The Kind of Scar You Want to be Left With.

"Once again, I found myself clock watching at work. I was waiting for a delivery to come in before I could leave, and the minutes seemed like hours. I was desperate to get to the lake, and I knew exactly where I wanted to be. The weather was hot, but changing rapidly with low pressure moving in fast, dropping from 1020 to 1000mb over the next day or so. There was also a strong South Westerly blowing, so the Summer Swim was all I could think about. Eventually, the delivery came in mid-afternoon, and I made it to the Top Lake in record time (observing all the speed limits of course).
My mate had just about beaten me to the lake and was having a quick look from the Car Park swim. There was one other angler present, in a swim known as Fit Mans, so I was lucky again to get the swim I wanted. My mate dropped into Cox’s swim beside me, and to be honest, these 2 swims looked the best option, with the conditions, and I was well happy. Everything was looking perfect for the session ahead, and I was very confident in both my bait and rigs.
The Pro Fish had given me some cracking results, including the lakes largest mirror, Geezers, three weeks previous, along with some other stunning fish that this lake holds. I had been introducing a little bait in likely looking spots on previous sessions, but this was the first time in this swim, which I knew was very weedy, so I had a few casts around with a lead looking for some clear spots.
With these areas found, and 3 new rigs tied using IQ2 and size 8 Kranks. I put a little bait out, followed by the rigs and took a well-deserved cold drink, as it was boiling hot. Without that strong wind blowing into my face, I think it would have been unbearable.
Fish were starting to show in my swim, so setting up the bivvy and rest of my gear took 3 times longer than it should have as I was too busy watching the lake. By the time everything was in place, it was knocking on 7pm. At 8.30pm, I had a screaming take on the right hand rod, but unfortunately, I lost the fish as it rolled on the surface, the only consolation being that it was one of the smaller ones, but it was still a lost fish all the same.
The following day was much cooler, rain showers had moved in and the wind had picked up even more. I now had small waves breaking in my swim. At some point in the morning, I forget what time, I had a lovely 23lb mirror off a clear spot, but that was it for the rest of the day, despite fish being present.
Saturday morning came and there were a lot more fish showing, but they now seemed to be more over the weed rather than any of the baited areas, so I brought in 2 of the rods (middle & right), tied up slightly longer rigs, and carefully cast them onto the weed, using small solid bags containing chops, crumb and foam nuggets to help the rig settle nicely on top of the weed.
At 10am, I had a 1 toner on the left hand rod. The fish kited away from the reeds and into open water where it put up a valiant effort to escape, but was quickly tamed and guided towards the waiting net. It looked a lovely coloured common and just as I eased her over the net cord, the right hand rod ripped off. So, quickly securing the landing net, with the fish safely in the margins and the rod resting in the reeds, the right hand rod was picked up and I leant into a fast moving lump.
Luckily, the fish had avoided the weed beds and after a little light pressure, I managed to coax the fish from the run it was making and eased it back towards me. It was still a fair distance out when it boiled on the surface for the first time, and at first, I thought it might be an upper twenty, but five minutes later, with the fish slowly plodding up and down a rod length out, I could tell it was a bigger fish. It was moving vast amounts of water with every kick of its tail, with huge tail patterns creating flat spots on the waters choppy surface. I positioned the 2nd net (thank god for a 2nd net!), and she came in gracefully over the net cord, to sit alongside the now, much smaller looking common beside her.
I quickly called over to my mate in Cox’s and also to another angler (Brad) in Fit Man’s, gesturing to them that I’d got a lump in the net. Both of them dually obliged, and kindly reeled in to come and assist with weighing and photographing. Smaller fish 1st, she was a stunning common of 20lb. A couple of quick photos later, and she was returned to her home. By this time, Brad had a look at the bigger fish sitting quietly in the net and hinted that it was Scar?
The cradle and sling were already positioned and wet, from unhooking the common, so, after checking that her pecs were flat against her body, we hoisted her out of the water and into the cradle. Yep, it was Scar, without a doubt, and she looked big and in good condition. I hoisted up the scales so as to let the two other chaps read the weight, which was agreed on being 37lb 13oz after deduction of sling. GET IN!!!! How happy was I?
We took a few quick pictures, but I wanted to get her back in the water ASAP, and Brad offered to take some water shots, so we both slipped on our waders and got in for some cracking release pics (thanks Brad). Then I sat her in the water and let her swim away slowly into the murky depths.
So far, this lake has been very kind to me, and I have been extremely lucky to have had 2 of the more sought after fish so quickly, but they’re all stunning fish here, and I’m just as happy to catch the smaller fish as I am the lumps. For me fishing is about being there in the first place, and anything you can catch along the way is a bonus."