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, ( http://www.postpals.co.uk/ ) 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.