08.08.11

Going For Gold - James Armstrong

To say I was excited would be an understatement as I pushed my barrow along the shaded pathway that leads up to an idyllic Colne Valley lake. Although my main priority was to shoot a yearbook chapter for the forthcoming Telling Tales, I did have my wands with me for a night-time assault on the monstrous common carp that the lake holds.
I was there with my trusty Nikon camera to shoot pictures of none other than Alan ‘Colonel’ Perry. Alan had enjoyed some magical sessions of late, catching commons to over 39lb. This is going to be a special chapter, so don’t miss it. We were soon in situ, with Alan ensconced in a swim known as The Feathers. He’d seen a few fish in this area and it enabled me to plot up to his right.
I had to get some pictures done before I could worry about my rods, so Alan flicked out a light lead in an effort to pinpoint some harder spots among the heavy weed that smothered the lake bed.
Knowing it well, it didn’t take him long and soon had a couple of hook baits dispatched onto a couple of tiny dinner plates. He located them having felt the lead down accurately, watching the tip and feeling for the telltale thud.
He employed snowman rigs on both, whipped up, knotless-knot style, to a size-6 Wide Gape Kaptor. As leaders are banned, he opted for some of the new Dark Matter tubing, which sits flush on the lake bed.
Having noticed the odd fish swirling further up the bank, I went to investigate. Just as I peppered the surface with floaters I heard Alan shouting.
I legged it back and found him attached to something special. It powered down sending sheets of bubbles and inky swirls to the surface. I waded out and after some steady pressure he had something special in the net – I’m not going to give it away because the full account will be shown in the book. It was very, very special, though weighing over 38lb.
Later that afternoon, just as I was finding a couple of areas to fish at night, he managed another 24 pounder, all over a scattering of Cell.
It didn’t take me long to find a couple of clearings in the weed. The lead was donking down and within minutes I had two hook baits in position that featured some lovely Baitworks pop-ups on top, completing the snowman presentation. Due to the clarity of the water, I opted for soft fluorocarbon hook links. A PVA nugget was then used to prevent tangles.
The evening passed all too quickly and before I knew it, I was awoken from my slumber attached to a rod that was bent double. I could see a heavy fish, sending swirls to the surface in the distance. It was silhouetted in the moonlight and I knew I had a good ‘un attached.
It plodded along the surface and got stuck in the weed a few times, but the lead had detached, which meant that much of the fight was along the top. Eventually, I coaxed her into the folds of my net and she was mine – all 34lb 8oz of her – get in there!
Although I received liners all night long that was the end of the action for me, but who cares, I’d just had a 30 plus common! However, things got better for Alan and he landed two more lovely, old carp – a fish known as Elvis and a pristine linear. Like I said, I don’t want to give too much away about his captures because the full, in depth story will be written about shortly. However, it turned into a true, red-letter session, good on you fella - cheers for the guesty, the company and a belting curry!

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