A lucky Leather capture.
TBT - 1999 Stoneacres big leather 34.8lb.
It must have taken me ages to find the Linch hill complex as I had never been there before and was totally lost! When I finally found the place it was 11 oclock and the spring sunshine was already beating down on the window of my car causing beads of sweat to form around my temple.
I had just finished a fishing trip at horseshoe lake and was visiting a friend at Linch hill. As I had never seen the place and had a day spare I decided to pay him a visit. Back then the whole complex could be fished on both day ticket and a syndicate basis. The day tickets we purchased from the small cafe tucked in the corner of the biggest lake. At the time I did not know which lake was which. I made my was down the side of the biggest lake towards the two smaller lakes (Willow and Christchurch) to see my mate.
Half way down the big lake was a new inlet pipe that was pumping in from the gravel works close by. I stopped to look out at the vast expanse of water in-front of me. It was then that a group of three fish came ghosting along the margin with their backs just clipping the surface. It was a stunning spring day with the fresh smell of a mixture of pond weed, stone and gravel, a proper big pit smell! Knowing that I had a floater kit in the car I ran back up to the car and quickly assembled the rod.
I was back in a flash and positioned myself behind a small bush just a rod length from the pipe. Sure enough the same three fish were still present and were gliding up and down the margin just 10 yards out. I hurried to super glue a chum mixer to the back of a size 8 super specialist. The hook bait was all set, a simple free lined hook bait. The three fish were taking the same route, making their way from my left along the margin towards the flowing pipe. When they were 10 yards away I flicked our 5 mixers and watched.
To my surprise two of the fish took three mixers and then carried on their circuit. One of the fish was far bigger than the other two and had taken one of the floaters. The same group then returned for lap two. I was in position but remember being stung with nettles as a I crouched to get a better angle. Here they came. Again 5 mixers were thrown out by hand. The first fish came up and started taking the free offerings. The biggest fish then circled back leaving its mate. This was my chance. I cast the freeline beyond and left of the biggest fish and inched the hook bait back so it was dead online with its route. It clocked the mixer straight away and engulfed the hook bait. A quick strike to my left and the fish powered off, flat roding me for 80 yards. It was only then that it dawned on me that the floater rod that I had picked out was only loaded with 7lb line! Oh dear!! Luckily the whole battle was in the surface and only when it was close was there any issues with weed. Steady pressure and a massive carp came over the net cord. I peered in to see a awesome sight. The biggest leather I had ever seen. I secured the fish and called my mate from Christchurch lake.
I don’t know who was surprised more. My mate could not believe that I had caught one and neither could I! The bait was in the water for no more than 10 seconds. A fluke of a capture but then again we all need a bit of luck along the way.
A massive leather was pictured that day and a capture I will never forget....