What started as a “nightmare trip” ended in jubilation for Andy Beach as he bagged one of his target fish at 53lb 3oz from a Lincolnshire day-ticket venue.
This mighty mirror, known as Big Paul’s, came during a weekend visit to Birch Lake on the Old Mill site near Market Rasen.
“The session actually started as one of those nightmare trips,” Andy told Carpfeed, “I couldn’t get away from work as planned and was last to arrive on the Friday night.”
After initially fancying the Shallow Bay swim, Andy opted for a peg known as Sands, but was so late arriving he had to set up in the dark and his headtorch ran out of power as he did so.
“I thought it was going to be one of those weekends!” he said.
Birch Lake, which is available on a day ticket to members who pay a £50 joining fee, contains three fish over 50lb and Andy has been concentrating on the lake this season in the hope of catching one.
He added: “Cursing my choice of swim, and following my gut feeling, I was up at 4.30am and moved back round to Shallow Bay, the spot I had fancied the night before.”
Andy’s persistence paid off that afternoon with a take.
“As soon as I connected I knew it was a big fish,” he said. “It first broke the surface in the bay to the right of me, but I only got to see the huge bow wave across the surface.
“When it broke the surface a second time right in front of me I knew it was one of the big mirrors straight away, and I immediately started to panic and say to myself ‘whatever you do, don’t lose this, Andy’.
“The fish made a few more lunges before rolling over the spreader block.”
Calling on the assistance of friend Ant Lee, Andy weighed the big mirror at a new personal-best weight of 53lb 3oz.
He said: “Made up was an understatement and I remained speechless for the rest of the weekend!”
Andy used whole and chopped 12mm and 15mm Spotted Fin Smokey Jack boilies and matching pellets, with a 15mm Spotted Fin Pink Pepper Squid wafter over the top on an IQ D rig tied with a size 4 J Precision hook.