The first session of the week there was a strong westerly wind blowing and as I walked across the dam I noticed a dramatic change had affected the lake. The weed, previously so thick and reaching the surface so it looked more like a golf course, had now sunk down so that the lake looked completely clear of weed, though it had only sunk down and a lead around revealed that it was lying on the bottom; the blanket weed was also down there, thick and mucky.

The walk around looked good though with the water nicely coloured. As I walked past the first of two families of swans a carp crashed out in the waves. I pondered a moment considering fishing in the wind blown area but I decided to carry on to the far end of the lake, back to the swim by the islands that had produced so well for me on previous sessions.

Arriving slightly out of breath I dropped the gear and looked over the scene. Here too all the weed was gone, in fact I could see the bottom quite clearly in the corner by the stock pond. It did actually look totally devoid of fish and I wished then I had fished the windy end of the lake. However I stuck with my idea convincing myself that carp would be around the islands. After casting out and baiting up I sat back. Nothing moved and as dusk came I was beginning to doubt my plan. By midnight still nothing had happened, the hot time of 1:30 am came and passed, dawn began to break, still nothing. I packed up with the first complete blank I have had at this lake, not even a bream. I trudged back to the car, and as I passed an area I had had caught a few fish from before, a good carp cleared the water, crashing back in, then there were two more. I had found the carp, they were here all the time, I had walked straight past them on my pre-planned idea, I felt a fool.

Two days later I was back and I strolled carefully up towards the area I had seen the carp, this time though I had a good look on my way. As I approached the area two fish showed, then another, they were still there. Although the weed was not visible I knew from previous sessions where the holes were and soon two bottom baits were positioned nicely, a good helping of freebies surrounding them. A mate wandered around doing some stalking and we chatted before he went off, returning an hour later after finding some nice fish in an area I had baited but not fished. It soon was clear we both rated several areas, both independently, great minds. After dark he left and I was alone once more.

The night was cool and autumn-like, a bright moon shining. Just after midnight the rod further out screamed off and I connected with a nice fish. The fight was more enjoyable as the weed was not such a hazard with more open water to play with. Soon the carp was in the net, a fat rotund mirror weighing 10lb 14oz, one of the stockfish. It was beginning to seem it was impossible to get past these stockies to the original big fish that my friend and I had been discussing only an hour before.

Recasting was not easy as there were no surface markers with the weed sunk but I managed eventually. It seemed I had only just dropped off again when the same rod was alive once more. This time the fish took a bit of line and my heart leapt as I considered I had hooked a better fish, however moments later I felt the knock knock of an eel. I dragged it across the surface and lifted it out of the water via the leadcore. It was a good size and as the sling was wet I weighed it at 4lb 11oz, I had upped my personal best caught from the same spot the week before.

Dawn was just round the corner so I quickly recast but when I woke again with the sun just showing, the lake was covered in a thick mist, the dawn air very cold. The rods lifeless.

I returned later in the day after a very heavy thunderstorm had passed, the sky still looking dangerous. I quickly found some carp and leaded around to find a couple of clear spots. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw up the lake, a good carp head and shoulder close in, followed by a bowave. That would do, I retreated back up the lake and cast a lead where the bubbles still showed where the carp had re-entered the water. The bottom was clear and hard, further out I found another similar area. I wasted no time in casting out and getting baited up, erecting the Hutchie Oval Shelter just as rain began to fall again.

The rain got heavier and heavier and went on for the next three hours, clouds of mist rose from the water showing the rain was far colder than the lake water. I wondered whether this would kill any chance I had. At the worst of the rain a huge common carp crashed out of the water twice near my baits, my confidence rose again. Then another original fish, a mirror, showed. The rain finally stopped but duckweed began to blow up the lake and within an hour the area where the carp had shown that made me fish there was under a blanket of weed. The lines seemed okay so I left them positioned, I would worry when I had a take.

Darkness fell quickly and shortly after the rod on the spot where the carp had shown tore off. My mind was full of big commons so I took the fight carefully, a common indeed but a stockie of 9lb 4oz, where did he sneak from? The recast was easy, just on the edge of the weed. I got back under the shelter, the sky had cleared and the temperature was well down. After midnight the same rod was off again, this time just a tench. I recognised it, a fish with one eye, a fish I had caught at about 2lb 10 years before, this time 6lb 10oz. The rest of the night was cold and misty. At dawn, again a thick layer of mist covered the lake. As I slowly packed away a good carp head and shouldered nearby, then another moved. I cursed having to go, I just pray they hang around for the next session.

Have fun!