King of the Res
With a day off work and the weather conditions looking perfect, with dark, moody skies and a forecast of showers, I decided to head back down to the reservoir for a full day’s fishing.
Arriving at the res, there were only a couple of cars in the car park, so I knew I’d be able to get in a decent swim. I loaded up the barrow and went to take a look around. I was surprised to see there wasn’t an angler on the far bank, where the wind was hacking in, so I decided to head over there and fish the swim I had done on my previous session.
Whilst unloading the barrow, I saw a few shows only a short distance from the bank. It’s very easy for anglers to lose themselves with the size of this water and feel they have to fish at long range right into the body of the lake, but these fish were showing at around 80 yards, which told me I didn’t need to be fishing at massive distances.
Looking out at the res, I could see a huge wall of rain heading over the hills towards my direction. At this point I proceeded to get the brolly up and wait for the rain to pass before setting the first rod up. The shower lasted about 15 minutes, before I was finally able to get the first rod out. On this I attached a single PB pop-up and cast it to the showing fish. I then wrapped both my other rods to the same range of 80 yards and cast out S7 snowman presentations on nine-inch German rigs.
After casting the last two rods out, I spodded out a mix of hemp, maize and 15mm boilies, with added S7 Hydro Spod Syrup on every cast. I went in with 25 spods to start with, which may seem like a lot, but these reservoir fish are hungry and have to complete with a lot of big bream that also reside within the lake.
To my surprise, it didn’t take much time before I started to have indications from the baited area. I expected this was bream, so I kept the baited area topped up with another four spods. I knew the bream would soon move off the area eventually, but landed four of them before they did! After slipping the fourth bream back, I rebaited and put the rod back out on the spot. While I was spodding over both rods, I heard a couple of bleeps and watched the indicator hit the blank of the rod as line slowly started to peel from the spool. I quickly put the spod rod down and hit into the fish. Everything just screamed big carp: it felt heavy and was plodding around slowly. After a long battle, I slipped the net under the fish. I didn’t know the full size of the fish until I lifted the net up. It was such a buzz to see a big set of shoulders slowly revealing itself from the bottom of the net; I knew it had to be a biggie! I left the fish in the net in the margins while I got the rod back out on the spot.
After taking the pictures and weighing the fish, which was a beautiful old common weighing in at exactly 30lb, I released it back into the reservoir and started to tie up a few more rigs, but before finishing my first rig, the same rod was off again! As I was playing the fish, I could already see other fish rolling over the baited area, so my hopes of catching a few more were quite high. After a long, tiresome battle, I finally slipped the net under a long, lean torpedo-shaped common. Again, I left the fish recovering in the net while I put the rod back on the spot. This time I didn’t spod over the top, as I thought I’d try to nick a bite fairly quickly from the activity I’d seen. For the record, the common weighed in at 19lb.
The rods then lay dormant for a few hours, despite all the activity I was seeing in front of me, not necessarily over the baited area but equally spread out across my swim. I decided to trickle in a bit more bait to draw the fish back down on to the area, but before I could finish the spodding, I had a few little indications that I suspected were caused by bream. I ended up having quite a big back-drop, so reeled down to it before setting the hook into another fish, which, to my surprise, turned out to be a mid-double mirror. It was nice to get amongst the mirrors, as they are very few and far between in this lake.
An hour or so had passed without a single bleep or seeing a fish show. I decided to put in a few more spods to keep the bait going in throughout the day. I sat back and watched the water, only for the sound of a screaming alarm to break the silence. I grabbed the rod and started to walk to the right as the fish tried to kite left. I was worried it was going to take out the middle rod due to them being fished tight together on the same spot. Then, amazingly, the middle rod burst into life! I thought the fish may have picked my other rod up, but it was actually a double take! I had to turn my alarm off, as there was nothing else I could do but play one and allow the other fish to run freely. All I could hear was the fish melting line from the spool, but I knew I had to get the first one in the net before I could do anything else. A good 10-15 minutes later, I finally slid what looked to be a decent common into the net. I put the net and rod down on the ground and grabbed the second rod. I was worried the fish may have come off, as it had stopped taking line for a while. I had to wind in a lot of slack line, before eventually… “Boom!” it was still on. The fish was some distance away from where I originally hooked it and was nearly in the centre of the lake. I knew it was going to take time to gain some line back, but I slowly I started to make ground, and 15 minutes later another decent-sized common was in the net.
What an incredible spell of action – I was shattered! The first fish weighed in at 25lb, and the second at 20lb. What a result! Returning them to the water with the light fading fast, it was time to pack down and head home after another great session on the res.