This week: Billy makes time to fish an overnighter in high winds, with a great result.
Wthe weather looking spot-on in the middle part of the week, with warm weather and big south-westerly winds, I knew that I had to get out on the bank.
Luckily enough, I managed to juggle some work around so that I could fish Wednesday night, as it really did look bang-on carpy conditions.
Now it was just a case of choosing what venue to go to, as it was a toss-up between my two syndicate waters. But knowing that Stanford Hall Big Lake’s Number One fish, and possibly biggest fish, was due out, it was a no-brainer.
This really is a special fish, as it’s an immaculate linear that goes high-30s, and it won’t be long before she goes over the magical 40 lb mark.
Getting my job done quickly on the day, I was soon pulling up to the gate just before 3pm
After a quick look around, there were two other anglers, one at either end of the lake. But with the weather the way that it was, I opted to fish a swim on the side of the lake, as the wind was hacking into my right-hand corner, and it gives me the option to fish either point of the island as well as open water.
With a lot of options, and knowing that the fish in Stanford are fed a lot of bait regularly, I decided to fish two rods over a lot of bait, and the other over less bait.
After a quick lead around, I soon found the shelf of the island, where I positioned two rods, and the other was fished down the right-hand margin on a hard spot.
The two rods fished on the marginal shelf of the island were fished on spinner rigs. The nice
Landing Stanford Hall’s The Classic, at 37 lb 4 oz, left Billy buzzing. thing with these rigs is that they don’t have to be solely pop-up rigs, as you can also fish them as bottom baits.
With this in mind, the left-hand rod was fished with a Mainline Essential Cell pop-up, and the right-hand with a wafter, which sat perfectly with this presentation, allowing the hook to sit on the lakebed and the bait to just waft up.
I deposited 14 large Spombs over these two rods. This consisted of hemp, whole and crushed boilies and some good old sweetcorn, with some liquids added for extra pulling attraction.
With these rods looking spot-on, it was just the right-hand rod left to do, and this was also fished over the top of the same spod mix. But because it was only one rod this time, I started off with six large Spombs over the top of my blowback rig, with a 15 mm Cell wafter hook bait on the hair.
No more than an hour later my middle rod went into complete meltdown, and was constantly stripping line off the reel until I bent into it, and even then it kept going. I was thinking to myself that this was either a powerful carp or an angry stockie, and battling the wind whilst playing the fish, with the net blowing around everywhere, made it all good fun. But after a good ten-minute battle I had the fish in netting distance.
The first time that I saw the fish I spied a few linear scales. It had a big old belly, and I knew this was something special. With the fish taking big lunges and staying deep, I finally managed to keep it up enough to net it, and after a look in the net, there it was, a fish known as The Classic.
I was absolutely buzzing, and when I lifted the fish out of the net I instantly knew that it was a decent size, and the needle settled on 37 lb 4 oz, meaning this was not only an absolute stunner, but also the second biggest fish in the lake.
My friend Dave Light came round and did a pukka job with the camera.
The rod was repositioned on the spot, and another six Spombs were put over the top.
The wind howled all night until 2am, and the same rod was away again. This time a short battle resulted in a small stockie.
The rod was back in position with fresh bait, and I got tucked up in bed, to be awoken at 6am by the left-hand rod slowly ticking away. Straight away I thought this could be another better fish, but after a decent battle I was soon slipping the net under a clean-looking mirror.
The fish was immaculate, and weighed just under 19 lb, after which it was time to pack up for work. Reflecting on my session, I was absolutely made up, managing to land three fish, and one of them the second biggest in the lake, an absolutely peach of a fish. I headed off to work very pleased with myself.
The right rod, fished down the edge, where the wind was crashing into the bank, didn’t produce a bite, but where it was a bit sheltered, on the marginal shelf of the island, got three.
Check out next week’s Mail for a full report on how Billy and Jamie got on in Serbia in the Carp World Champs.