Mark ‘Brizzle’ Drake kicked off his spring campaign on the hallowed Roach Pit with a rarely caught common. Over to Mark where he fills us in on what’s been happening since his successful winter campaign:
Back she goes, the Big Ghostie looking impressive in the morning sunshine
‘Following on from a successful winter campaign I really struggled to carry any momentum into February and March with the fish proving very elusive and shows at a minimum as to where they may be holding up and only managing a low 20 stockie for my efforts I just knew that the fish had moved onto pastures new.
Although April brought plenty of sun and increased light levels the fish were slow to respond probably due to the chilly winds still rolling in off the coast but I knew week by week I was edging closer to hopefully that next bite.
I arrived late Sunday afternoon feeling worse for wear after celebrating a good friends engagement and indulging in far too many pints of apples making the walk round pretty painful to say the least. Somehow I managed to get halfway round to the high bank where I bumped into my good friend Shane who had got down early but hadn’t seen much to really inspire him.
We both sat on the bench for a while staring out into the large expanse of water before us hoping for a sign and then right across the far side I spotted a fish come clean out to its wrist quickly followed by another in the same piece of water but somehow I didn’t manage to mutter a word which I can only put down to how I was still feeling ill from the night before and as Shane didn’t say anything I actually questioned myself — did I really see that or were the apples still playing tricks.
We soon parted in different directions with Shane opting for the shallows and myself to where I thought I had seen carp through my beer goggles. Stopping briefly to grab my water bottle I made my way round to the area and on entering the swim I was greeted by a decent mirror rolling in short exactly where I saw the other shows followed by several others.
With decent winds due I knew this could be the window I had been waiting for and better still I had been baiting a small area that’s been kind to me in the past for the last few weeks now so things were looking up. I decided with what I had seen I would sort everything out ready but wait till after dark to place my rods and put some bait in as they were literally rolling bang on the spot and didn’t want to chance pushing them off.
For the next few hours I sat drinking tea watching fish slosh out and roll until the light faded and was able to flick a couple of hook baits onto the dance floor which both landed perfectly and even managed a good scattering of sweets without much disturbance.
I managed to somehow sit up till around 1am before finally passing out only to be woken a few hours later by a decent fish getting out bang on the spot and at that point I knew not much more sleep would be gained so kettle back on.
I sat staring into the darkness listening for more activity and it wasn’t long before my right hand bobbin pulled up tight and slowly lowered to its original position which occurred several times up till first light when my left hand rod pulled down hard and pinged out of the clip.
On picking up the rod it was clear it was a tench, I hoped it hadn’t blown my chance as they have a bad habit of doing so bang on bite time. With dawn now well underway I was hoping my remaining rod would still do the business and soon after another fish rolled right on the spot sending up a big sheet of bubbles as it hit the bottom right over my hook bait, followed by a few more liners until finally the tip pulled down hard and my line pinged out the clip and I was away!
A hard fought battle followed and it wasn’t too long before my spring account was up and running….
On peering into the net at my prize I could see it was an unusual capture of a fish called The Big Ghostie which doesn’t see the bank much maybe making an appearance once a year. Looking up the path behind me I could see my good friend Crofty bounding towards me with a big smile on his face followed by “ Go on Brizzle” — he is definately my lucky charm. We quickly weighed her on the old wheel of fortune with the needle resting on 32lb 8oz which I was more than pleased with as my spot had repaid me again.
Although the fish activity continued I couldn’t muster another bite but Crofty dropped in a few swims down from me and it was my turn to do the honours for him as he managed to slip the net under a chunky framed mirror called The Thick Wristed at 31lb 4oz to keep his good run going after banking one of the lakes stunners at over 35lb 12oz the week before which made the session even more special.
Big Si Croft trying to look diminutive behind Thick Wristed
Si’s 35lb 12oz stunner from the week before
Also I would just like to congratulate my good friend Colin Hunt on opening his Roach Pit account with a fine brace of fish in a short session with such little time, good angling buddy keep them coming.
Hopefully this is a sign that things are starting to wake up and happen and as I write this piece good friend and big fish specialist Tinpot has been at it again also at Roach Pit but I will leave it to the man himself to tell his account of a special capture which will be worth the wait and it goes without saying but dame fine buddy…..
(Tinpot’s catch report is already sat in the E-S-P inbox and will follow very shortly!).