On this year’s opening weekend, I just had one of those memorable sessions when I was lucky enough to have 7 stunning fish including 2 mid 30’s. Those times stay with you forever as a carp angler.
That remarkable session was still very much fresh in my mind as myself and my two young boys made our way to the lake. Your mind races with thoughts of past visits and what lies ahead, What did I learn last time? Where will the fish be? If I’m honest, I was still very much living off of that opening weekend so we were going to enjoy the fishing whether we caught or not which is always the way I like to approach my fishing. It’s such a privilege to have the opportunity to fish somewhere as magical as this venue. One of my boys joked, “I wonder if you will catch 7 again daddy?” you have to admire the youthful optimism don’t you? Surely it can’t happen again, can it?
On arrival I had a quick chat with Paul & Lisa who were in full swing at making up another batch of their Grenville GR10 boilies, you can’t fail to be impressed with the aroma that fills the air from the quality bait, no wonder the fish are on it. The lake was quiet with approximately 4 anglers fishing, a warm westerly wind was blowing down into the North East corner of the lake. Swim 10 was empty so I didn’t need a second invitation from my instincts so the Cox clan walked the mat round to the swim.
2 hours later, I could start fishing (parents will understand) – both bivvies were up, the boys had all of their electronic gadgets in motion, peace and harmony was in place.
A quick glance back through my log book and all 3 rods were in place with a nice spread of a 1-2k of Mainline CELL over the top. The weather was perfect, overcast and breezy. The day passed without any action but in the early hours of the following morning the right hand rod was away and a cracking 11lb mirror was in the net. It is always nice to get off of the mark. After a quick brew it was back into the bivvy with the snoring boys, the rest of the night passed without interruption.
My dad joined us in the morning for the day, 3 generations of the Cox family enjoying everything that this special place has to offer, wonderful moments. In the early afternoon, the left hand rod pulled round with a couple of bleeps and I was onto it into a flash, after a fantastic battle that would have done a 30 pounder justice a spirited 14lb mirror was mine. Unfortunately, a couple of hours later I lost one when the hook pulled out early in the fight. I did have a take shortly afterwards which resulted in a 12lb Pike. We carp anglers do take everything with us including the kitchen sink don’t we but an unhooking glove understandably hadn’t made it into my luggage. Still, the Pike was unhooked and promptly returned. The rest of the day passed away as the four us had a fantastic day, my dad left in the evening and we settled down for the night. A quick bedtime story for the boys – “Peter Rabbit Goes Carp Fishing” – well sometimes you have to improvise don’t you and they were soon fast asleep. The wind dropped significantly on the 2nd night and there wasn’t any further action for me.
The sound of the alarm woke me up at 5am – not the bite version and I was up to watch the water with a cup of coffee. The wind was beginning to swing round to a North Westerly and fish were showing in all areas of the lake, I felt confident that a run could occur at any minute. I didn’t have to wait long before the left hand rod was away, this felt heavier from the off and my initial thoughts were confirmed when I slipped the net under a cracking 21.2 mirror with beautiful scale patterns.
Within a few hours, the middle rod was away and a 25.4 scaly was mine which put me on 4 fish, I was beginning to think back to that opening weekend session, surely not again? Dennis kindly came round and offered the boys a Kit Kat and said that he had nicknamed my energetic and chatter box lads “thunder and lightning” – I can see why. The action went quiet for a while before a heavy rain storm moved in and it rained for the rest of the night on and off. About an hour before the rain arrived, fish were showing in all areas of the lake again and in front of me so they were still here in numbers which was confidence boosting.
Once the boys had taken in their latest Peter Rabbit Carp Adventure installment, they were settled for the night again, I thought it was a good idea to tie up some spare rigs as I was running low. When the fish turn up on you here, the action can be fast and furious and the last thing you want to be doing is wasting time preparing rigs in between fish, they are eating machines. At approx 10am, I had an absolute screamer on the middle rod, past experience indicates that this isn’t necessary a big fish. How wrong that was on this occasion though as the fish stripped 25-30 yards of line from the spool when I connected with it. The fish royally beat me up in the margins with the water quality of the highest standard and was determined not to give itself up but eventually I won this battle and a wonderful mid 30 was in the net. The scales pulled round to 35.2 and once the pictures were done, back into the pond she waddled off. There are many special moments to that make carp fishing what it is to us but there is something unique about that feeling when you just stand there watching these amazing creatures swim off gracefully from your sling back into their underworld kingdom. It was time for the kettle to do the business again before retiring back to the bivvy for the night.
The rain continued to fall for most of the night and it was the alarm clock again the next morning that broke the night’s silence. Paul came round in the morning and instantly recognized the fish from the photos and believed that it had broken though the 35+ barrier for the first time which was great news for the lake. The condition and growth rates of the fish are phenomenal. The fact that the venue had also produced two mid 40’s in the last few days, one of which had put on 3lb in a month is further testament to this. Later that morning, the left hand rod was away again which resulted in a beautiful 28.7 mirror. Seven fish again I just couldn’t believe it.
Like all of the other members, I simply love the venue and everything about it. A wonderful environment has been created by Paul, Yaz and Lisa through years of hard work and dedication.