Cheers By Danny Bailey

My ticket for this particular club water had been obtained in May of 2015 but it wasn’t until the Winter months that I was going to be targeting it’s inhabitants, well one particular fish anyway a very pretty, scaley low thirty.  It fitted all the criteria of a good Winter water, close to home, shallow, no weed and with a good stock of carp to keep me entertained during those long dark cold nights.

December arrived so it was time to start fishing, bait of choice would be a new Winter test bait called the Essential 5 by Retro Baits. I had already decided from looking back on past captures one area of the lake that I would concentrate all my efforts, this I thought gave me the best chance to bag the fish I wanted.  My first 24 hour session saw me catch a 20lbs 7oz Mirror and one mid double, good start I thought.

It was now the 7th December and I had just arrived at the lake for my third trip, it was 6am and a strong south westerly was blowing, I couldn’t believe how warm the wind felt for the time of year. I made my way to my swim which thankfully was free, I put the barrow down and decided to watch the water.  Not one minute later a fish leapt out right on my spot then again seconds later, I didn’t need a second invitation!! Moments later a single pink Essential 5 Pop Up on a chod set up was flying in the air towards where the fish had crashed. Well I hadn’t even got the bobbin on and the rod was away and after a short battle a 16lbs 14oz mirror lay in the net, great that will do for starters.

I now had two rods on the area and two small commons were soon landed followed by another 16lbs Mirror late morning.  Action then slowed during the afternoon so it was time to get a little bait out in the area ready for the evening ahead. It was now around 5pm a friend was set up in the next swim,  we both toasted the night ahead with a can of Murphy’s saying cheers, here’s to a nice big scaley thirty in the night or something to that effect lol when before I could even have a sip the right hand rod was away.

After a spirited 10 minute battle it was ready for netting I hadn’t seen the fish due to the darkness and couldn’t gauge the size. As it passed over the net I remember thinking blimey, the length that only just fitted in.  As I picked the net up the fish rolled on it’s side and straight away I knew which one it was. I had done it, only my 3rd trip and 8th fish of my Winter campaign I had the one I wanted, I’ll have some of that!!


On the scales it went 31lbs 8oz and once the photos had been done and the fish was back in it’s watery home that can of Murphy’s tasted damn good!!

The session didn’t end there either as over the next 24 hours I backed it up with mirrors of 23lbs, 22lbs, 20lbs 10oz, 19lbs 8oz and 18lbs 8oz….what a blinding session for December and one I’ll never forget.

Big Thanks to Danny Bailey for writing this article

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