Fantastic trio of Cleverley thirties for Ricky Townley!

Ricky Townley hadn’t had much chance to get on the bank due to renovating his house, but he’d been regularly walking his dog around his local Cleverley Fisheries Top Lake and trickling in some bait, and this led to a trio of cracking 30lb-plus fish.

When he did finally manage to get down to the lake for a session he discovered that the only other angler on the water was in the swim that he’d been pre-baiting! Luckily for him, the angler was packing up and it resulted in a session to remember when he landed the trio in a very short space of time during a feeding spell the following morning.

He revealed: “Due to my house and work commitments I’d only managed to get out for the odd overnighter, but when I couldn’t fish I always tried to walk my bulldog, Oscar, round the lake so that I could keep in tune with where the fish were, and also trickle in some Mainline Activ-8 boilies – feeding half-a-kilo every morning and evening.

“For the next eight days I wasn’t able to get the rods out, but in the end I think this worked in my favour as it allowed the carp to build up confidence. Finally I managed to finish work early, and the butterflies were setting in as it took my 45 minutes to get to the lake, and as I drove into the car park there was only one van.

“Unfortunately he was in the swim that I had been baiting, so I grabbed my tea kit and sat in a swim watching the water. Whilst I made a brew I saw a few fish bosh a couple of rod lengths off of the spot that I’d been baiting, which gave me a lot of confidence, but unfortunately with that swim occupied I couldn’t get anywhere near them!

“With nothing else showing I made the decision to head home, but as I was walking back to the car park I couldn’t believe my eyes as someone was also walking back with a barrow loaded with gear – it was the angler who had been in the swim I wanted and I couldn’t get my gear round there fast enough!

“I could hardly control my excitement as I was shaking like a leaf as I tied fresh rigs whilst the spot fizzed like a Jacuzzi – the fish were definitely on the feed! Knowing that I had to make as little disturbance as possible, I opted for a Cygnet baiting pole to drop both my rigs in along with a bit of crumbled Activ-8, and it is the perfect tool for the job in this situation.

“I got my head down early and managed to forget to set my alarm for work, and was actually awoken by Oscar snoring, but by then I was already late so I decided to see the potential morning feeding spell out – especially as I often fed it early morning and they would be used to bait going in around this time.

“Just as I was thinking about sorting some bait out to put in before I left, the left-hand bobbin jammed violently against the roller of my buzzer and the rod hooped round to full test curve. After a shaky battle it wasn’t long before she hit the spreader block and I was over-the-moon with a fully-scaled banger of 33lb.

“Just as I let out a sigh of relief to have got one in the net, the other rod rattled off and after some steady pressure a 31lb common rose to the surface and surrendered into my spare net.

“There were still signs of fish feeding on the spot so I quickly unhooked it in the net and sharpened my size 4 Choddy hook and got the rig back out on the spot. I called Elliott Gray to come and do some photos, and after getting the other rod back out I stuck the kettle on.

“But before the steam had even started rising from the spout the left-hander was churning again, and after an insane scrap my third fish was resting in the net, and I recognised it as a known thirty called Five Scale – the scales confirmed a weight of 30lb 6oz.

“A few moments later Elliott arrived and we got all the shots done, and then headed off for a fry-up and a long-awaited mug of tea. I strongly believe that all my hard work pre-baiting had helped build up their confidence and got the fish competing, plus I’d had a little bit of luck with the other angler vacating the swim.”