The Perfect Goodbye - Josh Green

With the last two weekends of the season drawing in, the fish had finally moved onto the two spots I had been baiting over the previous month.

That first weekend, I arrived and managed to get into The Islands swim, one of the areas I had been baiting. The wind was hacking South Westerly, straight into my face and it was raining steadily - perfect conditions for the area. I was fishing tight to an island, which shelved off quickly, but the area is predominantly clay so the lead plugs into the bottom perfectly. This helps to stop the rig from rolling down the shelf.
I was using a critically balanced pop-up, on a D-rig comprising of N-trap Semi-stiff and the ever-faithful Wide Gape’s in a size 6. I managed to get the rod bang on the money, second time of asking, which was nice. Squaring off the sides of the 18mm baits that I was baiting up with would ensure that they didn’t roll down the shelf.

At about three in the morning, the bobbin smashed into the rod and on a locked up clutch I managed to get the fish into open water. After a hard battle in the edge the fish rolled into the net first time lucky and straight away I could see it was a good mirror. With a helping hand from a friend who fishing a couple of swims up, we weighed the fish at 30lb 4oz, took a couple of snaps and watched her swim away strongly, with a smile on my face.

The final weekend arrived and the weather was totally different, sunny with high pressure, which just so happened to be perfect for the other swim I had been baiting regularly. I only had the Saturday night, but thankfully, I managed to get into the swim. Again, I was fishing critically balanced baits on the size 6 Wide Gape, D-rig style. I was fishing up against a fallen tree on the far bank this time around, with a small area of silt tight against the tip. Just like before, the clutch was locked up tight, to stop the fish from getting into the snags. Before casting, I walked around to the tree and spread a kilo of 18mm baits all around the snag, in order to get the fish searching for the bait.

On Sunday morning at about 8:30am the alarm sounded as an angry carp did its best to reach the sanctuary of the fallen tree. I managed to get the fish away safely and soon had began an immense scrap in the edge, where I could clearly see a big common doing its in its battle for freedom. Thankfully, I soon had her in the folds of the net, and called my friends Nathan and Goldy round to give me a hand. In the net the fish looked awesome, she was one of the old Redmire commons that reside in the Split Lake, and a fish that I had dearly wanted to catch. We weighed her at 32lb 8oz and the lads did a brilliant job with the camera as always.

After returning the fish, I sat back and looked reminisced over my time on the Split and the other Yateley West lakes. All of which are beautiful waters and had rewarded me with some of the most prized jewels. To finish my last night on the complex with these fish was incredible and I couldn’t have been more made up if I tried.

Josh Green