First Time lucky - Rob Willingham

Wednesday 16th June saw the opening of a syndicate lake that I'd just acquired a ticket for. I couldn't get down for my first session until after work on the Saturday, where upon arriving I was pleasantly surprised to find only five anglers on. Quite why it was so quiet on opening weekend I'm not sure but I certainly wasn't about to complain!

After a quick scout around I decided to drop into a swim known as the point as it covered a fair amount of water plus had access to an island. I had a quick lead around to find that the bottom was covered in various forms of weed, so I decided to deploy two hinged stiff links out to two spots that appeared slightly clearer than the surrounding areas.

After scattering a healthy supply of Pro Fish boilies over each rig, I sat back happy in the knowledge that I'd done all that I could to hopefully bring some action my way. In all fairness, I was just happy to have the rods out on my new water.

As it turned out, the night passed by without so much as a liner to either rod and by 6am the sun was already promising a hot day. Sure enough by mid morning I had convinced myself that any chance of a bite off the bottom had passed so I reeled in and began a circuit of the lake in an attempt to find some carp to fish for.

I didn't even make it half way round when I crept into a swim called Worlds End to find numerous fish milling around above the dense weed beds and just couldn't help thinking they looked bang up for a floater!
Soon enough, after legging it back to my swim to collect the relevant floater tackle I was back in Worlds End and gently pinging mixers out to the fish to see what their reaction would be.
It wasn't long before I had several fish feeding confidently, and there were definitely a few good 'uns amongst them.

I sat on my hands for as long as I possibly could before making my move, which must have been all of 10 minutes! I could only have made perhaps four or five casts before a large fish circled around and confidently engulfed my hook bait. Upon striking the fish proceeded to strip a good few yards of line off very quickly before coming to an abrupt halt in a thick weed bed. Steady pressure got it moving again and it wasn't very long before I'd manoeuvred the fish through the worst of the weed and a lot closer to the waiting net.
As it approached I got my first glimpse of what was attached to my line at which point I recognised it as one of the bigger and most sought after fish in the lake so understandably my heart was well and truly in my mouth as it ploughed into the weed right under the rod tip!
Once again steady pressure got her moving, only this time she popped up and a fellow member, Adam, who was manning the net netted her first time of asking. Cheers fella!

As I peered in, there lay the unmistakable shape of Split tail.
Up on the scales she weighed in at a satisfying 37lb 6oz and looked stunning in the sun as I held her up for the photos.
A big thanks to Ash Bradbury for making a special journey to help out with the pictures.