A blast from the past

Mon 03 August 15


A blast from the past….

The week between the final work party and the start of the season seemed to be the slowest week ever!

Come Friday morning all I wanted to do was lob the stuff in the back of the van and get to the lake, but I had 8½ hours of work between me and getting to the lake. As you can imagine I spent most of the day in a partial day dream, thinking about where I might fish given the choice and wondering how many people would be there, after all normally the lake only allows six anglers to fish overnight but to be fair to as many of the syndicate members as possible all 14 swims were available if required.

The final 30 minutes of the day were ridiculously slow, I lost count how many times I looked at my watch and sighed as it wasn’t time to leave. Finally though we were done and out of the door, now just a quick drive to the lake and it was BBQ time, for once the traffic was kind and I was standing by the lake, with a beer in hand just before 6pm, all the waiting was over I was back.

The BBQ itself was fantastic, the whole of the family that own the lake were here to celebrate the reopening of the lake, it was a great evening spent talking to them about the lake and the fantastic work they’d done to the lake. I may be looking at the lake with rose tinted spectacles as it holds so many special memories for me, but so much thought and hard work has gone into making the lake special again that it is difficult not to just stand at the water’s edge and smile.

Soon though Maverick was double checking who was wanted to fish the opening night/weekend. As it turned out there was only 4 anglers who wanted to fish, a number of members couldn’t make the opening due to family commitments and I am guessing others just expected it to be busy so decided against fishing. The draw was probably the easiest I’d ever been involved in, we all picked different swims along one bank, so we just got our gear and set up.

By 8:30 everyone was set-up and ready for the start at 9pm, so a quick phone call home to check everything was ok then out went the rods. The stocking of the lake is a bit of the mystery to be honest and the stock is estimated between 80-120 carp but as the fish had been so clever in avoided the netting we were going to have to wait and see. The reality was we wouldn’t need to wait too long though as within an hour of the start Rob had a fish in the net, shortly after Lane was in and the season was well under-way!

My first take came just before 1am and was a pretty 14lb slate grey mirror, I was off the mark. Around 3am I had another take but after a few minutes of playing the fish the hook pulled, it doesn’t matter how many fish you catch over the years the feeling of losing a fish is a strong as ever. I didn’t have to wait too long for another take though as within an hour the other rod went and I had a beautiful 15lb common on the bank. As it was starting to get light I put bot rods back out properly and got back into bed, well as I have mentioned before I am not one of those anglers who is up at dawn to watch fish.

Sadly my sleep was rudely interrupted by Lane, he’d had a 27lb mirror (see the above picture) and popped it into the sling whilst he recast and was getting ready for photos when the same rod that had only been out for a matter of minutes went off again and it appeared to be a similar size. We got the second fish out and weighed her, it was very pleasing for those involved with the fishery when the scales went round to 33lb, this fish normally came out around 31lb, so the removal of the bream was definitely having a positive effect on the fish and also was encouraging as despite the netting and lower than normal water levels the fish were putting on weight.

The kettle went on and I decided a recast was in order as I’d seen fish moving around the island. The cast itself took a few attempts as going back to 2¼ lb test curve rods after using more substantial kit took a little getting used to. Half way through the first cuppa the island rod was off and I was into a scrappy fish, this was amongst the prettiest carp I can remember catching and despite only weighing in at 13lb was a carp I would dearly love to catch in a few years when she goes 20lb.

The spot by the island became the hot spot for the day and regularly produced fish a couple of times I’d barely got the line sunk and the hanger on the line before it was off again, after fishing the low stocked big pit this was a breath of fresh air, I am not saying that I would want to do this every week but having the option of some sport and a bend in the rods cannot be overlooked and also gives me the chance to try things out.

My original plan had been to head home around lunchtime, but that quickly got blown out of the water, I used the excuse that we had a late brunch which was partly true but leaving the lake at 6pm pushed that excuse to the extreme, I ended up with 10 fish and 3 lost in total there had been 24 fish caught by the four anglers on opening night with a 30 and 2× 20’s. Another member, Keith, who couldn’t make the opening night turned up to fish the Saturday night and surprisingly not only did he have the lake to himself as I write this he’s had 10 fish too including a new 31lb mirror and a couple of 20’s so the lake is fishing really well and with how stunning a lot of the fish are it really does bode well for the future.

So let me see, when can I next squeeze in an overnight session?

Tight lines,