Diamond Geezer - Rob Willingham

Korda’s very own Rob Willingham has tracked down yet another target fish, in the shape of the sought-after Geezer’s from Cleverley Top Lake. He told us how it unfolded…

“I turned up at Cleverley Top Lake for my normal after-work session on the Friday in question, having had a busy week at Korda Towers. To my surprise there was only one other chap on the lake, my mate Welshy. The weather was pretty dire, with heavy rain and wind, so I did my utmost to get the rods out sharpish.
I was in a swim known as Turk’s, which gave me plenty of water to target. All three rods, complete with my trusty hinged stiff rigs, went out beautifully. I’d experienced the fish using this area of the lake a lot so knew that they’d be somewhere close. This is imperative when fishing short sessions; you must be in touch with their movements. This comes through early starts and late evenings watching the water.
I endured a very, very wet night and even though a few were showing by morning, the bobbins were still motionless. In total contrast, the next day dawned bright and sunny, in fact, the carp were even on the surface. I tried zigs, but to no avail.
There was a lot of weed in front of the swim, which was making things very awkward to get my lines down and into position. Consequently, I spent an hour and a half raking the area for better line lay. By this time, three other anglers had turned up but they were all on the other side of the lake, which meant that I still had this side to myself. I got the rods back out for the night and spread more bait over the hook baits. I was very confident as they continued to show over the areas during darkness – something typical of the lake’s residents.
It was a clear, starry night, unlike the previous one, and I was in bed by 9:30pm. I awoke to a slow, forceful take at around 4:25am, and lifted into a powerful specimen. I was immediately forced to give line slowly as it surged left in the deeper water. Applying steady pressure, I eventually began to gain some line and had her within close quarters. There was only one band of weed in front of me that I hadn’t cleared, and guess what happened? She went straight into it and wedged herself solid.
It was only a few yards off the bank and I knew it was just shallow enough for me to climb into the waders and go after her, which I duly did. I managed to get the rod directly above the fish and within a couple of minutes she popped up to the surface.
It was panic stations as she bolted through my other two lines leaving me in a right mess. I managed to sort this out with a little knit one purl one and soon enough she was engulfed in the mesh. It was her! I couldn’t believe it, Geezers at last, weighing 43lb 4oz. I got some very memorable pictures and would like to thank all my mates that shared the occasion with me.