A story from the past…Mitch Godfrey

What an incredible session: euphoria, dejection, astonishment, on the whole a bad night and one to forget!

After climbing a tree and watching a big common and mirror coming in and out of the lily beds and feeding on the snails, in an afternoon on the river Trent, and trying to decide if the common would go 30 or not , it was time to have a go. I took a light approach at first, just free lining a lump of bread, although the mirror took slight interest, it seemed that it had me Sussed, and one feel of the line and it was off like it’d just been spanked! I didn’t have to wait long before the common turned up, and with the bait in place and the fish heading straight for it my heart was in my mouth, only for it to continue stripping snails off the leaves all around and totally ignore my chunk, as it passed by I reeled in and gave a cast right in front of its nose, this had the same outcome as my attempts with the mirror and she was off, not to be seen again.

Not to be out done I decided to set up there for the night, with the hope they’d be back at some point and I’d not scared them off completely, so away with the stalking rod and back to get over night gear. I decided to go as light as I could, as there was a bit of a trek involved, no bivvy, bed chair, a few rigs, bait, mat, and net.

There was a small gap in the lilies that was on the patrol route, so the trusted poloni was lowered in with a couple of handfuls over the top, I was in two minds whether to drop my bait right in the middle of it all, but with 20lb big game on the reel, and the lilies not looking too thick I thought it was worth a go.

Within an hour it was away and after an epic battle I eventually got to see it was the big common, after breaking the surface a few times I was really excited of the prospect of bagging a Trent 30. Only to have my world cave in as it spat the hook at the net.

Absolutely gutted!!

It left me just staring at the spot my hook came out for a good ten minutes , then came the tantrum, and after that the sulk. Eventually I got my head back together and the bait was put back on the spot only for it to race off again a few hours later, and after another great battle, of which the fish weeded me up several times, it eventually rolled into the net, and it was only the big mirror, an absolute corker of a fish, a mid twenty with huge paddles, great scale patterns and no marks.

Unbelievable to tag both fish in such a short space of time, it would have been nice to have the brace but with a fish like this mirror I couldn’t moan. So safely into the retainer, for the morning trophy shot.  With no other indications through the night, it was time for a quick cuppa, before the photo shoot. That done, imagine my surprise to find the retainer completely empty!

What should have been my best night ever on the river turned out to be the worst. Absolutely gutted again, a night to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

PART TWO – The following week,

After my disappointment of the week before, losing two big fish, one of which I’m sure would have been my Trent PB, I decided on an easy life with no drama. A nice easy peg with no prebaiting (which is unheard of for me), with a simple approach. I had 3 kilo of Poloni boiles soaking in The juice, and was itching to give it a go as I’d heard a lot of good reports coming in from other anglers.

As I said my approach was simple, a bag with about 50 boilies cast to a favourite spot, with my own simple but deadly rig ,tied with armourlink to a chod twister size 7 hook..

I don’t really know what possessed me but I decided on a catfish rod too ,with a sprat on the hook fished over a kilo of semi chopped sprat. There’s been a few coming out the Trent so I thought why not, as they were on offer in Morrisons.. He who dares and all that…

The night was quiet just a couple of twitches on the cat rod (which I’m guessing we’re eels), until I fell asleep around midnight.  At 3am I was woken by an absolute screamer, which I was sure was the cat rod but lifted it to find nothing there only for my delks to carry on screaming, never have I hit the wrong rod before, (wishful thinking I guess).

But got it right in the end, and an excellent scrap turned up a lovely scraper twenty common. Sacked very carefully this time, rods out  and back to my pit. Only to be woken at first light by an even faster run, but this time it was definitely the cat rod, and with no pike or sander in this area I was sure of my quarry, I hit into the cat, and stopped it in its tracks, it felt a decent size but with 20lb mono and 30lb braid hook link size 2 hook I wasn’t messing about.

After a minute or so my cat came up completely leaving the water, and I watched in total surprise as it turned into a cormorant and bugged off!

You just got to laugh!

I returned again that evening with the same approach and managed another 3am run this time a cracking mirror. The cat rod remained silent…!

Happy with that..




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