I finished work at just after 12 and headed towards Melton Mowbray home of pork pies and stilton cheese (according to the signs). I arrived at one pm and started looking for Steve and Jeff, not an easy task, as the lake was a lot bigger than it looks on google maps. Eventually the bailiff turned up and pointed me in the right direction. Steve was already set up on the windward bank in a nice bay fishing towards some overhanging trees around the mouth of a shallow inlet. I set up nearby with open water in front. Jeff had gone "off piste" looking for roach and chub on the nearby river wreake.
|Bearing it out on the windward bank|
After an hour or two of battling the strong 20 mph westerly winds blowing straight into our faces, forever giving false bleeps on our alarms, I took a quick reccy up the lake where we soon decided to move to a more sheltered spot. Rods were cast back out and hopes were raised as we chatted about the lake and its potential. Soon, Jeff arrived with the bailiff (Chay) just as Steve landed a small jack pike, a couple of single bleeps alerting him to the take. I decided to recast both rods again, a rudd tail to the right hand margin and a small skimmer out towards an island. Both baits were hair rigged with a single size four hook set to hang free near to the tail fin.
The bailiff left us to it, so we stood behind my rods chewing the fat about tactics and fish we'd caught or wished to catch, as we fishermen do. Suddenly without warning there was a triple bleep on my alarm and the drop off indicator fell to the bankstick.
Line was being taken slowly from the spool so I flicked the bail arm across, wound down and struck. The rod took on a good bend and a decent fish was on the end, it kited right hugging the bottom. I said to the lads it might be a pike as at first there was none of the head shaking that you usually get with zander, just steady smooth power. After a short while the fish headed in closer towards us and now I dd feel a bit of headshaking just before it rose up in the water. A large green and white flank rolled confirming I had a big zed on (squeeky bum time!).
I gingerly drew it up to the surface again and held my breath as it smoothly slid across the waiting net cord. "That's a PB" I blurted out excitedly. The estimate was between 8 and 10 lb from Jeff and Steve, as she was lifted up in the net she started looking bigger. I hoped for a double at least but until the scales confirm it you never know. Steve did the honours and read off a very satisfying 11lb 1oz - my target of a double figure zed was well and truly done.