Rob Greening enjoys a 'red letter' session

Rob Greening had some holiday to use up before the end of the year and was glad that he made the decision to spend a couple of days at Sandhurst Lake, Yateley, as it resulted in this 42lb mirror along with several others to over 39lb!

With the lake filling up fast, a showing fish helped to make his decision on where to fish and over the next 48 hours the action was fairly steady as he banked the big mirror plus commons of 39lb 8oz and 31lb, and a couple of twenties.

Rob revealed: “My club and syndicate waters had shut up shop for the colder months, and with fairly limited fishing time this side of Christmas, I wanted to go somewhere different for 48 hours and give myself a decent chance of a bite.

“I had a couple of days holiday to use up, so the timing couldn’t have been any better and I decided to jump onto a day ticket water for a couple of nights, and Sandhurst seemed like a good choice as it is an old winter haunt of mine, but one I rarely visit now as it is fully booked most weekends.

“I arrived on the Sunday and things didn’t look great as only one fish had been out all weekend and it had fished hard for a couple of weeks, plus there were 15 others booked on for that night and the lake was starting to fill up fast.

“I fancied the far end of the lake and whilst I was deciding I saw a fish show there, so I was off round there like a shot, and the swim I chose hadn’t been fished all weekend, so I knew I wouldn’t be fishing over old bait.

“I decided on helicopter rigs on all three rods, and these were fished with a Heli-Safe System and a metre of Kable leadcore. I opted for ‘Ronnie’ rigs which I tied using a short piece of Boom and a size 4 Krank hook, and my hookbait was a home-made Essential Cell pop-up, with a hint of peach and in a washed-out orange colour. This was fished over a bed of finely crumbed boilies and whole and blended corn, plus my favourite Multi-Stim liquid, with the idea being to get plenty of smell oozing out of the debris on the lakebed, but without giving them much food, and a visual pop-up on top to hopefully get a quick bite.

“It absolutely hammered it down that night, but by 11pm fish were actively rolling over my baited spots and I was getting some big liners. Then at midnight, right on cue, I had my first bite and over the next three hours managed one on each rod, and by the end of it was like a drowned rat and had used both changes of dry clothes that I’d brought with me!

“The first fish was a gnarly 28lb common and I was over-the-moon to have caught, but that was followed by one of the lakes real gems at 42lb, and finally a 24lb mirror – a huge thanks to the chap next door who kept getting up to take my photos. I was fishing all three rods close together and I decided not to recast and risk spooking feeding fish, as they were very active and I was still getting liners. I’m sure that if I’d recast after the first or second bite, then I’d probably have spooked the rest, and I only put the rods back out when I had none left in the water at 3am.

“I was confident of more action in the morning, which is often bite time, but the amount of disturbance around the lake killed the action and not a single fish showed – there were at least five marker floats out in the lake at any given time, and spods and leads were flying all day long!

“But I thought it could end up working in my favour as I was already settled in at one end of the lake and was using slack Kontour fluorocarbon main line – although I actually ended up keeping my lines out of the water for the afternoon - so I expected fish to be pushed into my area.

“Again, once it got dark they started to show in front of me and later that evening I had a 31lb common and then lost fish. The trip was finished off in style though with a chunky 39lb 8oz common at first light. It had been a very challenging session in wet and cold conditions, but I was very happy with my first ever November forty.”