Syndicate Success

Wednesday 8th March 2017, 15:03PM Feature

With more daylight hours, the fish are finally on the move making it easy to find them, but not on all lakes, as I found at the weekend. I have 2 lakes on my new syndicate ticket with one easier than the other. After a walk round trying to find signs of fish, yep I picked to fish the easier one. I’d seen a few fish over the last few weeks on the easier lake and with the chance of a bite and some cracking fish it was just too tempting.

I’m down this session for a couple of nights and being joined by a buddy for the second night. The weather was changeable at best, one minute the sun was out and the next it was raining with a cold wind, but walking into one swim I saw a fish show. That was all I needed to set up camp for the night and within an hour I had my first fish. This was my first from the syndicate and what a cracker it was too. Not going to break any records certainly and I did get some stick about it, as it was 17.05lbs, a standing joke with mates that I catch more than my fair share of fish at 17lbs.

Around 12:30 the other rod was away and it was a stunning little double-figure mirror, this one went back with no pictures, but added to the smile on my face. The rest of the night was quiet, apart from the rain, mud and a lone deer walking along the causeway between the two lakes. At this point I’d like to thank one of the syndicate members, as a rooky mistake had me without any gas. I did my old trick of picking up a can, shaking it, realizing there wasn't much in it and putting it on the side – saying to myself, I need to get a new one out to replace that. Yep, I didn't. Idiot right?

Morning came and I was up just before first light with a coffee watching for signs of fish, but it was still very quiet. I thought to myself that I needed to make this happen, so a recast and a sprinkle of bait had me sat with another coffee an hour into daylight hoping. The plan paid off big style, just as I landed the first fish the second rod was away. I placed one fish into the margin in a retention sling and the other in the landing net next to it whilst I sorted my camera and scales.

At this point the owner walked past and the banter starts about me blanking, yep I’ve done 10 nights over November, December and January on the harder of the two lake for two line bites. This time I’m ready for him, so make him take pictures of the fish for his penance. This might be why most of the pictures have my head cut off, as his way of getting his own back. The banter continued and the fish were safely returned with some talk about how well they’d come on since he’d taken over the lakes. He’s seen these fish at around 4lbs and so far I’ve had them from around 11lbs to 17lb 5oz, so they clearly love their environment.

Its was lunch time when my buddy turned up, we moved a few rods round to give him some space and get the sausage sandwiches going. We shared the swim for a social and I was hopeful we could get him his first fish of the year. It took a matter of hours before his rod was away on one of the spots that did me a bite the day before. To his luck and possibly my loss, it was an immaculate 23lb 14oz common in all its winter colours. This was followed around mid-night by another small common. Like the night before the swim went quiet again till the next day. We didn't get the early morning wake up runs either and I can only put that down to a lot of cold rain the night before, plus a cold wind blowing across the lake.

Later that morning Mike got a call and was off to photograph a fish on one of the other lakes, and while he was gone, no more than five minutes had passed and I’d landed another stunning mirror on one of his rods. He was gutted, but I called it payback for that stunning 23lb 14oz common he had the day before. This was fish number 5 and even Mike’s dog gets in on the pictures, photo bombing me a treat, now a firm favourite in my album.

What a great session, but with a few guesting sessions, filming with Mad Baits and shows booked with Wychwood I’m not going to be able to get back down the syndicate till April now. If you’re at either the Northern Show or The Big One this year then why not come say hello.


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