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Southern Stillwater Report by Tommie Bull - 18/11/2011

After hearing a story from my dad which he passed on to me from Stewi I couldn't wait to get back down the 'tricky club water' and try for them wise old pigs swimming around in the pools depths. Since Wednesday I had been talking to my mate Sam and telling him how on my session on Friday I was going to catch a 30lb common! To be honest I must have sound really big headed but I knew they are in there. Thursday evening saw me going through my bag making sure I had the essentials and this time I wasn't going to forget my milk like I did on my last session. I woke on Friday morning at around 11am and proceeded to get ready whilst feeling confident about my session ahead. 1pm saw me loading the car and then waiting until 2:10pm to set off to the lake. On the way to the lake I was telling my dad how I wanted to catch a 30lb common and it was going to happen within the next 24 hours. I arrived in the car park at 2:25pm and quickly got the barrow loaded, at 2:30pm another car arrived. I got my dad to keep an eye on my barrow and I went for a look. I didn't see much and soon I was back at the car, I had a chat with the other bloke Steve to see where he fancied going. After a short chat with the old man I let him out the gate so he could make his way home to baby sit. Stood in the car park chatting to Steve about previous sessions and telling him about how I wanted a 30lb common I noticed a dorsal fin break the surface in the 'green banks' swim. With only 10 minutes to spare another car pulled in, a Friday night and only 3 people here with 6 booked on I was expecting a couple more as the evening went on. Before I knew it, it was 3pm and time to decide our swim choices.

Steve wanted 'green banks' and so did the other bloke, but between them they sorted it out and Steve got his swim choice whilst the other bloke settled for peg 2, I left the crowd all 2 of them and headed for the far bank with no one else on there and the swim I wanted, I would be a mug not to. This bank also gets the sun in the morning, perfect for the morning feed. In my swim I pushed the sticks in nice and close together all looking nice with the rod tips back from the edge. The right hand rod was fished with a 1.5oz flat pear lead on a small Nash weed lead clip with 12 inches of Korda silt tubing with a blob of putty on the top of it to pin it down. The rig was 8 inches of 15lb suffix black silt with just the hair stripped back tied knot-less knot onto a size 5 Fox Arma point LS hook, a small 2mm piece of silicone on the shank and a 12mm shrink tube kicker, the rig was finally complete with a single 18mm CC Moore Odyssey XXX boilie. This rod was flicked to an overhanging rhododendron bush where I distributed 10 whole 18mm XXX boilies and 5 crushed baits. The left hand rod was fished just to the left of the swim in front of an old reed bed. This rig was 8 inches of 25lb suffix camfusion, a size 10 Carp 'R' Us long shank nailor with a tiny blow back ring, all simple and what I've caught on before, this rig was again finished with a single 18mm XXX boilie. Again, over the top of the rig I put 10 whole 18mm baits and 5 crushed baits. With the lines slackened right off and left to sink down I got the bivvy set up nice and low to keep well hidden. With everything set up it was 4pm; I clipped the bobbins on and put the kettle on. Sipping a hot brew sat out in a biting southerly wind I watched the water eyes fixed. It got to 4:30pm and I started to get hungry with this morning's brekky wearing off. I cooked up some pasta and set about polishing it off. After another brew the dark was drawing in and I dozed off.

I awoke a couple of times, but then slept from 7pm through until 8:45pm when my dad rang me. I finished the conversation at 9:02pm. I put my phone on my bucket and blinked as soon as my eyes opened from blinking the right hand bobbin pulled up and the rod tip pulled round before the spool turned twice and I was onto it. As soon as I struck the rod I knew immediately I was into a good fish as it took some line before I had to slow it down and turn it. I had a feeling as soon as I struck the rod I was attached to a 30lb common, a slow but deep fight endured. Every time the fish stopped I would put a little more pressure on the fish and gain a couple of turns of line before it would take another couple of yards of line. After a while it was clear I was winning as the fish rolled just out of netting distance, the next time it rolled it rolled right into the waiting net. Out went a little shout of relief 'C'MON!' shinning my head torch into the net I saw a huge common laying there showing me her right flank. She was definitely 30lb+, I turned her on her other side to check the eye's it wasn't the 'blind eye' common and it wasn't 'woodcarving' not having the best knowledge of the names I wasn't sure what one it was. I bit the line and rolled the net up before lifting her onto the mat. She was hooked neatly in the left of the bottom lift about an inch back. I hoisted her up on the scales and the spun to 33lb which at this point I couldn't tell the ounces as I was shaking so much. With the fish put into my chill out sack I reeled in the left hand rod before double checking then checking again she was secure before legging it around to the other bank to get Steve to give me a hand. He didn't mind giving me a hand I rolled a fag trying to calm down before he grabbed his camera and we set of back to my swim. Back in my swim we decided it was best to do the photos at the top of the swim. Steve snapped away as I held the monster up for the camera! After the photos we weighed her and on the scales she spun the dial around to 33lb 4oz! Thanking Steve he said good bye and well done to me whilst I put the beast back in to her watery home. When I slipped her back she kicked violently when she got her first sense of freedom before she just sat in my margin for a minute before waddling of too sulk over her mistakes.
New PB - 33lb 4oz
Southern Stillwater - 33lb 4oz

The left hand rod went back on the spot first time, but the right one landed just short so I let of another foot of line before I stuck the rig in the tree. I quickly got another rig tied and got it on the spot. 10 more whole baits and 5 crushed where spread over an area of 10x10 feet. Back in the bivvy I put some fresh clothes on as I was now soaked. The kettle was soon on and I was soon having a celebratory brew. By this time it was 10:30pm, because I was on such a high from catching my first 30 I couldn't get to sleep until gone 1am.

I awoke at 8:45am and got the kettle on. Sat out on my bucket, I sipped on a hot brew whilst watching the water. Not seeing anything show I made another brew whilst awaiting a phone call from my dad. He soon rang me at 9:30am, on the phone he asked if I had caught anything which I replied a little'un he asked how big and that's when I told him it was a 30. He was over the moon and my mum says she was buzzing for me! He asked me how long I wanted to stay for, which I replied I had done the job and he could pick me up as soon as possible. I quickly packed up before going around to thank Steve again and to give him my email address so he could send me the pictures once he had got home. Dad arrived at 10:30am and I loaded the car whilst telling him my story.

Till next time Tight Lines,

Tommie.

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