Week Commencing: Sat 23/03/2019
Main Lake WC 23 March 2019
It was the first week of the year where we have had twelve anglers on the Main Lake. How would the fish react to the additional pressure, lines, bait etc? Would they run for the hills once the casting started, or would we get a surprise or two? Obviously, we hoped it would be the latter. The weather for the week was forecasting mainly northerly/north easterly winds of varying strengths, with very little rain or freezing temperatures.
We had a group of seven lads who had never fished the lake before, along with three who had and DF himself fancied an early season session to capture some early season action on film.
Danny Tapp was the first angler to fish Big Southerly since February and having seen fish showing in the area around the marker poles the preceding week, we were confident, that if fished well, there was a good chance of a bite or two. He chose to split his rods up, fishing two out at 20 wraps towards Alcatraz and the other he put at 13.5 wraps towards the left-hand marker pole. He initially started off baiting up with the throwing stick but after a chat with Andy the bailiff, he went for something high attract, to concentrate the bait in one area.
Using the Spomb, he put out 2.5kg of chopped and crumbed CC Moore Live System boilie mixed 50/50 with our particle onto the close in spot. The next morning, he had a bite which unfortunately dropped off half way in, but undeterred, he “got back on the horse” and topped up the spot. On the rig front, Danny opted for a hybrid lead clip arrangement with a 5” Dark Matter braided hooklink with a Size 4 Korda Kurv B which he baited with 3 grains of Slow Sinking IB Maize. In an almost repeat performance the following morning, he got another chance off the short spot and this time landed himself an absolute beast. Robert’s Fish at a massive 72lb 8oz smashed his PB out of the park and made him one seriously happy bunny. The first time the fish has gone over 70lb, it is a capture which will live long in the memory. Congratulations Danny.
Grant Dilloway fancied having a go in Alcatraz and continued on from where Rowan Hill had finished off at the wonky tree left of Stink at 28 wraps. He wasted no time in getting organised, and after a quick check over the area with a pronged lead, he got some bait out. Grant chose to wash his Mainline Fyber baits out, making them really soft and mushy, which he then mixed 50/50 with our maize and hemp. Introducing 3kg each day and then presenting Pop-ups on Hinged Stiff Rigs over the top got him his first bite. Interestingly, his bites were coming from the right-hand rod, suggesting the fish were approaching from that side, as opposed to recent weeks, when the left has done more bites. He experimented with different colour Pop-ups and IB yellow proved to be the one they wanted. Grant caught consistently during the week, and his bite time was mainly between 7-9am. By the end of the week he had amassed an eleven fish haul, including three originals to 37lb. Great angling Grant.
Danny F had booked a swim for filming some time ago when that week was empty, so all the lads booking from then on knew just one swim wouldn’t be in the draw. After some serious deliberation he chose Co’s Point for ‘The View’ as much as anything else. A bold move seeing as it hadn’t done a bite the week before and had gone quiet recently after superb results before, over and after Christmas. It had been five years since he fished the swim and he has never managed to get it in the draw!
He started with a couple of fish on Sunday after feeding only sweet corn 80% and hemp 20% and the action continued fairly steadily throughout the week. He ended with 21 bites landing 16 fish to 29lbs, a fish called Saddam that he dearly wanted to catch, like Saddam they were all stockies which must be a record for not catching an original!
His bites came firstly on 12mm yellow IB pop ups boosted with Isotonic Goo, then he switched to 12mm IB Dumbell Wafters also boosted with Isotonic Goo and had his first night bites of the week. Dan thought the pop ups were stopping him getting night bites in the early part of the week. Eventually he switched to 15mm Fyber bottom baits straight out the bag in an attempt to catch a bigger fish and fed more and more Fyber boilie (still keeping some Corn in the mix) but the stockies kept on coming right up until the last morning when he had his last four bites, landing three.
His losses came from a variety of problems, his first was snagged up on the bite at 32 wraps so he came back to 30 and had no reduction in action and no more problems. A mid double came off close in through a loss of concentration and several fell off at range which is the nature of small fish, heavy rods and barbless hooks, yet all those landed were nailed on.
He used short Dark Matter leaders fitted with Heli Safes, dumping 4.5 leads on the take most times. The top bead was fished only 10cm up the leader as the lead was not plugging. Hook links started as 10cm Booms but lengthened to 15cm which he felt created better hook-holds. Size 6 Long Shank X hooks made barbless were fished spinner style with the pop ups, wafters and bottom baits although he did switch from a micro rig swivel to a whipped on soft hair when he came off the pop ups.
Dan fed half a bucket or approx 5kg of corn and hemp each afternoon switching to corn and Fyber boilie as the week progressed. Rebaiting after a fish only produced one extra bite and he feels it’s better to put in one hit and only recast the rods after a take with no extra bait until the following afternoon.
Tactics were exactly as he had recommended in the newsletter to all customers for this Spring and he was very satisfied to find that his suggested tactics produced so much action, even if no biggies came along. He adds that Grant on Alcatraz fished really well to get 11 fish, surprisingly the bulk of the fish stayed that way on the cold N wind, crazy carp!Dan said the lads were a great bunch and seeing the other Dan in Big Southerly land Robert’s Fish for the first time over 70 was a real privilege.......
Robbie Hicks went into The Stink for the week, and after taking a while to get settled in, he chose to fish all three rods straight out in front at 30 wraps, then dropped back to 26-27 wraps (we never did get an exact range from him). He baited up with 2-3Kg of Mainline Fyber chopped and crumbed with a handful of maize and hemp mixed through. After a quiet first few days he received a steady pick-up on Tuesday and after leading him on a merry old dance, he slipped the net under a 44lb 12oz Mirror known as “The Stranger”. The fish fell for a trimmed down snowman comprising of half a bottom bait and half a pop-up on a short combi-link.
Jay Bull chose to start his week off in Baxter’s Hole, but was struggling to get settled and come to terms with the best approach to take. With a number of fish showing in Stock Pond, a move was the logical choice. Andy the Bailiff orchestrated the move, and then spent the day with Jay going through casting, rig tying, baiting up etc. Selecting an area where he could fish effectively at 16 wraps, 3kg of chopped and crumbed Mainline Fyber mixed 50/50 with Gigantica pellet was put out on the spot. On the rig front, running COG leads with spinner rigs and Scent from Heaven Pop-Ups were fished over the top. The next morning just after first light Jay had a bite and landed one of the 2018 Stockie’s….job done. It just goes to show what getting the tactics right and fishing confidently can do.
Overall during the week there were thirty fish landed to 72lb 8oz which is great for so early in the season. The introduction of the Stockie’s has had an amazing effect on the lake. They feed in nearly all conditions with very little caution and have triggered the bigger residents into feeding more often. All the originals that have been out over recent months have been at their biggest ever weights. It’s a great sign for the future.
Until next time….Bonne Peche