6th September 2019

Gary Jones times it perfectly on Burghfield, banking numerous rare ones over two sessions!

Burghfield can be a funny water with many anglers racking up session after session of blank nights, for months on end at times! However, in typical big pit fashion when the stars finally align, numerous fish can be banked in one session, almost as though it was restocked with hundreds more fish overnight!

This is exactly how it panned out for Gary Jones, with him struggling early in the year to get amongst the fish, but when he finally did, he managed two, with the biggest a 48lb mirror.

It was a while before he got the same opportunity again, struggling to locate the fish, but it all came together recently with him having a couple of sessions close together producing half a dozen fish. Some of the rarer characters were amongst them too.

Gary’s choice throughout the season has been Manilla which he has kept introducing on a regular basis. Hookbait wise, Gary opted for matching wafters.

This is what Gary told us about his season so far on Burghfield:

“Spring on Burghfield was really hard going because the fish spent most of their time in the open water safe zone where they can’t be reached which was obviously very frustrating. On the right winds, they would come that little bit closer and that would give you an opportunity to grab a bite or two

“The first opportunity happened in early April; I had three runs from the open water on a new wind which they obviously couldn’t resist, this resulted in a 32lb common, a 48lb mirror with the other lost. The problem is, there are only two open water swims that we can fish, so to get back into these swims is not easy at that time of year and that opportunity never arrived again.

“The fish spent the next few weeks in the open water waiting for the cover of the weed to arrive which this year seemed to take forever, but I did manage a 36lb 4oz mirror over a couple of handfuls of Manilla at range.

“By the end of June into early July, the pit was choked again with weed so the fish were on the move in and around mainly the shallower areas of the lake enjoying the early summer sun. It was great to see carp in areas which had looked devoid for so long! I walked into a very weedy swim and just sat watching two carp for some time with one looking a very big fish which to my amazement dropped and had a feed for a few seconds. I was all over it with my tackle in the swim and the rods out within the hour.

“I’d not seen any more fish that afternoon, when, out the blue, the rod cast 20 yards out to where I had seen the big fish feeding was away. Unfortunately, not with the one I had seen but with a cracking 26lb common which I’m led to believe is a fish called the Baby Burghfield Common.

“I re-baited the same spot with a few spombs of whole and chopped Manilla, Bloodworm Pellets and tiger nuts. Just as it was falling dark the same rod was away again, this time I’d got myself a mega long, dark common it looked amazing on the mat and at 36lb 10oz it took my breath away.

“The next day passed with no more action, so I re-did the rod and topped the spot up with the same spread of bait, ready for the night ahead. At 3am the rod was away again and after an explosive fight in the dark, I was greeted with a cracking 38lb 6oz Burghfield carp, a scaly mirror with a cluster of scales right in the middle. It was still dark, so I retained the fish for an hour for photos at first light. Much to my amazement, at 5am, with the rod only being back out for an hour, I was in again with what turned out to be a very nice 33lb 4oz mirror, another from the family of rare ones

“It was a great few days and all that was left to do was to put the rest of the bait I had left on the spot before heading home! It’s amazing how different the drive back to Derby is when you’ve caught!

“A few days later, I was sat behind the rods again with them all on the same spot and on the first night I had two; a 28lb 8oz mirror and a 31lb mirror. It was clear the fish had obviously eaten all the bait I’d put in a few days prior as it was coming out of them on the mat!

“The next night I again had two; a 32lb 10oz mirror and a 33lb 8oz common proving that you really have to make the most of those small windows of opportunity at Burghfield because they are very few and far between but the rewards are great if you are fortunate enough to time it just right.”