Dreams come true
Thu 26 September 13
So going back to the early 90’s when I got back into carp fishing after a few years sabbatical from fishing, Yateley South Lake had just opened as a day ticket venue, I remember vividly reading about it in a magazine and something about the venue really appealed to me and I was desperate to fish there it’s not like Redmire or any of the other historic carp fishing venues but I really wanted to visit, now for one reason or another I never got around to fishing there.
Fast forward to May 2013, whilst chatting to a friend, Mike, we were racking our brains about where we were going to go fishing. Mike and I have been friends for a number of years but due to living quite a distance from each other we don’t get the chance to fish together very often, and with me preferring to fish venues where I can take the dog with me this also greatly reduces the number of venues even more. Mike mentioned that he was a member of Farnham Angling Society and that they allowed dogs on their venues and bearing in mind the membership was, like so many clubs, extremely reasonable I decided to look into joining.
You can imagine my delight when I discovered that FAS had secured the fishing rights on a number of the Yateley venues including South Lake, that was my decision made for me and jump to mid-July, a couple of weeks after getting back from France, and I was heading up on a Friday evening for a 4 day session. Arriving just after 7pm I was pleased that the guy next to Mike was only fishing a few hours in the afternoon and evening so I would drop into that swim once he’d finished for the evening.
The venue is truly stunning, although with the weather forecast for the weekend predicting temperatures up in the 30’s I wasn’t expecting too much, Mike had got there the day before and had managed two fish so far, both were low doubles but given the fact that the fish had been sunning themselves all day in the weed beds in front of us they were very welcome.
First thing on Saturday morning I sat and watched as the guys on the spit caught, starting with the guys at the far end and moving towards me, this pattern would be repeated the following morning and Monday morning too as the fish moved from around the lake to congregate in the shallow water and weed beds directly in front of me.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday I tried every method I could think of to try and get a take, they weren’t interested in dog biscuits, pop ups, bits of pop ups, zigs, chods or even bunches of maggots free lined over the top of weed beds. It was apparent that if I was going to get a take it would be first thing in the morning as they moved in towards the weed bed. On Sunday afternoon Mike managed a pretty 17lb 10oz mirror from a small gravel patch down to his right, which was a complete surprise as the fish really didn’t seem too interested in feeding.
Around Sunday lunchtime the lake emptied out quite dramatically and I was able to go out a bit further beyond the edge of the marginal shelf and into the area where the fish had been picked up early in the morning, I spent a couple of hours with the marker rod trying to find areas of interest, about 35 yards in front of me I found a gravel patch so decided on putting a bait out on that. I tried to find the edge of the spot as I believe the fish are sometimes wary of beds of bait smack bang in the middle of a clear gravel patch. In my excitement I committed the cardinal sin and settled with the first cast despite not being entirely happy with its positioning. This decision would be confirmed the following morning when not only had I not caught anything but on bringing back my rig the bait had obviously been in the silt as it stank, not good but a lesson learnt.
So moving into Monday evening and my last night I was determined to get things right and made sure that the rig was on the gravel spot. Through the night I had a few beeps from the alarms but nothing seemed to come of it and Tuesday morning was soon up on us. I had resigned myself to blanking and was starting to pack my gear back into the car when I had a one tone take off the gravel spot, with the temperature of the water I wasn’t too surprised that the fight wasn’t particularly memorable, although I did think it was a tench for quite a while until it rolled close in. On the scales she went 22lb and definitely saved a blank, a pretty, old looking fish and I got a good soaking as I put her back.
Sadly since then I have only managed one quick overnighter but this weekend will see me heading back to Medway Valley Fisheries for the weekend, although I’d originally intended on only fishing until the autumn they have done some work to the swims and are planning on putting some more fish in once the water temperature drops so I have chatted with the other guys who I fish with and we’ve decided to stay on for the winter. Reckon it could be a long cold lonely winter but the chance to catch some of the fish already in the lake will make the blanks worthwhile!
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