fish
The most magnificent carp he had ever caught and all that effort had paid off
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When did you get down for your first session?

“I think it was March time and it all seemed very Ziggy. That was when there was a huge hatch in April and the fish started getting caught on bait. I managed my first one called Baby Bungles at 34lb and ounces on a single Manilla wafter. I had been baiting a few areas with the bait to see how they reacted to it. It was as I presumed and they were mopping up everything I was putting out. I knew they accepted it, which can be a worrying thing on this lake as they can be very picky with what they eat.”

I suppose there were a few other anglers that thought the same as you, knowing Bitemark was due?

“The lake was busy but I was arriving at night and always finding them. I had planned a four-night session and everything was just right. The fish were coming out and I got down on dark to find them straight away. They were only close in, around 40yds out from the Chow Mein swim – this was Bitemark territory and I walked back to get the van. I tried to set a couple of Chod Rigs up as quietly as I could while the carp crashed in to the moonlight. It was such an electric feeling, one that only a carp angler can understand. I cast a couple of Chods with Signature white hookbaits out there and chucked the bedchair up for the night. I woke up before first light and I could hear the fish still there, only a little further out. Then, out of nowhere, one of the rods was away. After a hectic fight I landed a deep, broad mirror. I knew which one it was, a fish called Mini Chocco. She was 35lb 14oz and you did me proud with some wicked shots.”

The social was epic and Scott’s time on the lake had came to an end

It was a great morning and it just felt like that wasn’t going to be it for the session…

“No, and it wasn’t! That day the fish drifted off in to the middle of the pond. I went out in the boat and came across a small patch where the fish were really smoking it up. I saw a few fish bolt off from the spot and dropped a block off the side of the boat. Once it cleared, I could see what they were doing: the weed was full of snail eggs and they were smashing it to pieces. I found a couple of areas and the fish even came back to the spot while I was out there. I had never seen anything like it and got all three rods out to the spots.

“I had a small 12mm Manilla bottom bait on the left- and right-hand rod in the silt, with the middle going on a white Signature off the side of the spot. I baited with some chopped nuts and boilies and the traps were set.

“I had never been so confident in my life; I knew it was going to happen. Within an hour, the left-hander was away and without too many dramas, I landed the big leather just shy of 30lb. I still had two rods rocking and left the swim undisturbed. My adrenaline was through the roof and I kept telling everyone that I was going to have it. I kept pointing at my right-hander and said it was going to happen on that rod. I kept saying it over and over and I tried to almost talk it on to the bank. My brother had shared a memory a week before, showing the picture of Bitemark when he had it. I even commented on his status that I was having it this session; I just knew it was going to happen.

“It was around 7:20pm and I had a couple of lads in the swim when the right-hand rod gave off a couple of beeps. I just thought it was a tench, when it all went silent and it absolutely melted off. Adam Smith had come down too and we all knew this was a big fish. It held deep, using its weight to keep a strong curve in the rod. I was bricking it and I don’t get nervous or too emotional, but I felt everything that the fish was doing. I have never concentrated so hard on a fish in my life.
“It was coming in smoothly until it came to the marginal shelf, and then went mental, charging off at such immense power. I was walking back with the rod and every time it turned and shot off I would run with it. I saw it roll in front and it looked big. I had in my mind it could be it and when Adam netted it, I wasn’t sure if it was. I was just in my own little world when I took a proper look at it and it was her, Bitemark. I let off the shout and she was mine. I dropped the rod and had to walk off, leaving Adam with the fish. I had done it: the fish I had longed for was in my net. She weighed 45lb 12oz, which was a new PB too.”

I remember the phone call and you were in bits!

“I was, I just didn’t know what to do with myself. The lads came over and helped and we decided to have a proper social the following night, which was epic! Such amazing memories and time to move on to take my obsession elsewhere.”

The realisation of a dream come true, Bitemark at 45lb 12oz

5 things I learnt...

1. “Focusing on certain areas ended up paying off. Before I was chasing the carp around, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that Bitemark had a pattern. She liked the swims near the island, whether it be around it or a couple of swims away. I turned all my attention to these areas and tried to hold back on chasing the fish.”

2. “Digging my heels in was hard, but something that I had to try and do. She didn’t seem a pack fish, so chasing round the main bulk of carp wasn’t going to be the one. It had worked for me in the way of getting bites, but to catch that one I had to stay put and put myself in a likely area for her.”

3. “Having my driving license played a huge role. I could then fish the lake on my terms, when I had time off work or when the conditions are right. I could also fish out the van, which meant that moving wouldn’t be such a mammoth task. I was even driving down and baiting, which is something I had never been able to do before.”

4. “Baiting areas was a great way of getting my own thing going. Nobody was really doing it as much as I was. I noted that all the captures of Bitemark was in the silt, so I concentrated on baiting in these areas. I also had to be careful that they didn’t smash it down to the gravel, so it meant really monitoring the spots as much as I could.”

5. “Changing my bait might have made a difference, I don’t know, but that was one change that I made to catch it. I had used the Krill and they loved it; Bitemark even got caught on it in the autumn. But time was running out and knowing she had been caught on Manilla before and with it being so successful everywhere in the last six months or so, I made the switch and caught her.”

Scott's Stoneacre Catch-Card

Spring 2012: March to April (21 nights)
Scotty’s Common, 38lb 7oz
The No.9 Bus, 38lb 10oz
Willow, 14lb 6oz
The Simmo, 24lb 6oz

2014: April to September (39 nights)
The Patch Common, 33lb 12oz
Baby Bus, 26lb 6oz
Fully Scaled, 23lb 6oz
Black Common, 27lb
Small Pinch Belly, 30lb 2oz
28lb 14oz common
Jill, 30lb 8oz

2015: May to December (69 nights) 
28lb 1oz mirror
30lb 8oz mirror
28lb 8oz common
Gold Shoulder, 38lb 2oz
31lb 12oz common
24lb 8oz linear
5 Scales, 34lb 8oz
Big Pinch Belly Common, 32lb 8oz
29lb common (first repeat)
Mr. Magoo, 42lb 8oz
25lb 2oz mirror
The Ghosty, 34lb 6oz
Black Common, 28lb 12oz (second repeat)
The Fighting Machine, 33lb 6oz
28lb 4oz common
33lb 1oz common
29lb 2oz linear
Jill, 32lb (third repeat)
Ads Linear, 32lb 4oz
32lb 8oz common

Spring 2016: January to April (33 nights)
Baby Bungles, 34lb 4oz
Mini Choco, 35lb 10oz
The Big Leather, 29lb 14oz
Bitemark, 45lb 12oz

Total tally
162 nights
35 fish
Three repeats

Scott Lloyd
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