Observation puts Ed Betteridge on track for a big winter hit!

Having caught the biggest fish in the lake, Ed Betteridge was debating whether or not to return, but with plenty of others still to target, it made sense to go back.

Ed had been planning to spend the winter on Monks Pit, in Cambridgeshire, but having caught the biggest one back in September he had mixed feelings about returning – that was until he had a look through some of the photos on the venue’s Facebook group and realised that there were still other big fish to target which he hadn’t caught.

He revealed: “I was debating whether to return, but then I realised that it wasn’t just about the big one and there were a few other big fish that I wanted from the venue.

“During a blank session in the first week of December I watched a few fish show opposite me, and when I returned and one of the lads who’d been on there for the weekend mentioned that he’d also seen a few in the same area, I knew exactly where to look. I’d only been stood in the swim for about ten minutes when I saw a disturbance on the surface, and as nothing popped up it must have been a fish of some description, and was enough for me to go and grab my kit.

“I positioned three rods at 80 yards, fishing them all on the deck and spreading them out a fair bit as there was no one else near me, and the fourth was on a zig rig cast to my left.

“Throughout the early part of the night I thought I could make out the odd ripple and crease in the water around 60-70 yards out, but I wasn’t sure whether or not it was fish or a duck. I was up before first light and saw three shows straight away, one of which was over one of my baited spots, but the other two were shorter and as I made a cup of tea I was debating whether to drop one of the rods closer in.

“The kettle didn’t even have a chance to boil though before I had a bite on the middle rod, fished on the deck. As it turned out I didn’t get a cuppa until after lunchtime as the action came thick and fast, with that first fish being a mid-twenty mirror, followed by a scaly upper-double, and I then lost one around the only line I had left in the water!

“It took me a while to sort out all four rods again and put out several more spods of my mix, consisting of Mainline Hybrid boilies, corn, hemp and maggots. I’d just done that when the bailiff arrived in my swim, and as we were chatting I had a 30lb 12oz mirror, which I was over-the-moon with for this time of the year.”

The action didn’t slow down there though, and Ed hadn’t even got that fish back in the water when he found himself playing another one, this time a 21lb mirror.

He continued: “After getting the rods on the bottom back out I saw a fish show and cast my zig on it, and within seconds it was away with a long scaly 23lb mirror on the end. I’d literally just got it in the net when a 24lb mirror picked up one of my bottom baits and wiped out the remaining rods whilst I was playing it, so I then took the opportunity of nipping back to the car for some more bait!

“That was the end of the action for the day, but during the early hours of the following morning I had two smaller fish and then was greeted at dawn by one of the old ‘character’ fish, known as the Horse, at 33lb 12oz, quickly followed by another couple of smaller ones.

“There was a lull of a couple of hours before I landed my final, and twelfth, fish of the session, which also turned out to be the biggest – a cracking linear of 34lb 8oz. I then proved that ‘13’ really is an unlucky number as I had two more takes on the zigs before I packed up and managed to lose them both!

“I was more than happy though to land a dozen fish at this time of the year, especially as three of them were 30s,” enthused Ed, who tempted all of his fish on yellow Hybrid Toppers fished along with bunches of maggots and presented on size 8 Wide Gape hooks to IQ2 fluorocarbon hook links.