48lb mirror on plastic tigers

Mike Milton recorded a session of a lifetime with two twenties, four thirties, and a 48.14 mirror – and there wasn’t a boilie in sight.

Even more remarkably, it was the Northants Specimen Group member’s first fishing trip since he banked a 30lb pike in February.

Arriving at a Colne Valley syndicate on a Monday, the 41-year-old sales director fished four nights and caught consistently throughout his session, despite only putting lines in the water when he was confident of a bite.

He told Angling Times: “I was just blown away by it. It was one of those sessions that just got better and better.”

Mike baited with a total of about 15kg of hemp and 2kg of tigers throughout the week, and used plastic tigers as hookbaits to combat the resident crayfish.
“I was catching consistently at 10pm, 1am and 5am,” said the Leicestershire rod, “so I’d reel in at about midday each day and bait up the spots. I then wouldn’t recast until about 7pm, so I was keeping lines out of the water.”

Mike’s fish came from clay areas up to 95 yards out and fell to five-inch Sufix Stealth Skin hooklinks tied to size 8 hooks tied fished blow-back style. Mike overweighted his pop-up plastic tigers so they sank slowly.

Describing the capture of the biggest fish of the session, he said: “The bite came in the dark at about 5am and I knew it was a decent fish due to the slow, heavy power of it. It came in with a bit of weed on it and when I shone my headtorch on it in the net I thought ‘that’s got to be close to 40lb’, but when I went to bring it out I could hardly lift it. On the mat I was just blown away by its sheer bulk.”

Mike's catch log:
Tuesday morning: 31lb common
Tuesday evening: 38lb 2oz mirror
Wednesday morning: 32lb 10oz common
Wednesday morning: 15lb mirror
Thursday morning: 48lb 14oz mirror
Thursday morning: 31lb 4oz mirror
Thursday: 22lb 4oz common and 13lb 8oz mirror
Friday: 17lb 4oz mirror and 20lb 12oz common