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Nash Lakes, Royston, 18th – 21st May
Like a lot of people I was placed on Furlough at the start of the year, but this was a positive in my eyes as it meant more time on the bank! On my first session I arrived at a busy Nash Lakes in Royston, and with limited swims free I opted for a small bay. Whilst waiting for the previous angler to pack up, I walked round to the other side of the bay and instantly spotted some carp milling around in the margins, and spent a while working out their patrol routes before getting the rods out. I was brimming with confidence with 4 nights ahead of me to get amongst some carp, and with the weather set to be fair for the duration of the session I was sure that they would stay in the same area. But to my amazement the next 3 days would be some of the toughest fishing I had ever experienced, as nothing could get the carp moving or feeding. They were more than happy to just soak up some sun and hide in the margins.
As the third night drew in I knew I had to do something to force a bite - it was time for a move. The swim next-door (Badgers Hole) was becoming free the following morning, which commands quite an expanse of open water, as well as some lovely looking snaggy margin to the right. I woke up at 5 am to ensure that I got in the swim and had everything in order for a move. To start with, I positioned both rods on a small gravel patch at 9.5 wraps, a spot which I knew had produced hits of fish in the past. But as expected in the heat, the rest of the day went by quietly and before I knew it the night was drawing in, and the reality of a 4-night blank was starting to creep into my thoughts. It was time for a change and that came in the form of 2 pieces of fake corn on a German Rig, positioned a rod length off the bank along the right hand margin with a sprinkling of sweetcorn around the spot.
At around 1 am, I received 4 short beeps and the bobbin clattered against the blank of the rod. The fight is always fraught when fishing locked up, but thankfully I was able to stop the fish from darting into the snags and guided it into the safety of open water. The battle that followed for the next 20 minutes was incredible, with the fish peeling line off the spool unable to stop it, which had my knees feeling a bit weak as it was clearly a decent sized carp. When the fish finally slipped across the net cord I was elated to finally have one in the bag. After seeking permission to leave the fish in the sling overnight, I woke up as the sun was rising the next morning. The fish tipped the scales round to 28.2lb - a new PB and one of the most beautiful mirrors I have caught to date.
Although the session was a struggle, I left the lake with a beaming smile on my face and could not wait for my next session down there.