The King Of The Pond – Ben Soane

Ben Soane reports back on a recent social where he managed to slip the net under the Waterside Fisheries’ Heron Lake’s biggest resident!

I recently returned from a successful 24 hour session on Waterside Fishery’s Heron Lake in Chesham. The lake is an exclusive booking venue suitable for up to 5 anglers so a friend of mine booked it for the weekend as it’s a great venue to get the rods out on and have a social. We all tend to fish on one bank because it has a BBQ and seating area in the middle, and this can safely be sat in by all without anyone being too far from their rods. 

I only had the opportunity to fish the first night and drew a swim on the end with a lovely little reed lined bay to the right. This area had a fair few carp in when I arrived too so I wasted no time getting started. The fish were mainly up on top in the intense heat so I got the surface rod ready and catapulted a load of Floater Pack Mixers soaked in Bait-Tech’s Nutty Oil into the bay where the fish were. I was told the fish didn’t get caught off the surface much but I was determined to catch one this way, to prove my pals wrong more than anything, and it wasn’t long before I got a group of carp confidently taking mixers off the surface in the warm sun. 

I waited for the right moment to cast a trimmed down Triple-N pop up into the area of the feeding fish (these baits are great on the surface as the colour matches that of a mixer perfectly), and after a short while I had an awesome bite from a stunning common known as “One Pec” that dragged me round the entire lake on my light surface set up, and forced me to go rushing into the water in my shorts climbing round obstructions and eventually landing the fish in the next swim round on my left. I was chuffed to bits to be off the mark so soon and got straight back to it once the fish was returned as I felt there was more to be had. 

I was right to do so as within a few minutes I had another bite and landed a small Mirror on the same tactics, and then I had a further two chances after this but these were sadly missed. It then all went very quiet as the fish stopped taking the mixers off the surface, they had definitely got an inkling that something was up. 

I switched to fishing on the base for the upcoming night but this proved unsuccessful, in fact there wasn’t a bite for the entire group all night. We managed a good feed together though even if the fish didn’t, and had a great evening regardless. And following a massive cooked breakfast in the bbq area the following morning I got the mixers back out as it was set to be another warm day. The fish were back in the upper layers but continued to feed with way too much caution for my liking so I knew I’d be up against it if I was to get another bite before going home. 

I had to leave the lake for a little while but when I returned I switched tactics to adjustable zigs and baited these with a more visual bait in the form of trimmed down yellow Triple-N Special pop-ups. I messed around with these at different depths for a while in the area where fish were cruising but left one out at around 6 inches below the surface. An hour passed and I began to pack away but suddenly this rod bent round and the bobbin stayed up so I struck the rod and all hell broke loose. I was into what felt like a much better fish and became increasingly nervous the longer the battle went on as I’m never that confident on zigs because you never know how well the fish is hooked.

I was using size 10 hooks but the hooklength was relatively short compared to conventional zigs that may be 10ft in length and have a big lead swinging below, so the shorter hooklength definitely helped me have more control over the situation. When the fish eventually surfaced we could all see it was a better one and the relief I felt when it kissed the spreader block of my landing net was immense. My good friend Jason looked in the net and said I had a fish called “Titan” which is the only known thirty in the lake so I was absolutely over the moon. It weighed 31lb 4oz, down in weight after a good spawn a few weeks previous but I honestly didn’t mind as I was just so pleased to have caught one over 30lb from this particular lake. 


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