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Luke Taylor lands the Big Mirror at 40lb 4oz. A new lake record.

It was my first time out fishing since last October as I don’t fish winters much or fish just day sessions, so the wait for lockdown restrictions to ease and nights to begin again, has felt extremely long indeed!

Having not fished Willow lake on the Old Mill complex before, on arrival I managed to get a quick word with one of the lads coming off the lake to see what the last few days had been like.

He said a couple of stockies had been out and one lad lost a few. Having only 6 pegs on the lake and only 3 lads been on for the last few days previous there wasn’t that much to go on.

He did say they had all been fishing 12 wraps out where the lake starts to shallow up towards the far margin as they had seen a few fish show and that the fish weren’t responding to bait going in still, but they had put a small amount in towards the end of their session.

The 5 lads who were going on including myself decided to draw pegs at the gate for fairness. I decided to go in peg 4 as on the lake map there was a nice flat plateau out in front towards the far bank which peaked my interest.

I decided with simple solid bag tactics at 15 wraps, over the back of where the previous anglers had put some bait in as I thought there would hopefully be a few fish knocking about off the back of where they had fished and knowing the bottom was relatively clear, three solid bags went out and all landed with a solid “ donk” on the lake bed.

Having watched the water for the next few hours and not seeing any signs of fish I decided to put a brew on. I just sparked up the stove when my right hand rod was away out of the blue!

Lifting into the fish my first thoughts were that it felt quite decent, the tell tale slow, solid knocks on the rod tip giving its size away.

After a relatively uneventful retrieve the fish was under the rod tip where it decided to stay there for a good 10 minutes, not showing itself and staying down deep, circling with heavy lunges and the odd burst of power along the right hand margin.

Having not seen any fishing action for 5 months the old arms were starting to ache big time but then the fish decided enough was enough I managed to get its head up and over the net chord and the prize was mine! 

A couple of the lads from the next few pegs came over for a look and when I looked into the net I said to them “ it’s a goodun! “

We rang the Bailiff who came down to help weigh and photograph the fish for their records and the scales spun round to a chunky 40lb 6oz.  A new 40 for the lake and a new lake record mirror carp, a fish Known as “ The Big Mirror “

A great result for the lake and somewhere I will certainly be going back to (if there’s ever going to be free peg available now! ) 

Having been a quiet year fish wise due to various lockdown restrictions and then high angling pressure on all day ticket waters last season, this was an unbelievable way to start my 2021 campaign with my second biggest UK carp ever!

Simple solid bag tactics, a short slip D rig, a pimped up Spotted Fin Catalyst wafter which a good few weeks previous I had been layering with Catalyst pellet and particle syrup and the new Krill powder.

Letting each layer dry then repeating the process to give the hook baits an extra kick of attraction! 2mm Catalyst & Halibut pellets and a liberal squirt of Catalyst particle syrup going in the bag just before the off.

A mega attractive mouthful of food for any carp that meanders by.

Luke Taylor