Tails Up Bait

UK

Fresh Frozen Bait

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Ali Whites amazing Mirror!

Another massive result for the Pro Marine, this time for Alistair White heres what he had to say...

"This was my first spring on the lake after starting fishing it last summer and with no prior Knowledge of this time of year it had started slowly for me. Following several pre-dawn walks in various parts of the lake (at 140 acres it’s a maze of islands, bays and channels and banks like a jungle it’s impossible to walk all of it at first light) I eventually saw some shows at the northern end of the pit. After some concerted prebaiting in these areas the first fish of the year started slipping up throughout mid-April and into the start of May.

My last session saw a marked change in the fish’s behaviour where all of a sudden they left the deeper open water marks I had been baiting and started appearing in the miles of bankside snags. After a blank 48 hours fishing these spots and spending a morning feeding six fish in an inaccessible snag I then spent eight hours in the boat looking in some of the shallower, fishable, snaggy areas of the lake. I finally found two good fish ghosting between a set of snags against an island margin late that afternoon and not needing to wait for an invite I quickly packed up, abandoned the baited sports and moved into the swim opposite this area. The water clarity at the time was not great and despite hours looking I was unable to locate a favourite spot that had done me proud the previous year so settled for all three hookbaits placed between the island margin snags where I had seen the fish. 

I’d caught a number of fish from this area the previous summer and know they gather here prior to spawning having witnessed them there last year, I knew if I played my cards right I now stood the chance of catching a few before they spawned and hopefully the one I wanted more than any other - Scaley. I saw her from the boat in the same part of the lake last June so knew she was a visitor at this time of year, she swam defiantly past me one day, black backed and clad in armour plated scales, despite already being my one target fish at that moment became she became an obsession. I would spend countless hours staring at two photos of her I kept on my phone willing the opportunity to hold her aloft for the camera one day. 

That night I caught a double figure common and lost another due to a hookpull at first light. Before I left, knowing I would not be back for two weeks I gave the spots and area a big hit of bait – over 50kg or particles and boilies. I let the other guys fishing the lake know about it, trusting that the gentlemen they are, they would give the area a wide berth which they kindly and respectfully did. 

I arrived for my next session after work on the 27th and headed straight for the same area noting that the water clarity had transformed in the preceding weeks and the weed was also starting to grow with a vengeance.  As it was already late I rushed to get the rods out leaving the gear to get soaked (as well as me) in an unexpected thunderstorm, the first spot I checked was my favourite from the previous year and found it straight away, it was already glowing and by the dark crushed shell covering one part of it I could see it had recently been fed on. I placed a Pro Marine Fluro Corker on the near edge of the spot and fluttered 50 baits down behind it, sank the leadcore into the weed and then slackened the braided mainline off when back on the bank. The other rods were placed between the snags as per the previous session. 

After a sleepless night caused by bats flying into the lines since 11pm I had a drop back off of ‘the spot’ at 07.30am and quickly connected with a slow moving fish. It first kited 70 yards to my left under both of the other lines and towards a horribly narrow snaggy channel between two islands before then turning and powering through the deep water in front of me. After a few minutes it swirled in front of me and I caught a glimpse of a thickset shoulder covered in small scales and knew it could only be one of two fish in the lake. I crouched in the back of the boat extending the net as far as possible and when she touched the spreader block for the first time she freaked, turned and powered away from me stripping 30 yards of line from a tight set clutch. Another moment later she succumbed and lay in the folds of the net. I looked in the next and was sure it was Scaley but in that surreal moment you almost disbelieve it’s happened or even could happen… what are the odds? 

I called Alan, one of the regulars who was packing up and came to give me a hand, a good friend Mike who was already on his way for tea and biscuits arrived out of the undergrowth bitten, scratched and bloodied a few moments later - his timing as perfect as ever. Although I was 90% sure it was Scaley, Mike had once seen her on the bank some 10 years previously and peered into the net before turning to me and smiling, giving me a thumbs up as I went into meltdown, he knew what this one meant to me. We hoisted her onto the scales, storm pole across the shoulders and with the dial facing Alan and Mike they agreed on a weight of 40lb 1oz, it was irrelevant at that moment and didn’t matter one iota, if she was 39lb 15oz I would not have cared a jot. She was the most perfect looking carp I have ever seen in every way. Although it was at least four years since her last capture she behaved impeccably on the bank and was then placed gently into a retainer to await her moment in front of the camera and did not disappoint when it came.  

Rupert from RK Leisure came out and as ever took some truly epic shots along with Mike on my camera, the water shots and returners were something special and even 72 hours later I can’t stop staring at them!  

I would like to give my thanks to a few people who helped me along the way with this capture if space permits. Firstly Jamie formerly of RK Leisure for giving me permission to fish the lake initially, Raphael (the R) and Rupert of RK Leisure for allowing me to continue this year, Alan and Tetley for respecting my prebaited areas, Mike for his never ending support and encouragement, Paul for the heads up about the Marine and Ash of Tails Up for supplying a superb bait and keeping faith with me through another crazy campaign for a weekender! Whilst I have caught bigger carp I doubt if I will ever catch one better… Just look at it…

Ali White"

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