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Four Seasons Fishery Lodge Lake - Summer 2011

I planned a 24hr session on my local water and had chosen to fish the Friday night through until Saturday evening, legging it from school and grabbing all I can carry to run up to the lake as early as possible.

I arrived at the lake at around twenty to four, finding that near enough all the main swims were taken, I dropped the gear in the nearest swim and went for a scoot round, hopefully locating the fish as I did so. After around an hour of looking to no avail, I decided to follow the warm wind that blew into the less pressured corner, in the hope of finding them down there. With the bedchair out at the back of the swim I began sorting the rods out and looking out for signs of fish. I had fished the swim the previous October and had managed to winkle out a 27lb 5oz mirror known as 'the red fish', so I at least had 1 spot that I knew might do a fish. I Placed one rod on this small hard area which consisted of a simple blowback rig with an E-S-P Raptor Curv and a small shrink tube kicker, and introduced 10 or so baits over the top, opened the bail arm and laid the rod on the floor. The other was the same rig with a variation of hookbait, and a little more bait, this time off a bush on the island. With both rods slackened off and in position, I set about getting the brolly up for the night. One of my mates 'Kalan' was due to arrive later on and as one of the main swims had now become free, he was going to jump in there. He arrived at around 6 and came round for a brew, I told him all the information I'd gathered and he went to get sorted, after reading a few chapters of Terry Hearns 'In Pursuit of the Largest' I went to sleep around 11pm.

Four Seasons Fishery - Lodge Lake Peg 7
'Patch Common' - 20lb

The night and morning passed without any action and I sat pondering under the brolly trying to fix a plan together. By this time I had moved some arrangements and managed to sneak in another night as long as I left the lake at 11 the next day. I wound in around 2pm and went for a walk round trying to locate some fish; the lake has a relatively low stock so location is a massive part of my fishing on there. By this time the wind had swung the other way and was quite strong, and as soon as I arrived in a swim up the other end, I noticed a good common roll out in the middle. This was followed by 2 other fish in the middle and one in the corner. That was enough for me and rushing back to the swim I grabbed the gear and lugged it round to the swim I saw the fish from. This was more like it, wind hacking in, fish rolling and not many anglers about. I set about positioning a rod into the area the fish was on, and with a small piece of PVA foam, I felt the lead down quite soft into some silt and a little silkweed. 15 baits went around this and once the line was hanging limply from the tip the trap was set. The other went onto a gravel patch in the bay where I saw the other fish, it went down with a crack, and 20 baits set the other trap. Same routine, brolly up, kettle on, I was brimming with confidence, and dozed off after my daily Terry Hearn read around midnight.
I was up at first light watching fish still rolling and wondering how the night had passed without a take. I decided to wind in and switch over to a 1oz lead to re-position back on the spot. After what felt like a million brews the re-chucked rod signalled a take, and what a flyer, probably the fastest I've ever had. I shot out the brolly and lifted into the fish, it pulled the rod forward and made a huge explosion on the surface, then for the next 5 minutes, it was just winding down, then lifting, this was until it came around 10 yards from the bank when it took a good 10 or more yards of line in one go, it proceeded to scrap for a further 5 then finally drifted over the cord. GET IN!

It turned out to be a fish known as the 'Patch Common' at 20lb and an ounce, definitely a case of effort = success. --- MT² Consultancy © 2014