Week Commencing: Sat 15/08/2015
Main Lake Catch Report
Just over a year ago I decided to book out both lakes at Gigantica for a social week’s fishing. The time flew by and last week saw myself and 21 other anglers descend on the lakes.
In the lead up to this I had set up a WhatsApp group just to keep everyone in the loop and generally build everyone’s excitement levels to breaking point! Throughout the whole time I had told everyone how bad I am at draws and that I fully expected this trip to be no different. The term ‘Golden B*£$%cks’ was banded about quite a bit and I was assured that this year would be different.
There were only three balls left in the bag when it was my turn to pick and, lo and behold, I get number 8… out of 10! The curse continues. I then watched the last two balls picked out and witnessed number 4 and 1 drawn - I was that close to a good ‘un but it wasn’t to be.
I’ll be honest; I was a little disheartened at the draw but that very quickly disappeared when, during the walk round, we saw lots of fish showing in quite a few areas. I also explained to everyone that throughout the course of a whole week that the carp would visit every swim at least once.
Once the draw is done and selections are made, all hell breaks loose with people grabbing bait and racing off to their swims to set up. Ill give you a break down of each swims action in the order that they came out in the draw…
First out was my mate Lewis (jammy sod) and it was his first trip to the lake. I mean, how fair is that?! He chose to go on Co’s Point and very quickly made his mark. Fishing at 28RL he had his first bite at about 2.30am and landed his first carp of the trip and what a stunner it was. At 21lb it was a great way to start the week. He went on to land 2 more fish after this being ‘The Bean’ at 39lb 8oz and the stunning ‘Baby Black Eye’ at 43lb 8oz. Well angled mate!
Second out of the bag was Peter and during the walk round he’d fallen in love with Oblivion. The weed in here had grown a bit since I fished it the previous year and he struggled to find a really clean area. He persevered though but it just wasn’t to be. He had a couple of occurrences when fishing a rod on the entrance of Big Girls but the Gigantica carp are making him wait for his next trip! He has tried to start a new trend though by being the only carp angler that has EVER taken a dressing gown fishing - who does that?
Next up was Decorator John and unfortunately he had the trip from hell. His early draw saw him choose the fancied Pole Position. He fished well and accurately at 27 wraps all week but the fish over on that side of the lake were few and far between. He did have a couple of evenings where they were showing on him but they just wouldn’t pick up the hook bait. So he left with a blank and just 48 miles into his journey home his van broke down and as I write this he and his two driving buddies are still stranded in France waiting for a part to turn up. You’re due a big ‘un next year mate!
Fourth out of the Korda Beanie was my old mate Tel. He chose to fish the mighty Alamo swim but also paired up with 7th out of the bag, Dan Jarman. They made the very sensible decision of fishing it as a team so they each fished two rods straight out in front at 27 wraps. They then fished rods out to the sides to keep the pressure off of the main zone.
Dan was the first to strike, landing ‘The Leather’ at 37lb which was quickly followed by a stunning 31lb linear. The following morning saw Terry break his duck with a 21lb 8oz common and an hour later a 26lb 8oz common.
The best was yet to come, though, as at about 1am on the Thursday night Dan was out doing battle with an absolute beast. Once netted I got an excited phone call to come down and help with an absolute chunk, as Dan put it! And what a chunk it was; ‘Mr Angry’ at a massive 61lb saw smiles and laughs all round the swim - well done mate, what a beast!
Terry was beginning to wonder if he’d ever get a big ‘un when at about 10am his close-in rod to the right needed his attention. This common swung the scales round to 19lb and he really was on pest control. We told him that his next bite could be the one but when the same rod was away just 20 minutes later none of us could believe it! This was clearly a better fish and at one point it looked weeded but it was simply the weight of another chunk. After a brief tussle I slipped the net under a clearly much bigger fish. It turned out to be the sought after ‘Cut-Tail Common’ at 55lb and definitely made his week.
Number 5 saw Sam Hussain jump into ‘The Stock Pond’ - a swim he fancied and having his mate Jon was next door was also a great excuse for a social. This swim tends to see you fish the far margins but after a couple of nights with issues from the crayfish he made the tactical switch to tiger nut hookbaits. He had to wait until Wednesday morning for his chance but I’m glad to say he took it. He successfully landed ‘The Clean Fish’ at 42lb. Well played mate, great result.
Next up was Steve and seeing that one of the most consistent swims this year has been the Tree Line, he gladly jumped in there. He suffered the heartache of a hook pull on the first night and as it turned out, this was the only chance he was to get. Really unlucky but the fish just didn’t turn up in any numbers. Better luck next time mate.
Number 8 was my turn and I’ve got to be honest, seeing that The Stink free was too good an opportunity to miss. I’ve fished it before so had an idea of how to approach it but more importantly fish had been seen in here during the walk round. I checked with Steve Rocke the bailiff and was informed that the week before the swim hadn’t seen much bait.
I had a lead round at 30 wraps aiming at Baxters and after just a few casts found an area that felt good. I opted to fish two rods out there and then one round to the right towards the Tree Line. I baited quite heavily the first night to try to get the carp’s attention, so a mixture of whole and chopped tigers were put out around the marker float from a boat.
I didn’t expect too much so imagine my surprise when at just before midnight my left hander was away. After a slow and dogged fight I slipped the net under a decent mirror. I called Terry and Dan to help transfer it from the net to the sling in the water before lifting her onto dry land. The decent mirror became a good mirror and up on the scales she went 51lb!
It was a fish that has become known as ‘The Unknown’ and I was up and running! The week carried on in a similar vein for me and I was lucky enough to land eight fish which included ‘Broadys Mirror’ at 37lb and one that I really wanted called ‘Digits’ at 40lb 4oz. ‘Golden B*£$%cks indeed!
Most bites for me came on combi links, with Pineapple Supreme infused double tiger nuts with some cork to balance it out, all tied to the ever faithful size 4 Kranks.
Next up was Steve Carter and he went into Alcatraz. Being a swim that he has caught from before he was confident of a fish but other than a rudd on steroids he left fishless. He can’t even count the rudd as it fell off at the net! He fished hard all week but similarly to other swims on that side, the carp just didn’t spend any great length of time over there.
Finally was ‘Chip Shop Paul’. He chose The Beach as it was his pal bivvied up in the tree line, so once again a social was on the cards. Unfortunately, he left fishless this time but has vowed to get his revenge. Can this man hand out abuse though! It was like a torrent on WhatsApp all week, largely aimed at Steve but we all got our fair share too. He did have a strange occurrence on an eerily misty morning though when he saw a seven-year-old Victorian girl standing in front of him! A couple of us laughed it off whilst others (Lewis mainly) looked absolutely petrified! It then all got a bit spookier when Steve Rocke said that two others had told him EXACTLY the same thing… You can make your own mind’s up on that one!
Finally, Steve Rocke usually drops into a gap for his overnighters and this week was no exception. He fished the first two nights in Scotties Corner and was rewarded with a 37 and a 27. He then moved next door into the Big Southerly and lost one the first night before being reacquainted with his old mate ‘Ziggy Stardust’! Not a bad friend to have at 60lb 8oz! Class mate, class!
Most bites from the week came on a combination of beds of tigers and Mainline Chilli Active. Successful hook baits were the ever consistent Banoffee Wafters and balanced double tiger nuts.
So there you go - a great week’s fishing was had by all but the lake doesn’t give up its prizes easily. It’s a testament to the lake that even though half of the lake failed to get onto the score sheet, they ALL want to go back. I’ll be there with them once again getting a big number from the drawbag!