This week saw the return of good friend Dennis McFetrich from M.C.F and co. The lake has been pretty up and down as far as catch reports go – the previous week there were 16 fish out which was a bit low for the time of year although quality made up for that as 50% of the fish out were 50lb plus and a 61lb common – good in anyone’s book. Still, this week there were seven of us and the draw complete. Butch was first out and picked swim 13. Steve came out next and took 3 & 4, Den chose 7 & 8, Mark in 12, Aid in 5 & 6, Dave in 10 and I had 1 & 2. I was happy with what I had for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to fish in the areas we had cleared at the last work party and secondly, this was not an area that I was familiar fishing in so I thought it would be good for me to learn a bit more about the swim.
Also on the trip was my ever enthusiastic son Fin, ready to do battle with the perch and pike. He had a very productive first day catching three pike up to 8lb so all credit to him – he stands patiently for long periods watching and waiting with his lure rod. The areas I chose to fish had a mixture of soft clean areas in between weed and some more harder areas. Once happy with all my spots, thats where I planned to stay all week. The first night was quiet for me with not much activity so I played the usual waiting game. Steve over in 3 & 4 got off to a good start landing a 54lb mirror within an hour of setting up.
By the Monday morning a few more fish were out. Butch had a 41lb and 52lb mirror. Steve had another 37lb, Aid a 30lb and Den another 47lb to his tally. I had 2 x 40lbs – a 44lb and a 45lb. It was great catch those two fish from spots created earlier in the year. The weather now was changeable with low pressure and rain for a couple of days. At 4am I had a slow take on my left rod that hadn’t had any action of yet. I picked up the rod and lifted the fish, it didn’t do to much, just a few flicks of the tail and I thought it wasn’t too big. Then the fish kited right, picking up momentum as it did and then I felt the power of it. It was about 30 yards out when i really felt the strength. After three powerful runs taking 15 yards at a time and 20 minutes later, I slipped the net under the fish that had alluded me for so long. It was the big one. I was shocked, nervous and happy all at once knowing I had just landed the fish of a lifetime. With the help of my son we carefully carried her up to the weigh station. The scales settled on 88lb – what a result. Not only a PB for me but a new lake record and it was a great moment to share with my son. Dennis and the boys came round at first light for the photos and to see such a wonderful fish before we put her back. I am sure this fish will reach 90lb before too long.
By Wednesday morning I had three more fish – 42lb, 54lb and 46lb mirrors. I hadn’t seen many fish fizzing, just the odd ones so I was pretty sure I was intercepting travelling fish. Dave in swim 10 had his first fish – a 39lb mirror and Butch in 12 h3 had a 31lb common. Friday was soon upon us and a few more fish to report. Mark had a 40lb mirror, Butch a 40lb and 54lb mirror, Dave a 48lb common, Den added a 49lb, 41lb, 47lb, 46lb plus a 31lb common. I also had a couple more out – 39lb and 62lb mirror – the 62lb being the same fish I caught in April at 60lb so pleased to see weight being put on. The last night was quiet – I scored 2 more fish, a couple of 40lb plus to finish off proceedings. Our weekly tally came to 30 fish between us and smashing my personal best – it has been a week I will never forget.