James Salmons banks an old original called Heart Tail

Since returning to a complex of lakes which he used to fish regularly, James Salmons has quickly notched up a couple of the known big ‘uns that reside in the venue today.

He’d got things off to the perfect start when he landed the Silver Common, albeit at a spawned out weight of 39lb 4oz, and now he has banked one of the few originals left in the lake – a 34lb 6oz mirror known as Heart Tail!

He explained: “The weekend after I caught the Silver Common I was back at the pit again and buzzing with excitement. I already had a half decent idea of where I thought the fish would be before I even arrived, and when I got there I could see that they were in front of the swim I’d had in mind, and it was still vacant!

“I had a quick check to see if the old spots which I used to fish in this swim were still there, but they weren’t, so I started casting well beyond the fish and carefully reeling back to feel around where they were showing, and this quickly gave me two spots which I was happy to fish. The third rod was placed down the margins where the reeds came out in a point.

“The weather changed and looked even better as the wind was blowing towards me, and a few fish started to slow. I heard more during the night as I struggled to sleep due to the mosquitoes, and was up again at first light to see even more over my areas, and I knew it was just a matter of time.

“I sat there until 10am without a bite, and during that time I kept spotting fish show in one particular area, which I didn’t have covered, so I quickly wound in the margin rod and chucked out a single choddy. Just 20 minutes later my Kontour line pulled tight and I was into a fish which stayed deep and felt heavy during the fight.

“Eventually I was able to net one of the true original fish, Heart Tail at 34lb 6oz, but then the rest of the session didn’t really go to plan as I lost a really good fish right at the net the following morning, and that was quickly followed by another which found a weedbed and slipped the hook.

“I did manage to soften the blow slightly though by finishing with a lovely little stockie,” added James, who had his bites on naked chod rigs, tied using size 4 Krank Choddy hooks to 25lb MouthTrap, with a Heli-Safe System.