Today’s session, a tale of what was, and what could have been....


Making it up as I go along…..
Site Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
So today was hit and miss, lots of positives but a few head scratch moments....

Realising last night (just as I was finishing a bottle of Rioja at about 0100) that the clocks going back would mean sunrise would be around 0630, it dawned on me(sic) that I would need to be up at 0530 to leave by 0600.....oops

anyway, the alarm raised me at the first time of asking, coffee flask filled, expanders and lunch retrieved from the fridge, micros soaked, layers adorned, and off I went, arriving just as it started to get light enough to see where I was going.

Bordeaux Pit, one of the Stillwater venues on my newly acquired Saffron Walden AC ticket.

The weather forecast was a bit warmer than I’d expected, it was supposed to be 14 tops today, but it was already 15 degrees as I got out of the car, and would rise a further couple of degrees throughout the day. Chance of showers in the afternoon (never arrived) and full cloud cover. SouthWesterly breeze, although the lake is very well sheltered, being bordered by a railway embankment on one side and a dense wood on the other.

Got myself set up, a mixture of tiredness and a tiny hangover meant I couldn’t work out how to get my feeder arm on the left front leg of my chair (I’d decided to try out a slightly different seating position), so it ended up on the right leg. Luckily I’d set the feeder rod up last night so didn’t have to worry about threading line through minuscule rings in the half light.....

First cast was at 0705 hours, using a small Drennan in line method feeder, which I remember thinking was absolutely minuscule compared to the large Preston one I’ve been using thus far. I’d picked a peg I’ve never fished before, and had about a 20m chuck to a fishy looking margin with overhanging trees between 2 swims opposite, with a bed of lilies to my right, and a reed bed short on my left.

I chose the opposite swim first, and (to my amazement, hit my mark dead on, this was a big positive today, my casting was a lot more accurate than previous sessions.

I went with a 6mm expander as hookbait, and decided to go with 15minute casts.

Not so much as a line bite for an hour, I’m not sure the fish got the memo about the clocks going back, they were clearly still asleep.

I persevered for another 30 minutes or so, by which time my hangover had completely gone, my eyes were working properly, and at this point I decided to ring the changes with my hookbait.
I went with sweet corn for a few chucks, then reverted to a white wafter, which I’d caught on last time I fished.

A few casts later and my persistence was rewarded, a mirror carp that proved rather difficult to land.

View attachment 86818
It took me 4 attempts to net it, every time it saw the net it literally jumped out of the water and shot off towards the reeds to my left. Still, eventually I got it right. Weighed with my new scales at 7lb 12oz, it’s officially my first PB.

The next hour was dead, despite my best efforts, so I decided to cast to the lilies on my right.

3 casts later and the top went round, and immediately I knew that it was a bigger fish. It was so powerful, and led me a merry dance around the whole section of the lake that I was fishing in. For about 10 minutes we engaged in battle, and whilst I managed to keep it in open water during most of this time, I never really felt in control. It just felt very strong, and very heavy. I continued to narrow the gap gradually, determined to better my recently acquired PB and to have a real story to t

When it got within about 15feet, I reached for the net, however it was still pulling and running sporadically. Eventually it made a run for the reeds on my left, and to my dismay it ended up breaking me off.

Gutted doesn’t even come close.

As I reeled in, fully expecting the whole rig, feeder and all to be gone (thinking of previous knot issues), I was mildly surprised (and curiously pleased) to find it had broken the hook link, which was a Drennan size 14 on 5lb line, coupled with my 6lb mono mainline. The whole hooklink had gone.

Still, another positive was that my feeder (and therefore my newly learned Uni-knot) had held fast during an epic struggle with a fish that was without doubt bigger than anything else I’ve ever hooked into.

Anyhow, once I’d collected myself, I tied on a new hook length and cast back out, but over the next 3 hours I had a couple of liners and very little else.

By about half 3, still dreaming of the PB that never was, my micro pellet stocks were running low, and the two blokes up the other end of the lake (probably 80 yards away) were really starting to twist my melons with their cocophony of bite alarms on the couple of dozen or so rods that they appeared to be fishing (side point, seriously, do these things not have volume controls?? I’m sure I could hear them over the noise of a passing train on its way to Cambridge) so I decided to have one last ‘hail Mary’ cast on a new spot that I thought I may have seen some fish moving around a little while earlier.

I bet you can guess what’s coming now, can’t you?? Yes, that’s right, after 15 minutes nothing had happened, I’d packed away everything but my chair and landing net, so I wound in, finished packing up and headed for home, a Chinese takeaway and a nice bottle of red. Tonight’s tipple is a Chilean 2015 Malbec, one I’ve never tried before but initial signs are good.

So positives from the day:

Casting - so much better today
I caught - only one, but a decent fish, and a PB (ok, it’s the first and only one I’ve weighed....)
I found a big one (I think) - I didn’t land it, but I hooked it, and played it. I know now what a bigger fish feels like.
My setup worked - my knots held, Drennans unfortunately didn’t...
I stayed warm and dry - always a bonus.
No wildlife was harmed during the day - despite the bite alarm gang somehow hooking a duck, after netting it they managed to free it and it appeared to be relatively unstressed following the incident.
I’m going back on Sunday to try again!!!

Thanks for reading, any tips gratefully received??


Making it up as I go along…..
Site Supporter
Oct 4, 2020
Its simple to see where you went wrong.

Drinking Rioja then fishing Bordeaux pit ?????
Lol, unfortunately I’m not keen on French reds, and there’s no lakes near here called Rioja ??????


Fruity Susan, Nobice and Inventor of W@nkles.
Site Supporter
Aug 12, 2006
Make a noise, try cattying 6 or 8mm pellets over the top, 2 or 3 at a time. If you cant reach with a catty cast more often. A few micros every 15 minutes wont attract or keep fish in your peg. Its still fairly mild, we haven't had rock hard icy cold days yet and the fish will still munch a bit.