Monday, 3 August 2009

Elphicks 26th - 31st July 2009

North Lake 5 day Session

Well the time had finally arrived for my 5 day session carp fishing at Elphicks Fishery in Kent. The original plan had been to fish somewhere in France but my mate went and got his girlfriend pregnant and now, as they say, the rest is history and he is the proud father of a gorgeous little girl. So after looking around for somewhere in the UK to go we settled on North lake at Elphicks just a few minutes from home.

Arriving around 1pm we had a look around the lake and settled on the first 3 swims on the right hand bank. Word from the bailiff was that these swims had been producing a lot of fish and were always popular. Neil (one of Jamies work colleagues) took the first swim, Jamie the 2nd and me the 3rd. Knowing how the lake was stocked both Jamie and I had set a target of beating our personal bests, mine 27lbs 90zs and Jamie 26lbs. Neil having only starting carp fishing a few months ago was going to be happy with anything he caught.

In what seemed no time at all I was set up and raring to go. The usual method at Elphicks is to spod out a decent bed of particle and pellets and fish single hookbaits over the top so thats what we did. Bait for the week was to be either Mainline Fusion or Cell boilies in 18mm size. As you can see from the buckets above, there were 2 more in the bivvy) I'd got plenty of bait to put in. (More of that later)

The daytime proved very frustrating with just a few bleeps and not much else but once the darkness fell things started to improve. Jamie was the first to connect just after midnight, with one of North lakes residents and it sure gave him one hell of a fight, not a huge fish, a Common of 14lbs, but in lovely condition. As it turned out we were to see a lot of fish this size during the week.

At 2.15am I was next to have a screaming run, mine too was to prove to be one of the lakes smaller resident Commons but at 14lbs 8ozs I was relatively happy.

During the first night both Jamie and I had a couple more fish but they were all of a simlar size. Neil however had nothing at all, mind you I doubt if he have heard his buzzers, that guy could sleep for England.

Monday morning and the sun was shining. Having heard about the lakes Catfish I decided to put one rod out with half a tin of chopped ham and pork on the hook. Dropping it close in the margins on my right I threw the contents of a tinm of sardines and just left it. The other two rods were to be fished the same as yesterday. The Catfish bait had only been in the water a short time when the buzzer started screaming and all hell let loose. Hanging on for dear life the fish made a series of powerful runs stripping line form the reel even with the clutch set tight, however after about 15 minutes I finally got it close to the bank. As I was sliding across the surface I could see it was a good size cat, probably around 40lbs+ but the hook hold was very dodgy being right in the front of the mouth in the boney crushing pads. Very carefully I brought it closer to the net when it decided it was having none of it and turned and fled. Unfortunately the hook pulled and the fish was gone.

I carried on trying for a Catfish throughout the week and was finally rewarded with this monster, which incidentally took a Maple 8 pop up boilie fished on a Zig Rig just under the surface.

I was to hook into another monster Cat on Thursday which gave me one hell of a work out. After making 6 massively powerful runs it decided to dissapear round the back of the island 3 swims down and all I could do was try and put the brakes on in the hope of turning it. Alas the hook pulled. The guy in the next swim down saw the cat twice during the fight and estimated it at around 8o-90lbs, no wonder it gave me the run around. Next time I'll go a bit better equipped with the right tackle to handle these monsters.

Monday evening into Tuesday morning during darkness was fairly frustrating, with only 1 run for Jamie, which resulted in this, a ghost Common of 18lbs 4ozs,

and just 1 run for me which resulted in my best fish of the trip so far, a Mirror of exactly 20lbs.

The frustrating part was the fact that there were obviously a lot of fish moving around causing liner after liner but they just didn't want to get their heads down on our baits. I must have woken 6 times to shorts bursts of bleeps from the buzzers which then stopped.

Tuesday morning was very quiet, there didn't seem to be in the way of fish moving around as they had done previously, something just didn't seem quite right. Maybe it was because it had been very still overnight and in the morning there was a horrible green slick across the surface which looked very much like Blue Green algae to me.

The wind however picked up mid morning which cleared the slime and as lunchtime approached Jamie struck in to what was a powerful fish. the fish was definately better than anything we'd caught so far and so it proved with this beauty of 26lbs 10ozs soon gracing Jamies landing net. As you can see he was very happy as it was only day 2 and he'd beat his PB.

As the afternoon wore on Neil managed a few of the smaller carp mainly around the 12 - 15lb mark however he did manage to connect with one better one a Mirror of exactlt 20lbs.
At 3.45pm I was in again and againhad to hang on. This one must have been taking some of the Rolfs Lake steroids as it just didn't want to come in and took nearly 15 minutes to get to the bank. I was well pleased though, when it turned out to be my 2nd 2olb+ fish, a lovely Common of 21lbs 12ozs.

Tuesday night was another one of those nights when the smaller fish came out to play with a succession of 12-15lbs fish falling to all three of us.
Wednesday proved to be Jamies day when after catching nothing since 2.30am he had a screamer of a run. This was definately something better and Jaime took his time with this one. By the time he'd fianlly got it on to the unhooking mat he was shattered but the smile soon returned when the fish was weighed and went 32lbs 8ozs smashing his PB out of sight.

After that fish whatever happened was going to be a bonus and we all managed to land plenty more, this one of Jamies went 21lbs 4ozs.

And this Common with a touch of Ghostie about it went 14lbs fell to me.

As the sun came up on Friday morning I had a wander around the lake mainly to try and get some reception on my mobile, if you are not on O2 it's blooming useless. I stopped and had a chat with a couple of guys fishing just down the bank from me who'd we'd got friendly with. They had been bagging all week with a lot of big fish. By now they had had 5 fish over 30lbs and had lost count of the amount of 20's. In total they finished with around 1200lbs of fish between them.
I knew they had been doing something different because of the success they had had but hadn't managed to work out what. After having a chat and a cuppa I found out what it was. Do you remember that earlier I mentioned about of bait I had well this paled in to siginificance compared to what they'd got through. 40 kilos of spod miz 60 kilos of boilies had gone into thier swims, at my estimation thats somewhere around £700's worth of bait that had gone in, no wonder there were a lot of fish in front of them.
Coming to the final night and after more fish between 12 and 14lbs and I was still secretly hoping for something a bit bigger. I had 4 kilos of spod mix and around 4 kilos of boilies left so most of that went out into the lake, 2 rods were fished over the bed of bait and I put another rod out for a Catfish. The Catfish rod was the first to go but as before it proved to be another kitten this time around 3lbs.
At 1.05am the left hand rod screamed off and I leapt from my bivvy hoping that this would be the one. As it turned out it was another of those pesky 12lber's so it was back to dreaming of that monster. 2.45am and another screamer and this time things felt much better. After a series of strong runs I finally slid the fish over the net and a big smile came to my face, I knew it was a good fish but how good and would it beat my PB?
The scales told the story, 26lbs 2ozs, not quite a PB but a stunning fish, and just look at the size of the paddle at the back no wonder it tore line from the reel with ease. It looked a young fish so has plenty of growing to do. I'd love to catch it again in a few years time when it will undoubtably have packed on some weight.
All in all I was well pleased with the 5 days. Yes, I know there are a lot of bigger fish in the lake, but as a relative novice specimen Carp angler I was pleased with my final totals, as we all were.
Neil finished with 9 fish for 133lbs, Jamie had 10 fish for 182lbs 4ozs including beating his PB and I finished with 15 fish for 200lbs. (those little Cats certainly didn't help my total weight)
Would I go again, Yes!!! I'd go tomorrow, I loved every minute of it.
Will I stop fishing matches and take up Specimen carp hunting, no chance, well someone's got to make Peter look good.
Actually, we are already looking at what to do next year, do we go back to Elphicks or maybe venture to France as originally planned. At the moment Elphicks is favourite as we learned a lot while we there, however it's along way off and things change so we'll just have to see. Maybe I'll look to make it a Fish In, now that would be fun.

1 comment:

arkwright said...

Ooh vince that doesnt half look a tempting place to visit but our pat will kill me if i try lol
Im already booked on to the hartleton and welsh fish ins next year plus the carp social on mallard and im having another french trip with stymie,sidewinder,ady and possibly a few others in sept next year to crystalwaters nr sens ....