Tom Maker starts the year off with a mega haul from Linear Fisheries Hardwick / Smiths lake!!
Sam Stott’s Stoneacres Success
23rd May 2018
Having had a fruitful year on Linch Hill’s Christchurch, it was time for Sam Stott to take on a new challenge, the mighty Stoneacres Syndicate.
Sam takes up the story: “After being fortunate enough to be offered a ticket for Stoneacres I found myself reluctant to take the ticket to begin with, as there were still fish I wanted to catch in Christchurch. However, being a weekend angler, it was getting harder and harder to get a swim on there, so I came to my senses and took the ticket.
On May 16th I arrived at the lake early for my third session and set about lapping the lake in search of fish. Keeping my eyes peeled and stopping off in every swim; I eventually came to the Birches swim where the fish were showing in numbers, but what really caught my eye, was a big, oaky brown mirror that showed at about 70-yards range.
Quickly and as quietly as I could, I set about getting two Choddies out towards the showing fish, but unfortunately this didn’t lead to any success. After a blank night I awoke to the sight of fish still showing, so if they were still here, why hadn’t I had a bite? So, along with my aqua scope I took to the boat to investigate. As I neared the area where the fish had been showing, I came across a large gravel hump covered in silkweed. The weed contained a rich source of water snails and mixed invertebrates, it was clear what the fish had been feeding on and why they were here. After what I had just seen it would be stupid to not lower a rig onto one of the perfectly polished spots before returning to the bank.
Again, nothing happened, and the fish were still in their area. I had to change something surely. So, I reeled in and much to my disappointment I discovered that I had been done, the rig had been ejected and lead was gone. Reluctant to let this happen again, I decided to re-rig with my favourite set-up, the Blowback rig fished lead clip style with a heavy lead. All three rods where loaded with this presentation along with trimmed down Krill dumbbells topped with my home made fruity pop-ups. These were then lowered into position from the boat onto small clear areas amongst the silk weed, where I baited with mixed sized Krill boilies, both whole and crumbed.
Again, the night passed by uneventful and I awoke to the sound of my alarm clock as opposed to one of my bite alarms. However, out of nowhere, my middle rod tore off and my heart began to pound. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that this wasn’t a carp but in-fact a tench. This was then followed by a second roughly two hours later.
Now with just one rod left in the water and the fish showing over the area, there was no way I was getting the other two rods back out. A few hours passed, and the carp had seemed to of pushed off to my right, but not all of them. As my final rod soon let out a flurry of bleeps as the reel was dragged into the alarm. From the moment I lifted the rod I could feel the fish was solid in weed and with what had happened to my other two rods, I thought this was probably yet another tench, how wrong I was.
After a tough and tricky battle in the boat that saw me dragged from one weedbed to another, the fish finally surfaced with its head masked with weed and with a few shakes of the net she was mine. After checking her fins where flat against her body I headed back to the bank where the fish was immediately identified as Bite Mark, I couldn’t believe it and the feeling that set in overwhelmed me!
She weighed in at an incredible 51lb 6oz and popped my Stoneacres cherry on my eighth night, Unbelievable!”