Tom Maker starts the year off with a mega haul from Linear Fisheries Hardwick / Smiths lake!!
A Campaign to Remember
5th August 2019
Tommy Taylor targeted an unfavourable area of the historic Meadow and Fjords set of pits on the St Ives complex, which repayed him with some of its rarer gems!
After a setback in his family life last year, Tommy Taylor, made the decision to spend his spring right through until autumn, fishing on an area of the St Ives complex many ignore. This was a decision that paid off with several of the lake’s rarest fish falling to his rods, including the highly sought-after Round Brown at 39lb 2oz.
Tommy revealed: “I actually first got my ticket for Meadow and Fjords on the St Ives complex a couple of years ago, which comprises of four different lakes all joined together by shallow channels.
“However due to a big setback in my family life, my fishing got put on hold until the following autumn. I caught some nice fish and I am pretty certain I lost my target in the middle of a big hit of fish using a large amount of Krill.
“I said to myself the following year I was going to give it my all, fishing it throughout the year until it was job done and my targets banked, as I would have usually just fished it in the spring and autumn.
“I started fishing it in early May but due to the water levels being so low the fish weren’t doing their usual thing in the spring. Towards the end of May, however, I found a fair few fish at the opposite end of the pit, which I was fishing at the time. I settled for a swim which was never fished, in fact, the whole bank was rarely fished!
“When I was leading around, I was surprised at how weedy and shallow it was out in front than the other areas which I was pleased about, knowing the fish would hold up in it. Finding a couple of spots was hard work but I was eventually satisfied with what I’d found. I applied a couple of kilos of Krill soaked in matching Cloudy liquid and powder over all three of my rods.
“The following morning, I had a 37lb and a 36lb mirror within a couple of hours of each other, so before I left, I baited the area up with two buckets of Krill chops, tigers, hemp, pellets, pigeon conditioner and maize with lots of Cloudy Krill Liquid.
“The following weekend couldn’t come quick enough the process was repeated and I managed a 31lb common early on, as well as a 35lb mirror, so my confidence in the area was growing massively. After each trip, I put two buckets out on the spots and baiting up mid-week as well, which was hard work on a low budget travelling from Leicester to Cambridge, but effort equals reward as they say.
“The spots were changing slightly, getting firmer and I managed a few more over the next couple of weeks but I felt things were starting to slow down. With some warm weather forecast, I decided to start paying attention to another area of the pit but still baited the area I caught from in the Meadow. I did find a few fish in the big Fjords and I did see the Round Brown on one occasion but it felt like they weren’t comfortable in that part of the lake due to the low water levels so I decided to head back over to Meadow side and stick to the plan.
“With good conditions forecast for the following weekend, I baited the area heavily two days prior. I hadn’t actually cast a lead onto the spots for a couple of weeks but when I did, I couldn’t believe how hard they had become, a great indicator they had been well fed on. Due to this change, I swapped my Krill pop-ups to heavily glugged Krill wafters sitting low over the cleaned bottom.
“The weekend arrived in mid-July and I was certain of a bite, on the Saturday, I had a lovely two-toned 29lb 12oz mirror, followed by a hook pull later that morning. One thing I noticed early on in the campaign, I seemed to be catching some of the rarer ones from this area and I was certain it would all come good eventually. Sunday morning arrived with heavy rain overnight then light drizzle at first light; perfect conditions.
At around 6:30am, my left-hand rod pulled up tight and started melting off, I was on the rod quickly and lifted into a powerful fish, which weeded me up a number of times until eventually I just started bringing in a big ball of weed! Then, at about 15 yards out, I noticed a wide back and a very distinctive dorsal fin, and I thought; this could be it! I netted the whole lot with one big scoop and after ripping the weed from the net, I was blown away. The Round Brown was in the net and I looked into the sky and said to my old man ‘I’ve done it’! Having achieved my target, the weight was irrelevant but for the record she went 39lb 2oz; I was buzzing.”