Fantastic haul of big fish for Monster Carp star Tom Dove

Tom Dove had a session to remember when he paid a visit to Sandhurst Lake and banked a brace of 40s plus a load of back-up fish.

The Monster Carp star landed a 41lb 2oz mirror, plus commons of40lb 4oz and 38lb 12oz, along with loads of others over 20lb, during his session, with the action coming thick and fast!

Tom explained: “I had recently been to Sandhurst on a social trip with my pals and managed six fish out of peg 10, just off to the left in-between swims 10 and 11, and having had such a good session, I knew it was on, so decided to book a couple of days off work the following week to give it another go. I headed down Wednesday night after work, however the weather dropped in temperature and went down to around zero degrees, which given the time of year is very strange for May. So, needless to say, the Wednesday night was a bit out of the ordinary and I didn’t catch anything for the first 24 hours - the rods remained motionless with not so much as a bleep.

“The rods were on the same spot as the previous trip, so I knew if I stuck to the plan it would kick off if the fish switched on! Finally, the weather changed and the fish started appearing on the surface and showing just past my area, maybe 20 yards or so out, and as I stood watching I knew I would be in for another hit and I was right! As the afternoon passed and evening fell, at around 6 o’clock my Delkim sounded and the rod was away, I had my first bite. With this first fish falling to my tiger nut hookbait presented in the middle of the baited spot, I knew that meant that the fish were really on the bait. I say this as my two white pop-ups that were on the outside of the baited area weren’t getting picked up, strangely that’s what I had the bites on previously.

“It wasn’t long before I had another take on the same rod, and with that I decided to wind in one of the rods with the white pop-up and change the hookbait for a small brown pop-up as the fish were definitely eating bait, just not bright ones. I was rewarded for my efforts in the form of a Sandhurst 29lb stunner and a slightly smaller fish, and then at 8 o’clock in the evening the recast rod with the brown pop-up went into action, as the clutch ticked and the alarm sounded. I was soon into what felt like a good fish and it was, a pristine looking 40lb 4oz common, and obviously I was over the moon!

“That night I introduced more bait - three of four spodfuls of mixed boilies and tigers, with around 60 percent of the bait being 10mm boilies and then the rest tigers. That night I had another smaller fish, shortly followed by the right-hand rod with the brown pop-up once again bursting into action! After a spirited battle and a few ‘death circles’ under the rod tip the fish passed over the net cord and kissed the spreader block, I had Jagger’s and to say I was blown away would be an understatement. At 41lb 2oz the change in hook bait had definitely made a huge difference.

“To back this up, I had another nine 20’s the following day, staggered all through the evening and night, with no activity through the morning. It was apparent when the feeding spells were, or so I thought, as the following morning I had another nine fish all between 18lb and 26lb!

“As the final day drew to an end, right at the death I had four more fish, this truly was turning out to be a red-letter session and with the rods on the floor, just when I didn’t think the session could get any better I had a 38lb 12oz common. I was ecstatic, the rig really was doing the business!

“I was using 3ft of Kable leadcore, a Heli-Safe System, a 7-inch Boom section to a Spinner swivel, a size 4 Krank, and small hook baits fished so that they sank relatively slowly. Not critically balanced, but just so they sank slowly onto the deck, and I drilled them out and added a cork insert to keep the baits popped up and well positioned while out in the pond. All the rods were fished five feet apart at the same distance, and spodding regularly helped to keep the action coming. If I wasn’t getting any action on the rods, then maybe every three or four hours I would introduce some bait just to keep the spot alive - on this particular session keeping the bait going in was key to producing more bites!”