A New Adventure - Josh Green

“Having booked the Friday off work, I set out on an adventure to a place I had never fished before, with a friend who had just started on a new water. This place is rarely fished and with a real mixture of strains, which made it an exciting prospect. The main targets were a few of the old Leney-strain mirrors, none of which grow to large sizes but are a stunning, historic fish.

As I arrived, I was lucky to find most the lake free. After finding a few fish held up in a snaggy area, I set about concocting the best way to get the rigs out as subtly as possible. As always I kept things simple, using 20lb SUBline, straight through to a 3oz running lead. I pinched pieces of putty up the line for 6ft to make sure everything would be pinned down to deck. The rig consisted of eight-inches of Dark Matter braid with a size-six Wide Gape knotless knotted with a long hair, and baited with a 20mm Krill bottom bait.

After spending a while up a tree, I could see a couple of glowing areas in among the weedbeds. Not wanting to risk spooking the fish, I decided to cast the rig straight away and wait for the tell tale sign of the lead landing on gravel. I managed to get both the rods out at the first time of asking and opted to spread 2kg of 20mm baits between the two rods in a large area to get the fish hunting out the bait when they came across it. As it got dark, the left-hand rod pulled up tight and I was locked into battle with a fish that had decided to just kite round to the left on a tight line.

After a frantic battle under the rod tip I managed to get the fish in the net first time of asking. As I peered into the net I could see a lovely old looking fully scaled mirror, pukka. With a hand from my friend Nathan we got the fish onto the mat. What a beautiful fish laid before us. Under the light of the moon we weighed the fish and did the photos of this stunning old carp. At a couple of ounces over 25lb, it was a fantastic feeling and watching her swim away was a pleasure.

Nothing more happened for the night, but upon getting up the next day, fish were still clearly in residence. Bringing the rods in for the day, I baited up and let the swim rest, which is always a favourite trick of mine. With the evening drawing in I managed to get the rods back out perfectly. Not long after dark the left-hand rod was away again. This time, a smaller stocky of around 16lb was the culprit, nonetheless a nice surprise. About 2am the right-hand rod rattled off. This fish was a pretty little linear with a very noticeable bullish head on it, just shy of 20lb.
Just before first light, the right-hand rod tore off once more. This time I was locked into battle with something much more sizeable.

After a hard-fought scrap of about 15-minutes the fish finally rolled over the net cord. As I looked down, the most wonderful sight greeted me; a long, dark mirror with huge apple-slice scales all the way across its old flank. This one was another one of the lakes gems.

As the sun came up we did the photos of this magnificent old carp. It felt a true honour to have caught and held such an amazing creature. As I held this fish to release her I struggled to imagine that I would ever catch such a historic old fish like this again. With the greatest joy and respect I watched her swim away. She weighed 27lb 4oz, not that it mattered in the slightest. What a wonderful trip to a lake I might not get the chance to fish again for a long time. But as always, after fish like that, the desire burns stronger for the next challenge.”