72 hr syndicate masterclass

BNKD follower Joe Nugent takes us through his approach on a recent 72 hr syndicate trip.

72 Hours With Joe Nugent

I arrived at my syndicate for another 72 hours. My previous session on the lake had turned into a red letter day with 9 fish being landed and two new 30s, whilst I wasn’t expecting that sort of joy twice in a row, I wanted to try and get on the fish and see if I could back that up.

As expected the lake was starting to fill up, there was a southerly wind blowing into the bottom end of the lake, with the majority of swims taken at that end, but I knew that the wind was due to switch to a northerly the following day. To my surprise nobody was fishing the top end of the lake, with the high temperatures, shallower water and the wind due to switch, not to mention the amount of fish I had seen cruising, it was a no brainer where I was going to set up.

I had a quick lead about and found three spots I was confident the fish would be visiting, all on the far margin on a shelf at about 4ft, just before it dropped off to deeper water. I decided not to put the rods out straight away. Due to the pressure on the lake I wanted the fish to feel confident coming into the area and getting their heads down, so instead I walked round the other side of the lake and waded out to drop the bait, a mix of JH Baits KLF in 15mm, chops and crumb and mixed particles, all coated in JH Baits Liquid Food. By doing it this way rather than spodding, it meant it was one lot of disturbance.

It was around 5pm before I put the rods on the spots. All 3 rods were using a slip d multi rig, on a size 4 curveshank with a chopped down KLF Black Pepper Pinkie so that it was sitting as a wafter. Late evening bite time came and went, but I had seen fish show in the area so I got my head down feeling confident that something would happen during the night.

At 3am I was woken to the sound of my alarm going and the bobbin dropping off and the middle rod was away.  After a short fight with most of it being done under the rod tip I landed a nice scaley 17.5lb Mirror, with that being the only action for the rest of the night.

The wind had now switched and was blowing into the top end of the lake, so I felt confident about the next 48 hours. Fish were cruising and although I had put a zig in front if them they just didn’t seem interested during the hottest parts of the day, so again I rested the swim, baiting up early afternoon and giving the swim a chance to settle, before casting out at around 6pm.  A few hours later just as it was getting dark, I was into a fish but this time on my right rod, but not longer after the line went slack and it had come off! Rig checked, hook was sharp…just one of those things, rod put back on the spot and that was that until around 6am.  Right hand rod was off again, but again shortly into the fight it bounced off….Agghhh!!

The right-hand rod was in shallower water than the other two rods, so I lengthened my rig to give them more room to get a better hook hold and got the rod back on the spot. An hour later and the same rod was off again, this time a tench, but at 9.5lb it was a PB, so a quick photo was needed! But after that the swim went quiet, temperatures were rising and again fish were cruising.

My left-hand rod had not had a bleep in two nights. I was standing over the swim just about to reel in for the morning and thinking if I should move it, but my gut said where it was looked good for a bite, with that the rod tip was bending round and I was away. This felt like a better fish and in shallow water and I saw it roll as it was hooked, this one wasn’t coming off! A short while later and the net was dipping underneath what looked like a decent fish. Got the fish on the mat and realised it was one of the A-Team an almost leathery looking Mirror but with small clusters of scales! Scales tipped round to a few ounces over 30lb..a stunning fish and a friend was close by to be able to help with some water shots. Over the moon was an understatement, that was the 3rd 30 in two sessions!

That 30 had removed the disappointment of losing two fish and I felt confident that there would be another opportunity in the last 24 hours. Resting the swim during the hottest part of the day was working so I stuck with that approach. Again, swim was baited and rods were back out by 6pm and I didn’t have to wait long before I was in again. Yep, the right rod was away, and I managed to land a 19.5lb Mirror, the change to rig was working, this one was nailed!

The rest of the night and early morning was quiet, but I was up at first light and saw fish showing so still had a feeling that something could happen. It was now getting towards the time I had to start packing down, but then a bleep on the right rod, followed by a couple more and then it was screaming off! I lifted into the fish and again this felt decent, a huge swirl came off the spot when it was hooked and the fish was kiting so waders on and out in the margins to make sure I could stop the fish heading for snags. It was staying low and plodding, always a sign of a better fish. A short while later it was in the net and WOW! A stunning fish and immediately recognised as one of the special fish in the lake.

The scales spun round to 32.5lb! Another member of the A Team, a truly stunning Mirror with a unique scale pattern covering its’ tail. Photos followed and again a friend was on hand to get some more water shots which really helped show off the beauty of this fish!

What a couple in the session on what is a tricky syndicate, 13 carp landed in 2 sessions, including 4 30’s….itching to get back down there and see what the next session brings!

Tight Lines!


Massive thank you to Joe for letting us retell his session story on BNKD.co.uk, why not give him a follow!

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