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The Last Chance by Rob Kitcher

The Last Chance by Rob Kitcher

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After the last couple of trips with not even a bleep on the delks, I decided it was time to get 48hours in on my local syndicate.

Arriving in the car park at 5.45am, I was surprised to see a vehicle already here and with dew on the windscreen, I knew they must have been here since the night before. I was not too worried about which swim they would be in as I had baited up in 3 different swims over the past week, so I would have a choice.

As I walked into the car park swim, I could hear a commotion coming from the margins and on inspection, realised it was roach spawning and pike making the most of an easy target.

Knowing that usually the carp are never far behind and the weather this coming week going up into the 20′s, it was going to be a good bet that this weekend was going to be my last chance of a capture before the lake would be closed for the next few months, so a quick lap of the lake took place to see where my fellow anglers were and if any fish were showing.

The carp in this lake don’t give themselves away very easily and this morning was no different, so with the barrow loaded, I decided to fish the far end of the lake in a swim called’ Behind the hump’. This was one of the swims I had been baiting and have had some good fish from in the past, its also the patrol route from the main lake into the old end.

The old end is the shallowest part of the lake with depths around 7 feet and with the temperatures rising and the sun belting down on it for most of the day, this was a good choice to start my ambush.

Lines in the water and bivvy set out by 7.30am, it was time to make the most of the warm sun with a quick brew. A few bleeps from the delks came through the day but it seemed to be the roach hitting my lines from the spawning activity.

Now one thing you never want to do, is go fishing without your sun tan cream like I did and thinking you won’t get that burnt with your t shirt off, how very wrong was I. Three hours was enough to give me severe burns and writing this article 2 days later, it hurts even more, though I had been piling the after sun on for 48hours.

Well the day was un-eventful and so I was hoping the cooler evening would bring them out to feed. One of the lads decided to join me around 8pm in my swim for a cuppa and him thinking how funny it was that I had been in the sun too long, when one of my delks let out 3 single bleeps before going in to a single toner, we were away.

After a 10 minute battle and wiping out one of my other rods, the fish slipped over the net cord and the last few trips of blanking just seemed like a distant memory. Looking in the base of the net, we could see a very spawned mirror and I was surprised to see how big she was and tipped the scales at 30lb 15oz.

Photos done and back she went ready to join the others for the fourth coming spawning battle. The rest of the night went quietly, other than the roach still churning up the margins. The morning brought no signs of fish, though the couple fishing in the middle of the lake were constantly getting takes through the night and into the morning, another fellow angler had arrived on Friday afternoon and dropped into the ‘Back of the island swim’ which was also near the middle of the lake and had bagged a 31lber through the night, this swim had now done 15 fish in the last 7 days.

I decided a move was on the cards as I just wasn’t feeling the vibe, this is something I don’t normally do but felt a move to the other end of the lake could be a good bet as I had also been baiting up there. Within the hour I had moved and the rods were positioned onto the spots, just as I am sat feeling good with the move, the angler that had been in ‘Back of the island’ came past saying he was off and had another mirror of 32lb 8oz around mid-morning. Now I was in a real dilemma, do I stay put knowing this swim doesn’t throw up many fish, though the ones that do come out from here are generally a good size or move yet again into a swim that had been producing well over the past week with fish up to 36lb.

A further cuppa later and the decision was made, yet another move 100 yards back up the lake in time for the rods to be out before dusk.

Now Saturday evening and tired from all the days moving locations, I was hoping this was all gonna be worthwhile by the time I would be leaving the following morning and with carp showing the odd signs of thrashing in the margins, this was going to be the last weekend for a while and sure enough around 8.30pm, the left alarm lit up and the sweet sound of a carp trying to eject the rig was away.

A short battle took place before the scaly mirror shot into the net like a torpedo; all the moves had paid off. This was a lovely scaly 18lber and who needs to catch large fish when you can catch stunners like this one. The night passed with no further fish, though I did have 2 further takes but neither making contact with my hook.

Both fish fell to the ever faithful live system freezer baits with my home made pop ups, snowman style.

As I said earlier, I am not usually one for moving around but deciding to do it this time paid off for me. I will now be taking this approach more often.

An hour after I left the lake, the message came through that the carp had started there yearly richual and the lake was now closed.

Tight Lines

Rob Kitcher

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