Brian Holland

A Summer Tale

It had been a good summer and I had been catching regularly so a new water was on the cards, I had heard of but never fished Chigboro and after a few chats with fellow anglers at work over the lakes there, mainly over the about of weed I was convinced by a colleague Ryan who was on the syndicate next to it, to fish there and have an evening barbeque with him and his girlfriend Cat who were fishing the weekend.

So choosing the nearest lake to them, that being Scraley mere, now there is weed and there is Scraley weed, from top to bottom and covering the whole lake, I walked around but chose the bottom end where I had seen fish moving in and out the snags, I Have fished weed but this was going to be a challenge. Through a tiny single track it open out and you could just fit in two rods, the canopy of trees overhead were at about eleven feet so with twelve foot rods there was no overhead casting, but with fish in the area, you fish where they are.

I managed to somehow fit the bivvy into the footpath with half of it up a slope, with little a little area to get past at a Squeeze.

I put out a couple of handfuls of crushed boilies in a couple of spots in the weed whilst I set up the rods. Putting one close to the snags and the other in a bigger area to be right I sat back for a couple of hours. Ryan came round to tell me that they were firing up the barbeque and we stood talking over the area and looked for better spots where the carp were going through the weed, The were pulled in and joined Ryan and Cat for food and a couple of drinks before going back to my swim to set the rods for the night.

The decision was whether to go for both rods with different pop ups or the same as never fished the lake you will try two different to see if one works more than the other, I went the same two yellow on a multi-rig, being confident in my rigs of late . Placing these was going to be of the most essential as any error would make them redundant, Both were placed with under arm casts, one to the edge of the snags and locking down the rod as I could not afford the fish any chance to run and the second in a small channel about a foot wide in between the weed where it was obviously been used as a route through by the fish. On both set ups I used a three-ounce lead that would drop on any take. Again sprinkling crushed boilies over the top with a handful of whole boilies and sat back for the night with a full belly and a cup of coffee watching the sun drop in the horizon, as all anglers know it is not just the fish it is the surroundings that can be just as pleasant.

The evening and night were quiet and I woke at about five and put the kettle on for coffee as I watch the water to see if there were any signs of fish in the area or had they moved out overnight to a different part of the lake?, As luck would have it the left hand rod that was in the channel leapt into life with the alarm making a short but powerful scream as the fish hooked itself and bolted.

Even though I was literally sitting on the rod in went left straight into the weed locking itself away. This was going to be a stressful battle to get this fish landed if ever I was.

I put the rod back on the rest and reeled in the other rod to create as much area as I could then resumed battle,  I stood there with a fish locked in weed and applying pressure slowly but to no avail I needed help, releasing line back to the bivvy to retrieve the phone and a quick call to Ryan which I believe the words fish, weed stuck and help where only used. Within two minutes Ryan came bounding around the corner, I was on the water edge trying to get some movement on the fish, And out the corner of my eye I saw a net followed by a body go straight into the lake ready to scoop up the prize, still to this day I do not know if was momentum or he actually intended to go in to the lake but he did and stood there looking at me.

Explaining where the fish was locked up, I started to apply pressure again, holding the rod as high as I could which unfortunately was not high due to the tree canopy I walked backwards with Ryan giving directions as he could see from his position what was going on in the lake,

When you have a fish that is weeded up the weight that you are moving makes you sense that either the rod or line will giving way, but I managed to get movement, slowly it was moving, I could feel it and Ryan could see it, I had now walked back as far as I could reaching my bivvy, so now I could do neither lift the rid or walk back, I had to reel in using and hoping the line and hook-link would hold as I slowly moved the weed bed across the ten yards I had left to go to get the fish close to the net, As Ryan as far in the water as he could go and the net at arm’s length, inch by inch the weight that was being hauled in was getting closer to the fish safe haven being the net.

I had now been a full half hour battling this carp and now was praying that for the last few inches that the line held as there is nothing more demoralising than losing it at the net,

At this point due to the amount of weed neither Ryan or myself had seen the fish only that I was bring in a gigantic ball of weed, I knew the fish was still there as it would flick his head every now and then tried to drop the hook to no a avail. 

Then relief as Ryan scooped up the ball of weed and I could feel all the tension come out of the line and rod, it is a feeling hard to describe when you have win the battle and your prize awaits you, Ryan was still in the water with the net removing the massive ball of weed when his face started beaming as he revealed the carp was entwined in.

He did not have to say anything as I could tell by his face this was special, we lifted the net into the cradle and we pulled back the net to reveal a black common, as I have said in a previous blog that I prefer quality over size, but there is nothing like a feeling when you get both.

Not only had I got a black common but on weighing, the scales went 25.12 it was a new pb.

after a photo’s we sent this beautiful carp back home in amongst the weed of Scraley mere.

In writing this account I must thank Ryan as without his help I do not believe this carp would have been landed. You can follow him in Instagram #ryandabbs1989


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