Darren Lamey lands his target fish!

St Neots-based Darren Lamey has been on the trail of a particularly stunning Monk Lakes fish for a while and, recently, it all came good for the Cambs carper…

After a very successful trip to France banking 18 fish, including three 40lb-plus carp on CC Moore XXX, using the bait for the first time, I was full of confidence and looking forward to testing the bait out on my syndicate lake, Monks Pit.

At the later stages of winter after a few cold, wintery weekends blanking I felt I really needed to step up my game to help me put more fish on the bank this year and catch the lovely fish I have on my target list.

Knowing time on Monks Pit is limited to 48 hours per week and I only tend to fish every other weekend, I felt I really needed to start concentrating on a swim what tends to be free, also a swim where I could perhaps trickle bait in throughout the week to try and create my own spot, which could be a massive edge!

Come the middle of February I made my swim choice - a swim up the far end of the lake called No Carp Corner as it was the last peg up the top end of the lake, which gives you a lovely amount of water to go at. To the right of the peg is a lovely tree line where at exactly 100 yards is a small gap between the trees which is perfect for walking round to, so you can bait up with a catapult, which is certainly less disturbing than spodding bait over the spot.

After the first couple of months of making the effort to get down in the week baiting the area, I was certainly getting more bites consistently but still not managing to get amongst the bigger fish in the lake or see any of my target fish. Having a look around my garage I thought I would have a good clear out of all my hemp, tigers and particle so 30kg went into soak and was cooked up the following week, which all went out on the spot.

I was hoping it wouldn’t get fished until I was next down but that was not to be as it was fished by a friend the day before I was due down the lake and he landed one of the A team, a fish called Mojo at 41lb, after me pointing him in the right direction. So under the happiness for him I was slightly wounded but at least I knew what I was doing worked!

After a few more sessions I had landed three more fish to just over 30lb but with work becoming busy and my France trip getting closer I couldn’t get down the lake fishing or baiting, so I thought I would have a fresh start once France was out of the way!

Upon arriving home from France the weather had completely changed; the fish had got spawning out of the way so I knew they would be hungry! Knowing it would be another couple of weekends before I could fish I decided to take more bait and my spod rod up the lake with just a bare lead on already clipped up at 100 yards, so I could feel around the spot to see if was still clear.

On the first cast I felt the lead down with an almighty thud trembling through the braided mainline, which brought a huge smile to my face so after a few more casts. I soon realised the carp had certainly cleared an area through feeding hard, so it was a no brainer to get more bait onto the spot and repeat again during the week as I would be fishing on the Friday for a 48-hour session.

Buzzing from the results with CCmoore Odyssey XXX I had in France, l started prepping the boilies with a generous helping of Pure Salmon Oil, pouring straight into the bag as soon as I took the bait out of the freezer as the oil will absorb into the boilies throughout the defrosting process better and once the baits introduced to the spot it will leak out extra attraction to draw the fish down and feed.

With my spod mix I mixed various sized pellets, corn, hemp and crushed/chopped boilies with another helping of the salmon oil, which created a lovely flat spot whilst being spodded into the lake! This would also create flat spots whilst fish were feeding, which indicated to me they were on the munch so throughout the session if I saw a flat spot come up but had no joy I could walk up to the gap in the treeline and catapult more boilies out to draw the fish back in.

My rig choice for the session was the IQ-D Rig, which is a fluorocarbon stiff rig and is nigh on invisible once on the lake bed, this is also a rig which will always rest itself on aborted takes as when used in conjunction with a size 4 Kurv shank hook and a balanced slow sinking bait it will always push itself away from the lead ready for another opportunity, so you’re always fishing!

This rig is at is best whilst fishing a clearer hard spot and as for my lead set-up I used the 3.5oz COG lead system and hybrid lead clips with 4oz distant leads on the other two rods with a fluorocarbon leader. As for my hook-bait choice, I chose the CC Moore wafters.

Come Friday luckily I managed to get to the lake at a reasonable time, as work comes first. Already prepping my rigs and having all three rods clipped up at 100yards to save time on the bank certainly helps - so once in the swim I had steamed my rigs straight, baited them and had all three rods out fishing within an hour including spodding out and a trip up the margin to catapult two kiloS of boilies over the spot, where all three rods were on the tight area.

Going into the first evening I didn’t really see a lot showing but then a huge thunder storm kicked in, so I found myself up most of the night dodging lightning bolts and watching one of the most amazing lightning storms, noticing the spot slicking up I was actually praying I wouldn’t get a bite for once and thankfully it didn’t happen, so once the storm passed at 3.30am I put another five spods out and walked back up the path to put a few more pouches of boilies out.

Come 5am I was away with my first take, which resulted in a lovely dark 25lb 9oz mirror and I was chuffed as I had been rewarded for my hard work! After getting the pictures done and the rod back out I was soon to have another take, which shot off like a steam train. Knowing it was the one and only catfish in the lake, the hook pulled but what frustrated me then was that the action died and the sun burnt through, so after topping up the swim and getting the rods out I grabbed another few hours kip with nothing happening throughout the day and night.

Come 4am Sunday morning the spot kicked off with two quick bites resulting in a 21lb 6oz mirror and a 24lb 9oz mirror! Buzzing from the action, I kept the bait going in but in my head I was thinking the two early bites had possibly spoilt my chances of landing a bigger fish or a target fish as I had to be off by midday to go and view a house, but boy was I wrong!

As I started packing away and everything was on the barrow with just the rods out I thought I would tie more rigs for the next session, out the corner of my eye I spotted a slick on the spot and not five seconds later my right hand rod melts off and a battle to remember began with little did I know, one of my target fish!

Line was being stripped off my spool at a very concerning rate with the fish taking a good fifty yards but as I gained on the beast it kited to my left and bolted again! Giving the fish plenty of side strain leaning out around a tree, luckily got the fish back in front of me but with the fish staying deep my knees were trembling and I felt weak with nerves!

After another good 15 minutes and more 30 yard runs and still not seeing the fish, it surfaced in front of me but at the time I couldn’t tell if it was one of the bigger scaleys I wanted. Once the fish surfaced again it soon realised it was game over and I slipped the net under it and at that point I realised it was one of the bigger fully-scaled carp in the lake spawned out at 32lb 3oz - I was, and still am, blown away as in my eyes it’s one of the best looking fish in the lake. It’s one I had wanted for a long time!

Once again, after doing the pictures my other rod rattled off, luckily it came in like a bream as I was shattered and had to leave for a house viewing, but it resulted in a cracking 29lb 10oz mirror! Just as I thought things couldn’t get any better, the icing was certainly on the cake leaving me the happiest man on the bank buzzing with confidence in my tactics and overwhelmed with the results I’m having with the new bait.

A good spod mix is vital for clearing spots at weedy Monks

The stunning Monks at sunset