Definitely Worth a Withy!

19th March 2020

Ben Leuty tries the infamous Withy Pool rig, with overwhelming results!

Just like those impulsive nights out, impulsive sessions can turn out to be the best, as Ben Leuty found out on a short-day session last weekend! Before his spontaneous decision to head to the lake, after seeing Steve Renyards’ Thinking Anglers Insights film, he decided to tie up the notorious Withy Pool rig as he thought it would suit his style of fishing.

This certainly turned out to be the case, as he banked five fish including a 30lb-plus common and three twenties using a trimmed down Manilla pop-up, over matching chopped freebies, as well as nuts and hemp.

This is what Ben had to tell us:

“After a bit of a manic weekend and having missed the opportunity of my weekend overnighter, I was slightly deflated as we all get when we can’t go fishing. However, on Sunday morning I was awoken rather early by a very active dog that wanted to be let outside. As I stood there, I contemplated the possibility of going for a morning session down on my local syndicate.

“I only had a few hours at my disposal, but I knew the swim that I wanted to be in for daytime bites would surely be taken. Was it worth the hour commute to just turn around and come home? The thought of another day of working at home wasn’t the one, so within what felt like minutes the car was loaded and I was on route to the pits.

“Upon arrival my thoughts were confirmed, and the swim I fancied was occupied but I decided to go for a walk and see if I could find anything worth having a go for. On my walk around I found a friend fishing and so stopped for a chin wag. We chatted about the lake next-door on the same ticket, saying how for a prolific winter water, it hadn’t really done much this winter. We got talking about a specific swim and agreed about how under fished it had been due to the consistent winds we have had. The swim in question is well known to some anglers on the lakes, as when we start to see the first rays of sun, it really can come into its own early on.

“The swim is in a corner of the pit which receives a southerly wind. It has an island which has two access points to be fished from, a spit and another swim. The fish like to use the back of the island as an access route a lot when it warms up. So, with that in mind, I decided to head down for a look. The spit had been flooded for most of the winter, so I knew that area wouldn’t have been fished for some time. It looked as good as it could, so I thought why not!

“On the Saturday evening, I decided to tie up a Withy pool rig. As a few weeks back I watched the Thinking Anglers Insights video piece with Steve Reynard and really was intrigued by how the rig performed. It suited my style of angling and as carp anglers we all look for ways to better our angling and confidence.

“After one cast with lead bang on the money, I was clipped up to a small channel that leads to the back of the island, just off a snaggy margin. With the Withy Pool on and a trimmed down Manilla pop-up soaked in Hemp Oil attached I flicked it out to the spot.

“As I was wrapping my spomb rod up, my alarm signalled, the line went completely slack then tightened up, fishing locked up I was on the rod in seconds but as I lifted the rod, I was greeted with nothing! My thoughts were a savage liner, as the fish were moving through the channel. This was a real confidence booster however as I knew they were there.

“With the rod straight back out and four spombs of Manilla chops and hemp on top, I waited in anticipation. Half an hour later and the rod wrapped around again, I picked up the rod to a heavy weight trying to slide towards the snags. But with firm pressure and walking backwards in the swim it was game on. After a few minutes of deep lunges in open water the fish gave up and I saw a lovely dark common come sliding into the net. I knew it was a good fish, but I needed to get the rod back out. After quickly unhooking the fish in the net, the rod was back out with four more spombs.

“Once I got the camera gear set up, I lifted the common up onto the scales to see she was 30lb-plus and one I didn’t recognise, so I was absolutely made up. Once I got her aloft for some pictures, I looked over to see the rod was away again! Without panicking I placed her back in the sling and into the water. With the rod in hand again the fish felt a bit scrappier than the first and after a bit of a tussle I had the net under a lovely scaly mirror.

“With two fish awaiting their photos to be taken, I decided to leave the rod, sort the pictures out and then get it back out. Once the carnage had calmed and the rod was back out, I was just about to sit down for some food and the rod was away yet again! This time with a lovely upper double fully scaled. I then followed that fish up with an awesome low-twenty leather.

“After the leather, I contemplated packing up however the thought of not having one last cast whilst the action was so prolific, seemed stupid so with that the rod was back out. I gave myself two more hours before I had to leave. An hour passed, when after one very subtle bleep the rod slowly started to arch around again.

“After a few minutes of powering through weed beds, amongst the ball of Canadian I could see a lovely jet-black mirror. On the mat I could I see it was one I had been eager to catch over the 4 years I’ve been a member so I was over the moon. It was a really good weight for her of just short of 29lb and she was a really fitting end to one of the best day sessions I’ve ever had; to think I was going to stay at home!”


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