Aidan helps his dad with his 45lb 8oz Catfish
With Molyneux and its surroundings tidied and trimmed we were ready to welcome our latest guests on Saturday morning. Majid and his two sons Ben and Aidan had travelled all the way down from Glasgow to be with us, and after all the travelling we knew they would be tired. They had booked the cabin, and so upon arrival we had a wander around the lake and they started to unpack and get there things organized in the cabin as they wanted them.
Majid started well enough and overnight on the Saturday managed two small commons of 9lb and 14lb and a 26lb catfish. We joked about him having caught two of the smallest in the lake and I assured him their older and larger relatives would come to play soon enough.
The weather was as it had been for the past two weeks or so, unpredictable with cloud and rain coming in sharp bursts. Majids plan was to fish overnight and spend the days taking the boys out and about around the local area. On Sunday however they stayed on the lake and while I took Majid out in the boat to have a prod around his swim, and spread a little bait. The boys amused themselves with a football and exploring their surroundings. After a hearty roast dinner they set off back to the cabin, and Majid prepared for the nights fishing.
Sunday night proved to be a little quieter, and no fish made an appearance sadly. I think Majid was quite happy to be honest to get a good nights kip, as he was still on catch up mode after his long journey South.
Late on Monday evening and Majid caught his second 14lb common of the week. That was to be the only fish of the night. Tuesday night proved to be totally fruitless with no fish coming at all despite Majids best efforts. The weather was similar to that being endured back in the UK at this time, unseasonably wet, with very overcast skies. Normally good fishing weather but we were on the edge of a high pressure band which seemed to be confusing the fish.
Wednesday evening Aidan caught a tench of around 7lb’s, but sadly Majid did not add to his tally. It was proving to be a very tough weeks angling. I was struggling to understand it as fish were showing more frequently as the week wore on. Time was running out and Majid although very patient and an old hand at carp fishing, therefore knowing that it isn’t just a case of casting out and reeling them in, was hoping for a larger carp then he had to his name this week.
Thursday night saw a change in luck. At 11pm Majid lifted into a one toner which was moving toward the snag tree to his right. He deftly brought the fish back round in front of him out of danger, and brought a rather plump 20lb common to the net. He then caught two small catfish in rather quick succession. Although not quite what he was after it proved that the fish were on the move and hopefully looking for food. At 1am he awoke to a series of two-three bleeps on his delkims, looking at his indicator, he could see something was showing interest. Suddenly the indicator dropped back and the line became slack. He lifted his rod hoping to feel a fish on the end, but initially felt nothing. The fish was heading from the island tip where it had been hooked diagonally toward him but more worryingly directly toward the snag tree. Reeling quickly trying to catch up with the fish he managed to do so just before it reached the sanctuary of the tree, piling on the pressure Majid managed to turn it and bring it slowly out in front of him. Here at short range the fish suddenly started to scrap hard. After a tense few minutes struggle Majid managed to slip the net under a mirror which when weighed proved to be 33lb exactly.
At breakfast the next day I was so pleased for him, it had been a difficult weeks fishing with weather and conditions conspiring against him, but he had persevered and finally he had a fish over thirty pounds.
Again the guys spent the day together, we rebaited his spots, and after dinner Majid again set up and cast out. At 9pm he was off again, a spirited fight without the drama of the fish heading for the snag tree this time, and it wasn’t long before he had a nice mirror on the bank. This one weighed in at 26lb 8oz. At 11pm, Majids right hand alarm screamed as a fish tore off down the side of the island; he lifted his rod and tightened up to no avail. What was obviously a catfish and a good one at that was making off down the margin of the island to his right. With no snags or danger down there it was simply a case of keeping control as much as is possible in these instances and slowly but surely gain some line back. Slowly he did just that and eventually the cat surfaced, still some way out but coming in the right direction.
By this time Ben and Aidan were out of the cabin and eager to see what dad had on his line. They were chuffed to see a cat of a good size gliding into his waiting net.
On the unhooking mate and relieved of the hook the cat was weighed and confirmed at 45lb 8oz, a cracker which Aidan took great pleasure in helping dad hold up for the camera which was expertly manned by Ben.
2am saw Majid up and lifting into another fish, this one after a none too dramatic fight was landed and proved to be a 22lb common. At 3.45am he was in again, another common, this time a 16lb grown on fish.
Just after first light, around 6am, with Majid starting to think of the break down and packing of all his gear his alarm tore off again, another good scrap ensued with another decent mirror being brought slowly but steadily to the net. This one when landed was weighed at 28lb 12oz. Not a bad night’s work!
I was very pleased for Majid, he had been so good with his boys making sure they had good fun during the week even while at the lake playing football with them, and races around the lake. He deserved the fish he had during the night, and I was pleased the last two nights he had enjoyed some good action. Ben and Aidan were a credit to him, so well behaved and polite, with wonderful manners. We thoroughly enjoyed having them over, and hope they will visit us again.
French Carp Lakes – Molyneux