ON HIS first session of the year on a Yateley stillwater, Michael ‘Chewy’ French landed this stunning 42lb 5oz mirror.
He began his session in a quiet corner of the lake where he’d seen a few fish but after an uneventful night he decided to have a rethink of his tactics.
“The following morning I spent a bit of time climbing trees and sneaking about in the bushes and found that I needed to move down a swim to improve my chances of catching,” the London-based rod said.
“I’d seen some fish extremely close in the margins and a stealthy approach was definitely required, so I spent the next two nights kipping under the stars without the brolly.”
Michael carefully lowered his rigs, baited with Carp Company Natural Impact 16mm pop-ups, on a patch of silt just half a metre from the bank and followed them up with a handful of freebies.
“I got the kettle on and sat quietly watching the fish in my margin. They were all over me and as the day went on and the light started to fade I decided to get to bed early hoping that by tucking myself away and staying quiet the fish wouldn’t suss my presence.
“I awoke at 5am and noticed there was the odd bubble popping on the surface over my rigs. These subtle signs were suddenly followed by the shrill tone of one of my Neville alarms bursting in to life.
Grabbing the rod I made contact with the fish which charged around trying to find sanctuary in the bushes along the margins. Thankfully, it finally gave up and slipped over the landing net cord. At 42lb 5oz it marked an epic first session – fingers crossed I can return for another trip soon,” he added.
His winning rig consisted of a size 5 Gardner Covert Chod hook attached to half an inch of 25lb Trip Wire and 8ins of 15lb Sly Skin coated braid.