23.07.09

Gaz Bags Heather - Gareth Fareham

It was a tough choice... head to Glastonbury on the Wednesday for the full festival, or do my 48 hours on the Car Park Lake and then head up on the Friday. I'd checked the forecast and it was due to be hot. The moon phase was prime and Heather still hadn't been out. I had a good feeling and knew I just had to be there this particular week. I knew exactly which area I wanted to be in and thankfully it was free.
I was extra meticulous that session - everything was double and triple checked, my rigs were tied with only one carp in mind and I made an extra effort to find the exact spot I wanted, right on the very cleanest and highest point of the hump. It was no more than a couple of foot square, but the lead only needed the slightest bit of pressure to slide across it was so polished.
My bait choice was a simple one. A couple of Jars of Intense Hemp were emptied into a bucket, along with a couple of handfuls of Tigers in Talin. To this I added about a quarter of a tin of corn and then about half a kilo of my Odyessy XXX 'red'. I prepared the bucket 24 hours before arrival so that the liquid from the hemp was almost entirely absorbed by the boilies. This caused them to take on a soft, washed out appearance.
As a hook bait, I used a small, balanced tiger nut with a cork insert to provide the buoyancy. My trusty size 6 Wide Gape set up, fished on a helicopter with a 5oz flat pear swivel lead tied on with 3lb mono completed the set-up. I really wanted to go heavy on the bait this trip, so the hump was loaded up with most of the bucket and I sat back to watch and wait.
The first morning brought very little activity from the hump but I was still sure something would happen. I did manage to catch a stockie and lose one on my other rod, which was fished as a 6ft 'chodernoster' up on top of the weed - a corkballed Odysessy XXX 'red' pop-up with a scattering over the top brought the bites.
I was happy to have caught one but still felt sure the hump was the spot for the big girl. The rods were re-done in the afternoon and the spot was topped up with a little more bait. I received liners throughout the night and the following morning – in fact, a couple were so savage I was concerned that they might have moved the lead!
The bite finally came at about 6.30am and an epic boat battle ensued. After only a few minutes we knew exactly which one it was. It was a nervous 30 minutes chasing her from weedbed to weedbed but soon enough she was soon within netting range. The Wide Gape held firm as always and finally she rolled over the cord and the shout went up: “HEAAATTTTTHHHHHHEERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!” She weighed in at 52lb 3oz and was in perfect condition. Long live the leather!

As soon as the Heather buzz had subsided a little I started thinking about which of the remaining mirrors I could angle for next. The obvious choice was to start fishing some of the margin spots where individual fish could be targeted.
A little prep work with a rake and some branch clearing had one particular area looking really good. I did a couple of nights in there and then nipped up the following week to prime the area. I spread roughly 8 kilos of pellet, a jar of hemp and a kilo of my 12mm XXX 'red' boilies on the spot and returned on the Wednesday after leaving it for 3 days to settle. It looked good on my return with a southwesterly trickling in and after dusting the spot with another couple of handfuls of hemp, 12 millies and a dozen or so tiger nuts I got a hookbait into position.
The bite came within 3 hours to a delicately balanced tiger nut and the elusive mirror Pearly Tail had slipped up for the first time in nearly 12 months. She went 37lb 10oz and was in immaculate condition. The hook was a good inch and a half back and the ever-faithful size 6 Wide Gape set-up had done its job once again - a 5oz flat pear on my usual helicopter set-up completed the presentation. What a result!

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