As some of you may be aware, dur­ing the BCAC finals, the Long Sut­ton was caught for the first time (well) over the 40lb mark by the even­tu­ally-crowned cham­pi­ons of Kev He­witt and Mark Bartlett. They fished in­cred­i­bly well, are hugely tal­ented an­glers, as well as a very lik­able pair of gen­tle­man and were wor­thy cham­pi­ons for the sec­ond year run­ning.

This now meant that two of my re­main­ing tar­get fish had re­cently seen the bank – which was a slight kick in the prover­bials. How­ever, with a num­ber of other big fish well over­due, an ap­pear­ance such as Jacko’s and Red Oc­to­ber – not to men­tion the supremely elu­sive King Fun­gus (which had last been caught al­most three years ear­lier), I made my re­turn, un­de­terred from my mis­sion to bank a Wrays­bury 1 beast.

Work­ing in Cen­tral London I am for­tu­nate in that I can catch the train to the of­fice from Sun­nymeads Sta­tion which is only a short walk from the lake. With this in mind it is pos­si­ble for me to get up early, drive to the lake, see the morn­ing show and still get to the of­fice for my usual time of 7.30 on my nor­mal train. It is hard work, es­pe­cially when you’re up be­fore six al­ready on a nor­mal work day so be­ing up be­fore five is a bat­tle – but makes lo­ca­tion and stay­ing in tune with the lake so much eas­ier. That bit of ex­tra ef­fort can pay huge div­i­dends. The other plus side of this, was that on the day of a ses­sion it meant I could drive to the lake, leave my gear safely in the car park – and then save 30 min­utes in an even­ing in terms of get­ting off a train, rush­ing home to jump in the car and drive to the lake. This would hope­fully give me an added head start, and an im­proved chance of en­sur­ing a bet­ter swim.

So on the Friday morn­ing I parked in the prac­ti­cally empty car park, had a quick chat with Levi and Jer­maine (two of the reg­u­lars), caught up on the last few days’ events and had a quick stroll with the bi­nos. I soon found them lit­er­ally por­pois­ing about in the mid­dle sec­tion of the lake. I gave a lit­tle chuckle at all the swims that were free that com­manded this area of wa­ter and prac­ti­cally skipped to the sta­tion won­der­ing how many, and which ones, I would have this week­end.

My job for a soft­ware com­pany in­volves deal­ing with a lot of clients and when the CEO of one of our big­gest cus­tomers over­runs on a call, which means you miss your planned train to the lake, it’s un­for­tu­nately one of those things you just have to suck. Hav­ing said that, I still cursed end­lessly whilst bat­tling im­pa­tiently through the rush hour masses on the con­course at Water­loo, hop­ing that karma would re­ward me on my re­turn to a mostly empty lake, where I would surely have a mas­sive hit this week­end...

Kev He­witt and Mark Bartlett with the Long Sut­ton TOP RIGHT

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