Black Widow tested to the limit
When the going is tough any sign is a good sign, so I stopped and studied the margin very carefully. At first I thought there was just the one fish, but I was wrong, and after a while it became clear that I could be onto a winner. In a small margin area, no more than a couple of feet from the bank several fish were browsing the bottom, stirring up odd patches of silt, and generally looking interested in any food they could find. I popped back to the main peg, picked up a few boilies, and returned to my margin spot, where I carefully started to introduce odd bits of crushed up boilie every time I got the chance. The fish began to respond and I started to get seriously excited, some of the fish were big, very big, and they were feeding in almost touching distance from where I was crouched. There was only one big problem. Where I was feeding the fish was not the easiest place in the world to actually fish. I could have done with a very short stalking rod, but that was several hundred miles away back home, so somehow I had to fish the spot with the gear I had with me, which was the 12ft 2 ¾ TC Black Widow, and a Regal 4000 reel. I stood back and looked at the peg again, and came up with a plan. I could stay well back and lower the rig in. If I got a pick up, I would let it run well out into open water, feed the rod around the margin trees, walk along the margin till I was well clear of the snags, and then play the fish in open water. I had a plan, all I had to do was make it work…..
Rig wise I went for a simple Korda lead clip system and a short fluorocarbon hook-length. I made sure I hardly pushed the tail rubber onto the lead clip, I wanted the lead to discharge very easily. Bait was a combination of an 18mm boilie, with a glugged piece of plastic corn as an additional visual attractor. My landing net was placed further down the bank in the open water area where I hoped to play and land any hooked fish. It worked a treat, and during the afternoon I had two fish, but they eventually got fed up and left the area. I went back to my main fishing area, and got the rods out for the night, but I was already thinking of the next day, and another go at my new stalking hotspot. The next day I paid several visits to check out if any fish were present, but I saw nothing, and I was starting to give up on day two, when George suggested, why not give it a go for half an hour or so. Just because I couldn’t see any fish didn’t mean they wouldn’t visit at some point during the afternoon. It turned out to be very good advice. As on the previous day I positioned the net further down the bank in clear water, crumbed up a few boilies and carefully flicked them into the area, and then slowly, gently lowered my bait into place. I slackened off the clutch, and settled down to wait. For half an hour or so nothing happened, then I noticed the line flick, followed by a slight puff of silt coming to the surface, I had at least one fish in the area. A little while later, another puff of silt, a vortex in the water, and my line started to tighten. I put my hand over the spool and pulled into the fish, which did nothing. I had planned for it to bolt off into open water, but this fish hadn’t read the script, and just circled round hugging the bottom. In truth I didn’t have a clue what to do, and for a few moments not a lot happened, but at last the fish realised it was hooked and set off for the centre of the lake, and I was able to move along the bank towards the waiting landing net. My initial reaction was of a not particularly big fish, but as the Black Widow bent double, and I struggled to make line, I started to up my estimate. Some time later I was sure I was into a big fish, and I shouted for some netting help from George.
I got the fish close to the net, caught a glimpse and my mouth went dry, as it powered off again. It got stuck on some unseen snag, and my heart sank, but after some anxious moments we got it free, and despair turned to elation as eventually George lifted the net under what was obviously a very big fish. Lot’s of shouting, back slapping and shaking of hands, we had a whacker! On the scales 56lbs-2oz, lots of pics, and a cool beer as we reflected on the capture of a truly magnificent fish. I’ll be surprised if the Black Widow will have a more demanding test, one it passed with flying colours. I hadn’t initially seen the Black Widow as a close in margin rod, but I do now. It’s action was perfect, and it was a pleasure to use. A bit later in the week I also had a big common on the same set-up, and again I was well impressed … I’m starting to really like the Black Widows, and they won’t wreck the bank account either.
Good Fishing. Brian Skoyles