'This winter has been a long hard slog for me like many others...'
Off the mark!
After the birth of our little boy in March I wasn't really expecting to get much fishing time in at all but my wife agreed that I could drop my daughter off at the childminder at 8am on a Friday and fish before picking her up at 5.30pm. With such tight time restrictions on me, no nights and having to fit whatever gear I could squeeze in the remaining space in the car, it was going to be a challenge.
Picking up from what I was doing last season I started pre baiting areas that I felt would give me the best chance of a daytime bite, its all really just a case of doing the groundwork while I can't fish so that the odds are pushed more into my favour when I can. After doing a lap of the lake and seeing nothing, I dropped into one of the pre baited areas and put out my usual multi rigs (made with Tungsten loaded semi stiff and size 4 curve shanx hooks) with mainline link boilies drilled out and plugged with cork.
'This fish was powerful and trying hard to get into a snag nearby'
Typical me, by 12.30pm nothing had happened and I was worrying that I might be missing out on an opportunity elsewhere, so I reeled in and had a walk around the lake. I did see one fish feeding close in but as it was alone I didn't feel that it was worth a move so I went back to the rods and recast them. About an hour later I had a steady take on the right hand rod and I connected with a solid heavy resistance. This fish was powerful and trying hard to get into a snag nearby so with the mark 1 sniper bend over I walked backwards to get the fish into open water. Luckily it worked and very soon I was playing it up and down the margins before drawing it into the net. The 28lb 4oz common was absolutely nailed just to the side in the bottom lip and was never coming off!
That was the only action of the day before it was time to pick the little one up from the childminder but when fishing time is so hard to come by, every capture means so much more.
Quality hook hold.. check!
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