Goo-Caught Whacker - Mark Wooley

After a month of frustrating weather fluctuations, which made the fishing difficult and bites hard to come by, finally we were looking at a week of steady low pressure, which would provide the perfect feeding environment for some hungry big carp. On each of the previous three years, the month of April had seen Linford’s most sought-after resident, Clover, grace the bank at around 40lb. To date, Clover had yet to slip up on one of the many traps littering the lake bed so, full of optimism, I set off to the lake where I’d received word that Jon Roper was already occupying the Front Of The Island. The swim is a popular location due to the amount of water it controls, it’s weed-free nature and the fact that it’s in the centre of the lake.

Aware of Jon’s whereabouts, I began my approach. Hearing slight ruffles of movement, I quickly ripped the Velcro rear vent from his Tempest, letting out a high-pitched scream, sending Jon to the roof of the bivvy! Jon’s heart rate quickly returned to a normal beat and after a quick chat I went to grab my gear from the car.
On my return, I heard a quiet voice crying “Mark!” and when looking up, I saw Jon standing in the reeds in the water! “What are you doing,” I said? “It came in really quickly and I wanted to avoid the shallows, so I walked out,” Jon replied. With no time to question why Jon didn’t take the landing net with him, I hopped in and did the honours, slipping the net under what looked a clear thirty, which Jon argued as he was confident that this was his target fish, Clover. His guess was quickly backed up by both sets of our scales, which confirmed the massive beauty at 41lb 8oz. Both overwhelmed with excitement, we decided that the best thing to do would be to place the lump in a retainer while we composed ourselves, set up cameras and Clover had a sulk.

Filling most of our memory cards with too many photos and loads of film, the magnificent creature was returned and we each found ourselves with a celebratory beer in hand, as Jon slowly began trying a new rig which Darrell Peck had shown him the week before during a Kordatorial on the same lake. The rig was made using Dark Matter rig tube, a Safe Zone lead clip a 3oz lead, 15lb N-Trap Soft and a size 8 Choddy hook, which was baited with a 10mm Pineapple pop-up and balanced with a small shot. Jon’s edge was coating his pop-up with the new Pineapple Power Smoke GOO before casting. The Goo, which let off a fluorescent-green smoky trail, seemed an obvious edge in terms of attraction and had certainly won Jon’s affections first time out.

After a quick glance at his watch, Jon reluctantly had to leave for an hour to view a house, passing David Summerfield on his way out with little time to explain his delight, Jon left me the responsibility as Dave set up on the left side of the island. I was lost in conversation when my pocket began to vibrate, signaling a take on my middle rod. Lifting the rod it was clear that I wasn’t dealing with another of Linford One’s lumps and the 19lb common was quickly under control and occupied the space in my landing net thanks to some skills from David, who also showed that he’s not a one-trick pony as he danced around me with the camera, snapping away before I reminded him that it was only a 19lb common. This was another Goo victim, as I too had adopted a similar application to Jon, although using the trusted chod rigs, which have served me well recently.

David also opted to fish the three chod rigs and Goo presentation that I’d been successful on. Jon came skipping over the bridge to the island empty handed without the dinner that he was supposed to be bringing back. So, as David had only just arrived, Jon and I decided that we would both go out to fetch dinner, leaving David the opportunity to get himself settled. On our return, we heard a deep voice calling us. He’d only gone and bagged one while we were away. Holding the net in the margin we’d arrived at a good time as the mid-double had only just graced his landing net and was a welcome distraction from our otherwise warm dinner.

The session ended with a fish for each of us, and three fish to the Goo, which proved a massive edge, especially in providing Jon with a capture he’ll never forget.