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.