Jason with a spawned out Big Lin at 41lb 10oz
After a frenetic few weeks we had only two anglers on Molyneux this week. Good mates Jason and Andy from London arrived mid-morning after a pleasant journey across. Tea was taken and the usual wander around the lake began. I explained the week that the previous anglers had caught between them and I could see the guys licking their lips in anticipation. With only one or two showing around the lake on our walk round the guys decided to start the week in the Social swims.
They left us to get set up and sorted out for the week, and of course unload the refreshments.
They came round for dinner, and reported one or two fish in front of them, albeit at range. After dinner, and a nice chat over a beer or two they left to get their rods out.
Jason was the first to wet a net, when he was rudely awakened at around 2am by the sound of a Delkim melting down. After a good scrap, he was pleased to see a long lean looking mirror in the folds of the mesh. Once weighed it was proved to be the first thirty of the week at 30lb’s and an ounce or two…
At first light he was up to the same sound as before and lifted into another nice fish. Again without too much drama he brought it to the net where once again his faithful ghillie did the honours with the net. This fish was slightly shorter but much chunkier than the previous fish and the Ruebens confirmed this. 32lb 1oz. Not a bad start!
At around 8.30am the tables were turned when Jason took a turn as nets man for Andy’s first fish of the trip. A nice looking mirror of 26lb’s Three fish before breakfast on the first night. Were we going to carry on in the same vein as the week before?
With the weather warm and sunny, the day proved to be a little slower. Jason and I went out in the boat and marked one or two posts which we baited with particle and a few boilies. Just before dinnertime Jason was in again, a little smaller than his previous two fish at 21lb 12oz, but a stunning long chocolate coloured mirror. When they look like that size really doesn’t matter quite so much.
At 10 pm Andy’s rod rattled off again, this time a 24lb mirror graced the net. A slow night followed and the guys sadly didn’t add to their tally. Jason felt at this point that the fish in front had disappeared, possibly around the other side of the island. Early morning saw him set up a float rod with light gear in the hope of one or two of our lovely tench. He wandered down the channel to Willows swim and proceeded to tempt one to take the bait. Not long after he cast out, his float twitched and slid away, he lifted into what he presumed was a tench to almost have the rod torn from his grip. Whatever was pulling away from him like a train was certainly no tench. He let the fish go, not even trying to stop it for fear of snapping his fragile set up. After a long and often hair raising tussle he finally caught sight of the culprit as it finally hit the surface, a catfish and quite a large one. Very gingerly he played it out and Andy skillfully netted it for him. A 31lb catfish on 4lb line and float set up quite an achievement. This certainly made up for the quiet night they had both had.
At breakfast the guys decided to give it another day where they were and make a decision on moving later that day. At 11am Andy had another take and after a good scrap lifted the net around a lovely looking common. This one weighed in at 28lb. An hour later he was in again, and this time a mirror of almost the same size and proportions was landed. The scales showed it to 4oz’s lighter at 27lb 12oz. This reinvigorated both the guys and they decided to give it another night where they were. Sadly it proved to be the wrong decision as Tuesday night brought only a good night’s sleep for them both.
After breakfast the following day they packed up and set off around to the double swim. Situated around the opposite side of the island they hoped it would give them a better chance. Indeed they had seen the odd fish showing around there.
That evening as we all sat eating dinner there was a light thunder storm which had been threatening all day, after which it continued raining for a couple of hours. This was the change the guys had been waiting for. The pressure dropped, and suddenly as though someone had thrown a switch, the lake felt alive. It was to 3.45am the following morning before the first fish was hooked. Andy again doing the business, and another mirror rolled into his waiting net. This fish weighed in at 28lb 9oz.
Barely an hour later and and another alarm squealed, this time Jason was up and onto his rods landing a cracking mirror of 35lb 10oz. Twenty minutes later another of Jason’s rods roared off and a hard fighting fish made an attempt to get away up the channel. After a long and hard fight Andy lifted the net around his mate’s second catfish of the week. This one considerably larger than the first. After unhooking it they weighed it and found it to be 45lb 12oz. A new lake record for Molyneux, beating the previous record by ¾ of a lb.
Half an hour later and Jason was in again, his third take in less than an hour. Once again he had an almighty tussle with what seemed a very good fish. Andy was dragged back from beneath the covers to do the honours, by this time he was at least getting rather adept with a net. A large mirror slid over the drawcord and into the safety of the net. Once on the unhooking mat, and the mesh was parted they saw a gorgeous looking mirror. One I later confirmed to them was the Big Lin. At a spawned out weight of 41lb’s 10 oz. Jason was obviously delighted with his mornings work. At 6am Andy was in again, another good fight saw him eventually land a mirror of 29lb 12oz, so close to the 30lb barrier which he was so keen to break. An hour before breakfast one of Andy’s alarms gave a few bleeps and he was on it like a shot. A tame fight ensued after which a small common of 14lb’s being lifted from the water.
Breakfast was had with the guys in good spirits; the move had paid off, with three fish landed each during the early hours. Nothing happened that day apart from a few cold beers being sunk and a baguette and cheese lunch being consumed. The night again was quiet, until at 5am when Jason’s rod tore off, once again a spirited fight followed which saw him land another nice mirror of 33lb 3oz. I can imagine the banter as Andy took the pic’s.
After breakfast the guys cast out and rebaited , and a short while later Andy had a decent run, he lifted into what felt a better fish, and after a plodding fight, he brought a healthy looking mirror to the net. He had finally broken the thirty pound barrier in the shape of a lovely 31lb 15oz mirror. Happy Days! He cast back out and shot up to the fridge to collect a few beers to celebrate in style.
Friday night and at 1am it all kicked off with a triple take between them Andy had two rods rattling off, while Jason had the one. Andy’s two landed carp were a 23lb 4oz mirror, and a 12lb common, another of our babies, whilst Jason had trumped him yet again with a mirror of 32lb 14oz. Isn’t it strange how this happens, same bait, similar set up’s and yet Andy consistently catching the smaller fish. At 5am Jason once again had his early morning run, this time landing a much smaller common, his first of the week again a small grown on fish of 12lb.
This was to be the last action of the week, and a slow pack up and breakfast followed. The guys had thoroughly enjoyed their week, and were good fun to be around. It is nice to see two guys who work hard together, and still enjoy each other’s company enough to spend time with one another socially.
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting them both, and genuinely hope to see them again next year……
French Carp Lakes – Molyneux