Before I unloaded my gear from the car I had a look in the catch book to see what had been caught during the weekend. Not a lot really but considering the hot weather that was not too surprising, just a few stock fish to low doubles. Though I knew a mate Ian had lost a good fish at the net and several big fish had been seen.

The walk down the hill was hard work in the hot sun so I decided to have a look round with the polaroids to see if I could see any fish. I left my gear in a small copse of trees and strolled on down the lake, the weed was worse now and there were few clear patches of water but surprisingly I saw few fish. I crossed over the bridges and walked back down the other side of the lake but the story was the same until I reached the area I had fished last week, where finally I found a few fish drifting in and out of the weed. I went back round to get the gear and finally sat down in a hot heap on the grass.

Looking out across the lake I could see that the carp were following a familiar pattern of moving through a channel in the weed and back out to the thickest weed. I had decided to drop the trout pellets to hopefully deter the bream so I had come with a load of hemp instead. A couple of swans were around so I decided to look at the river for a while instead of firing out bait and attracting the swans’ interest.

It was nice in the cool of the trees and after chatting to another member who was fishing the river I returned to my swim to find the swans gone. I baited two areas heavily with hemp, particles and fishmeal boilies and fished the channel using a particle on the hair, the other rod I fished with a single 14mm boilie.

As the evening drew on the carp rose higher in the water and looked more active so I fired out some mixers, two fish soon showed some interest and cautiously took a few so I quickly cast out a rig baited with double mixer using floating putty as weight. One of the carp turned to investigate the splash and swam past the bait and took a freebie. Then to my surprise it turned on a sixpence and took the hookbait, the line whipped tight as it hooked itself and I found myself connected to a nice fish. The weed made the fight more tense than I would have liked and I had to haul it through the marginal weed and into the net.

It was a nice mirror, not a stockie though, which was nice, but a mid-double weighing 17lb 3oz. It looked quite old and was a little tatty but this was probably down to spawning. I admired it for a while before slipping it back further up the bank in an area of sparser weed.

The sun was still hot as it finally dropped below the hill and the two bottom baits remained untouched, in the last bit of sunlight more carp showed on top but despite my best efforts I could not get them to take a hookbait, one made the most careful inspection of it I have ever seen from a carp. Finally the sun dropped and darkness began to fall, I was just thinking that the particle had done its job deterring the bream when that rod screamed off, the expectant carp soon turned in to a 6lb bream, another one of similar size came to the other rod half hour later.

The rest of the night was quiet, until dawn when the rod fished in the mouth of the channel tore off and I leapt from the bedchair and connected with another nice fish. It fought well in the more open water at this spot but I soon had its head up and slid it through the weed and into the net. A nice stockie common carp weighing just over 9lb, very firm and round. These fish will turn into really big fish in years to come. That was the end of the action and I trudged back up the hill. I was looking forward to my next session.

The weather was not quite so hot but still sunny on the next session a couple of days later and again I looked around and did consider another area but again, the only carp I saw were in the channel area. They were not basking on top though and they ignored the mixers I put out. The evening was very quiet with hardly any movement on the water; the wind had now died down. Just before dark a large carp rolled heavily in the thickest weed off to my right. Moments later it rolled again, a little nearer the clear water, as if it had been lying up in the weed but was now making its way out to clear water to feed, that is what I hoped anyway!

Just after dark the rod in the channel gave a couple of bleeps and I could see the rod tip nodding so I struck into a fish that turned out to be a bream of 6lb 4oz. An hour later the other rod produced a bigger bream that I weighed at 7lb 2oz. Both rods were baited with boilies now as I thought this was the best chance for a carp.

Just before dawn the rod in the entrance to the channel gave a few bleeps and then moments later it did it again, I struck in to nothing. This was annoying as dawn was turning in to a good time to produce a carp. I recast and got back under the blanket praying the other rod was in a good position. I had just dozed off again when the other rod just tore off with a single tone. I struck in to a fish that was obviously a little bigger than a bream as I had to give line straight away. I could not give too much though due to the weed - I could see the weed festooned line going back and forth up the channel as the carp decided on where to go. After a bit of this it tired of being held on a tight line and came towards me, which was into the marginal weed. Fortunately for me as soon as it hit the weed bed it came to the top and with its head up I took my chance and glided it through the weed and into the net. I could not lift the net because of the weed so I dropped the rod and quickly grabbed the net arms and lifted. The carp went berserk but it was too late, it was in the net.

I could see it was a good fish, an original mirror. I prepared the sling and scales and lifted the carp in the net on to the mat. It was long mirror nicely hooked in the bottom lip. On the scales it went a rather pleasing 21lb 9oz and I recognised it as a carp my mate Gary caught in 1993 at 14lb odd - so it had grown well. I had not caught it before though so I was very pleased to come back and catch a new fish. I admired it and took some photos before returning it. It was in superb condition with a perfect mouth and fins, a real peach of a fish from this enigma of a water.

Have fun!