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Making me work!

On Thursday night I decided to fish The Channel Swim.

Conditions probably weren't ideal for the swim but with our opening week only around the corner it is important that I fish all the swims, checking for snags, learning spots and generally just getting tuned into the lake.

After a good poke about in the boat I rushed to get the rods out as the sun made way for some very dark, ominous clouds. My plan was to fish the open water in the middle of the channel on 2 rods with the 3rd on the front of the far tree line slightly to the left of the swim. I also didn't plan to stove the bait in. I clipped on little bags of Coron Special crumb in mesh bags and boosted them up with the very potent liquid. I flicked them out to the chosen spots and accurately baited with 4 or 5 pouches of chopped Coron Specials.

I then had a good wander up the channel to a great looking little stalking spot and had a play around with the underwater camera whilst trickling some bait in hoping for a chance on the float before dark.

Well best laid plans and all that, no more than an hour after getting the rods out those dark clouds emptied their contents and we were plummeted back into dark, wet and gloomy weather.

Not long after that the bleeps started, the DXR's were set fairly sensitive in order to help me put together a picture of what was going on. As the night progressed the bleeps became more consistant, little lifts on the bobbins and tiny drop backs, something was going on out there, but what?

By 1am I was freaking, I had changed the rigs twice but was determined to stick with the spots and little bags, surely they would work?

Come 5am and it wasn't funny anymore, these fish arn't riggy, 99.9% of them have never been caught, it had to be a more simple answer, I was missing something. As soon as it was light enough to see the overhangs I skipped the 3 rods in and changed the rigs again. This time I put Coron special food bait pop ups on all 3 rods on 3 inch Stiffun Multi Rigs, I tipped the baits with a fleck of pineapple pop up too just for a bit of extra colour. I also changed the spots, I ditched the margin rod and put 2 even tighter under the far margin and put one back in the natural laden silt in the middle. On top of all that I filled it in. I had a feeling fish were moving through but nor really stopping. Maybe because Ill the feed I am giving them they are just not prepared to stop for a little mesh bag, they could just be tuned into big beds of bait. So I stuck with the boilie only and put about a kilo of chops over each rod and another 1/2 a kilo of whole 20mm's. I only had a few hours to go before I was going to head up to The Hyde with Matt to install a little window so it was probably an all or bust shot.

When things looked right and I was happy I wandered off back up to the new section to see if anything had visited the stalking spot. At somepoint they had but they wern't there now so I made my way back, its only 15 or so metres. 5 metres from the rods and the middle rod, one of the rods tight under the far margin slammed up tight, I was fishing locked up with the Nash Butt Locks and reels screwed down tight so the fish exploded under the trees as I got to the rod and lifted into the fish. Like all of these fish the fight was truly epic. More like a Salmon to start it tore across the surface heading towards the double. The rod took on a proper fighting curve and eventually I turned him, he then decided boaring into the deep silt was a good idea, long story short after 5 or 6 minutes he boiled on the surface and Matt dipped the net under her.

I was chuffed again to see a proper chunk of a mirror in tip top condition in the bottom of the mesh. She was a bit lively on the mat so I didn't weigh her, just a quick snap and back to her watery home. I estimated her conservatively at upper 20's but could well have been low 30's.

The extra bait and spot had paid off quickly and I felt happy to have put together another piece to the jigsaw.

With that it was time to reel in and head up the other end with Matt to get this window installed. Obviously it would be rude not to get the rods out again as the Hyde is right in between swim 1 and Rolos. Matt flicked them out in 1 and me in Rolos.

Same rigs and bait and I stuck with a decent bed of bait putting out about 2 kilos of 20mm Coron Specials all along the far margin, after several casts the rigs were in as tight as I dared and Matt and I could get started. We were just getting the tools out of the van when one of the rods totally melted off and within seconds I was being flat rodded as a super powerful fish headed off on a 50m run along the tree line. I stupidly said to Matt, this has got to be a chunk, it felt so heavy and powerful. As it got closer though I felt a few head shakes and thought maybe it isn't so big. After yet another epic battle where he kept powering toward my near snag line I eventually got him in the net and was greeted but the immaculate flank of a mid 20 common.

25lbs on the nose he went, so 55lbs+ of fish in an hour or so made a tough night worth it.

No more action followed but we did get the window in and a new view was opened up.

I will have one more go next week this time in swim 1 which I haven't fished before and then the lake will be left to settle, work is nearly complete and with spring very close things are looking exciting for the coming month and our opening in April.

Tight Lines


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