A new venue, a new challenge

Last Friday a lake that was previously open last year re-opened under new ownership and with a fresh look. I never really took the time to fish it other than a quick 12 hour session. It was winter when I discovered and fished it and before I could go back it had closed. I had found out about it’s reopening from a local angler at my park lake and decided to book a swim for the following weekend.

The next weekend came along and I prepped my gear and tied some micro barbed hooks due to them being the only type allowed on the waters going with multi rig and blowback rig(snowman rig). I turned up to Kingsland fisheries on the Saturday evening at about 7.30pm. The complex had an easier pleasure lake with reasonably big fish and a much harder specimen lake but with some extremely high rewards. I set up at a swim with an island close in front and thick weed to the left.

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With some advice to the bailiff and some feature finding I found a few gravel and silt spots between the weed and got my rods set up. I was with my dad who had 1 rod along with my 2. On the left rod I had a single hookbait cell wafter 1/2 a foot from a willow to my left with complimented with some scattered banoffee boilies and the middle rod on top of some light weed in a solid bag with some ground bait, pellet and hemp seeds. My dad put his rod a metre to the right of the close island which had an overhanging willow tree with a pop up on a spinner rig.

We settled in for the night which was dead without any bites and woke up and recast. We used a gas stove to cook some bacon and hoped our rods would rip of before the 7pm leave that Sunday evening. We ate our food and changed some of our tactics and positioning but kept patient as we knew that waiting was a key part in this lake particularly.

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The day went past without a bite and we began packing up our non essential items like the bivy and beds but left our rods out whilst we packed up as every angler knows there’s always time for a bite even if it’s a matter of minutes. We were talking to the bailiff as we packed in our gear and the bite alarm had a few stuttery bites and as I approached the rod it gave a big tug so lifted it up and began to reel. 

I was nervous due to the amount of weed as this was my middle rod that went off which was in the weediest area but was reassured due to my micro barbed hooks. It gave up a little fight but began to take line when coming close to the net. It swam towards the weed but I directed back towards me and it was swiftly in the back of the net. It didn’t look to sizeable and was one of the small residents of the lake but it turned out to be 20 pounds exactly and I was extremely happy as it only looked about 16-18. Anything above 14 was an achiever for me because before may I hadn’t caught anything over 12lb and this was my 5th 20 over the past two months.

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The weekend started out slow but was a beautiful lake and the thought of 35lb+ fish will definitely make me return as this lake was only 5 minutes from my home. 

Guest Carp

Getting back into it

You could say I am a quite new angler, starting just last June. I used to fish my local park lake, Lake Meadows Billericay, for silverfish but discovered a species completely new to me, carp. It was a warm night so many people were fishing it and as I watched someone reel in the first carp id ever seen I knew what I wanted to go for next. Me and my dad, who I frequently fish with, further enquired with the angler and he recommend I try an easier, match fishing lake that wasn’t to far from there.

The next week went over on our budget rods and I caught a 11 lb carp off the surface with a piece of bread. From then on I visited it a few more times but wanted to achieve a bigger carp like the one id seen earlier that summer at the park lake. I heard there was plenty of big fish but was very difficult in daylight compared to at night. It shut at 7.30 but had been told by the bailiff it was alright to stay just after 9 if it wasn’t too busy. Me and my dad fished there often for a while catching nothing until November when I unfortunately broke my leg in 2 places.

I let everything clear up before I began fishing again which was around mid may. I decided to expand my knowledge on carp fishing as it was very amateur and basic before. This brings me to about 2 weeks ago when I decided to get back into the swing of things and fish my local lake once again. 

It was nearing the end of May when I decided to have a walk around the lake after school at about 4pm to re-familiarise myself with the swims, features and locations of each part. The lake is 5 acres and holds a very low stock of carp so I was keen but not too confident. I came over alone at about 5 o’clock after travelling light with only the bare essentials so I could maximise my time fishing and be able to walk the short half a mile with everything i needed.

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I was using simple hair rigs as an experienced local angler had told me regular bottom bait boilies seem to work for him over wafters/pop ups and other types of bait. I had some hair rigs prepared as well as some spinner rigs for pop ups. As this was my first proper session over there with my new knowledge gained from the break I used different rigs and bait on both of my rods. 

I decided to go for a nice open swim with room for casting considering it was my first session back which had and island straight ahead and a fountain in-between but a few meters to the left. I had a rod casted tight to the island under a bramble bush on a single hook bait Spinner rig using Nash claw hooks and a Sticky Baits Mulberry pop up and a mainline banoffee boilie surrounded by some 4mm pellets and some banoffee boilie crush which was cast out in a solid PVA bag on an inline lead just right of the fountain which turned of about 6/6.30pm. I decided to switch to a mainline cell balanced wafter on my right hand rod(spinner rig-mulberry pop up) with a blow out rig after little action. 

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After some waiting and re casting of the solid bag rig I decided to pack it up and leave at about 8 after a few liners and bait movement from the high stock of bream which had been sniffing about the freebies around my hook bait. This was also the reason I decided to only use 15mm plus bait to avoid these as these were not what I was targeting.

A day to two later I decided to return with a friend on another short evening session which also resulted in nothing, both using similar tactics on swims very close to the one previously. I had 2 days off fishing to revise for upcoming mocks in late June but returned alone to revise by the bank with some rods out. I arrived at 5 once again and planned to leave at 7.30-8pm that evening. I was feeling confident using hair rigs and basic boilies on both rods on a fresh swim. At about 6 I heard a sound but thought nothing of it but about 30 seconds later I realised it was my line being taken rapidly through my bite alarm which I had forgotten to turn on. By the time I picked the rod up the fish was in the snags, a fallen tree off the island, I felt it pulling and saw it jump but it then became heavily snagged and it found its way free. I was gutted on losing my first local park lake and specimen carp.

I was feeling down however I was still feeling confident as I did some revision. As I had lost one I decided to stay until 8.30 and was ready to pack up when my left rod in-between a close island and the bank ripped off. My dad had arrived just 15mins earlier to pick me up as it was nearing dark and helped me net the beautiful common carp. It weighed in at 22 pounds which beat my previous personal best at 11lb which I mentioned earlier. My hard work had finally paid off and I could finally relax in peace knowing I had a carp from my local lake. 

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You would guess the story ended there however it doesn’t. I had a half a week plus off from the lake and fishing because I had achieved my goal and wanted a short break. It was a great 18 degree evening after a Friday of school and decided to test my luck once again at lake meadows. I used the same tactics I had before and turned up at about 6pm this time in a swim opposite the week before capture. It had a perfect fallen tree covering the entire way from one side of the lake to the other. I had it cast a meter to the side of it and one in-between 2 islands. At about 7.30 the rod in the snags went off and I sprinted towards it, luckily making it before it had made it too far into the tree. I was nervous as it jumped on the other side of the tree but managed to reel in a bit of line which got it away from it. I landed it and weighed it in my sling. It came in at 22.8 lb and was a stunner of a fish. The rest of the night was uneventful but I didn’t care one bit after a pb had been once again beaten.

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