Pot Of Gold - Peder Lichtenberg

A trip to Rainbow Lake is always something special. The whole atmosphere, makeup of the lake and the sheer size of some of the carp swimming around there make it an awesome venue to tackle. In my years fishing the lake, we have been battered by everything from savage storms, to subzero degrees and ice in winter. Nothing is left chance when it comes to tackle, so when the buzzer finally sounds, only the toughest hooks, line and end tackle will do.

The area of the lake we were fishing held open water spots, with plateaus, gullies and some shallower, very snaggy areas, littered with fallen trees. The first night was quiet and I was the only one to get any rods out, as Michael, the designated driver, was too tired after the 24-hour drive, so he chose to get everything ready and get the rigs out in the morning after a night’s rest.

One awake, it didn’t take more than a couple of hours before an angry 43lb mirror picked up his rig fished in a channel. It finally hit the back of the net after a difficult battle between some sunken trees. During the next week the takes came at a steady pace. Most were nice fish over to well over 30lb, with a 62lb-plus common being the biggest. Most of the bites were coming to the rods fishing close to snags in water of around 10 to 12ft. The weather had been extraordinarily hot for the time of year and switched around two days after we arrived. This change got the fish feeding, but after a week of dropping temperatures and rain, the water had cooled down massively and the takes started to slow down at the beginning of our second week.

The rods that had been producing takes every day were suddenly silent, even though we were still hearing a lot of fish boshing out through the hours of darkness. Most of the showing carp were concentrated in the deeper, open water, but the three rods fishing there had only produced four bites, perhaps telling us that there were loads of carp sitting mid-water, not interested in feeding.

On the Sunday morning, one of the rods fishing on a plateau was off twice within a couple of hours and my hopes were high for a return to the sort of action we’d had the previous week. Unfortunately, everything fell silent again after this and nothing happened for the rest of the day. By the following morning, nothing had happened and the conditions were perfect for a bite. It was one of those lovely autumn mornings, when the scent of fallen leaves was strong on the misty air. Suddenly, the tip of the rod fishing on the plateau bent over, and the buzzer sounded signaling a take. I quickly grabbed the rod and straight away I could feel it was a better fish; no head shaking or quick bolts, just a steady, heavy bend in the rod. I quickly got into the boat and out over the carp applying maximum pressure to get it away from the bottom. In my experience, you can’t afford to give the carp too much slack, as you never know what obstacles are hidden on the bottom of Rainbow Lake. After a few minutes towing the boat, the fish surfaced for a second, just showing a broad side with scales, before powering back into the depths. After what seemed like a lifetime of being towed around by a big dog, the fish finally gave up and I could coax it into the waiting net.

I broke up the net and slowly returned to the bank, where Michael was getting everything ready for weighing and photos. On the scales the big common went 36.3 kilos, or just over 80lb! What a massive fish and in awesome condition too. After a quick photo session it powered off into the murky depths.

The rest of the week went by, producing a take or so every day, including a couple of bigger fish topped off with a 57lb mirror. We managed a total of thirty carp, including nine forties, four fifties, one sixty and the 80lb common.

For this trip, I was lucky to get my hands on some of the Korda Kontinental hooks in size-two, and I decided to use them with bits from the stepped-up Korda range. My armoury for the two week’s fishing comprised 50lb Apex main line, two rod lengths of 65lb XT snag leader, two meters of 70lb XT Leadcore. The rig end featured a Hybrid Lead Clip and a 10-inch combi-rig, consisting of 65lb Kamo tied to a size-two Kontinental hook. All is incredibly strong gear, which I will use again, again, and again. I have full confidence in these products and fishing a testing lake such as Rainbow, you need to have confidence in your products.

Tight lines, Peder Lichtenberg.