The trip was for 30 hours and for 2 of them it was their first overnighter so it was going to be fun.
We got there to find the lake was fairly full and the pegs available were ok but not where I wanted to be. The wind had swung to North East and was very chilly and we were going to be sat on a very exposed bank with the wind coming across us from the left.
It amazes me how much gear we carry now for an overnight session, I used to carry exactly what I needed but now seem to have enough gear to keep 20-30 people satisfied for a week!!!!!!
We settled in for the night and the wind got colder, there were fish in the margins but they didn’t seem like feeding so Del was fishing off to his right to a little island and one in front of him to the main island, Courtney was fishing tight to the island and to a group of emerging Irises, the other 2 were fishing open water spots while I was fishing to the far margin under a Willow tree and to my left tight under another Willow.
During the night Courtney had a Bream of 5lb4oz which was the biggest fish she had caught to date so that was a good start. Then the Tom caught a Bream of 4lb, that kept him happy. I missed a drop back as did Del then he missed a screamer from the right hand rod. Rest of the night was dead so everyone got a bit of kip.
Next morning it seemed the pegs I had wanted had produced 3 Carp of 21lb 14lb & 10lb. Typical!!!!!
We had bacon sarnies and lots of tea to get the day going then set to work on catching fish.
Courtney had a screaming run, hooked into a Carp and promptly lost it, Del lost another Carp in the margins. This was going a bit wrong!!!
The people in the pegs I had wanted were packing up and there were still a lot of fish showing there so I suggested we up and move everything. Some of the gear was packed away and what we needed was moved around to the other side of the lake.
Half hour after placing a bait tight under an overhanging Birch my left rod shot off. After a very spirited fight Del slipped the net under a 23lb8oz Ghost Common Carp. Now this was looking better!
A little later Courtney’s left rod tore off and she struck into a decent Carp only for it to pop the hook. Courtney is very slight and was struggling with the power of the fish so a little help was needed. We re cast the rod to the same spot in the hope that there were more patrolling Carp in the area. An hour later and her right hand rod tore off, this time I was hanging on to the other end of the rod with her as a very powerful fish made a bid for freedom.
After about 15 minutes of this Carp clearing off across the lake then Courtney pumping it back only for it to clear off again, we had it under the rod tip and in control. Brad slipped the net into the water and waited for us to ease the fish over the net cord. When in the net all the necessary gear was got ready, camera, mat, bucket of water, scales and weigh sling. Now we were ready to take this magnificent fish out of the water and have a look for the first time.
Brad lifted her out of the lake and exclaimed “Whooooaaaaaaa” as he realised the weight of this thing. He carefully carried it to the wet mat and laid her carefully down. When we opened the mesh to get our first proper look we were a bit surprised by the size of it as even I hadn’t realised it was this big.
She was carefully unhooked and photo’s were quickly taken, weighed and then gently returned to her watery home with all of us watching her slip away into the murky water safely, grateful of having the opportunity to meet this magnificent fish.
This was Courtneys first ever Carp and what a way to start her angling career….28lb4oz Mirror Carp.
We packed up soon after this to make the long journey home but everyone was very happy…even Del and Brad who failed to catch.
At the beginning of December I took a young man called Hugo to Beaver Fishery for a spot of Pike Fishing.
Hugo is a very keen angler but had never tried for Pike and wanted a bit of help, so a very early start to the day was had when I went to pick him up from his home at 6.00 in the morning.
We drove the 70 miles to Beaver to find the lake was bursting at the seems, there is a river running into Jeffs Lake and the water flow needs to be controlled. There had been a lot of rain and it was pushing through rather hard, but the bailiffs had got it well under control and the level was holding steady.
We walked around to the back of the lake and set ourselves up with a rod set up for dead baiting, a rod for live baiting and a couple of lure rods, just in case.
Dave, one of the bailiffs, sorted me out a few live Roach as baits. A Sardine was on the dead bait rod and was cast to the edge of a drop off behind some reeds, a live was sent out just to our left into a little side bay.
It took about 5 minutes and Hugo was into his first ever Pike. Not a big fish, weighing about a pound, but it was a promising start.
5 minutes later and the dead bait was off at a steady pace, a good strike to get the hooks set and the fish took off across the lake like a rocket. Hugo played the fish really well and after 10 minutes it was nestling in the bottom of the landing net.
Unhooking mat ready, camera ready, scales and sling ready…time for a photo.
The fish was weighed at 13lb 8oz, this is the biggest fish Hugo has caught up to now. A couple of pictures were taken for posterity and the fish carefully returned to the depths.
The weather conditions really wern’t the best for Pike fishing, but it wasn’t long and another Pike was on, taking a live bait tight up against the far margin. Another good scrap and this time a fish of 10lb 8oz was staring up from the net.
This was our last fish of the day, we had another take on a dead bait but we missed it. Lures were tried for an hour but all to no avail. Overall we had a great day in difficult conditions, 3 fish caught and 1 missed, a personal best for a star pupil.
This might be Hugo’s pb for now…but I have a feeling it won’t last long
Time to get back on the specimen lake at Beaver to have a go at the Catfish. I went with Martin for a 48 hour session, looking to get among the big moggies that reside in Snipe Lake.
I couldn’t get there until after 6.30 in the evening as I was coaching during the day with a group of lads in Essex. Expecting the worst when I hit the road at 5.40 in the evening I was pleasantly surprised to find the roads quiet and my 50 mile drive was over in no time at all.
Martin was at the lake ahead of me and was setting up his rods when I arrived. A quick look around the lake left us feeling very confident with fish crashing about all over the place, we counted at least 4 Cats and several Carp moving about. What made it even better was the fact we were the only 2 people on the lake.
We got ourselves set up and bivvies sorted, baits in good places and kettle on for a cuppa. Settling down for the evening, chatting and watching the water, the weather conditions were perfect.
We had some food and yet more tea while waiting, the breeze moved to the North East and it turned a bit cooler. I thought this might kill the fishing but the fish were still crashing about the lake.
I was just having a mouthful of tea and my left rod shot off. I hit into a solid resistance and immediately it started shaking its head in that familiar way a Cat does. It headed up a cut through between 2 islands and I thought I was going to lose it in the snags.
It turned easily though and I started pumping it back towards me, it then woke up and headed for the lily pads to the left of the swim. I realised this wasn’t a large Cat and applied plenty of pressure to get it away from the pads and heading back in the right direction.
It then decided to take up knitting!!! It wrapped itself around my other line making a hell of a mess.
Martin netted it first time and we got it unhooked, weighed and photos done quick time to get it back in the water as fast as possible. Only 12lb but it was a promising start.
I had to cut off the rig to try and untangle the mess the moggy had made!
Bait was placed back in the same spot and another cuppa was made. Half hour later it was off again! A similar fight to the first one took place and another Cat of 12lb 8oz was in the net. Still small but heading in the right direction.
No more fish that night but it had been a good start and there were fish still crashing about all over the place.
We spent the next day messing about with rigs and baits, chatting overthe previous nights events and working out a plan of action for the night.
Around 5.00pm 6 other people turned up on the lake and so the fish switched off as people moved about and leads were cast out, peace was ruined and the lake seemed to go very quiet.
We sat there for a couple of hours waiting for everyone to settle in and get themselves sorted, then the wind picked up and that was it for the night… or so we thought! 11.00 pm and my left rod roared off again. This time when I struck this fish tried to strike back. A solid feeling fish started heading towards the cut through and lots of pressure was applied to try and turn its head around.
This one was taking line off me under a lot of pressure on a regular basis so I knew this one was a bit bigger than the previous 2 I had caught.
After about 5 minutes I had the Cat in front of me and Martin did a great job on the net, getting it first time. Still not the big fish we were after but heading in the right direction at 24lb 8oz.
Unfortunately this was the last fish we got.
Next morning it was a lot cooler and it looked like rain was well on its way, we decided to pack it in and go get some much needed rest.
All the fish came to Spiced Liver and Lamprey boilies made by Teme Severn, not the cheapest bait on the market but certainly one of the best I have used.
Still can’t get the lumps out so I will be back……………….SOON!!!!