Fishing just under the surface produces the big 'un for Jake!

Jake Holmewood’s local syndicate lake hadn’t been producing anything recently, but his persistence finally paid off with this stunning mirror of just under 39lb!

A complete change of approach as a result of observing what the fish were doing really did the trick when he banked one of the known big ‘uns in the venue, a carp known as Alex’s.

Jake explained: “A few weeks had passed with nothing gracing the banks, and the lake itself is fairly deep, with lots of areas being around 20ft.

“I’d had a run of blank sessions, but even though it had been the same for everyone else, I knew that there must be something else that I could be doing as I’d spent a few days watching them in the main area of the lake and had even got them taking food off of the surface!

“On my latest trip I could see that every fish in the lake was sitting in the upper layers and this had to be the reason that there had been no bites, but I now knew that I could change my approach and be in with a chance.

“Upon arriving back at my bivvy I immediately tied up some zig rigs, making them really long as the area I would be fishing in was 20ft deep, so I set them at 16ft, 17ft and 18ft. When fishing them this long I think you are reliant solely on the hook catching hold without the weight, so a sticky-sharp hook is a must.

“In the warmer months I like to use plain black foam without any flavouring as I think this best imitates the bugs that the carp feed on at that time of year, but when it is colder and the fish are a lot slower I like to flavour it with Aqua Baits chocolate malt glug to give a cloud of attraction around my hookbait.

“My choice of hook is a size 8 Wide Gape which I fish line aligner style with a 12lb Kruiser Control hook link and a lead clip, to try and ensure that my 3oz lead drops off when I get a bite.

“I cast my three zigs into the middle of the lake in the area where the fish were, and around dark I began to see increased activity around my zig closest to the surface, and I felt like my change of tactics was right and I went to bed full of confidence.

“My instincts were proven correct when at 3am my bobbin pulled up slowly and held at the top and I could see my line moving through the water as it kited. After lifting the rod I could feel a heavy weight on the other end and I quickly called for my friend to give me a hand as I wasn’t fishing with adjustable zigs so I knew I would need his help to net it for me. After a short but plodding battle the biggest mirror in the lake rolled into the net!”