As it was just coming into my favourite time of the year for carp fishing and having just joined up with CC Moore I decided it was a good time to get my ‘holiday’ session in over at Bundy’s pit in Cambridgeshire, where Ben the owner, allows members to do one long session a season.
Looking back at previous years, the middle of September onwards seems to be good to get a few bites with the chance of a chunk turning up amongst them.
In my mind, I already had an idea of which area of the lake I needed to be as I had done well during the spring and summer in a particular swim named ‘The Pallet’. This commanded a large area of water and was lined with trees and snags, which had been a haven for the fish during the warmer months. On arrival, I dropped a bucket in the intended swim then ventured off to see one of my friends Tony fishing up the other end of the lake to see what had been happening. With news that the lake was fishing slow and the fish were in a moody way, no one over the weekend had caught which made my decision for me as no one had been up the other end so they could be up there.
The week prior to arrival of my four-night, trip I gave the area of overhanging trees a good helping of CC Moore’s Pacific Tuna, 4kg to be precise. The first trip out on a new bait is an exciting time for anyone but can still have the sense of ‘will the fish like it?’ looming in the back of your mind. I gave the bucket of 15mm freezer baits a good lavishing of Liquid Salmon Extract for a boosted kick and they hummed to high heaven with carpy goodness.
When walking into the swim it looked spot on, a gentle Westerly was creating a slight ripple 60 yards out leaving the water in front like a millpond. The sun was out and a few dark shadows were just making themselves out on the wind line. I tried them with a mixer but they weren’t having any of it this time around which was strange as previous weeks it was like the whole stock was pac-manning without a care in the world. So out with the bottom rods – three hinged-stiff rigs made with a host of Fox Edges range, 30lb Illusion booms and my old faithful, go anywhere, any job, size 5 Arma point SRs, razor sharp and super strong, perfect of snag fishing at range.
Hook baits were Dairy Supreme and White NS1’s, the algae bloom was still hanging about so the hi-visuals were ideal.
The two margin rods were flicked to spots that had produced the odd fish in the past, then it was to get a bait to the far margin, up against some trees, next to an overhanging bush on the shelf where it was a lot shallower at 12ft deep, compared to other parts of the pit where it goes down to 65ft! Rods were out, 3kg of Tuna were spread in and around the area, I was fishing.
That night was fairly uneventful. The odd beep but no ‘obvious’ liners to show the carp where in the area which left me with a bit of doubt in my mind whether I had made the right choice.
The night turned into morning and I was up at the crack of dawn, a bit concerned with the quiet night as in previous weeks I was receiving more night-time bites than daytime. So on went the kettle and the first coffee of the morning was taken in. As the mist was rising across the pit, the odd biggun would poke its head out in the middle of the pit amongst the skamps just chucking themselves as high as their fins would propel them. It’s worth making a note that these fish are showing over 55ft + so a single cast in the rings is about as effective as a chocolate teapot, not disregarding that a few others had caught in previous times by doing this.
Half an hour went by and on went the kettle, again followed by a bowl of Crunchy Nut Clusters to get me started for the day ahead. I was just finishing the last sip of my coffee whilst sat on the edge of the bedchair when the long rod let out a beep and then the bobbin hit the deck. This was a usual bite off this spot as luckily they tend to go into open water than the sanctuary of the snags. On connection with the fish it felt heavy, slow with the occasional nod of the head which instantly turned my legs to jelly, the exact characteristics of the bigger stamp in there. Also, with all the ‘A’ team due I knew it could well be one. Focussing on the job in hand I managed to coax the fish across the pit closer to the awaiting net. She popped up a few rod lengths out and instantly I noticed the width across the shoulders, I knew it was a chunk. It seemed only a split second later that she was mine! With the net secured, I went back to the brolly in a trembling mess knowing I had one of the big girls, but in the manic 10 minutes I hadn’t actually looked in to see which one it was.
On first glance I knew which one it was; with its huge belly, smallish mouth and red blemishes around its gut, it had to be a fish called ‘The Carpworld Cover Fish’, my target for the season which I had only been talking about the previous evening to another syndicate member!
With it still being early I called good friend Lee Griffin, who lives local, to come and do some stills of the incredible creature.
I was buzzing. Trembling in my shoes. She looked a good size too. Her previous capture was 44lb+ and had done 49lb 8oz the previous season!
I hoisted her up onto the scales and the needle settled on 46lb 12oz!!! I was blown away, my previous personal best was a common known as Kitch from the Northey Park complex at 46lb 6oz so a new personal best to boot! I secured her in the sling and waited only a matter of minutes before Lee arrived.
On telling Lee how big she was he instantly knew it was a PB and shared the excitement with me. We got the mat and camera sorted, then lifted her out for a few snaps. What a unit, on the mat you could only appreciate the sheer size of her. All ready, I lifted her up and the camera snapped away. Considering the lethargic fight she behaved well on the mat, knowing the drill all too well.
Smiles all around as she was released back into the depths to sulk, high fives were exchanged and thanks were given.
I couldn’t have believed my luck, first trip out, first bite on the Pacific Tuna, and it was my target carp and a personal best! If there was ever a confidence booster that would be it!
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