The big Cats at Lymmvale are regular visitors to the bank in the warmer months and each year they seem to put on a few pounds. This season has been no exception and one lucky angler had a new club record and a 22lb and 50lb+ Catfish as backup in the same session, Shaun Gough takes up the story.
I arrived on vale Friday afternoon and settled in the Sleepers swim. After a lead around I put my right rod on a clear spot on the sand bar about 30 yards out and the left rod just off the tree to the left margin spodding pellet and boliie over both spots.
Around 7pm I had a take on the left rod. Feeling like a tench but surprised to see a common carp coming to my net of about a pound smallest I’ve seen in Lymmvale. Just before dark topped up spots with a few more spods of freebies.
About 2am Saturday morning the right rod was off. After a 10 min fight I had a 22lb Catfish in my net. Nothing else happened for the rest of the night and through Saturday. Kept on topping spots throughout the day then around 7pm I started getting liners on the right rod. Just before dark I decided to move the left rod out the margins and fish both on the sand bar. Topping up the swim with a the pellet and boilie I had left as I was planning to leave early morning. Then around midnight woke to 3 bleeps on the left rod. Climbing out my bag I watched the bobbin slowly settle back. Thinking another liner I was just about to climb back in the bag when it tore off a one toner bait runner screaming I lifting into it and flicked off the bait runner.
The clutch still screaming as it striped 30-40 yards then stopped. I knew I had a cat and I knew it could be a new PB as never felt power like that. After a half hour fight I slipped the net under it. Looking into net I though a new PB and got to be 30lb+.
Phoning my mate who was fishing near cabin. He came running around just as I was about to lift it out the water. I thought my net was stuck on bottom. I tried to lift it, It’s heavy I said to Kieran as I carried to the mat it could go 40lb. Kieran lifted it as I looked at scales which settled on 50lb 11oz. Smashing my PB by 24lb 11oz.
Buzzing I couldn’t sleep after. I nodded off to sleep around 3:30am and was woke at around 4am to a screaming Delkim. Lifting into it I knew I was another cat, stripping line like nothing I’ve ever seen. It started kiting to left and was praying it would stop. There was an angler on the car park swim and was worried I was going to pick up his lines not fighting it I just kept a tight line and hoped it would go back into open water.
The fish was out at about 60 yards and my line was so close to the tree then it stopped kiting and headed back for open water. Once it was back into open water I started to gain line. Took about 20 mins to get my marker elastic on to reel knowing then it was at 30 yards. Then it was stale mate for about 10 mins just leaning back into it swapping arms as they felt like lead then it started moving again and I soon had it under my feet.
One last run saw it take out my left rod before I had its head in net. I was struggling to get it into my 42inch net but looking in I couldn’t believe my eyes!!
I phoned Kieran who came around to do the honours again. Lifting the scales to see error on reading 60lb the scales bottomed out fortunately Kieran brought his big scales and as we lifted it onto our shoulders I couldn’t believe my eyes 70lb 2oz what an unbelievable session I’d had.
The photos aren’t the best quality but as the BIG cat has just been banked again at the same weight so we know it was weighed correctly!!
If you’d like to fish for a Cheshire 70lb+ cat fish as well as many other fine specimens you can join Lymm AC online here.