Paul Claridge concludes his season with a tale about his purple patch of success on Burghfield lake.
Leon Michael’s Red Letter Session…
9th November 2021
Leon Michael made a trip to Linch Hill’s Christchurch Lake, banking 5 carp, including the elusive Single Scale.
Arriving in the early hours and finding the lake relatively quiet, I had plenty of options to choose from. As most will know, having most of the lake to pick from can sometimes be a tricky task. After a few laps, I finally settled into an area where I’d see some subtle signs of feeding fish. All that was left to do now was to think about my approach. Once the signs had subsided and I was confident the fish had vacated the area, it was time to explore the zone where I’d seen the carp feeding a couple of hours earlier. After a little lead work, I’d located some nice silty areas, which after positioning the rigs were loaded with caster and boilie crumb. I sat back brimming with confidence, sure of some action come morning!
You can imagine my surprise when the following morning I awoke to everything as I had left it. I was looking for a move, after hearing some fish in a different zone and as I was weighing up my options, one of my rods was away! A short fight ensued, and soon enough the first of the trip glided over the net cord. I was eager to get the rod back out, so set about securing the net before repositioning the rig. A few hours had passed and a couple of bleeps from one of the rods grabbed my attention and before I could react, the bobbin pulled up tight and I was soon locked in battle with the second carp of the morning! This fish had managed to kite into a nearby weedbed and I was soon into my first boat battle on the lake. Luckily everything was plain sailing, and I now had my second fish of the trip – by now I was well and truly buzzing!
Going into the second night, I repeated the process and went to bed super-confident that my session hadn’t yet finished. Like clockwork the following morning my rod, without any prior indication, just burst into life! Running to the water’s edge, I picked up the rod to do battle with yet another Christchurch carp. A few ‘hairy’ moments later, I noticed the bulk of a large mirror carp wallowing as it neared the net. I could see this was a much better fish and I was right! It was mega in every sense, and I was sure it was going to be a new PB. After hoisting her on the scales, my suspicions were correct, as the needle stopped at a whopping 47lbs. A short while later we confirmed it was one known as Single Scale, that had been on the missing list for best part of two seasons now! I was lost for words. I couldn’t believe I’d had three Church fish, after what’s been a tricky year for me personally, with very little angling time, due to work and family commitments.
Not only had I smashed my PB, but I still had couple days to go. Again, changing nothing, I got the rod back out and just as the morning before, the other rod tore off! Still soaked from having a bucket of water launched at me, I soon managed to slide the net under yet another carp! Wow… this was turning into a dream trip! Sorting the photos and changing into some new clothes, I sat back to soak in the morning’s events.
That night I was struggling to sleep as I laid on cloud 9, but eventually drifted off. You can imagine my shock when I awoke to the rod ripping once again! This one fought hard, but eventually gave in and I had landed my 5th fish in 3 nights! I couldn’t believe what had happened really. My first year on Christchurch has been hard going, and I was often left questioning my approach. But as is often the case with carp fishing, it can all change in an instant. Going home after that trip, I can say my first year on Linch will be a memorable one! It certainly puts those previous sessions where I’d questioned everything to bed… a new PB and a traditional Linch Hill soaking certainly made this a trip to remember!
Venue: Linch Hill’s Christchurch
Rig: D-rig incorporating size 4 Beaked Chods, Think Link 30lb and other TA components.