Big 'Un Tops Thirties Haul - Ian Bailey

Our very own Ian Bailey has had a fantastic run of form on his syndicate water. In the last two months he’s managed an impressive tally of several different thirties and the cherry on the cake, a true old warrior at 40lb 4oz.

“Being an account manager for the sales team at Korda, I’m on the road Monday to Friday. With the lake being 70 miles away from my home, it makes life difficult to get down there during the week. So, I’m restricted to fish every other weekend. Now, I’m not moaning that I can’t be down at the lake all the time; I enjoy balancing my work and social life around my angling. But, when it comes to the weekend I’m on my toes and fully prepared for each session. I’m very fortunate that on this particular lake, everyone seems to get along and I look forward to each weekend. A rota system makes it fair for everyone and puts each of us in the same boat.

Even though we are moving into the colder months, the carp have still been active. The beauty of this particular water is, being deep it fishes later on into the year. Winding the clock back, late September was the start of my autumn campaign. I opted for a swim down at the car park end, fishing a spot down a margin in 21ft. This resulted in three fish over 48 hours, biggest being 38lb 14oz.

The following week I managed to get down midweek for a night, taking a day’s holiday. This was definitely worthwhile, resulting in three thirties through the night, fishing a swim called the Dugout. Coming into the weekend I was desperate to get back down there to hopefully get back in the same swim. Especially when I saw some of the biggest residents in the lake, lingering around the snags.

Fortunately, I did get in the Dugout and by the Saturday night I’d managed two fish to 29lb 2oz. Knowing that they were on me, I was incredibly excited and confident of some more action through the night. I had seen a fish known as the Dog Fish, one of the biggest residents, cruising around in the snags during the day. This was one dearly wanted to catch.

Over the weekend I was joined by my girlfriend Charlotte, and she predicted that I would get a bite in the early hours. My lucky charm was right because at 2am the rod in the area in which I’d seen those fish sprang into life. As soon as it graced the net I knew what fish it was, the Dog Fish at a staggering 40lb 4oz. It truly capped off a great period of fishing for me!”