Affable Si Croft had an incredible ‘holiday’ last week, the trip was the result of a last minute decision to see if there was any space available on Ashmead. His tentative enquiry recieved a positive response — and what a week that followed. Read on…
‘I had the good fortune last week to enjoy four nights on the beautiful Ashmead fishery in the depths of Somerset. As someone who loves his margin fishing the place is bordering on perfection, there’s margins everywhere, and the complex is littered with reed lined banks, islands and back channels; carpy heaven!
Setting up just off the fish in a deep corner of the lake known as Tom’s, my session was already made when I slipped the net under the lovely ‘Long Common’ at a new pb of 39.10 just as darkness drew in on my second night. Over the moon with this result I had little idea of what was to come.
The next day I was treated to some jaw dropping viewing as I watched the biggest mirror in the lake smashing against some reeds on the island in Tom’s, sending up huge clouds of clay in its wake. The atmosphere was electric. The pressure was dropping, rain was scheduled for the next morning and a lovely 22 mirror gave me an early evening surprise on the island rod. Facebook banter was rife, Single was in the building. Surely It couldn’t happen……could it….???
A little common, one of the successfully spawned fish, had me up at first light, and I sat on the bed chair and watched the best of spring weather pass slowly overhead on the warm south-westerly breeze. A about 11am, just when I was thinking the bay looked a bit dead, I watched the water against the island drop, and a tell-tale inky boil spread across the surface. God. She was back……..
10 minutes later and the right hand rod fished ‘washing line’ against the deep far margin dropped back slack. My mind racing the fish juddered back towards me through the weed. Suddenly it was free and about the third of the way out from me, a deep flash of belly had me in no doubt as to what I was attached to.
Slowly, slowly I inched it towards me, a large ball of weed about six foot up the line and a small hippo wallowing beyond it. I’d no sooner thought “this is going to be interesting” than she came up in the water and swam slowly towards me.
Dipping the net I looked on in amazement as she gently meandered into it. Safe in the folds I leant back against the tree behind me and started shaking, laughing uncontrollably. Luckily Mark, Brian and Geoff were on hand to assist in what happened next as it was a blur to me. Single Scale was stunning. Unblemished, scale perfect, and at 56.14 she was huge!! What a week. What a fish, what a lake. Massive thanks to the guys who were there and shared the moment (and those that weren’t, you know who you are!).
A good helping of Perfection Ground baits Bloodworm did the trick, along with a size 6 Drennan Continental fished stiff hinge style to an ESP lead clip, ESP lead core and 15lb ESP Syncro XT Loaded.