A Big Pit Reward — Alex Grice

A lovely, long big pit common for my efforts!

The fishing has been fairly slack of late, with going on holiday, buying a new house and being out and about with work on a regular basis, I had found it hard to find the time to wet a line for myself among the goings on of life. As soon as I was back from my climbing holiday to Switzerland, I got in contact with one of my good friends Tom, to see if he fancied meeting up and taking a few days out to go fishing.

Plans had been set and the venue was decided, a large gravel pit not too far from home where I had intended on spending the spring and summer, which never actually materialised! I was keen as mustard to get out and pretty much spent the week beforehand re-spooling my reels with Syncro and tying up multiple rigs, more in hope than anything!

I met Tom on the Thursday night and after a good look around, we settled into a couple of sociable swims, with the wind blowing quite strong from left to right, with the forecast due to swing round into where we were located. I had a good lead around with a bare lead and found a lovely firm spot at the back of a bar at around 100 yards range. I envisaged it to be firm silt at the base of the bar and went about spombing a good mixture of Hemp and Odyssey XXX on a tight area. The conditions were prime and I couldn’t help but feel confident as I got the rods ready for the evening ahead.

Deadly combo

Deadly combo

A couple of rigs were prepped, with varying hookbaits flossed onto a short multi- hinge incorporating Bristle Filament and Tungsten Loaded. It took a few casts to get them out perfectly, I am pretty particular about the drop and height at which the lead hits the clip, but eventually (probably half an hour later) I had three rods fishing effectively over bait.

Late evening came around and we sat back with a few beers and watched the sunset on the horizon as the lake slowly faded into darkness. The moon shone bright, nearly at the stage of being full, shining over a 50-acre millpond by midnight. After a long day, I hit the bag, having seen a good number of shows into the darkness not too far from the area. I woke the following morning, fishless, despite feeling very confident of a bite. I sparked up the kettle and sat back with a coffee and a pot of porridge as the sun came out and the wind slowly began to build once again.

The Barrel Bobbins fully loaded at range

The Barrel Bobbins fully loaded for fishing at range — ready to signal a drop back.

It got about 9am when the receiver signalled a few, very hesitant bleeps, with the bobbin dropping a mere inch from the blank. I stood in the swim puzzled with Tom next to me, when the bobbin lifted again.

I lifted the rod, winding down and making contact with the fish as it kited over the remaining two rods. It felt decent, waking up and stripping line at a rate of knots. After a long, tense battle we finally had the fish in the net, looking very long and powerful after what had been quite an exhausting fight.

The relief as she went in the net!

The relief as she went in the net!

We got her up on the mat and it turned out to be one of the long, powerful common’s that resides in the pit. To say I was happy was an understatement, with so little fishing I had done this year; the buzz was well and truly back! We slipped her back, admiring the fish as she swam back down the deep marginal shelf. The session continued well, having managed to bank another few nice fish to over 20lbs, just what I needed to get the excitement back again! Hopefully it wont be long until my next venture out, so fingers crossed!’

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