Young Star - James Bushnell

Some of you reading this may or may not recognise this up-and-coming star, James Bushnell. He’s a young, talented angler, who has a bright future and over the weekend he caught a new personal best.

“Ladywood lakes in West Yorkshire, is my local day-ticket water, comprising two lakes. The smaller lake of the two, I like to call little Ladywood Lake. This is the one my dad and I have been fishing on and off for the past 12 months.

Looking at the weather report running up to the weekend, it looked bang on for getting some action. So, we booked on for a 48-hour session on little Ladywood. Dad was to arrive on Friday morning and I would join him after school. I kindly asked dad to pre-bait a marginal spot I fancied fishing when I arrived, a light scattering every two hours was all that was required. From watching the Thinking Tackle series and the Underwater DVDs, I decided on a strange winter tactic, the buffet method. We baited with small quantities of chopped and crushed boilles, mixed pellets soaked in yeast.

I was itching to get my rods out; finally, it was time. I opted for Solid PVA bag setup, packed with fine pellets and a splash of some Almond Goo. A simple four-inch braided hook length, knotless knotted to a size-eight Choddy hook, topped off with a Milky Malt dumbell wafter on the business end.

Instantly I was on the fish, landing six that evening. The next day the sun came out, so I rested my margin spot and pre-baited again, in the hope of some evening action. Due to the change in weather, I opted to change my second rod over to a zig, which landed me another five bonus carp up to double figures.

The evening seemed to come round fast, so I got my rod back on the margin spot. The weather then made a change for the worst, with incredibly strong winds and rain, which looked set in for the night. This made me think that maybe it was going to be a quiet night. How wrong I was!

I was chilling in the bivvy and had one shoe off, when my alarm let out a single beep. All of a sudden went it went into meltdown. I quickly dived out the bivvy door and lifted into the fish and instantly turned to dad saying, "This feels good". After a brief fight, I got him under the rod tip and we could see him in the gloom. The knees started knocking and my heart started racing. I quickly turned to dad, “That's big”. I eased him gently towards the net and dad slipped the net under him, “Yes!”
We looked down into the net and dad said, “I think you've just broken your PB James”. We got him on the mat and he weighed in at 19lb 15oz, what a stunning winter carp and a new personal best.
The best moment was holding him in my hands for the photos. Gus, the bailiff came down and confirmed his weight and also stated that it was a little Ladywood Lake record. So he let me name it, I decided to call him, Dodger.

What session, I cant wait to get my rods back out.”