Orchid Lake burst into life last week and top hauler Kev Hewitt was there to take full advantage.
The England international caught the fish he really wanted from the Oxfordshire day-ticket lake – No Name at exactly 39lb – as the renowned winter water switched on.
Kev, from Swindon, had three fish in a matter of hours as the mild spell had him seeking shade. “It’s been so mild,” he told us from the bank, “I’ve been in my shorts and T-shirt, and when the sun came out I had to sit in the shade. For about 20 minutes it felt like it was 25c!”
After a quiet first night in the Dead Dog swim, Kev saw a fish show off his baited area and launched a solid PVA bag in its direction.
“Ten minutes later I had a lovely scaly 22lb mirror,” said the Hinders shop manager. “I saw another show a bit further out and put another solid bag on and had a 16lb common.”
Having recast to the same area, about 90 yards out, the 39-pounder came along six hours later.
“They were all tiny little takes,” said Kev, “They didn’t take any line.”
He continued: “When I pulled into the third fish I knew it was a big one. It was a really decent fight and I came close to losing it a couple of times. It got caught on the back of one of the bars and I could feel it grating, but luckily it popped up.
“Then it kited and I just couldn’t stop it, it had so much power. It stayed deep in the margins and I knew which fish it was. It was one my mate had caught two winters ago when we had a big hit of fish together and I said then that it was one I wanted to catch.”
Orchid is a fantastic winter water but it hasn’t really kicked off yet. This could be the start of a productive spell. Kev told us he had seen dozens of fish showing in front of the occupied New Middles and Middles swims (to the right of his swim). When Orchid switches on there are few better day-ticket venues around.
RIG AND BAIT
- Solid PVA bags
- Hookbait: ESP pop-up sweetcorn
- Hook: Size 7 ESP Gripper
- Hooklink: 3.5ins of ESP Anchor braid
- Loosefeed: Mixed CC Moore pellets