Welcome back one and all, this week we look at a recent session myself and Jack had over on the Top Lake at White Lakes, this lake is proving notoriously difficult for us both but persistence always pays off so we are returning to see if we can make it pay off sooner rather than later.
We arrived on Saturday morning knowing the weather was going to be very wet and windy all day but with the pressure dropping and warmer winds due in we were in for a very good chance of a fish. Only 1 other person was fishing the lake so we had the choice of swims and we decided to jump into swims 3 & 4.
So, with everything set up we was ready, willing and waiting for our opportunity to come along and hopefully bag one of the bigger residents of the lake, our recent session here ended with a good number of fish but nothing above the 20lb mark which Mike likes to remind us is quite exceptional, I would go even further to say it takes more talent to catch the smaller ones in here than the bigger ones, that’s what me and Jack are sticking with anyway.
11 o’clock came around and with it the wind and rain and boy did it rain, of course as soon as it started raining my rod was away! With no one fishing to the left of me and half the lake at my disposal I decided to have one rod down to my left, a Slip-D rig was the rig of choice, comprising of a size 6 Wide Gape BP hook from DSD tackle and their ‘Stealth’ coated hooklink to tie the rig together with a Classic Corn Wafter from SpottedFin as the bait of choice, with loose matching boilies thrown over the top for good measure.
After a fairly short but stressful battle the fish was safely in the net, not one of the bigger fish I hoped for but a cracking little mirror to start us off and to save myself a blank, Yippee!!
With Jack hastily returning to his bivvy and the fish returned I had to put the rig back into place in 40mph winds and rain, rain, rain and more rain, oh the joys! But as always effort equals reward and shortly after I was away again with another smaller fish but this time a lovely pristine common.
Once again with Jack scurrying away out of the rain and myself putting the rig back into position it was time to settle down with the hopes of drying off a little. Well, that was the plan however Jack had other ideas and decided to get himself amongst the fish and landed yet another one of the lakes smaller fish with this once again pristine common carp.
Unluckily and somewhat luckily the fish then seemed to turn off and we didn’t have any more fish during the day, so heading into the night and with the weather starting to ease up a little I decided to finally get out of my wet clothes and change into dryer clothes. Doing this just as it started to stop raining rather than waiting till it actually stopped proved to be a bit of a stupid mistake on my behalf with my reel stripping line off once again on the same spot as before.
This time with what was the smallest fish of the session, as you can see from the pictures, being the nice guy I am I didn’t want to bother Jack and for him to get wet too so I took a quick snap of the fish in the cradle and popped it back as soon as possible, what are best friends for ay?
With the rain now stopping and the night setting in, we were hoping for some more fish but unfortunately nothing materialised during the night apart from getting our beauty sleep. With the new day came the lovely sunny weather, not long after we arose from our sleep, Mike paid Jack a visit to see why we was failing to catch anything of decent size and to try and help relieve us from pest control.
With him he brought along his trusty boat and secret bait, he stuck a rod in on a spot with said bait and told Jack to ‘keep an eye on it’ which we have come to learn is Mike giving us a helping hand and trying to help make content!
Now, if you know Mike you know he is the ultimate wind-up merchant when it comes to fishing his lakes, you could be there for days and not have anything and he will show up, stick a rod out and within half an hour his into a fish, if he is finding the lake fishing rather hard, he can sometimes wait up till a whole hour before he catches, this is no over exaggeration, he really is that good. As always within 45 minutes the rod was away, Jack lifted into it and was met with a bit of a heavier weight than what we have experienced so far this trip, after a relatively short battle Jack had landed the biggest fish of the session at 19lb 8oz and what a corker! A quick phone call to Mike to let him know he had a fish; he was on his way back round.
This fish is a typical strain of the awesome Common Carp Mike breeds in his lakes, big shoulders, deep belly’s and just perfect, this is one of the big reasons we joined White Lakes is due to the stamp of fish in here and I think you can agree they are stunners!
With Mike now back with his trusty supplies he reset the trap for us, now I know some of you may think this is cheating etc but in all honesty, I just want fish! We still had to play the fish etc so it’s basically just a free tuition lesson from one of the world’s greatest fishermen, that’s all. And to prove it wasn’t just a fluke, 15 minutes later it was away again, this time I had the privilege of being there and went on to land the fish myself, a lovely 17lb common to top the trip off.
With the fish returned and not wanting to keep bothering Mike, we called it a day and had to leave anyway, whilst again not getting anything above 20lb and seemingly missing the bigger fish, we learnt some more from this trip again and will put that into action next year when we return as the complex closes over the winter period.
So, a massive thankyou to Mike for showing us how it’s done, also a thank you to you all for reading this blog, we hope you enjoyed it.
Tight Lines & Wet Nets,