Johnny Haars makes good his escape after tough times on his target water...
Lukas Hughes – ‘Slopey Head’
2nd June 2021
Lukas Hughes makes the most of his short sessions, managing to extract one of the highly desired jewels from his syndicate lake…
After a few head itching sessions in spring on the new syndicate, I was left thinking about my tactics and how I could get amongst them. The biggest issue I had was how busy it was, and I only really had short sessions, so it was just a matter of slotting in. With walking it quite a bit, I was soon learning the habits and what swims were being fished heavily.
On the Thursday morning, I got down there for the sunrise to see where they were. With not much to go I decided to drop into the swim where they move through when the angling pressure is up, it’s a bit of a bottlenose situation.
This session I changed onto braid, as the pads and weed was coming up and I wanted to stand the best chance of landing it. After an hour of marking out the swim, I was happy with my spots. One on a known snag which they like and the other fished out in open water, both being firm silt spots.
Tactics were bottom bait rigs around 4.5 inches, utilising size 4 Curve points, 25lb Tungsten and a XL tungsten Droppers, 2” back from the hook with the coated stripped. These were fished Heli style on 4ft of fluoro leaders with Line Gripper beads. Bait wise was big tigers and boilie chops, with a balanced tiger/pop up combo on the rig, which meant the hook was flat and the bait was just off the deck.
I decided to fish mesh bags the first night, just to keep disturbance to a minimum.
With the rods going out nicely for the first night I sat in anticipation, hoping for the alarm to rattle off. During the night I was getting a lot of liners in the open water spot and on the snag spot the coots were playing havoc all night. With nothing happening on the first morning other than a nice sunrise, I put the kettle on and fed Hugo.
Once the morning spell had finished, I had a lead around the open water zone and decided to fish it slightly closer in, due to the liners and it being slightly shallower. I moved off the mesh bags on the open water spot and decided to put out 6 spods of chops and tigers tight on the spot instead.
I left this be for a few hours and went and enjoyed a KFC with two friends, who were on the lake but the other side. Around 2pm, I came back to my swim for the afternoon, clipped up the rods and put on fresh baits for the night ahead. Both rods going out with a firm donk, with the foam coming up perfectly.
As the evening grew dark, fish activity was more present in my area. I put this down to more people being on the lake which effectively pushed them into my area, which was less pressured. I kept getting the odd liner in the night, which made me feel confident that they were there. At around 7am, a friend messaged me asking to take some photos. I hadn’t seen this until 8am and by then he was just finishing up the photos. While sorting out my backpack, my open water spot burst into life and the fish was taking line on a tight clutch.
Once I managed to stop the fish, it was the other side of a tree/island, I tightened up the clutch and slowly walked back and it came back round. Once in open water, it decided to take a fair bit of line on each run, but slowly I was bringing it closer. With it rolling 30 yards out I could see it was a good fish. It decided to lead me around the snaggy margin with the odd deep lunge. It then popped up close in, so I grabbed the net and scooped – it went mental and bow waved off from the net, with a few profanities under my breath. The next time of netting, I made sure – she was in the net and straight away I knew what it was.
With one of the members on the lake giving me a hand, we weighed her at 46lb 12oz. This was a top weight for the ‘Slopey Head Common’. What a carp – a new PB and the 40lb common target ticked off.
A few beers were sunk that evening celebrating, Yes Yes!