Fantastic start on a new venue for James Salmons!

James Salmons had the sort of phone call that many big fish anglers dread, saying that his target fish had just been caught, but things all worked out well in the end.

Whilst he was of course pleased that one of his mates had caught the big ‘un from the big pit that he had been targeting, it meant that he had to change his plans. In the end he decided to fish a new lake that he had a ticket for, and ended up catching a 41lb 12oz mirror off of the surface on his first session, which was also a new PB off the top!

James revealed: “I’d had a couple of low twenties and was seeing a lot of fish moving around in a very weedy area, so late morning I spent some time finding a few areas that I could fish on.

“Once I’d finished leading around I Spombed out some floaters, and it wasn’t long before the first mouth came up, and within ten minutes I had them taking every floater I put out. I cast out my floater rod and it drifted down to them, and the first fish that saw it was straight on it and the water erupted.

“From the off it felt big and after ten minutes my nerves were shot as I had it gulping on the surface and could see my size 10 Mixa hook wedged in its top lip, and with a final pull it was in the net. My mate Greg had come round and we recognised it as a fish called Moonscale, which we weighed at 41lb 12oz – I was absolutely buzzing as I never thought I’d catch one of that size off the surface!

“When I arrived for my second session the lake was fairly busy and I spent my first night in an area that I didn’t really fancy. After a quiet night I found some fish in one of the corners and the main swim in the area was being vacated, so I moved in behind him.

“The bulk of the fish were still in the corner so I found three areas as quickly as possible and put two kilos of a prototype Trent Baits nut boilie over the top of each, getting the rods out about an hour before dark.

“At around midnight I received a big liner, and then a few hours later I had a succession of bleeps and walked down to the rod to find the bobbin slowly dropping back, and then it suddenly pulled up to the blank and I lifted into a fish which didn’t feel all that big at first.

“Halfway in it went on a couple of steady runs, but they were easily controlled and it wasn’t long before I had it ready for the net. At first glance it didn’t seem that big, but as its head went over the net cord I suddenly realised that it was massive and so I jumped into the lake and quickly scooped it up.

“I rolled her over and checked for the small single scale behind the gill plate, and confirmed it was the The Pig – she had been 45lb back in the spring, but now she looked even bigger. I was looking at the numbers on the scales around the mid-40s, so it took a few seconds to realise that the needle had flown past that and was settling around 52lb. I settled on 52lb 4oz, a new lake record, and called my mate Ollie to come and do the photos.

“Shortly before he arrived I had another take on a different rod, and this one turned out to be a lovely 27lb 8oz mirror. After returning both fish I spent the rest of the day celebrating!”

James tempted the big ‘un on a multi rig, tied using 20lb N-Trap Semi-Stiff to a size 4 Krank Choddy hook, and fished on a gravel patch 30 yards out.