Big Pit Dreams
Lockdown made fishing feel like a lifetime away, but what was to come was worth waiting for...
It felt like the longest wait ever, but when the lock down restrictions eased I was finally able to get back to my target water in search for that elusive forty! We all made the most of rules by fishing close to home and I’m grateful we had that, but truth be told I was aching to get back to the old pit and it was never far from my thoughts. An old Jurassic 42 acre gravel pit full of weed and gnarly snaggy areas... It’s everything you’d want in a carp lake and it’s my little piece of heaven!
The pit is home to around 80 resident carp, a lot of which are big, extremely old, with some dating back to the mid 1950’s which would put them up there as some of the oldest in the country, in my opinion they are also some of the finest! I started at the venue last year only managing around 7 sessions, it’s safe to say I’m still working things out and finding my feet, but that being said I always put a lot of effort into learning as much as I can as quickly as possible whenever I target a new water. My main aim other then netting one of the lakes jewels is to always came away from my session with a little bit more understanding and a little bit more knowledge. Over the handful of sessions I managed last year I had a few fish which included a nice 30 and a few mid double stockies, I was off to a good start but I was still desperate to get amongst the big old girls.
The first session of the year saw me catch another mid double stockie, which was a welcome start and left me feeling confident I was on the fish and picking up bites when others weren’t, but it still wasn’t one of the gems. The following week I was getting ready to head back, keen to add to my tally of captures, but the weather seemed to have other ideas, the best way to describe it was utter chaos! Over the days leading up to my trip we were getting all four seasons in one day, warm sunshine, freezing winds, torrents of rain and even snow. Night time temperatures were getting down to minus and don’t even get me started on the air pressure it was up and down like a fiddlers elbow! I’d never fished the pit at this time of year and I didn’t know how this extremely interchangeable weather would effect it either, I was up against it! Needless to say over the coming days I studied the lake map and the forthcoming weather front as best I could. I formulated a plan and identified a lovely area that I figured would be sheltered from cold brisk winds that were forecast, it also happened to be the furthest point away from the car park so it should be free.
On arrival, only one other guy was on the lake so I had the choice of literally any other swim, but In my mind I just felt my spot right over the far side gave me the best chance of a bite. I ignored what would have been most people’s first choices and stuck to the plan. After a long, difficult walk with the barrow along a narrow, uneven and overgrown track, I finally reached the swim I wanted. The water in front of me was flat calm, in comparison to the rest of the lake which was taking a lashing from the surging cold wind.
It’s not an easy cast from the bank so I opted to adorn my waders and get in the water for a lead about, to my surprise it was warm! I couldn’t help but laugh to myself “what self respecting carp could resist this” After finding some lovely spots I wasted no time in getting the rods out, I placed the first one just off an island where I’d found a small gravel spot and another down the left hand margin. The third rod was placed on a spot where the water is typically quite deep, with depths of 12ft. Amongst the deep water is a lovely little gravel plateau, between 2-2.5ft. My ever faithful go to rig was placed perfectly on the plateau, the combination of a brilliant Jprecision hook and the awesome DT Baits Cold Water Green Beast wafter with a matching 3 bottom bait stringer left me with the feeling of “that’s the one, that’s a bite”!
With my confidence sky high, and having maximum faith in my approach, I took the liberty of setting up my cradle in anticipation. It was about 11:30pm and the rod had been out in the pond for around 4 hours, when I decided to get some rest. I reached for my receiver to switch it on before trying to get my head down and to my surprise the right hand rod let out a single beep, followed by a second. I was straight back up again and on my rod, watching the bobbin slowly rise before it just melted off. I lifted into what I knew from the off was a good fish and had to fight it hard to keep it from getting into the nearby snags. The fish thankfully behaved and was soon past the snags where it then gave a bit more of a battle. Around 10 minutes or so passed before I managed to wear her down to the point she was ready to give up. With her safely secured in the confines of my net and in pitch darkness, I rang my mate Matt. I hadn’t seen the fish yet but I knew it was good from they way she fought, and whilst on the phone, I shone my light down in the net and saw her in all her glory “She’s a good fish mate”!
When I called Matt he was tucked up in bed but that didn’t stop him from getting dressed and jumping straight in the car to head down and do the photos of the beast languishing at the bottom of my net. In the time it took me to gather myself together and sort the swim out he was with me. The fish turned out to be a named fish, one of the A-team, and one that I believe hasn’t been out for some time, slightly down on her last recorded weight but she still crossed that magical 40lbs mark!
I’m absolutely chuffed to bits with this result, it’s been hard work but worth every second to bank one of these prestigious 40s! I’d like to say a massive thanks to DT Bait Developments for what is arguably the best quality bait that exists! Also I'd like to thank Jamie at Jprecision Hooks for the best hooks known to man!