In September 2012 I started what I had dreamt of as a young lad and that was to study fishery management at Sparsholt College in Hampshire. Sadly since starting there I haven’t had much time to get on the bank due to college work and whenever I came home I had work on so fishing took a back step for a while.
On Thursday the 28th of March I was picked up from college and I was lucky enough to have 2 weeks at home with the family. I worked the first week of this holiday as the weather wasn’t great and I knew I wasn’t missing much on the bank, every night though I looked at the weather for the following week and I was determined to get out on the bank after such a long while.
Work finished Friday so that left me Saturday to get the gear ready and dust off the rods before venturing out on Sunday morning for 72 hours on the bank.
It was great to have a nice stroll to get a feel for the place again as I haven’t cast a line in Cleverley Mere since I started college in September, this place really does bring back some fantastic memories the 2012 season which was a cracking year for me.
As it was a Sunday the weekend anglers were leaving which gave me a choice of pretty much every swim, after a good walk about and many trees climbed I decided to plot up in point 2 which last season produced the majority of the fish, this swim commands a large amount of open water and has bags of features where the fish could be holding up.
As I was getting my gear off the barrow I saw what seemed to me as a pectoral fin just break the surface of the water, I quickly got two rods out armed with zigs, these were fished at different depths and both had different coloured enterprise zig baits on them, just as id set up my home for the next 3 nights I had a few bleeps on my right hand rod, looking round I could see the zip arched round to the right where the fish had kitted on a tight line, just as I struck into it I could already feel the fish making its way for the weed out in front of me, a few moments later the hook pulled, I was gutted to say the least, knowing it could have been my first fish of the year and not only that it could have been the lakes first fish of the year, it put me in a real downer, that night past with nothing making my alarms sing, so the following morning I reeled my rods in and went for another stroll to see if anything was moving down the other end, I thought long and hard what my next step should be as this weather was poor and certainly wasn’t zig weather anymore.
I decided to stay one more night in point 2 but instead of fishing singles or zigs I decided to give them a bit of munch on a spot that has produced a lot of fish for me over the last year, I went with the ever faithful mainline activ8 topped with the awesome 11mm Eternal boilies from Enterprise (but I will keep the colour to myself!) a combination that I have great confidence in.
Whilst standing talking to a good mate of mine, my middle rod on the baited area pulled up tight and signalled a slow take, upon hitting the rod, it arched over and I was in full battle with a hard fighting mere carp.
Using the Atomic Bomz Away clips the lead comes off with very little resistance and with this the fish came to the surface to make it easier for me to play around the weed that was present, the fight didn’t last too long but as it slid over the net cord I knew it was a very sizable fish, whilst leaving it to rest for a moment I grabbed the camera gear and got the scales ready, attending to the fish again I peered in the net and it didn’t take long to see what was sitting in the bottom of it, a fish known as “the marlin” which I knew was a low to mid thirty all year round.
After weighing it and it coming in at 33 pounds on the nose I got some brilliant snaps, the marlin looked awesome in all its winter colours, I slipped it back ready to fight another day and make another angler just as happy as I was that evening.
End tackle was from Atomic which included, jel-e-wire in brown at 25 pounds, a size 6 grabba hook, the brilliant new Tungsten Slugz and of course the bombs away lead clips which greatly helped me with the landing of the fish.