Close quarters observation pays off for Lee!

DSC_0250 (2)Notts. based Lee Howard enjoyed a very exciting evening session last weekend, with careful observation and rig placement causing the downfall of a target fish — good angling Lee!

On Saturday, I finished work and set off to the little pit for the evening. I turned up around 5 to find my friend Joe set up in peg 5, this spot covers the mouth of a 200 yard long channel and you could clearly see the odd fish moving around the area. I decided to take a steady stroll to see just how far up the channel the fish were going. As I stumbled into the next peg, I clocked four fish milling about along the far reed line and another two at least were sat in the big weed bed to my right.

After watching them for a little while moving in and around the weed and along the reeds, I carried on wandering up the channel just in case they were anymore fish further up. I spotted two more fish about halfway up but nothing else was about.

One of the two fish (a mid 20 common) broke away after 10 min’s and started moving back down the channel towards the group of fish hanging around the large weed bed near the mouth of the channel.

I started to make my way back down towards the other group of fish where my chance’s looked a little better, I slowly sneaked into the swim using the cover of some willow saplings to my right, I stood and watched as the few fish I’d seen earlier were still hanging around the same spots. Along came the common from my left that I followed down and joined up with another two fish along the far reed line.

The newly formed pod all of a sudden came away from the reeds and through a small cut in the weed then started to move left back up the channel, as they approached a small clear area between me and the next peg up, i’m sure one of the pod dropped down to have a quick inspection of the silt as a tail lobe popped out pointing at the clouds for a few seconds before carrying on up the channel with his friends.

I couldn’t be 100% so I moved to the left of the swim to give me a better view of the spot if they came back, which they did about 5 minutes later. As the group of three fish moved back over the spot, a nice common tipped up long enough to pinch a mouthful of something that had taken its fancy before righting itself and carried on following its mates that were heading back towards the big weed bed on my right.

I had seen enough at this point and shot off back to the car to grab some gear. After a quick chat to Joe on what i’d seen, I got into the area and started to put a plan together for the last few hours before dark.

I had to put a rod on the clear patch to my left about one and a half rod lengths out and opted for a single 15mm complex T pop up on the spot, my thoughts were if he’s only picking about for a few seconds at a time then hopefully a single might get the bite quicker.

I put my right hand rod onto another spot to my right about a rod length out just in front of the big weed bed. This rod was flicked in on a bottom bait with a small bag of crushed boilie’s again in the hope of a quick bite.

I wanted my middle rod just in front of the reeds on the far bank about 15 yards out, I could see a small sandy coloured patch that looked bang on as I kept seeing the fish move over it as they left the sanctuary of the big weed bed, but they were fish around that area at the time and I had to wait a good 10 minutes before they moved off long enough to plop a rig in place with out spooking them.

I armed this rod with a single orange complex T pop up, again thinking if they are only having the odd mouthful on there travels then that’s all there getting of me for now. I saw my opportunity and went for it, dropping short on my first flick and landing into a clump of Canadian a couple of feet in front of the sandy spot, I quickly reeled in and went for it again, you could see the fish getting closer and closer as they made there way back, this time the rig dropped not quite a foot to the right of the patch.

The fish were almost on me so I decided to leave the rod where it landed before I messed the job up. I lay the rod at the side of me while I pushed the bank sticks into the ground when I heard a bosh smack on the spot I just plopped a rig on, then I noticed the bit of slack line whip up and it was game on within 30 seconds of casting in! She managed to get me around a few reed stems and a foot or so into the large weed bed on my right but I just held on as she slowly bumped herself out of danger and into a little bit clearer water.

She took a few more dives into a couple of the smaller clumps of weed dotted about the swim but I managed to keep her moving. Joe quickly turned up after seeing what had just happened from up a small tree between our swims, he jumped in with net in hand and bundled my prize into the net.


Once on the mat we knew it was a fish called Grays and the second biggest mirror in the lake that I unfortunately lost at the edge of the net last year. She’s a fine jewel of the north and at 30lb 4oz my revenge was sweet as they say.

Line used was Syncro loaded 15lb, original coloured leadcore, adjustable leadclips, Tungsten Loaded hooklink in black and a size 5 Cryogen Gripper tied up on a withy as usual for me’.

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