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Chris Elmey catches the Big Cream!
20th September 2016
Chris Elmey came face to face with one of his target fish after he turned all of his efforts to a new syndicate water this summer, Chris explains…
“Of the two lakes on site, the one I fancied held 17 carp, topped by a common and a mirror, which both went over 40lb. There were also a couple of thirties as backup, and the rest of the stock was made up with mid-double or low-twenty commons.
I did three or four nights in the spring when I’d got my ticket, and was lucky enough to catch one of those 30lb fish, a fish known as the Snub Nose Common at just under 34lb; a good start. The lake is notoriously full of weed, which reaches the surface in a lot of places, so there weren’t really any ‘known’ spots as such. I decided to concentrate my effort on a swim that didn’t seem to see much attention, yet was in area that I knew that big mirror liked.
I decided to rake two spots: one out toward the island and one just out in front of me. In an attempt to clean the spots off I baited every other day, starting off with buckets of mixed particles and chopped Krill boilies. After two weeks of baiting I decided to drop in for my first weekend. The first night passed uneventfully, but as dawn broke I could see big patches of fizzing over one of my spots and I had a feeling that it was going to happen. Sure enough, a fish rolled over one of my spots just as I was looking at it. What I had just seen was 100% my target fish! It was big and black, and I even caught a glimpse of its spikey dorsal fin!
The fizzing subsided after a couple of hours and I started to wonder why I hadn’t had a bite after all that activity. Out of the blue, the rod signaled a take and after a good battle I manage to net the fish, instantly recognising it as the Box Common. With that under my belt I was off and away! The next night closed in and I baited the swim with three kilos of Krill again, in the hope that they’d turn up again at first light. Sure enough, the next morning I woke up to the same fizzing. Again, I didn’t receive a take until an hour or so after the fizzing stopped, which resulted in one of the lake’s small commons.
I baited twice after work that week, ready for my return at the weekend. Unfortunately though, that weekend was uneventful and I didn’t feel like I was on fish at all. After a bit of thought, I chose a different area, in the middle of the lake, which I thought was somewhere I could get the fish visiting regularly within a short space of time. After two hours of raking, I was finally happy with my spots and decided to give the swim a good hit of bait before the next planned trip. Over the course of a couple of weeks, I introduced close to 100kg of bait onto the two spots in the middle of the lake. The lake is only 50 yards across at this point, so I was sure they’d find the bait almost instantly and I hoped that the regular baiting would keep them coming back.
I returned that Friday and got the rods out just on dark. I went to sleep confident that they’d been visiting my spots, and that I was going to receive some action. The weather was spot on; I just knew it would happen. Sure enough, at about 1am the right-hand rod melted off. I was attached to what felt like a good fish and I soon slipped the net under a fish known as the Baby Snub. The weather turned that morning, and a hot day followed. Going into the second night, I felt quietly confident despite the bad conditions but I woke up to thick fog and motionless bobbins. Feeling a bit despondent, I packed up and set off home. I checked the weather for the coming weekend, and with the full moon approaching, I knew I had to persevere and just keep the bait going in.
I baited up again with around 50kg of bait that week, a mixture of Krill boilies in 12mm and 15mm, and the particle mix. The weekend couldn’t come round fast enough, and I was buzzing to get fishing in ideal conditions. I cast the first rod out onto to the spot and the lead went down with an absolute crack. It was certainly a lot cleaner than the weekend before; I just knew they’d been on that one spot in particular. I received three takes that night, but somehow they all turned out to be recaptures! Having had three bites in one night on a lake with 17 fish in, I knew it was just a matter of time and I needed to make the most of this opportunity.
I drove home that afternoon and grabbed 5kg of boilies from the freezer and around the same amount of cooked hemp. I put the whole lot on one spot when I returned, because I knew the big mirror was susceptible to getting caught over big beds of bait. I felt that if she was about, then baiting heavily was going to be the way to catch her. I went into the night feeling confident. Around 4am I had a take on my right-hand rod, over the bait, and as I picked up into it I just knew it was a good fish. The fish took me into the weed on a number of occasions but I just stood my ground and was patient, managing to carefully steer it out of the weed.
As the fish neared the net, it had a good old plod around in the margins and I knew it was nearly ready. I turned my headtorch on as the fish surfaced and the beam revealed a big, old head with a big, old mouth. There are only three mirrors in the lake, so I knew exactly what fish I had on the end. Thankfully, the fish went into the net first time and I peeled the mesh back to confirm what I had… the Big Cream was mine!”