Jon Mann lands his target fish on an overnight session

Korda’s Jon Mann managed to find his target fish – a mirror known as James – at a small farm reservoir, and then caught it that night!

The account manager had spent a couple of seasons on the venue, catching most of the other residents along the way, before finally landing the big ‘un at exactly 44lb.

Jon revealed: “For the past couple of years I have been concentrating my efforts on a small farm reservoir, primarily fishing overnight sessions in-between work, punctuated with the occasional longer weekend session – often accompanied by my six-year-old son.

“The season had been going well and I’d been catching consistently, fishing beds of particles out in the main body of the lake. I’d been on holiday with the family the previous week, and managed to get down to the lake on the Monday afternoon.

“I rarely manage to get on the lake so early, so I took the opportunity to have a good look round and spent some time stood surveying a narrow channel which runs around the back of an island. I noticed a familiar tail waving at me from a large patch of broad leaf pondweed, and after climbing a tree I was able to confirm that it was indeed connected to the carp that I had been after for two years, a carp called James.

“I quickly formulated a plan to try and catch it, which involved taking off the combi-rigs and fluorocarbon leaders, and swapping them for a soft braided hook link and rig tubing – I was using a size 4 Wide Gape X hook to 20lb Dark Matter braid. I kept on the Flatliner Distance inline lead, with Dark Matter tubing and 15lb Touchdown main line, as I wanted to cram everything into an XS Solidz PVA bag, as I wasn’t sure what the lakebed was like near to the vegetation that James was sitting in.

“I also decided to ditch the particles and use some of the new prototype Mainline boilies that I had with me – filling the bag with whole and chopped baits - and I balanced my hookbaits with a small piece of cork.

“I flicked in a few boilies to disturb the area, which was just a few feet from the bank, and then got my rig into place and climbed a small tree to watch events unfold. Time drifted away until a swan decided to upend itself in an attempt to snaffle my carefully placed trap, and no amount of muffled hissing would move it. I hopped out of the tree to spook it, which worked, but I could see that James had gone as well!

“Thankfully, after what seemed like decades, James made a return to his patch in the weed and proceeded to taunt me by waving his tail at me again. By this time the day was wearing on and a layer of sediment had collected on my line and had lifted it up to the surface. I couldn’t leave it like that, so begrudgingly I skipped the rig in and recast it, just clipping the outer leaves on the way in. By now James had moved to the far side of the broad leaf, but at least he was still about.

“Shortly after 10.30pm the rod burst into life and I was quickly on it, but the fish had buried itself a short way into the plant life. I gained some line and its tail thrashed on the surface, but then it went solid. I maintained steady pressure on it and then slowly moved down the bank to get a different angle on it, and it broke free and as I was at such close quarters to it I hastily bundled it into the waiting net.

“There in the net was James, the fish which had spent the previous afternoon waving at me with his tail, and on the scales he went 44lb exactly. Luckily a work colleague, Gareth, was fishing another local lake and happily wound in to come and take the photos. I’ve had an enjoyable couple of years on this lake, caught some nice carp and met some nice people, but it is now time to move on,” he concluded.