New PB for Elliot Bertram at Fryerning Fisheries!

Moving onto a different lake after spotting some fish really paid off for student Elliot Bertram and resulted in his first ever forty – this fantastic 42lb 3oz mirror known as XL Pecs!

Having already managed to catch four fish to upper-doubles during his first trip since Christmas, due to being away at university, he decided on the move after spotting four large fish in a bay on an adjoining lake.

He explained: “Myself and my dad arrived at our syndicate water, Fryerning Fisheries, late morning and spent an hour wandering around the Main Lake looking for signs of fish. That was uneventful and none of the areas that were free tickled our fancy, so we decided to go on Valley Lake instead, which was empty.

“Our plan was to fish that whilst keeping an eye on the Main Lake and to move if an opportunity arose. In the meantime I managed to catch four fish to upper-doubles over a couple of nights.

“My dad went home but I stayed on, and with the high pressure and hot conditions the fish were cruising around and weren’t interested in feeding, so around midday I brought my rods in and headed over to the Main Lake, scanning for signs of carp.

“I spoke to a few anglers fishing the main bowl of the lake and they hadn’t seen much, so I assumed that the fish would be in the shallower water and made my way to the northern corner of the lake where there is a bay that isn’t much more than a couple of feet deep.

“After about 20 minutes a few carp made their way into the bay, but I wanted to see some more before I made a decision to move as there were only two or three there. But soon four large shadows moved through, and realising that this was a golden opportunity, I rushed back to my swim and frantically packed away my gear so that I could move before someone else did!

“Once I was set up in the bay I spent another half-an-hour watching them to try and work out patterns in their movement, so that I could decide where to place my traps. I saw the bottom being stirred up and it looked like they were feeding on naturals, giving me confidence that they would be curious enough to pick up a hookbait.

“I soon had all three rods out and was fishing with Fake Food slow sinking IB hookbaits, with two rods on singles about 15 yards out, and the third with a Solidz PVA bag cast 25 yards to an overhanging willow.

“Around 6pm another angler came to see how I was getting on and whilst he was with me the left rod burst into life and there was a huge bow-wave as the fish powered through the shallow water taking line at will.

“I said that it felt big and half the anglers on the lake ended up in my swim waiting in anticipation to see which Fryerning monster was on the end of my line. I held my breath as it got close to the net, expecting a chunk to reveal itself, so was taken aback when an angry mid-double common broke the surface! I laughed it off and was still buzzing anyway to have outwitted one from the Main Lake.

“The disturbance pushed any remaining fish out of the bay and there was no action during the night, but it seemed like they didn’t turn up until the afternoon anyway and the plan was to have my rigs in place well before midday to hopefully ambush them as they made their way back into the bay.

“Conditions were perfect with the temperature reaching the twenties, but there were no signs of carp and I sat on my hands patiently. Then right on cue, just after 1pm, the Stow bobbin on my middle rod pulled up tight and I lifted into a dead weight.

“The fish plodded around whilst the clutch ticked for about ten minutes, and then I got my first sighting of it as it kicked up clouds of sediment and although I could see it was a better one I was convinced it was a common.

“The fish finally gave up and to my surprise it was a big mirror and my knees trembled as I inched it towards my landing net, praying that the size 6 Wide Gape hook would hold strong. It did, and I breathed a sigh of relief as a set of thick shoulders became engulfed in the mesh of my net.

“I immediately recognised it as a fish called XL Pecs and knew that I had my first 40 and that it would beat my previous PB of 37lb 1oz, and sure enough she weighed 42lb 3oz.

“I stayed for a few more hours but it seemed that the disturbance had scared off the rest, so I packed up and went home very happy!”