This ancient looking mirror marked a great start
Darryl Dunn returned to a very special Cambridgeshire syndicate recently and got off to a great start, good angling Darryl!
‘Having finished on my spring ticket on the Kent syndicate it was time to return to the special place in Cambridge. I was like a kid on Christmas Eve and set the alarm for a 4am start. But I was already awake at 3:15 and raring to go. I pulled up at the venue at 5am and it instantly felt good to be back. This truly is a special place.
One of the other members had left a garden patio chair in one of the swims that commands a good view of the entire lake. I sat down and watched the water for a good hour as dawn unfolded. In that time I saw one possible show and one definite fish head and shoulder in the same area of the lake. They aren’t the most showy fish on this venue at times so this was a good lead to start with.
I moved around to sit in the swim that covers this water and again sat for the best part of an hour watching for signs. There was a little bubbling going on along with one more show. That was good enough for me to be going on with. I soon had the tackle in the swim, and even though this venue can be a real head banger I knew there was always the possibility of a quick bite. So rods were put out with the minimum of disturbance as singles with tiny PVA sticks.
Unfortunately nothing materialised that first morning. It was a warm but very breezy day and all signs of activity stopped, so it was time to get a bit of bait in and get ready for the first night. All of the rods were re-done with rigs of semi-stiff Tungsten Loaded tied to size 5 Cryogen Grippers baited with Sticky Krill wafters. A scattering of bait was sticked around each rod and the traps were set.
After an early morning start I was in the bag shortly after dark and quickly off to sleep. The next thing I knew it was 5:20am and I was being awoken by a series of bleeps on my left hand rod. As I opened my eyes I saw the rod tip spring back. As I reached the rod the bobbin was just starting to tighten up again. I picked the rod up and tightened down, only to find very little in the way of resistance on the other end. Something was there but it wasn’t in much of a mood to pull back. I thought I had hooked one of the smaller Bream in the venue and played it in gently as I slipped into my chest waders.
The lake is suffering with an incredibly thick algae bloom at the moment which had formed a thick scummy layer in front of me. I saw a gentle swirl in front of me and I positioned the net ready. A little extra pressure on the rod and out of the green carpet popped a very un Bream like head and straight into the net it went. Not what I was expecting but more than welcome. Onto the mat I gently laid an ancient old looking mirror of 25 – 13. Not huge by todays standards, but these fish are approaching 50 years old and rarely give themselves up too easily, so to me they are all very, very special, big or small.
No other action was had for the rest of that day. Once again come early afternoon all rods were rebaited with the same tactics as the day before ready for another night.
A very quiet night was had with not even a single bleep. I was up and awake just before 5am and sat watching and waiting with a brew in hand. The algae looked to have got even worse and I didn’t see anything much to go on.
Darryl’s second fish weighing 24lb 5oz
By 7.15 I thought it wasn’t looking too promising and I would grab another hours sleep. The second I lay back, the same rod as the day before pulled up tight. I picked up the rod and leaned into the fish. This time it felt a lot more carp like. Nothing too dramatic just a plodding steady fight. Waders on, into the margins and I was soon scooping my prize up in the net out of the green soup.
Another old mirror, this time weighing 24 – 05 was soon unhooked with care and being held up for the camera in the morning light.
Two bites in two nights would be classed as pretty good going on this venue and as many of the big fish haven’t been out yet this year on this venue I knew I was in with a good shout of another bite.
A quick check with the wife and I was on for a third night. But alas that was the end of the action for me. Not that I was upset as two early fish on a return to this difficult venue was a very welcome result’.