14.07.09

Raining Thirties - Lee Brooks

My name's Lee Brooks and I'm a 28-year-old boiler engineer from Carlton, Nottingham.
I recently did a weeks session on a Nottinghamshire syndicate lake.
The lake is 25 acres and holds around 130 fish to 34lb - (lake record stood at 34lb 10oz).
The lake is a very hard water, I've watched people fish for weeks on end and have not a single bleep. This is what attracted me to the water in the first place - I like a challenge.
I recently did a 7 day split session on the lake and was very fortunate to have a record catch of fish.
The lake holds a very famous and special carp called Shadow. It normally visits the bank twice a year.
I managed to catch the fish twice in one week, first weighing 34lb 2oz and then 32lb 12oz. With the fish spawning, it dropped a couple of pounds but was very welcome 2nd time round.
I also managed to break the lake record with a fish called Ackers, which weighed 35lb 10oz. Most of the regulars had forgotten about this specimen because it hadn’t been caught for so long.
From the people I’ve spoken to they reckon Ackers hasn’t been caught for at least 5 years - it’s an amazing fish due to its very red belly and crisp look.
After catching these two fantastic fish I managed to catch another 8 30's and another 35 20's. Sadly, though, I lost 14 fish.
I couldn’t believe the results I was getting. Now, the peg I was fishing hadn’t been fished for 10 years.
You have to wade out due to it being a dug out swim stuck in some thorn bushes which I had to alter slightly. Also, with it being on the other side of the lake you need to barrow your gear around, which puts most anglers off - effort equals reward, though!
Due to the swim being very tight, you have to be in the lake to land the fish, as the left and right of the swim is full of snags, which caused me to lose quiet a few fish in the beginning.
After using a marker rod for several hours in the swim I managed to find a very small bowl which went from 12ft to 14ft. it was approx 10ft square, it just felt the right place to fish if I wanted to get the attention of the bigger fish.
After noticing anglers using the standard 15mm boilie approach, I thought I would do something different, and choose to fish with 20mm sloppy Joe boilies.
The plan was to use 20mm and if I didn’t get any action then drop to 15mm.
But I must say the fish's reaction to the large boilie approach was unbelievable.
Every fish I placed on my unhooking mat gave me sign's that they had been munching on my baits.
After every fish I caught I would top the swim up with half a pound of sloppy Joe’s boilies.
My casts had to be on the money, because I noticed if my hook bait was 15-20ft away from the spot I wouldn’t get bite for some reason. This made me choose to fish 2 rods at night and 1 rod in the day.
Using Krystonite 15lb fluorocarbon coated line, with an ESP lead core leader, Gardner flying back lead and Korda Hybrid Soft 6inch hook link, I was confident in my end tackle. I attached a small bag of chopped sloppy Joe boiles to the rig before casting out.
There’s only 1 fish for me to target now, and that is the fully scaled mirror, which weighed 33lb 2oz last season. (Fingers crossed).

Thanks
Lee Brooks

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