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Sunday, 29 March 2009 14:38

Bury Hill Fisheries, March 2009

Despite some pretty recent grim weather, two more Temple thirties hit the bank at Bury Hill Fisheries this week

Regular Robin Ellis bagged his third Temple thirty in as many weeks catching a 30lb 12oz mirror. Fishing swim 4 along the road bank on Wednesday, Robin fished with the now famous glugged corn with a cream pop up to the island margins catching a 30lb 12oz mirror just as he was about to pack up.

The other angler to bag a thirty this week was Glen Baker who caught a brace of commons weighing 32lb 4oz and 21lb. Glen fished swim 9 catching on a Pro Mainline Pineapple boilie, which he sprayed with Pineapple glug. Both of Glen’s fish came from the margins, the thirty from the bank margin, and the smaller common from the island margin. Glen also lost a good fish.

Robin Ellis with a 30lb 12oz Mirror Glen Baker with a 32lb 4oz Common

With the weather now looking warmer, expect more thirties action in the coming days and weeks.

Source: Bury Hill Fisheries

Published in Catch Reports
Saturday, 14 March 2009 21:19

Six Days in Heaven

By Marc Gough

Part One

A year ago two fishermen & I embarked on a quest into the unknown! Our mission, to winkle a few large carp & some of the resident Cats out of Manor Farm fisheries in Headcorn, Kent.

With very little knowledge of the complex consisting of a match lake with a few carp up to the 20lb mark, a specimen carp lake with carp to the low thirties & specimen carp/catfish Lake with fish up to 40lb we unloaded two cars & one trailer crammed full of tackle & bait.

Day One

After several walks around the Carp/Catfish Lake I decided upon a narrow swim adjacent to the island. With only about 40 metres casting distance to the island accurate baiting was easy for the three rods. The island was fringed with overhanging trees, a scattering of duckweed & reed beds, sexy & carpy or what?

Down to my right I had a lovely looking overhanging willow tree & with the marker rod I found the depth dropped considerable, a likely place to find a cat!

Wheel barrowing a week loads of tackle, bait, food, clothes & of course beer up to the swim in sunny midsummer conditions was torture, I really struggled to replace the loss of liquid in my body with lager quick enough! Not only being a fully fledged tackle tart, any excuse getting my kit off & strip down to shorts is a must!

Three hopefully areas were explored & plotted with the marker rod, an extra area was selected just in case.

Marc Tip: I like to have an alternative fishing spot primed to drop a bait onto just in case one of the other spots fails to produce or just dries up.

I decided on different approaches to each fishing spot, one would just have a pva stocking of goodies attached to the hook link, the second spot would have spodded particles, pellets & boilies over it, forming a dining table of about 2 metres square, the third of which I was dropping under the willow tree was dedicated to Mr Catfish. A bucket consisting of stinking pellets, mixed fishy boilies, tins of tuna, lambs liver & a generous amount of fish oil was mixed into balls around the size of a tennis ball; six were deposited loosely around the willow tree. In the heat of the sun, sweat of my labours & lager influenced state I was in, the smell from the bucket was unreal, nearly chuck up city.

I decided to rest the swim to enable me to get the bivvy up, sleeping quarters sorted & a general tidy up of the tackle around the swim. Bearing in mind I arrived at my chosen swim at eleven am & by 4pm not a baited rig had touched the water yet! I believe quiet, careful preparation is vital in any type of fishing you do, whether it be for a day, 24 hours or a week, a stealthy approach pays off every time!

A quick natter & lager with my companions, of whom were only fishing days during the week’s trip & I was ready for the first cast. Lines clipped to the required markers, baits in place, lines left slack to enable sinking, bobbins attached I was sorted as the sun set slowly over the island trees & stunning Kent countryside.

Life really doesn’t get much better than this?

Lager & cigarette in hand, listening to the birds sing, occasional fish flop out of the water & a very unusual noise? Unusual wasn’t strictly true, I recognised it as a frogs call but it was so loud, so near & very repetitive! Curiosity got the better of me & I just had to investigate more! I couldn’t see, locate a frog of any description around the bank side within the swim? The occasional rustle in nearby reeds & grass but that was it, not a Kermit in sight? I was starting to wonder if my ears were playing tricks on me or one of my colleagues was having a joke.

After a hot, exhausting, rare summers day in southern England I decided to hit the sack as the last rays of sunlight burnt away. Sleep wasn’t exactly easy with a good dose of sunburn, over tiredness & Kermit’s chorus echoing out!

I am not sure if my surroundings went totally quiet or I passed out? Probably the later because the next thing I remember was the delkim screaming at me, the middle rod was lurching to my left as a fish sped off down the lake, kiting hard to gain more line towards the island snags. My 3 ½ tc rod soon had the angry fish subdued & looking sorry for its self in the bottom of the landing net. Not a massive carp but 15lb of hard fighting common carp was very welcomed.

A few pictures later, rod back in position & little trickle of loose feed over the bait I was all set again.

Time for a beer, lager at just gone mid night?

Yeah too right, im on holiday, celebrating my first fish from an unknown venue, do I need to say more?

An hour quickly passed as a sat on my spod bucket taking in the atmosphere, savouring the memory of my first carp from Manor, hoping for many more during my weeks stay.

Two fifteen am & the right hand rod nestled under the willow is off, talk about clutch stripping, line ripping; what ever was on the end wasn’t happy. Lifting the rod & engaging the bait runner I really didn’t know what to expect? The rod hooped over, line still poured from spool, this had to be my first catfish?

Ten minutes in & I am still not making much head way with this fish! As you maybe aware I have successfully landed some very respectable carp from France & here in the UK but none have compared to this! I am really concerned about tackle, from the rods, reels right down to hook! The 18lb bs fluorocarbon main line is absolutely singing through the early morning breeze, rod butt resting upon my thigh to take some of the strain from my aching forearm & shoulder when suddenly I have won! The fish has giving up after some twenty five minutes & ready for the waiting landing net, this is when the fun really started!

I have never caught a cat fish in my career so this was all new to me & in total darkness. With the cats head up against the spreader block the headlight torch picked out two foot of tail overhanging the draw string, “Dam, that isn’t going in there” echoed across the night sky. Plan B? & it had to be a quick plan too! With eighty percent of the fish in the net, raise the net & slacken off at the same time hoping the fish will slide in, went thru my head?

“Woohoo, I love it when a plan comes together”

At this point proceedings became a bit blurred! I remember calling my colleagues on the walkie & saying “Bob I have got one, its massive, what do I do with it next”? I don’t remember if Bob & Gary came to assist or not?

I do remember lifting four & half foot of fish on to the mat, looking at it in amazement, nervously extracting the hook from it’s a massive mouth, sliding its bulky length into the weigh sling expecting thirty pounds plus as the scales swung round to a mere eighteen pounds, totally amazed again, I checked & rechecked the scales! Eighteen pound eight ounces from two different sets of scales. Self portrait photographs safely taken & my first catfish disappeared back into the depths of Manor Farm fisheries.

Marc Tip: Cat fish will test your tackle to the utter most limits & beyond, so be prepared!

Re-positioning the rod as quickly as possible & a few unhealthy scoops of the delightful ground bait dropped under the bush I was back in the doss bag gagging for some decent shut eye.

Day Two

After a restless but fruitful first night I began to unload Bob’s gear from the trailer behind me, gentle placing his equipment in his desired swim I noticed a row or should I say large stream of bubbles travelling up the lake, followed by another & another. These aint no carp feeding patterns unless they are huge! I thought to myself.

I watched the activity for an hour or two noting the positions, times, weather & temperature conditions. When all had ceased out with the marker rod to have a feel around! What ever the culprits were (Catfish) seem to be following a small channel that ran directly thru the middle of my swim down to the deep end of the lake, what a find.

Depths carefully taken & noted I decided upon a plan of attack! Of which I would employ late afternoon.

Marc Tip: I had over looked this channel when mapping the swim out yesterday; despite it only being a metre wide, six to eight inches deeper I had missed it! This is why it’s vital when using the marker to log, note everything from where the lead & float lands right up to the margin. An hour or so later Bob & Gary joined me; excitedly I began

to narrate my catfish battle with them, accompanied by photographs. Neither Bob nor Gary could believe the length of this fish.

After a brew, few fags the guys started fishing & the lake started filling up rapidly with day ticket anglers, great time to reel in, wonder down to the wash room for spruce up.

Bearing in mind I had only been gone thirty to forty five minutes, the lake was packed, really packed, non fishing swims now had anglers fighting to wet a line, my margin rod was now unusable as an angler had set up on my door step. With this much activity I opted to only fish with two rods, so a hopeful bait was cast to the channel I had been watching earlier. My new neighbour watched shaking his head & smiling as I let the line sink & drop some spod mix over the top.

Bob wondered up the bank around ten o’clock, “Busy init Bro”? I could only reply with a “Hhhhmmmm”.

We sat there chatting tactics, bait placements etc when one of my rods burst into life, a short tussle later & a carp of around 12lb was safely in the net. This activity continued right up until late afternoon, literally loads of carp around the ten pound stamp were coming out, I don’t think anyone failed to catch! I started to prepare for the coming nights fishing as the day anglers started to pack up & disappear leaving just Bob, Gary & myself to enjoy the lakes beauty once again.

With the sun setting, birds settling for the night, Bob & Gary safely back at their apartment, leaving myself & one other angler on the lake (Nathan). Things had returned back to tranquillity of the night past.

Before setting the rods for the night, I took a wonder around the lake via the toilets. I paused for a good half hour chatting to Nathan, picking his brains for any information, tactics he could give about the lakes & their inhabitants? Safely back to my bivvy, settled for the night & thought it was a good idea to catch a few hours sleep hoping for some action during the night. As I dosed I wondered if I was to be woken by a catfish or a really lumpy carp in the early hours. I still had my plan of attack at daylight! Presuming the culprits that travelled up the channel would return tomorrow?

All these things bounced around within my head as I listened to the recently started rain fall on top of the bivvy.

Marc Tip: It is always a good idea to politely ask other anglers for any information, background knowledge they know of the venue.

Day Three

The night passed uneventful but come first light the bubbles started at the far end of the channel, I quickly repositioned two rods, one baited for carp the other baited with four 25mm halibut pellets for cats. I dropped half a dozen spods of the smelly bucket mixture around the pellets & patiently watched as the bubbles came closer & closer.

To my amazement it was the carp rod that ripped off first but it was no carp pulling my arm from its socket, a cat had picked up a single 14mm KG1 boilie & was now tearing down the lake at a ridiculous speed! Being as cautious as I could I played & wore out the 16lb cat on a size 8 korda hook attached to 12lb braided hook link.

After photographing, weighing & returning the fish I carefully inspected the hook link, as I expected it was shredded with at least half of its fibres torn in half! Marc Tip: After many years of fishing I always replace the hook & hook link after every fish with the exception if I am pasty bashing.

Before I could the rod back in position the halibut pellet rod was lurching angrily to the right, spool spilling off line as another cat sped off down the lake, my arm hadn’t recovered from the last battle & I was into another straight away!

“Jeez, these fish can fight” I thought to myself, its unbelievable how they fight! This cat again tipped the scales round to a healthy 16lb; one thing I did notice was just how much the fish differ between each other! Every catfish’s skin had a totally individual mottled pattern upon it. Has to be the perfect camouflage? By the time Bob & Gary had turned up for their daily fish I had banked three cats within around an hour, with a fantastic 22lb being the biggest. With this sort of action & excitement at 6am in the morning I was enjoying a can of lager, mug of black coffee & bacon frying in the bivvies porch. “Life, what a life” I muttered to myself!

I had all most one hundred percent decided to move lakes today but I was now in two minds after my recent successes. Weighing the options up I decided upon a good look around the specimen carp lake as no real big carp were showing on the lake I was fishing.

The specimen carp lake only being around 3 acres had some lovely features, over hanging trees, marginal shelves & a gravel bar stretching across one very secluded swim. I watched & watched looking for the slightest sign of a carp when I was rewarded with some bull rushes twitching to & fro several times, as I got closer a huge common carp rolled in front of the reeds followed by a mirror of equal proportions. I all most ran back to my current swim! Excited about what I had seen & the prospect of hooking into one of the beasts I had seen earlier.

As quiet as possible I set up the three rods, carefully thinking what sort of bait, loose feed to introduce into the new swim? With activity still constant around the reed stems I gentle lowered 2 grains of glugged natural maize popped up with the plastic version as close as I dare to the reeds. Before I could get the line sunk, rod onto the delkim I was receiving liners, things looked really promising as I crouched close to the rod.

I was in two minds whether or not to bait the area, would this spook the carp off, make them search for food?

I decided to give it thirty minutes before taking any actions & went about setting up, casting out the other 2 rods. One was cast to a likely patrol route along side another reed bed, the other just off a gravel patch I had found on the first cast near to the point of the swim. I constantly watched the other rod as the line picked up & then dropped down again; it had to go soon as clouds of debris rose to the surface just inches from where I had lowered my hook bait.

Marc Tip: When carp are this active I prefer to fish slackish lines as possible & do not get the marker rod out!

My wait was over as the delkim bleeped a few times & the fish kited fast to my right into open water, I was on the rod in a flash, feeling the steady, heavy plod of a sizable fish searching for haven. After a few hair raising moments of the line pinging across the carps dorsal fin & could now see the carp just beneath the surface. Safely netted & photographed the mirror carp certainly looked a mid twenty, the scales settled at 24lb 4oz, “Result” I thought to myself.

Bob soon joined me to take a look at this stunning fish & helped me celebrate with a can of lager in the afternoon sun.

Three days still to go, what else would Manor farm fisheries have in store for me?

Author: Marc Gough

Thursday, 26 February 2009 19:04

Pulborough Angling Society, February 2009

News

Pulborough Angling Society

Our AGM & prize presentation evening will be held on Friday 27th February 2009 at Ashington Community Centre starting at 8pm sharp, the AGM will be preceded by a prize presentation for our juniors and a short update on how the juniors have fared in their match series against other local clubs this past year, starting at 7:30pm, would all match anglers in possession of trophies from last season, please return them Barry Ginnaw as soon as possible please.

Would members please note that Moor Farm will close for it's annual shut down on Monday 12th January 2009 until 7th March 2009, no fishing whatsoever will be allowed during the closure period.

Catch Report

Goose Green

Adam Tester fished peg 7 on Heron Lake at Goose Green on the 17th Feb, Adam fishing bread punch reports catching a bag of Roach, but the day was topped off by a 3-0-0 Common Carp.

Craig Burgess fished Canada lake at Goose Green on the 18th February, Craig started off using bread & sweetcorn fished on the bottom but missed the only bite he had. He then tried some floating crust towards the margins, after a few minutes Craig was into a 4lb Common carp which came in easily, Craig then lost another carp which slipped the hook straight away, not to be outdone by the fish Craig persevered with floating crust and was rewarded with a 7lb common which put up a real struggle.

Moor Farm

Closed

Duncans Pond

Reece Woodhams fished Duncan's Pond on the 17th February, Recce fishing with hair rigged corn reports the capture of a 13-0-0 Common carp on a bolt rig.

River Arun

No reports

River Adur

Mark Dibble fished the River Adur below White Bridge on the 15th February. Mark reports the river as still fining down after the flooding last week, but his speculative session did produce a fish. Using groundbait feeder fished pellet, the third cast saw the tip drop back gently in a way he didn't even recognise as a bite. A couple of minutes later Mark picked up the rod to reel in & found what he thought to be a good Skimmer hanging on the end. The Skimmer turned out to be a perfectly lip hooked & very lethargic 3lb Mirror Carp! After that it went quiet.

River Rother

No Reports

Source: Pulborough Angling Society

Published in Catch Reports
Monday, 26 January 2009 19:32

Carpin' On Carp Fishing Show

It's back! The renowned Carpin' On show is back for 2009. This fantastic event which is dedicated to carp anglers is the biggest of its kind in showcasing all the latest tackle and bait available to today's angler - and it's available to buy!

Five Lakes Resort, nr Colchester, Essex - 7th & 8th March 2009

Carpin' On has an unbeatable line up of entertainments for anglers of all abilities hosted on the fabulous purpose-built indoor lake - from interactive forums and workshops to live demos and displays, the top angling stars will be on hand to answer all your carping questions and offer tips and advice on how you can improve your angling.

Carin' On tackle and bait show

Published in Latest UK fishing news
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 21:26

World Carp Classic News

The last and final 10 places in the 2009 WCC have been filled making a total of 130 competing pairs. We take pride in announcing that the event has filled in record time (less than 5 weeks).

World carp Classic 2009This is a record for the event. There will be several hundred anglers that will not been able to compete this year and we are looking at ways to resolve this for 2010. Anglers that have not been fortunate enough to secure a place are of course still very welcome to come and enjoy the pre event party and more details on this will be announced shortly.

Published in Latest UK fishing news
Sunday, 04 January 2009 12:35

Fishing at Wood Lane Iver

I have fished at Wood Lane on about 6 occasions and have never failed to catch a good head of fish. In the middle of August I was fishing the smaller island lake on a Sunday with bread and sweetcorn on the ledger. By noon there wasn't much action, so I used a small spinning rod with just a size 8 hook attached and stalked the far right corner of the lake with one inch chunks of bread crust.

I had spotted lots of activity just in front of the reeds at this end. By 6 O'clock I had caught 15 carp, mostly mirror but at least three common. Most were around the 6-7lb but one made 11lbs. It was a very satisfying afternoons fishing. For every fish I caught, I saw 10 of my crusts spat and tail flapped into crumbs by these wily old fish. All the fish were in good condition and put up a healthy fight.

John Freshwater, September 2008

Published in Tips & Tactics
Monday, 08 December 2008 17:59

World Carp Classic 2008

Lac de Madine – France – 31 st August – 6 th September

Sponsors:

  • Ehmanns Fishing Tackle – Courtesy of Northern Carp
  • Formula Carp Advanced Bait Solutions
  • Matt’s Tackle – Eastbourne

This would be my third year in the competition since 2005, I missed 2006 due to various problems, so Steve fished with his brother-in-law that year. As soon as the notifications came through our cheque was in the post by return, no way did we want to miss this 10 th Anniversary return to Madine. We were both like kids, planning a new adventure, which it always is, but sadly life was to overtake us.

On the 15 th of June, Steve, my long time fishing partner and good friend died, a devastating blow to all who knew him. At the time I would have pulled out, but Lesley, Steve’s wife asked me to carry on in Steve’s memory which I of course agreed to do.

So, the first thing was to find some one to stand in for Steve, my good friend Paul stepped up to the mark and agreed to partner me. Paul is no stranger to French fishing with fish up 58lb to his credit so I was confident we could hold our own. After contacting the WCC Headquarters all the necessary changes were made.

During the Spring and summer I had been busy contacting various companies to try and get some sponsorship organised Ehmanns Tackle a German company put me in contact with Gary Thompson at Northern Carp/Pondskater their UK agents who agreed to provide us with Bivvies for the competition, boy were we glad of those but more on that later. A long chat with Paul from Matt’s Tackle in Eastbourne secured our lead requirements, they make a brilliant riser lead, just the job for our needs. Our usual baits supplier agreed to supply the bait so all was sorted. Not quite, a couple of weeks or so before the comp an email from the bait supplier advised that he was shutting the business Aaaaaaagh no bait what now? After a quick phone call Gary agreed to supply some bait as well as the bivvies and in due course the bivvies and about 12 kg with dips arrived, this would be a big help but was no where near enough. Following a chat with a mate I contacted Tony Mills at Formula Carp and without hesitation he agreed to help out, what a star, a few days later 20+kg of bait plus dips and pop ups arrived at my home. So we owe and must say a big thank you to all of our sponsors whose support and generosity helped to make our competition a successful one.

We planned to leave on 29 th August and were booked on the 10am ferry from Dover, not having the luxury of Steve’s truck we were taking two vehicles to cope with the gear and bait, plus the boat, outboard and batteries etc. I met up with our friends Paul and Darren who were, once again also in the competition and we proceeded to rendezvous with Paul just outside Dover. As usual Paul got pulled in by customs, fortunately, after having a good laugh about the amount of gear he needed to go fishing, they decided not to hold him. Once loaded onto the ferry it was up to the restaurant for a much needed hearty breakfast

Madine from the Air An uneventful journey through the lovely French countryside saw us pulling into Madine at around 5.00pm French time. As the lake appeared a tinge of sadness came over me that Steve was not with us, well in body at least, although I am sure he was there in spirit and then, as I looked around a smile crept over my face as I thought of what Steve would have said and the excitement that would have been in his voice had he been there looking out over this fantastic venue.

Bivvy City was already starting to fill up with many people arriving earlier this year, we soon found Birdy ( Rod Bird) and Thingy ( Mark Barton) friends from previous years, Rod, like us has fished the competition since 2005 at Amance and fishes under the Scottish Flag, well someone has to! We soon had the bivvies set up and got ourselves sorted ready for the social of the next couple of days. Unfortunately there was nowhere to get anything to eat, we had expected to find food available but this hadn’t materialised so Paul and Darren kindly threw together a curry which we all heartily tucked into and quickly demolished along with a few beers, nice one guys. A trip to the Intermarche was planned for the morning to pick up some extra food as we hadn’t catered for these first few days, believing there would be a cafe/bar on site, not a major problem and soon sorted.

People were arriving steadily now and soon the Irish lads arrived, Frank, Dan and Vinny their runner, this was their first time so they were really buzzing. We had become acquainted on the WCC Forum over the past few months so it was good to put faces to names. It was a nice warm evening as nine of us all settled down with a few beers and the inevitable Carp talk took over. It was fascinating to listen to how the Carp scene was developing in Ireland, like going back in time. Secret pools and stockings and for most waters a 20 is still a target fish to excite people, don’t you envy them and their enthusiasm is so infectious, great guys and good anglers as they were to prove. Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny it was going to be a cracking day, kettle on and a couple of mugs of tea had me awake, a nice hot shower and now I was ready for something to eat, after a trip to the Intermarche breakfast was duly sorted and as quickly disposed of.

I wanted to get the boat check done so we could register once that was done we could relax, with the boat check done and our boat certificate in hand we walked over to the HQ to register. As always Marney and Marianne had everything organised in their usual efficient way, we were no 11 which means we are no 11 to draw for our peg tomorrow night at the Gala Dinner so there will be plenty of pegs to draw from. That’s was it, all insurance document checked and registration forms completed it was job done. We could now just chill, until the draw on Sunday evening and the all important peg draw.

Deciding to have a better look at the lake we walked along the bank towards the dam, once past the beach it became very evident that the fishing was not going to be easy as thick kelp beds stretched out for 50m or more in front of many swims., there was going to be a lot of boat work needed to land fish and bait swims. We had been warned so it was no major surprise although far more abundant than we had expected, all our information indicated that the fish patrolled close along the back of the weed. Back in Bivvy City other anglers confirmed that most areas appeared similar, many reported seeing fish showing just off the back of the weed confirming the info we had, no point in worrying at this stage, it was all down to the draw. We had a great time over the rest of Saturday and Sunday it was mainly one big social talking carp fishing and renewing acquaintances from previous years. Bivvy City was now a seething mass of carp anglers with cars, vans and trailers loaded to the gunwales with gear and bait for the week ahead, the atmosphere was electric.

Opening Ceremony Sunday evening arrived and we all made our way to the main hall for the Gala Dinner and the peg draw, outside the main entrance the beer stalls were doing brisk business. Inside the hall throbbed with the clammer of 250 anglers, plus the runners, marshals and officials, the whole building buzzed with anticipation. Once the meal was done and all the official speeches were out of the way we got down to the important bit of the evening, the peg draw. Our friends Paul and Darren were up before us and drew a peg in the Jet Fish section on the small island in front of the HQ, they seemed happy. Now it’s my turn and as I walk up on the stage the air is electric, shake hands with all the officials, at last there it is, the sphere holding the containers with the peg no’s in. Here goes then, shake um about or just take one, oh hell just take one, what is it? Section H, peg Indyline 1 were the hell is that! As I leave the stage a guy hands me a map of the lake showing the pegs and giving directions how to reach them. It looks good we’re on the main bank down past the main dam, past the marina, we’re the first peg in the last section on this bank with nobody to our immediate right, this could be a cracking draw!

As Monday morning dawns everyone is on the move early, a lot of teams have to get to the boats to be transported out to the islands, as we are on the mainland we can take it a bit more leisurely. After breakfast we get packed up and make the 10 minute slow drive to our swim, once there a quick inspection confirms we can drive to the back of the swim, brilliant. By early afternoon the bivvies are up, rods made up ground bait mixed, we are sorted and ready to go.

Official Pegging Map Looking out over our swim confirms that it commands a lot of water, to my right is large bay along the small dam which is about 400m long with no anglers along it and in front of us is open water to the back of the small island again some 400m away with nobody fishing on our side. But as we stand there our hearts drop, kelp, kelp and more kelp, in front of us the kelp stretches out some 125m from the bank without a break, on my right the whole bay is solid kelp as it sweeps round in an L shape in front of us, it doesn’t look good. At 3.00pm the rocket goes up to announce the start, it’s game on and a small armada launches onto the lake, Paul out in the boat is having to row as the kelp is so thick it keep clogging up the prop on the outboard. Once pass the weed he soon realise via the sounder that it is featureless sand all the way across to the island, the back of the kelp is the only feature so that’s Paul sorted. Markers are placed and out goes 20kg of particles and pellet with 5kg of Ehmanns Legend of Octopus boilies over the top, hook baits are straightforward bottom baits to start off, all held in place with 5oz riser leads, keep it simple. Now to sort out my rods, after what seemed like an eternity a hole in the kelp about 10ft by 15ft is eventually found so in goes 10 kg of particle and 3kg of Formula Carp Nutcracker boilies, hook bait is a snowman rig . Down along my right hand margin I had kelp right up to the edge for about 20m then a wide strip of reeds with about 4m of clear water before the kelp started so another 10kg of particle was placed along the front of the reeds with another 3kg of Nutcracker boilies with a snowman rig fished over the top, although this area was quit shallow I felt confident about it.

The last 2 days had been very clear and warm but the weather was on the change as the wind increased and the clouds rolled in. It was a lovely evening as we settled back with a beer to see how things developed, for now we had done everything we could. We had heard that Dave lane had had the first fish an hour and a half into the match 5.75Kg /12.7lbs, not the biggest but it was a fish. As nothing showed in front of us we settled down for the night in our new bivvies it had been a busy day. Initial impressions of the bivvies was excellent, they are well made roomy and easy to erect, home from home, it seemed that they would get a good testing this week as some very rough weather was forecast.

I woke several times during the night sitting out to watch the water and listen, nothing, not a sound that would betray the presence of any fish. After breakfast we rebaited and lightly topped up the swims, the weather is overcast with moderate wind which is due to strengthen as the day goes on. Unfortunately while doing this I tore a calf muscle climbing back out of the lake and was in absolute agony, fortunately I had Ibuprofen tablets with me and they helped to take the edge off the pain, just got to grit my teeth and get on with it. We learn from the marshals that 7 fish were caught last night, the biggest going 22.3Kg/49.02lbs so at least the fish were on the feed. With no action during the day we rebaited the rods an d settled down for the night, the winds were picking up and as the white caps started to break in front of us both Paul and I said that we hoped we didn’t have to take the boat out in that lot. By about 10pm the storm had broken over us and the wind and rain was lashing straight in at us, zipped up in the bivvies all we could do was pray everything held as the weather was ferocious. We need not have worried they stood solid as a rock without a murmur and not a drip did they let in, well impressed.

All We Need Now Is Some Fish Wednesday arrives with light rain continuing throughout the morning keeping everything nice and wet. After bailing out the boat which had some 8inches of water in the bottom we got the rods sorted and repositioned The riser leads supplied by Matt’s Tackle in Eastbourne worked a treat, even at 125 yrds plus Paul was able to get them up over the kelp and retrieve his rigs without resorting to the boat which saved a lot of time. Other than a couple of large silver bream it had been another quiet night for us with no sign of Carp in our area, but we remain confident. At the moment everyone in our area is struggling, this is the only down side with fishing a match like this, you can’t move if the fish aren’t there, you have to wait it out and hope you can pull the fish in. Although the wind is in our favour there are a lot of anglers on the large island before the fish get to us.

The overall tally was now up to 31fish with a new WCC record, a superb Common Carp of 23.7Kg/52.02lbs, well done that man, not easy fishing in last nights conditions. In the lead currently are the Irish lads Dan O’Kelly and Frank Melia, nice going guys!

We continue to build the swims up so as to hold any fish that may move in for as long as possible but so far we have seen absolutely no sign of any Carp despite constantly scanning the water. The Bream however continued their constant pecking at the baits so I stopped using the pellet and they disappeared, on the premise that the activity could draw the Carp in Paul elected to continue with the pellet, time will tell. Due to my injured leg Paul is being an absolute ace and has done all the boat work which saves me having to clamber up and down over the rocky bank in front of us, thanks mate, that’s what you call team work. It had been another damp drizzly day and as the light faded the rain became more persistent so we retired to the bivvies.

In the early hrs, 2.55am to be precise, of Thursday morning my right hand rod along the reeds rattles off and I dived out of the bivvy only to collapse on the floor in agony (bloody leg), once I managed to get to the rod I bent into that satisfying thump, fish on. It was a spirited fight so I suspected that it wasn’t a massive fish, but it was a fish. As it kept diving into the kelp I just prayed I wasn’t going to have to try and launch the boat, luckily the fish kept moving and was soon in front of me, by which time a fairly comatosed Paul was at my side with the net (damn he can sleep)! Clambering down the rocks Paul neatly netted the fish and brought it back to the mat, a nice plump little Mirror weighed in at 6.45kg /14.22lbs. After carefully sacking the fish for official weighing later in the morning I quickly got the rod back in position, fortunately both of my marks were an easy cast and the rods had been previously marked up ready for such an eventuality. As the excitement passed I realised I was soaked it was raining quite hard but I hadn’t noticed, as I dried myself I could hear the odd fish crash out in the bay, things were on the up. An early call to the marshals saw them at the bivvy by 7ish with Leon Hoogendijk, well known Dutch angler and the official photographer, weight confirmed and a couple of quick snaps and I could thankfully return the fish no worse for its ordeal.

Off The Mark – 6.45kg Great we’re off the mark, it turned out that the fish heard during the night were most likely small cats; quite a few had been caught during the night. The tally is now 53 fish with English pairing Andrew Judd and Andy Truckle soaring into the lead with 4 fish for 58kg/128lb, fantastic. Of the 53 fish caught 9 are over 30lb+, 8 are 40lb+ and 2 are 50lb+ including a new match record fish of 23.7kg/52.25lb not bad fishing in anybodies book. A phone call to our mates Paul and Darren confirmed that they were catching but not Carp, loads of Bream and several small Cats had them very frustrated. A lot of teams still had not caught, at least we had a fish so were going in the right direction.

It had been a better day weather wise but the fishing remained very slow with no further sign of those elusive Carp. Paul spent a lot of time out in the boat constantly searching for any small feature that may prove to make the difference but to no avail. Past the kelp it was as barren as a desert with no change in depth or bottom make up. Paul kept both his rods at the back of the kelp, one tight to the edge the other about 2m off and continued to bait quite heavily. Given last nights activity I decided to leave the left hand rod in the hole in the weed for one more night and keep the right hand rod on the reeds, both rods receiving several kilos of particles and boilies. We had a German pair next to us, it was strange, because of the shape of the point we are on, their bivvies are only 30ft away from ours. They are a really nice couple of guys, had the weather been better we could have had a bit more of a social, but as it was a lot of time was spent in the bivvies out of the, at times some what incessant rain. This evening was dryer so we had a few beers and chatted as best we could, they were really cheesed off with the bream, having to constantly take the boat out to land them, no riser leads!

Saying our goodnights we settled down for the night, I sat out till late but saw and heard nothing so retreated to the sleeping bag. It seemed like I had just fallen asleep when the right hand rod sprang into life, a more careful approach got me to the rod and I once again bent into that welcome thump as the carp made to get away and then it was gone, gutted or what, that fish could have made all the difference. Still it seemed like the fish may be out there, in numbers or not I did not know, but lets get the bait back out there, I also reeled in the left hand rod and cast that to the same area but further off the reeds. The rest of the night was quiet, with no more action to any of the rods.

Fame At Last – 19.8kgIt’s 8.00am Friday morning, 24hrs to go, so it’s all or nothing, I had already decided that both rods would go along my right hand margin, Pauls options on the other hand were limited all he could really do was plug away at it. I really felt for the guy he had worked so hard at it, I desperately wanted him to catch. Once Paul had got himself sorted with his swim baited and baits repositioned, he very kindly offered to sort mine out, but I said I would managed. Although the leg was far from right I wanted to sort myself out for the last night, once out in the boat it was very much as Paul had described, a clear sandy bottom coming off the reeds for about 4m with the depth averaging 4ft to 4.5ft. I elected to keep the right hand rod on the reeds; after all it had produced two runs, and place the left hand rod tight to the kelp. With both areas baited with particle and 5 kg of Formula Carp Nutcracker boilies scattered over them, a pva bag of broken boilies and crumb with a snowman rig was placed in each area, I felt really confident that we would get more fish tonight. The expected rain came later in the afternoon and continued well into the evening, we had a few beers with our German neighbours, wished each other good luck and turned in. For the next couple of hours we got absolutely battered by the wind and rain but remained totally secure in the new bivvies. Several times I got up to a screaming indicator only to find the wind had ripped the line from the clips. Just after midnight the alarm sounded again, suddenly I realise the wind and rain had dropped considerably it was a run, scrambling out to the rods the left hand one was flying. I picked up the rod and it arched over into full fighting mode and a heavy lump thumped away on the other end, with my heart in my mouth I started to play the fish some where out there in the dark, it’s steady plodding power told me this was a better fish. Strangely the fish seemed to be staying in the small area of open water and I steadily begin to gain ground on it. Then I could feel the kelp, I had been ready for it as I knew that by now the fish must be close to the band of kelp at the edge of the clear area. By holding the rod high I was able to keep the fish moving and before I realised, it was in front of me. Not being able to wake Paul I slid down the rocks the best I could and fortunately she went into the net the first time. Try as I might I couldn’t lift the net from the water, the leg wouldn’t allow me to get the leverage to lift and keep it away from the rocks. After a couple of yanks on his indicators Paul emerged from his pit and on seeing my predicament gave me a hand, as he lifted the fish onto the waiting mat he looked at me with a big grin on his face and just pulled the net back. In the torch light laid this gorgeous great big Mirror, probably a high 30, I was over the moon, onto the scales and, yes, 19.8kg/43.652lb. Hey, we could be on for a section win at least, let’s get that rod back out pronto after securely sacking the fish I quickly got the rod baited and recast to the same position. As I settled back in the bivvy with a nice cuppa I just knew I had this daft grin on my face that would not go away. The rest of the night was uneventful so we ended up with the two fish for 26.25kg/57.871lb.

As Saturday morning dawned the marshals and photographers turned up and the fish was quickly reweighed and photographed, with the weight confirmed that fantastic great carp was slipped back into its watery home to fight another day.

The Prize Giving That’s it then, the whistle has blown its all over except the singing, once everything is packed away its back to HQ for a shower and change before the presentations. It turns out that peg 9 in our section had another fish last night and ended up with 33.5kg/73.85lb securing the section win, never mind there’s always next year.

Andrew Judd and Andy Truckle, England, won with a very respectable 140.4kg/309.529lb; Second place went to Kevin Hewitt and Mark Bartlett, England and third went to Pascal Gallion and Tim Mack, Luxembourg, congratulations to all the prize winners.

The total number of Carp caught during the match was 94 fish for1272.05kg/2804.39lbs, that’s an average weight of 29.83lb per fish.

As for us, we finished a respectable 19 th overall quite pleasing when you consider that out of the 123 teams taking part 90 (180 anglers) did not catch. I would like to come back and try again next year; hopefully I will be able to.

As always we had a great time, met some great people, rekindling old acquaintances and making new friends, what could be better

Once again our sincere thanks to all our sponsors, your support and generosity is greatly appreciated.

This one was for you Steve, we tried hard and we enjoyed every minute, as you would have said that makes us winners, it’s the taking part that’s important.

See you on the bank

Cheers
Ralph Dennett

 

Published in Carp Fishing Articles
Wednesday, 15 October 2008 00:00

Fishing Charity Match

Golden Balls Carp & Match Charity Fundraiser for Cancer Research UK.

Now if you haven’t heard of the Golden Boll**** charity fund raiser, please take the time to read this article as it will no doubt fill you with inspiration and warmth especially when most things in the world at the moment seem to all doom and gloom.

After last years outstanding achievement in raising just under 21k, the guys and girls behind this incredible event made sure that they didn’t loose any momentum and quickly set up a committee in order to get the best organization and support they could for all involved.

The event was to be held at the magnificent Hawkhurst Fisheries Kent over the weekend of the 27th/28th of September with a slightly different format to last year’s event

This years event included four separate matches two Match competitions a Junior Match Competition and one 24hr Carp Match, bringing together some of the best anglers out there of all ages some as young as 10 years old.

I don’t know of any other kind of charity event that brings the world of Match Angling and Carp Angling together for one joint goal in mind - to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK.

This year’s match competitions were organised by the one and only Tetly and I might add a number of the Musketeers Angling boys too. With a vast mix of talent on display the nets were quickly wet and the numbers of fish being landed from all over the lake soon started to stack up. There seemed to be more of an element of banter in this year’s match it soon became apparent that the anglers were in a three way battle for the medals and the rest not to mention any names found more time for verbal exchanges regarding each others angling ability, nether the less day one turned out to be a very exciting match indeed.

Here’s how day one panned out on the Match Lake

  • 1st Mark Greenway 136-14
  • 2nd Keith Pelling 134-00
  • 3rd Darren Chaston 129-04

Now attention turned to the carp boys and girls including a newly wed couple spending their honey moon raising money for the cause (hats off to them). For those of you that are not familiar with the Golden Boll***** rules regarding the draw, it’s very simple who ever raises the most cash gets the honours, a fair deal if you ask me!. The match was held on all three lakes, the Main Lake, the Dove Lake and the Specimen Lake.

Really if you think you can raise a shed load of money get in touch with the team and put your case forward for next years match you never know you might walk away with the coveted Golden Boll**** trophy and of course the most important thing knowing you did a very great thing in supporting the event.

Well after last year the match anglers embarrassing the carp anglers it was time to get even, the bait was ready the traps were set the hooter had gone and what would happen, you could of heard a pin drop not a buzzer or a liner nothing. Once again the smiles from the match boys told a telling tale, the carp anglers set in for the long wait as the heat and the high pressure put pay to the carps feeding habits.

Although the fishing wasn’t as highly contested as the match guys it still went right up to the wire with Karen Dyer (newly wed) leading at one point with 18.4oz Until the Dutch destroyer Edwin Werters landed a whacker of 26.6 from the Specimen Lake, last years winner and match organizer Frank Wheeler couldn’t add to his total of 16.40z, and that’s how it remained. A valiant effort from the anglers that took part in the match and a remarkable amount of money rose to add to the total.

By now the total had started to tot up quite nicely, especially as Wendy and the girls had the set up camp in the front car park tempting passers by with raffle tickets tom bola and of course the magnificent hog roast, still the pressure was on to top last years total, would we do it?

Carp Match Results

  • 1st Edwin Werters – 26.6
  • 2nd Karen Dyer – 18.4
  • 3rd Frank Wheeler – 16.4

A Massive thank you to all the following guys for organising the junior match which saw some cracking fish landed, Tetly, Martin Wombell, Lee Reed, Dave Sage, Keith Pelling and Steve Kelly. The juniors played their part with enthusiasm and determination no matter how small some of the fish were they all counted, check out these pics from juniors match

Sunday Match Junior Winners

  • 1st Kieran Sage - 17.04oz
  • 2nd Ben Goldsmith – 12.7oz
  • 3rd Kieran Finn – 12.04oz

Sunday Match ADULT Angler results

  • 1st Peter Allen - 195.08oz
  • 2nd Nick Allen – 177.08oz
  • 3rd Darren Law – 160.04oz

Well done to all the match Guys!

As all the match and carp anglers gathered around the Marquee in the presence of Cancer research reps Joyce, Nurses venue owner Tony Wilkinson, Barry Cale addressed the eager crowd and so to the part everyone was waiting for, the total, what would it be?

But before we get to the total, we still had the auction to take place up stood Simon with his cheeky grin to auction off some very exciting items indeed to help push the funds as high as possible, notably a rather fetching set of ladies camouflaged undies with Golden Balls logo.

So back to the total, would we reach the dizzy heights of last year, the honours were left to Tony Wilkinson nerves were jangling as he said nothing and scratched his “well I honestly didn’t think you would reach last years efforts but I am glad to say that you all have done an amazing job and you have raised ...

£21,500

What an amazing effort from all involved, a quite outstanding achievement yet again.

Speaking to Barry moments after he told me that again it hadn’t quite sunk in how much they had actually raised.He was so proud to be involved in this event and how much depended in the help of every single person that had been involved in any way, the army of Golden Balls camo t-shirted fundraisers had blown him away with their efforts.

Barry, Wendy his family and the committee would like to thank anyone who played a part in helping to raise this staggering amount. Tony Wilkinson who provided an excellent venue and support from the outset, Justin at the Fresh Water Informer for all the press, and Cancer Research UK for their help in running the smooth admin. Every single angler that took part in the competition and the marshal’s that gave up their time that all deserve praise for their efforts!

Personally I would like to congratulate everyone on organising a unique and heart warming event where the angling community came together for a great cause, helping to find a cure or at least aid the suffering of others battling with this disease.

Where would we be with out our sponsors, your support is such an important part of what we are trying to achieve.

This is with out doubt the one of the largest charity angling fund raisers on the calendar and I am asking all major manufactures, Shops and corporate companies to get in touch with us and commit to supporting us in any way you can, if you think you can help in any way please drop me a mail to arron@carpbible.com

Well done to every one and good luck for next year.

Thursday, 14 February 2008 00:00

Priory Farm Lakes, Surrey

Priory Farm Fishing Lakes, Surrey

Fishing Diary February 2008A quick jaunt down the M25 and I was soon driving down quiet country lanes just outside Reigate in Surrey, on my way to sample the excellent fishing at Priory Farm Fishing Lakes. The sun shone through the window and I was full of the joys of spring and looking forward to some well earned time away from work.

Priory Farm Fishing Lakes offer superb coarse and carp fishing on four lakes, all well stocked with crucian carp, roach, perch, tench, rudd, bream, and of course, stunning carp to 30lb. A mere 20 miles from Central London, Priory Farm Lakes are within easy reach and members only fishing means the lakes remain under fished and the quality of the fish is always second to none.

Priory LakeI met up with Ian Ford, the Fisheries Manager at Priory Farm who drove me up to the car park. He suggested I try out Priory lake, as despite the recent cold weather, it had been fishing reasonably well.

The fishing on Priory Lake offers great year round sport and according to Ian, the carp, which are close to the original wild carp, will definitely give you a good fight !!

Most baits had been working well Ian remarked and taking his advise I set up two rods, one with a method feeder and single boilie cast as near to the island as I dared and one with a waggler fished hard on the bottom with pellets for hook baits. I offered only a few morsels of loose feed as I expected that bites might be hard to come by after a cold night.

Bites were indeed hard to come by, in fact they were pretty much non existent. I was also troubled by the resident swans who were certainly in feeding mood, even if the fish weren't. After a couple of hours on Priory Lake with no action whatsoever, I decided enough was enough and moved the short distance to Hogtrough Lake where I hoped for better luck.

Hogtrough lake is the youngster at Priory Farm although the lake is maturing nicely with the island and bank side vegetation growing rapidly. Apparently the fishing can sometimes be a little harder than the other lakes although the rewards are well worth putting in the extra effort, especially if targeting the resident hard fighting carp which go to 30lb.

As I neared Hogtrough Lake, I noticed there was one other angler trying his luck so I decided to pick his brains about what methods and baits worked well on Hogtrough. The angler in question turned out to be George, a regular at Priory Farm Lakes for many years. George was fishing the pole at 4m and because of the cold weather, with water temperatures not much above 0 deg c, he was using extremely fine tackle and tiny baits.

George, a regular at Priory LakesHe explained that he always fished a different swim at Priory Lakes, still keen to learn as much about the fishery as he was when he first fished the lakes over 16 years ago.

Although he was keen to pass some of his knowledge onto a newbie like myself, he certainly wasn't going to reveal all his secrets that he had amassed over many years of studying and fishing and the lakes at Priory Farm.

He was keen to retain a certain edge over everyone else ... and who can blame him.

George estimated that a crowded day at Priory Lakes would see a maximum of around 10 anglers on each lake. Compare this to a day ticket commercial fishery and you can see why this members only fishery is so attractive.

I could have stayed talking with George all afternoon but I had come to sample the fishing, so decided I had better get back to it. Using the same two methods I had started with on Priory Lakes, I recast my rods and hoped that as temperatures had risen slightly from the morning session, I could tempt a few fish to have a quick meal.

Unfortunately, this was not the case and the net stayed dry all day. George did manage one perch of around an ounce but I'm sorry to say that was all. Strangely though I was not too disappointed. For a townie like me, being in such stunning countryside with only the sound of the trees rustling in the wind and the odd bird singing was pleasure enough. Of course I would have liked to catch some fish, but that can wait until next time.

So what are my first impressions:

  • Stunning location
  • superbly maintained lakes and pegs
  • un crowded and under fished
  • easy to find and get to (even for me in West London, the drive was only around 45mins)
  • really friendly and helpful fisheries manager (Ian Ford)

I can't wait to get back to Priory Farm and try my luck once more.

Submit A Diary Entry: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our diary entries. To do so, please use the comment box below.

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Published in Diary
Wednesday, 25 October 2006 00:00

Thorpe Lea Surrey

Regular readers of my diary pages and the UK Fisherman Fishing Forum will know that for some time now I have been itching to try some carp fishing at Thorpe Lea in Surrey, a venue in Surrey renowned for its huge stock of fast growing carp and as a quality "bagging" water. Anywhere with "easy fishing" suits me to a tee !!

not quite my PB - a 14lb 8oz Thorpe Lea mirrorI couldn't resist a kind invitation from Luke "crazy_carper" Thomas to meet up with me and show me how to get the best from a days fishing at Thorpe Lea so duly took the day off work (any excuse to get away from the computer) and met up with Luke at 8am in the Thorpe Lea carpark.

The weather forecast had been for heavy rain and wind and for once the weathermen had got it right. The grey skies got greyer as we walked round to the far side of the lake and the heavens opened as we settled into our swims. Luke explained that the reason for choosing these swims is that about 60yds out there is a plateau around 4ft deep that the carp patrol along, hoovering up any feed they come across. Luke set up a simple rig with a hair rigged Richworth Dumbell boilie whilst I opted for a method feeder using a hair rigged squid boilie.

The morning was hard going !! I failed miserably to get a take at all and to be honest I was having difficulty reaching the shallow plateau. Luke's spodding seemed to be paying off however as he managed two decent mirror carp, the largest tipping the scales at 16lb.

Luke with the biggest fish of the day, a 16lb 8oz mirrorThings livened up in the afternoon (as the bailiff said it would). Luke continued to catch at a steady rate and ended the day with 9 fish, the biggest of the day being a 16lb 8oz Mirror Carp. (In fact all the fish we caught were Mirrors).

Luke decided that the method was the not the best tactic for me and switched me to a simple rig similar to his and launched some of his spod mix out for me. It didn't take long for my baitrunner reel to whir into life (thanks incidentally to Bun at Eccleston Angling Centre for the reel) and I was soon banking a lovely 14lb 8oz Mirror carp. As we weighed it I was unsure whether I had beaten my PB but it fell just short by 8oz.

The rain got the better of us by around 4 o'clock and we decided to call it a day. Despite being easily beaten by Luke I was delighted with my fish and am itching to get back and try Thorpe Lea again. It was a pleasure to meet and fish with Luke. Thanks mate for your advice and patience in trying to educate me in the strange ways of you carp fisherman and I look forward to our next trip.

On that subject, we are planning a pike fishing trip to Farlows lake sometime before Xmas. If you fancy meeting up please indicate your interest via the UK Fisherman Fishing Forum.

Til next time, happy fishing!! Paul @ UK Fisherman

Submit A Diary Entry: UK Fisherman would be delighted to here from you if you would like to comment on any of our diary entries. To do so, please use the comment box below.

If you would like to submit a diary entry of your own , please visit the CONTACT page.

Published in Diary
Page 2 of 5

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