Gut feeling leads to 41lb 10oz mirror

Time spent looking for the carp and careful swim selection paid off for Nigel Williams when he landed this 41lb 10oz mirror from RH Fisheries’ Acton Burnell Top Lake.

Arriving at the Shropshire venue for a quick overnight session, the Cheltenham-based rod grabbed his bucket and set off round the 17-acre water in search of his quarry.

“The lake had been producing a few good carp over the last couple of weeks, but after a couple of laps I hadn’t seen any fizzing, bubbles or showing fish,” Nigel told Angling Times.

“This was quite strange because the fish in the lake are usually very active so with nothing to go on I dropped into a swim that allowed me to cast tight to the dam wall. The wind was howling down this end and I had a feeling that there would be a few fish knocking around.”

Rather than using chod rigs like lots of anglers targeting the lake, he decided to fish with his favourite blow-back presentation tied with an Avid Captive Braid hooklink material. And to add some attraction around his 15mm Sonubaits Code Red hookbait he attached a large PVA bag of Sonubaits S Pellets using a PVA bag link. “This item of tackle ensures that the rig doesn’t tangle on the cast and stops the lead falling off when fishing big PVA bags at range,” he explained. “I flicked two rods tight to the overhanging trees that stretch along the length of the dam and flicked my third rod into open water. As darkness fell, the odd fish started to show in the middle area of the lake, but I decided to stick it out where I was until the morning. I don’t know why, but I had a gut feeling that something special was going to happen.”

After an uneventful night, Nigel was up at first light scanning the water for signs of carp and with fish still fizzing in the middle area of the lake he decided to move swims for the last few hours of his session.

“As I started to pack my bivvy away, my right-hand Delkim screamed into life and line began tearing from my reel. There was nothing I could do to stop the fish for the first few minutes. I just let it charge around in open water.”

Eventually, after an epic battle, a huge mirror emerged from the silty depths about 20 yards from the bank. Although Nige only got a glimpse of the carp’s tail, it was apparent that he was hooked into one of the venue’s larger residents. A couple of heart-stopping moments and a premature swipe with the landing net later, Nigel finally slid the fish over the spreader block.