Sandhurst Stunner - Ben Jones

I arrived at Sandhurst after work and following a quick walk round I decided on the Car Park swim. A warm southwesterly wind was pushing down towards that area and after seeing two fish show at about 70 yards range my mind was made up. I opted to fish with small sticks to start with as I didn't want to be making too many casts into the swim. Knowing the swim quite well, I knew the area was pretty clear.

I fished two rods on tiger nuts tipped with a small piece of black foam to balance them perfectly against a size-8 Kaptor Wide Gape. The third rod was fished on two grains of fake corn popped up on a size-8 Kaptor. The first few hours passed without a bite and I hadn't seen much else show. So, just before dark, I decided to put two rods over a spodded area of hemp and chopped tigers soaked in CC Moore Feedstim XP. The spot I chose was a silt area fished just at the back of a bar at 50 yards range. This is a different area to the one which most people tend to fish in that swim, as most opt to fish as far out as they can; well past an area that I have previously caught well from. I decided to fish my third rod on solid bags and roam this rod around to areas that I had seen fish showing. The night passed with just a bream. At first light I noticed fizzing over the spot and was expectant of a take. Nothing happened for over an hour but the fizzing continued. I've always been a believer in if it ain't gone and you think it should have, recast. So I brought in one of the rods put on a fresh stick and hook bait and recast to the area. It went within ten minutes and I soon had a lovely 26lb mirror on the bank.
I had seen fish showing to my right that morning, in front of a swim known as The Secret, so I changed two of my rods to five-inch Supernatural hook links, still baited with balanced tigers and fished these in solid PVA bags with CC Moore Hemp ‘N’ Halibut stick mix with hemp and crushed tigers and a small amount of tuna. I cast two rods at around 80 yards range to areas where they had been showing. It wasn’t long before my right-hand rod was away which resulted in a 24lb mirror. As I had this in the net my other rod on the solid bag went too, resulting in a small common of about 18lb. It was evident regular recasting of fresh bags was doing the business. I got both the rods back out and decided to give them an hour before re-doing them. It didn't take too long before the middle rod went again, resulting in another common around the 20lb mark. At this point it was pouring with rain and I decided to stick her straight back to get back into the dry as I was still trying to pack away. I left it another hour or so before I decided to recast all three rods on fresh bags.
I had caught all the fish so far on balanced baits so decided to change the pop-up corn to a balanced corn rig instead as this seemed to be the successful method. The fish had been showing regularly straight out in front of me around the 60 to 70-yard mark. So, as I was packing up I decided to cast all three rods to that area to try for one last bite. Within half an hour my right-hand rod was away, resulting in a pristine mirror at 21lb 4oz. I packed this rod away and had put my buzzers away and the rest of my gear with just the two rods left on the floor when my right-hand rod of the two started peeling line from the spool. Straight away I could tell it was a better fish and I was more pleased that it was on the changed corn rig as again a subtle change had brought me a bite. After a dogged fight and a few hairy moments when it weeded me up twice I finally brought a large-framed common into the net. I could see straight away that it was a decent one and was well chuffed to end the session with a good ’un. It spun the needle round to 34lb on the nose and rounded of a great days fishing nicely. And just proved changing things up and not sitting behind static rods will bring bites.