Well I don’t really know where to start, but here it goes… My good friend Josh and I had been fishing the secret lake for some time without much success. For nearly a year I had been walking the banks of this huge pit looking for a sign but to no avail. We had been concentrated on a certain area for a while now, baiting up religiously every week, but all for nothing, these elusive carp were well off the beaten track and were never going to be easy to catch.

These elusive carp were well off the beaten track and were never going to be easy to catch.

These elusive carp were well off the beaten track and were never going to be easy to catch.

We decided a move would be the best idea. By fishing a different bank I could hit an area of virgin water, so I was feeling confident. I could see the area was extremely weedy so decided to fish three naked chods. I baited two of the rods with Xcel baits VNF 16mm pop ups and the other with a KSC 16mm  pop up. I cast out the first rod, which was baited with the VNF pop up and got a nice donk, so I was happy.  I sank the line and was playing out some line when I saw my line twitch. At first I thought maybe a rudd or a roach had swum into the line, but then in total disbelief I saw the line started to tighten up. I turned and said to Josh, “I think im in mate” and wound down… and I was in. I was in shock, the rig had only been in the water for a maximum 30 seconds! I could feel straight away it was a good fish, and within a few seconds it had run about 30 yards and was heading for some buoys. I couldn’t stop it, and it made the buoys. I slackened off and let it take line, and then I turned to Josh and said, “Get the boat mate,” and off he ran. I couldn’t do anything; the reel was screaming, but I couldn’t give it any pressure, as there are mussels all over the chains that hold the buoys to the bottom.


After what felt like a lifetime but was only a couple of minutes, Josh was there with the boat, but by this time I’m guessing the fish had taken around 150 yards of line. I quickly got in the boat with Josh, and we were off, heading for the buoy. When we reached it and got the line from around it, it was solid! I gave it a little pressure and started to make some line back slowly! I could feel the line grating on something. I wasn’t confident in getting the fish in. But then it stopped grating, and I could feel the fish fighting and shaking its head. I started to gain line quickly, and soon the fish was under the boat, but I think seeing the boat spooked it, and it was off again. I couldn’t believe the power of this fish; it must have towed us 50 60 yards towards a reed bed. Just as it got there I managed to turn it, and that’s when I got my first glimpse of the fish, and that’s when my heart jumped into my mouth, as it was a massive unknown mirror. I got it up on the surface and tried to net it, but the net was twisted so I gave the net to Josh to untangle. Then it was up on the surface again just beside the boat, so I said to Josh,” just net it mate,” and after a couple of attempts was in the net! I let out a big “Oooooooosh!” at the top of my voice and had a little glimpse in the net… it was a huge 40. My arms and legs were like jelly; we must have been out there for 30 plus minutes. Then we made the long row back as the fish had towed us halfway down the lake. I got the retainer out and got the fish in it in the water,  and then lifted him out. He was a lump, and I said to Josh, ” He’s a 40+ plus mate.” I got him to the mat, opened the retainer and was in awe! What a fish! I could also see it was a male fish as it had the little lumps down its head.

My arms and legs were like jelly...what a fish!

My arms and legs were like jelly…what a fish!

I got him on the scales, and they settled on 40lb 3oz. I was buzzing! Eleven months of hard work all paid off… All the baiting up all the walking had been worth it for this fish! And if I didn’t catch another fish all year I’ll still be a happy man! And lastly I would like to say a very massive thanks to Josh. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you, mate.

Also a big thanks to Shaun at Xcel baits for making the pukka bait!!

Xcel Baits

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