Tom Meager embarks on an emotional and obsessive roller coaster of a campaign...
1st June 2022
In 2020 I finally got the delightful news that I would get a ticket on a beautiful 70 acre+ pit that was on my mind for a very long time. The waiting list to get on this pit is/was very long so to say I was hyped with this chance would be an understatement! The lake itself is very weedy in the summer months and has depths up to 25 feet, it holds different strains of carp including some lovely dark commons and a variety of good looking and big mirrors.
I started off very well on the pit and on my first ever session early spring that year, I managed to catch a nice looking 43lb10oz common. This was the start of a very productive spring where I’d been lucky to welcome several bigger fish, including multiple mirrors well over 40lb+. I remember one session in the end of May that year that was quite memorable. Upon arrival there was a very strong and warm south westerly blowing into the corner I was targeting – the wind was so strong that it was hard to get the rods out properly. It didn’t take long before I had my first take and it turned out to be a big mirror of 44lb15oz. I was really buzzing at that point and before I had the chance to get the rod back out, another rod was away, resulting in yet another big mirror weighing in at 44lb 8oz. What a moment and it wasn’t over yet because the next morning I had another 40+ mirror at 43lb 3oz with some lovely scales on it and a 38lb 5lb mirror to top off the day. What a result! Once spring turned into summer, I slowed down a bit and with Covid restrictions to enter the pit getting stricter, it was getting more difficult and even prohibited at times to fish the lake. Because of this, I visited the lake less frequently and decided to wait until next spring when hopefully the restrictions would be less harsh.
The next season, I started revisiting the lake from the beginning of April hoping to find the fish in the shallower areas, but with the weather staying exceptionally cold, this was easier said than done. After a struggle that lasted for a couple of weeks, I finally managed to catch the first one from the pit that year, being a 30lb+ mirror. The next couple of weeks the conditions finally improved and I was starting to catch more frequently. Just a few days before spawning I had a really great session. I’ve found some fish in a quieter area of the lake and within minutes of casting my first rig out, I had a take resulting in a mid 20lb+ common. Later that day, after dark, things really went crazy and in a timeframe of a couple of hours, I caught a 35lb 3oz, 44lb 12oz and 45lb 13oz mirror. Talk about a productive night! Few days later I returned for another session and again I was rewarded with one of the bigguns in the form of a 44lb 14oz mirror, along with a lovely looking 35lb 5oz common. Shortly after they started spawning and I left the lake alone for a while.
During the summer months I fished a couple socials on the pit, catching a nice amount of carp and it was during one of this sessions I first saw a fish named ‘’Kuifje’’. A good friend of mine managed to catch it and I had the privilege to capture the moment for him. I was well impressed by this massive looking common and it was from then on very high on my wish list! Time went by and during autumn I fished another lake nearby my home. I did return later that autumn/winter to the pit for a couple of short sessions but apart from a lovely mid 30lb common, this was without great success.
It must have been mid-march this year when I felt the urge to return to the pit, and try to catch a couple of its lovely residents. Against my expectations, this went fairly smoothly and after catching a few smaller carp, I managed to catch a lovely dark common at 35lb 2oz. What a great way to start the season on the pit! Due to other obligations, I wasn’t able to fish the lake for a couple of weeks, but at the first day of May I finally could return for another chance. The spot that had produced before was sadly taken, but the guys fishing were to leave in the early morning the next day. I decided to fish the night on another lake nearby and would return the next day to fish the desired spot. Upon arrival the next day, the sun was already giving all its strength and conditions felt really good for this spot. Just before noon, everything was spot on and it didn’t take long before I had my first bite which resulted in a lovely 29lb+. Only a couple of hours later I had another take and this time it immediately felt a bigger one. With the big distance I was fishing, it took a lot of time to get the fish closer in. The relief was big when it finally went into the net. I took a first look and immediately recognized the fish. It was the common named “Kuifje” weighing in at 46lb 4oz. I was very happy to have this one under my belt and even more motivated to see what more this pit has to offer in the future. What a place!
Rig-wise, I kept everything fairly simple, using my trusty spinner rig for fishing pop ups and a simple blowback rig for my bottom bait or snowman presentations. For the spinner I use a 6 inch boom section made of 35lb Camstiff and the razor sharp size 5 Curve Point. The blow back rig is made of the wonderful Tungskin 35lb in combination with the Curve Point size 5. Simple, but effective and gear that has stood up to the demanding conditions that comes with fishing lakes like this.