The Mere Part 4 – Luke Oakley

Having secured a Friday off work I was planning on getting to the mere at first light on the Friday morning but with a green light from my other half, Jade, I managed to arrive for around 8.30 on the Thursday evening. The light was was fading fast and I was stood on an empty meadow bank with no signs of fish anywhere. All day I had been thinking about the pressure that the triangle area had received in the previous weeks and the amount of bites it had done, I had this gut feeling telling me to drop into the left holly swim as I reasoned that any fish that may have backed off the going area would push in to left holly water. By 9.15 it was decision time, fish the area that had been pressured for the last couple of weeks or the left holly area which see’s nowhere near as much pressure. In the end the gut feeling got the better of me and dropped in the left holly.

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I already knew my spots from previous captures so I wrapped the rods out, balanced two stiff links and whistled them out to the clips. Both went down with a healthy thud and I followed them in with 10-12 spods of the awesome Krill soaked in pure krill liquid. As the darkness drew closer I decided that come the following morning I would be moving should I see fish elsewhere so I kept everything packed away literally taking my tea kit out and popping my bed up under my brolly. Time passed without a bite and 4.30am my alarm was waking me up from a healthy nights sleep so I flicked the kettle on in an attempt to wake myself up and watched the day awaken. I dragged myself out of bed a short while later and went and sat in the next swim up where I could see the triangle area as well as the spot that I was fishing. The triangle looked dead and over the next hour I didn’t see anything that made me think about moving.

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At around 6 o’clock I noticed a small patch of fizz that looked pretty close to the spot I was fishing in the left holly. I trotted back to my swim and sat looking through my binos at the trail of fizz that was getting longer by the second and looked bang on my spot. I was just texting a mate who was also fishing telling him about what I was watching when the left hand rod proceeded to slowly drop back. I was in my waders and on it in a flash, frantically reeling the slack line in before the rod hooped over and the tell tale thud of a carp was felt. The fish kited round to my right and then a short while later I had a chunky mirror gulping air waiting for the net. A quick text to a mate and my camera man was sorted. I got the rod back in asap and waited for my mate to arrive. I brought the fish ashore and it turned out to be a new one for me in, a known one named “Gilly” at 27.4lb which was a great start to the session. We were just chatting behind my brolly about the capture and my other rod started to drop back almost identical to the other bite. This one came in much easier and when I saw a decent sized common go over the net cord I was keen to see which one it was. I peered in to the net to find “the snub” looking back at me. One of the oldest carp in the lake and one that has been caught by some of the best anglers around. Hard to believe that when anglers such as Myles Gibson and Gaz Fareham fished the mere this fish was an upper 30!! We weighed the old beast at 28.6lb and got some stills done before returning it back to the water.

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The rest of the morning was uneventful and I couldn’t help but think that if I had given them a good kilo and a half the night before instead of preserving bait incase I moved then I probably would have had more bites. After a morning like that I had to give it my last night in the same swim and I went through the motions on the Friday night getting the rods sorted and I gave them the rest of the bait that I had with me which was one and a half/two kilos of Krill. The night was quiet and once again I was up early in anticipation. That morning it felt completely different to the previous one and As the morning drew on I became less and less confident. So much so that come 7am I was asleep again trying to catch up on my lost sleep before I went home. I was due off the lake At 10.30 ish but due to my couple of extra hours sleep I didn’t wake up until 9.30. This turned out to be a blessing though and as I was beginning to pack up in the rain my right hand bobbin pulled up tight and jammed in the Neville roller.

The take came at 10.30, I should have been on my way back to the van but sometimes fate plays it’s part. The fish instantly felt heavy and a slow plodding battle before the fish absolutely beating me up for a further 5 mins close in and I netted a big common. I peered in to the net and didn’t recognise it at first, it was only when I got the fish on the bank and the small crowd gathered that we realised it was the long common. The long is probably on average the largest common in the mere now, I was blown away and even more so when it spun the needle round to 30.2lb. We got some great shots of the long before I returned her to the water and she powered off out in to the lake. What an end to an incredible session, it’s safe to say that my gut feeling I had about my swim choice was indeed well worth going with.

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