What A Peach! Jake Taylor

After winning the 2010 British Young Carp Angling Championships I set myself another target. The target was to catch a 30lb mirror before the end of the year. With this in mind I needed to choose a lake with a few 30lb mirrors in. Manor Farm on the Linear Fisheries Complex was my first choice but then my dad changed work sites and was unable to drop me off in the week. So, I decided to have a look more local to home. After to speaking to a few mates I decided on a club water on the Cotswold Water Park because my dad could drop me off before work at first light, which is ideal as this is a good time for spotting fish.
After getting all the gear sorted it was time to load up the van ready for a first-light start. I was dropped off at the lake at 6am and had a quick walk round. I spotted a few fish so I knew what area I had to be in. I loaded the barrow and headed straight round to the top end of the lake, where I had seen the fish show and chose a nice peg with a couple of little islands out in front. As I was setting the marker rod up, two fish came right out of the water on the left-hand side of the left island. One was a very nice common and other was a mid-double mirror, which was a good sign as that obviously meant that there were fish in my area.
I packed away my marker rod and set up my rods with two choddys. One went out to where I had seen the fish show close to the island and the other went to the right-hand island. I put the bivvy up, sorted everything out and left the rods out for another hour with no joy. I reeled in my left-hand rod, got the marker rod out and flicked it out to where I’d seen the fish and felt the lead down. It went down with a nice donk, meaning that I was on a clear patch. I’d been speaking to a few of my mates that fish there quite a bit and they’d told me to stay away from the gravel and get in the silt, so I pulled the marker back and felt a lovely smooth silt patch a rod length off the island. I clipped the left-hand rod up to that spot and fished a four-inch, 12lb IQ Soft hook link with a long hair, as everyone else was using your standard seven or eight-inch, coated-braided rigs with short hairs.
After I clipped up and marked the rod out I put 2kg of Baitworks Atlantic Heat 15mm freebies with the throwing stick. I spread the baits out nicely. I then set the right-hand rod up, fishing a lightly weeded area with a 12lb IQ Soft hook link. This time it was I went for a 10-inch version of the same rig. I baited this spot with hemp and 2kg of mixed Atlantic Heat and Monster Red chops. With everything done it was time to have a sit down and a nice brew and a catch up with a few mates down on the bank. After a quiet day I wound in and recast them both with fresh hook baits before sitting down for a curry with li’l Dave who was fishing next door. As we sat there munching and talking about fishing as you do, we saw a magnificent firework display. After a bit of banter and a bit more fish talk we both decided it was time to get our heads down.
I had a bleep on my right-hand rod at 4:30am. I was half awake and half asleep, I’m sure you all know that feeling! I heard a lump in the area and was hoping for a bite when the next thing you know, I had a one-toner! As I slipped my shoes on the fish stopped but I lifted the rod up and it was solid, so I wound down and applied a bit more pressure. The fish came free of the weed and straight to the surface as I was using a drop-off lead system. It wasn’t until I got it into the deep margins and turned my headtorch that I realised that I’d hooked a proper carp!
After a five-minute battle with the fish I slipped the net under it and quickly ran down to li’l Dave’s peg, telling him that I had a very pretty, big mirror in my net. He looked at me and said “ I bet it’s The Peach.” I looked at him with the biggest smile on my face when he confirmed that it was The Peach. The fish’s colours blew me away; I don’t think that I’ve ever caught a fish as nice as this one. I rang a few people up to come down and take some pics and what great job they did. What a fish to have as your PB mirror! On the second night I also managed to have a lovely 17lb 4oz stockie. Tight lines, Jake Taylor