Chris Douce reflects on the great memories he made last year fishing with his twin daughters Maisy and Ayla
Stoneacres No.9, A bus You’d Be Happy To Wait For
18th May 2018
After coming so close to snaring one of Stoneacres finest, Mark Cookson tweaked his approach and went on to tempt the No.9 Bus at an impressive 43lb 4oz.
Mark takes up the story: “With a 48-hour session ahead of me, I arrived at a busy Linch Hill complex where I took to Stoneacres. After a lap of the lake I decided to pitch up in a swim called Big Point after spotting a noticeable amount of fish activity in the near vicinity. Knowing that there was due to be a much-needed change in the weather I set about locating and preparing a few areas for the night ahead, after a quick lead around I had my spots sorted. Not wanting to sit behind three rods and a set of alarms just yet, I went off in search of fish elsewhere. After climbing many trees and lapping the lake numerous times, I eventually found a group of fish right on the end of a warm south westerly wind, text book gravel pit behaviour.
As to not spook the fish, I opted to introduce a single yellow Signature pop-up, the Stoneacre carp are very finicky and one slight wrong move can be game over. As I stood above the rig in a nearby tree I noticed two fish approaching my hookbait, I couldn’t believe my eyes, one was a low 30lb common and the other was the incredible No.9 Bus! Unfortunately, a torturing couple of hours passed and the pair had sussed my rig and moved off. Slightly defeated I returned to my swim for the night ahead, but not before baiting with 16mm and 20mm Krill boilies in the hope that the fish would return the next day.
Having re-thought my approach and sat the morning bite time out, I wound my rods in and headed back up to where I had been unsuccessful the day previous. Instead of presenting a bright pop-up, I offered a ‘match the hatch’ 16mm Krill wafter, which I placed perfectly on a small gravel patch whilst there were no fish present. Not wanting to watch the carp blatantly avoid my hookbait, I decided to sit back from the rod and wait patiently.
After approximately an hour and seemingly out of nowhere, my rod went into meltdown. As I rushed over to the rod that was being stripped of line my heart raced, the fish must have taken at least 50-yards of line from on the first run. It seemed to be making a bee line for some overhanging trees, so without hesitating I leapt into the lake to be able to steer the fish clear of the danger. After a further 10 minutes, the fish was still trying profusely to ditch the rig, it even went as far to leap from the lake like an angry, tail walking pike. This was the first glimpse of the fish I’d had, and it was enough for me to distinguish which fish it was. With its unmistakable, heavily plated flanks and sheer length, this had to be the one. Moments later whilst trying to remain calm I stretched out with the net and engulfed my prize.
As looked down what I saw took my breath away, there it was, the No.9 Bus! I couldn’t believe my luck, to have come so close the day previous and to then be given a second chance the next day, unbelievable.”