Bundy's Big 'Un for Peck - Darrell Peck

I’ve been visiting this very intriguing, deep, little pit since early December and I must say it’s certainly keeping my mind racing through even the coldest weather. Being quite a small pit, at around eight acres and having a reasonably large stock, I thought zigs could nick the odd bite during the quieter periods. I think it’s highly likely the fish come up in the water once it fully cools and will probably be sitting wherever they feel most comfortable.

True to form, the fishing has slowed right off in recent weeks and with that, the number of anglers on the bank had started to dwindle. What is crazy though is that the carp were still showing quite heavily… at night. When I arrived Monday a couple of weeks ago another angler, Ed, caught a 19lb common on a zig just as I was flicking my rods out opposite. Ed was soon packing up so I simply flicked a couple of zigs into the middle just before dark. The air was still as can be, the lake’s surface mirror-like, and with the stars out it wasn’t long before a savage frost had me huddled in the bottom of my sleeping bag. I couldn’t get off to sleep; I’d drunk too much tea and the sound of rolling carp was tormenting me. The ripples weren’t reaching my bank and although I couldn’t see their exact location because of the freezing fog, I knew roughly where they were.

By 6am I’d had enough of listening and started packing up my frosted tackle, which was most unpleasant; my fingers were numb like frozen sausages. By 8am, I was round in the peg opposite; all three rods rigged up with adjustable zigs, comprising of size-12 Mixa hooks, 9lb N-Gauge hook links with a piece of black foam as a hook bait. The trouble was, I couldn’t see where to cast; the fog was so thick I couldn’t see my rod tips from my bedchair!
I made a cup of tea thinking I’d wait but without a rod in the water I had no chance. I knew the swim and I knew where they had generally showed on previous trips so after a little thought I simply clipped up at the range using my Cygnet Distance Sticks, then lobbed them out into the mist. The floats were popped up to the surface then the line pulled tight in the rest until I’d guessed they had just submerged. I then worked them down to roughly where I thought was best.

It was a strange feeling sitting there, not being certain where I had cast or at what exact depth I was fishing. A couple of hours passed with no indications, and with no more fish showing I decided I’d pull the deepest one down another three feet. Why? Why not! Almost instantly through the fog I thought I saw the tip on the rod that I had just reset bounce. At first, I doubted my eyes thinking I was imaging it, but as I focused it definitely was now pulling down. Lifting into it I could feel a heavy weight plodding through the water and it had soon picked up both the other lines. As the fish approached the bottom of the shelf I could feel that horrible grating sensation and I feared for the thin hook link taking this abuse, as it was chaffed by the other lines. Miraculously, both the other lines came free and I was suddenly in direct contact with the fish. In my mind I knew it would be at least 35lb. Gaining line took time even when it wasn’t fighting. Then from the depths it appeared, growing in size as it neared the surface. I was far from composed, my body was shaking uncontrollably; I knew it was one of the real monsters from the deep pit. I thrust the net out onto the surface, gently guiding the beast over the cord.

What a result, 46lbs12oz of January common carp. What a carp, what a lake! I truly can’t believe my luck.