Monday, 30 April 2012

Elphicks North Lake - 1st May 2012

Well after almost 2 years of trying I've managed to get booked on to the North Lake at Elphicks Fishery in Kent. I booked on for a 24hr session in the hope of once and for all finally breaking the 30lb mark. I've had 5 different fish from this lake in the past at 29lb 12ozs so with any luck this time the magical 30lb'er will grace my net. The bookings on the lake have exploded since the biggest carp in the lake has been really packing on weight culminating in her capture at 62lb 10oz.  

The lake is approxiamtely 6 acres and there are large numbers of quality carp in the lake, loads in the 20-30lb class as well as a good number of 30lb and 40lb+ fish. There are also a few very big catfish which when hooked really pull your string.

When I get back on Wednesday evening I'll update things with news of any captures.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Elphicks North Lake 9th - 15th August 2010

Well I'm now back from my week away at Elphicks Fishery in Kent. This was my fourth trip to fish North Lake and I had been joined by 9 others to target the stocks of quality Carp the lake holds.

I'd got a couple of different ideas for this trip which I hoped will see me bank my first 30lb Carp, something that has managed to pass me by on the last 3 trips to the venue. Most of the others fishing had already succeeded in breaking the 30lb barrier so this really was something I was keen to do. My current PB before this trip was 29lbs 12ozs so I'm getting close, let's hope this trip was the one.

The first two days and nights were difficult, I only managed a few line bites and one full blown run, which came to nothing. It was much the same for everyone else on my bank despite us using a variety of baits.

Eventually I was woken in the early hours with a screaming 'one toner' which resulted in this little beauty. I had changed to smaller baits, using 2 x 10mm Cell boilies, and this turned out to be a good decision.
26lb Mirror

Over the next couple of days my change to the 10mm boilies proved to be the right one and despite the lake fishing hard on our bank I caught a couple of super fish. The first a lovely Mirror with beautiful scales along it's back and then a new PB Common.

Mirror Carp 26lb 12ozs

Common Carp 27lbs 2ozs (PB common)

The next day and night passed without much in the way of action apart from a missed run in the early hours which despite the reel screaming and line pouring from the reel I struck into nothing.

Finally I managed a daytime run and after a long hard fight this old looking warrior graced the net. I was quite surprised as it's not normally the sort of fish that you catch from commercials.

Common Carp 24lb 20z

Saturday morning was warmer than it had been for a couple of days and I knew the fish would be moving through my swim heading for the shallows so I baited more heavily in the hope of halting them in their tracks as they went by. I noticed a lot of fizzing over the left hand baits so recast and within and hour the reel was screaming again. After another hard fight, this time in front of an audience (the wives and girlfriends had come to see us) this Common was in the net.

Common Carp 24lb 2ozs

Just as it was being placed on the unhooking mat the middle rod was off, so I asked Jamie to look after it while I attempted to land the second one. This one really did not want to come in and on more than one occasion tried to get in the bushes to my left. Finally it was in the net and turned out to be my biggest fish of the week.

Mirror Carp 27lbs 8ozs.

As you will have worked out by now that elusive 30lb Carp is still a thing of my dreams but I'm sure it will come sooner rather than later. I did catch a couple of other fish, an 8lb Mirror Carp and a new PB catfish...........a massive 6lbs 3ozs !!!!!!!! A young lad (10 yrs old) on the other bank had one of 63lbs, it was longer than him when he laid down beside it.

I've learnt a lot since I got back in to Specimen Carp fishing and have been trying to put this knowledge to good use. It's been working quite well up until now and I must thank Jamie and Luke for their advice and guidance. I am however, pleased to say the decision to use smaller baits was mine, and a decision the others followed with success.

Hopefully I'll be back having a crack at the fish at Elphicks later in the year, this time fishing either West End or Pullens lakes. They may not hold a 50lb fish but there are a lot more 30's and 40's to go at.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Overnight session 29th May 2010

Unfortunately my trip to Monk Lakes for the Charity Match hit a snag when I went down with Pneumonia so when I was offered a short overnight session as a guest on a local club water I jumped at the chance.

Having not fished the lake for years when it used to be a Trout fishery I was really looking forward to it and duly arrived at 4.30pm Friday afternoon. When I arrived a number of the better swims were taken so I opted for one of the little used swims in the reeds. However shortly after setting up my rods I heard that one of the guys was not coming and the best swim on the lake was going to be free. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth I quickly moved my gear and was soon ready to target the lakes residents.

There are a lot of Carp in the lake with the best running to around 35lbs. There are also Grass Carp to 32lbs as well as Catfish to well over 65lbs. There are also loads of tench in the 4-6lb bracket which can be a real pain (normally I'd be happy catching these but I was after something somewhat better) as well as some quality Bream to 12lbs. Whilst there are plenty of fish they are not easy and don't often feed during daylight hours so I planned my attack on two margin lines tight to an island to my left.

Bait for the session was Kentish Ripper pop ups fished over bottom baits. dropping my baits tight the island boards I sat back and waited. The evening started slowly with a few fish showing themselves but appearing unwilling to feed. As darkness fell things started to liven up with a number of line bites which showed the fish were now moving on to my feed.

Not long after retiring to my bivvy the left hand rod roared off and the strike was met with some reasonable resistence. However after a short spirited fight it turned out to be a one of the Tench at about 4lbs. Not long after a 2nd Tench around the same size was in the landing net. I was beginning to wonder if these Tench were going to keep me awake all night and by 6.30am I'll had the answer.

11 fish which included 4 carp (19lb 4oz Mirror, 19lb 8oz Mirror Carp, 11lb Mirror Carp, 10lb Mirror Carp), 5 tench to 6lbs and 2 Bream (8lb 4ozs, 8lb ). To say I was pleased is an understatement. After all the talk of it being a tough water where if you get 2 fish in a night you've done well I'd slaughtered it.

On top of these fish I had 2 more before packing up, another Tench of 4lbs and a 19lb 8oz Leather Carp.

All fish apart from the Bream fell to Kentish Ripper pop ups fished over a bed of Kentish Ripper on a KD rig. The Ripper had shown what it can do in spectacular style, hopefully I'll be back on the lake soon.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Elphicks North Lake April 2010

Well I'm back from my week at Elphicks North Lake and I have to say what a good week it was.

I arrived at around midday on Monday 5th April and settled in to my chosen swim, the sixth down on the road bank, and surveyed the water in front of me. There was an easy chuck to the island so one rod would be placed there whilst there was a nice overhanging willow on the right side of the island so that would do for the second rod. The third rod was going to be fished down the margin to my right where there was an overhanging bush and a small clump of reeds.

After fairly quickly erecting my bivvy I set about baiting up my chosen spots before getting the rods out. After about 10 minutes of spodding a particle mix out I noticed a carp swirl in the margin to my right so I put a few boilies in and left it for a while before dropping a bait there. The boilies by the way were Kentish Ripper 15mm Boilies from GB Baits, a local company with a good reputation for their baits. On each line I'd fired approximately 20 boilies.

Finally I was fully tackled up and cast the two rods out to the island but still left the margin swim to settle. After a few hours and having seen the carp swirl a number of times more I finally gave in to temptation and carefully dropped a bait in and waited. Well the wait wasn't too long as after about 10 minutes the alarm was screaming and line pouring from the reel as one angry carp made it's bid for freedom.
After about 5 minutes I managed to get the carp into netting range and gently slid it up to the spreader block and she was mine. The carp was one I had seen before, in November, when it was caught by a mate of mine, a gorgeous looking Ghost leather of 24lbs.

The rest of the day and night was quiet for me although one or two of the others were banking a few quality fish including a 30lb 8oz mirror to Luke.

Talking of Luke he had been having some success on the Grange Plum boilie but was not prepared for what was to come. After casting his rod to a gravel bed about 10 rod lengths out a strange run occurred and the resistance on the end was considerable. Luke commented that it felt strange and could be a Catfish but doubted if it was would go much over 20lbs. Little did he know that 45 minutes later and cheered on by the rest (or was that abused) of us he'd still be trying to get the fish to the net. Finally after a few attempts the catfish was netted and this little beauty of 59lbs 8ozs lay on the unhooking mat.

The weather during the week was very pleasant however the wind just couldn't decide which way it wanted to blow so it constantly changed direction to confuse the lot of us. The days were pretty quiet with the fish mainly moving to the shallower end of the lake but during the night things picked up a little when they made their way back to the deeper water. I was however to have to wait until daylight again before my next take. I was however up most nights helping the others with netting and photographing their fish.

Next to grace my net was a 28lb 8oz Mirror, a new Pb, and a fish that had fought long and hard.

Again apart from a few line bites I had nothing more in the daylight hours and as night fell I had a strange feeling that I'd catch, and so it proved when at 5.45am I landed a 19lb Mirror closely followed by an 11lb catfish.

The next couple of days didn't produce anything to me although Luke was still managing to find one or two. It wasn't until the early hours of Thursday morning that I managed another Carp and this was again a new Pb for me, 29lbs 10ozs of Mirror carp, still not the elusive 30lb'er I was hoping for on this trip, but very welcome all the same.

Spurred on by this success I decided to bait heavier and fired out about 4kg's of boilies to see if this would encourage more takes. Well it obviously worked as at 6.30pm this cracking Common took a liking to my bait tore off at an alarming rate. At one point I was beginning to wonder what I'd hooked and thought that maybe this was be the 30lb fish I was hoping for. On the bank the fish looked fabulous and reminded me of the 26lb 12oz common I'd had back in July 2009, both had fought well above their weight and were both stunning fish.

I was to manage one more fish during the week and this came along at 5.20am when I was fast asleep and into a strange dream. (I was fishing my mates garden pond, fishing the pole, gnome like, and was attached to a shark) see I said it was strange. Well the alarms put paid to that dream and it really was fish on. Again the fish fought well and after about 6 minutes this 28lb 8oz Mirror was laying on the unhooking mat.

I have to say the week at Elphicks was a real pleasure. Once again the GB Baits boilies worked well and produced some cracking fish, not only to me but to a number of the others. In total 34 fish were banked, 32 carp and 2 Catfish, with 5 of us recording new personal bests. The staff were friendly and helpful and the lads with me made it a great time. My diet wasn't too brilliant, bacon and cheese rolls or sausage and cheese rolls, washed down with copious amounts of coffee but I felt great and wasn't too tired by the end of it all. Jamie turned out to be a super chef, cooking all the food, his Coleman dual fuel cooker was brilliant and used about half a gallon of unleaded throughout the week. I can't recommend it highly enough and at around £80 it's well worth the money if you do a lot of night fishing or camping.

Will I go back again, of course I will, in fact we've already booked the lake for a week in August.
Have I given up match fishing and turned to the 'Dark Side', well not yet but who knows, If I start to lose too many pound coins to Peter again this year I may just have to consider my future.

Next time I'm on the bank will the a Charity match at Monks Lakes on Monday 3rd of May, helping out a lovely young lady called Faye, who suffers from a debilitating disease that keeps her bed ridden pretty much most of the time. the way things are looking a load of money will be raised for her favourite charity, Postpals, ( ) If anyone wants to donate a little to help it would be very much appreciated, the charity could do with all the help it can get.

Look out for my next report soon.

Tight Lines.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Elphicks North Lake - November 2009 Session

After my successful session on North Lake back in July I was itching to get back to the place and have another go. Even though it was November the weather was quite mild although the forecast was for a fair amount of rain. This proved to be the case with rain lashing down on us most of the week.

Jamie Melham joined me again for this 72hr session.

Despite this we all managed a few fish, I ended the week with 6 Carp to 23lbs whilst Jamie managed 11 to 26lbs.

The strange thing was all the fish fell to baits fished in conjunction with plastic corn, the banker methods of maggots failed badly with only a couple of missed runs to show for it.

One thing I was pleased about was the way my new bite alarms performed. They are a set of Sundridge Wirelessa alarms and proved to be excellent value for money.

Jamie and I are already planning another trip once the weather warms up, hopefully sometime in April 2010.

This time we're planning on booking the whole lake so we can have the choice of whatever swims we want.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Sams Lake - Silver Fish Match

As I was car less Bill Gibbins kindly offered to pick me up for this one and with all the gear loaded we made our way to the Weald of Kent Golf Club where we to meet a few of the others taking part in the match for a hearty breakfast.

Having never fished Sams lakes before I picked Nick Gilbert's brain about what the best approach was going to be and soon had a plan formualted.

Arriving at the fishery it appeared it might be a bit hard today as conditions weren't exactly perfect and it was likely to be won at the draw bag. Putting my and in the bag I pulled out peg 25, fairly comfortable with the wind off my back.

That was where my luck ended as my match was really hard going.

I ended up with a measly 5lbs 12ozs and a few pulled muscles as my box leg collapsed part way through the match and despite yelling for help I struggled to get myself upright.

The match was won by Matt Love with a creditible 24lbs 13ozs from peg 11, with Anglingman coming second with 21lbs 7ozs.

I quite enjoyed the day and will make another trip to Sam's sometime in the future probably when the weather is a little better.

At the end of the match Nick gave me a selcetion of his new hand made floats and I have to say they looked superb. If they perform as good as they look they should be superb.

Monday, 14 September 2009

What a great day !!

I was lucky enough to be invited along this afternoon to fish a syndicate lake a few miles from where I live. A friend of mine set up the syndicate some 18 years ago and to be honest hasn't really fished the lake much because of work commitments so he was keen to take me along to see how the lake was fishing.

I tried to glean a bit of information about the place but all he could tell me was that there were Tench and Bream to about 5lbs, Roach to 2lbs, Perch to 4lbs+ and some very big Pike. Also about 10 years ago one of the members stocked 100 Carp at between 3lb and 5lbs which in his opinion was a mistake. I decided to take along a waggler rod and also a feeder rod which would be used on a buzzer as a bit of a sleeper rod. Bait wise I had the usual pellets, a bag of groundbait, some corn and a few worms.

On arrival at the lake I had a look around and settled on a nice looking swim with a small island about 25 metres away as well as some nice reed beds in both margins. Setting up the feeder rod I baited it with 2 grains of corn on a hair and managed to drop it tight to the island first cast. Before I'd even got the rod on the rests it was off, the reel screaming. I just lifted the rod and hung on. Clearly this was far bigger than anything I'd heard about, other than maybe the pike, so I was looking forward to seeing what I'd hooked. A few minutes later and a fine looking Mirror carp of 15lbs 4ozs was staring back at me from the folds of the landing net. 'Blimey' my mate said ' they've grown on a bit" !!!!!!! With 4lb mainline I was beginning to wonder if I was a little undergunned but thought that maybe I'd just been lucky and caught a mug fish and would be OK.

Next cast and within 2 minutes I was in again, this time the fight lasted somewhat longer but eventually I slid the fish over the net, another mirror, this time going 16lbs 12ozs.2 fish in 2 casts and over 30lbs already I was beginning to enjoy this.

One thing Steve had told me was the way the Bream leap from the water when hooked and this I was looking forward to seeing. Well I didn't have to wait long as Steve soon struck into one. I couldn't believe my eyes, as this Bream of about 3lbs just leapt from the water time and time again like a rainbow trout on speed. I've never seen anything like it. After the Breams aerobatics I went back to trying to get my waggler rod actually in the water but again was interupted by another screamer and I was again attached to an angry carp. This one didn't fight at all and was soon netted, Not a mirror this time but a gorgeous leather carp of 11lbs. That was it I just chucked the waggler rod up the bank and concentrated on the feeder, I put the buzzer away and fished it normally.

Well as the afternoon wore on it was Carp after Carp, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. To be honest I might have, as the place is gorgeous, totally peaceful and miles from nowhere. I even saw 2 kingfishers in the few hours I was there. They have even built a small lodge with full cooking and washing facilities. By the time 8.30pm came along it was getting blooming dark so we packed up. Steve had managed a great bag of Bream and Roach as well as a couple of Carp whilst I finished with 14 Carp all between 10lb and 16lbs 12ozs. I also had a couple of nice perch both around the 2lb mark and a few Bream.

I have to say I've not enjoyed a session like that for years, and can't wait to go back. At least now I know what to expect I might go a bit more prepared next time. I'm quite pleased now I left the pole at home.

As the syndicate has a publicity ban I didn't take my camera along so sorry no pic's this time.