A Winter PB - Craig Ansell

With my season ticket on Rodney meadow coming to an end I dedicated to have a week to the lake considering that I hadn’t put much effort in so far. I spent a period of four days watching the lake for movement, talking to the other lads that were fishing and trickling bait onto various spots. I then got my gear ready for a 48-hour session. I arrived at the lake on a Friday morning and started scanning the water for signs of movement. With no sightings and having the lake to myself, I opted for a swim called The Gold, which gave me access to a large area of water where fish had been showing a few days before.
With the wind still on my side and blowing northwesterly, I was sure that the fish would still be in the area. I set up all three rods and attached a four-bait stringer to each. I chose to use one rod to cast to any showing fish, another was fished to a gravel bar at about 65 yards and the last to the edge of a gravel bar on a deep silt spot at 30 yards range. Next was a waiting game! After a night spent chatting with my mates and 20 cups of tea later, I went to sleep hopeful for the next day.
The morning was spent watching the water and talking to my mates and the bailiffs that were there for the day. Around 11am I had a take on my middle rod, which resulted in a coot taking my bait off the shallow bar. I opted to bring all three rods in and re-bait them, positioning one back on the deep silt spot. As I was getting the other rods ready, the Delkim let out a few beeps and the bobbin pulled up tight to the buzzer- I was in!! I struck into the fish as it took line and moved off to my right, picking up my mate’s line in the next swim. It was clear by the fight that I had a decent-size fish on.
As the fish came in closer it was clear what fish it was, the Three Quarter Linear! After five minutes of battle the fish was safely in the net. Pulling myself together and getting ready for the weighing and pictures, my mates popped round to lend a hand. The fish weighed in at 43lb 4oz, which was 3lb heavier than its last appearance in September. I couldn't believe my luck! After getting all the shots I needed I released the fish back into the lake. Pulling all my rods in, I sat taking in the event that had just occurred. I was well chuffed with the result as it smashed my current personal best of 29lb 8oz. A truly magnificent catch, which will always be remembered!