Week Commencing: Sat 31/08/2019
The prodigal son returns......
Another fine day dawns in Gotham City, the thirty-degree temperatures of the previous week having moved on again. The weather was forecast to be low to mid-twenties during the day and dropping below ten degrees at night. Surely a recipe for a few bites and a chunk or two thrown in for good measure. We had a group of good anglers booked on for the week, who had all been before and knew the drills.
John “Mr Gigantica” Allen had been away for over a month but managed to get a last-minute cancellation, so the “Prodigal Son” made his return! He drew well and fancied having a crack at The Stink, which historically has a habit of throwing out the superbeasts! John took his time interrogating the swim and settled on fishing at 26 wraps towards Baxter’s with two rods and one closer in at 8. The only change to his approach from previous trips, was this time he had decided to bring some boilie (10mm Urban Baits Nutcracker) to put out along with his favoured particle approach. He introduced 5kg of boilie, hemp and maize with quite a wide, spread (which is his preferred tactic to keep the fish moving) over the 26 wrap spot, and just a sprinkling of 10 milers over the close in spot. After losing a good fish close in, he went back out with a fresh rig and in the early hours of Monday morning, received a steady take and heavy fight from what felt like a big fish. With perseverance he just about managed to shuffle a massive deep Mirror into the folds of the net and remove the tiny Size 8 hook and micro corn hookbait which tripped the fish up.
Giving Andy the bailiff a ring for some assistance to transfer the fish from the net, it turned out the that monster Mirror staring up at them was the highly anticipated “Chunky” which had been missing since May 2017. An emotional John was left wandering up and down the bank trying to take it all in, and when the needle on the scales span round to 77lb 8oz it was the icing on the cake. The fish behaved impeccably for the camera and looked in amazing condition. Once the dust had settled John got back to work and during the remainder of the week landed himself a further four fish, the best being a 39lb 8oz Common known as “La Boheme”. Well angled John; what an amazing week. John has been busy naming some of the fish he has caught after members of his family; the latest one being named “Pop it in Pete”.
Gigantica regular, Chris Clarke couldn’t pass up the chance of the Alamo, and being a competent long-range angler, decided he would fish all three rods at 29 wraps towards the big tree left of Beach. Bait for the week was Baitworks Royal Marine and Sticky Krill mixed with a small amount of hemp and lashings of maize. He put in 10kg over the spots each day and literally caught from the get-go. Bite times were quite varied and Chris landed fish late in the evenings, early hours of the morning and even in the afternoon. He got off to a brilliant on Sunday when he landed a forty and a fifty! “Soft Focus” at 47lb and the stunning “Clean Fish” at 55lb. Both fish fell for White Scent From Hell Wafters fished on IQ D-Rigs and running COG leads. The consistent action continued, with some lovely fish, but we had an inkling that another big fish would slip up. This proved to be the case, when on Friday morning “2 C’s” made a mistake and Chris held the 50lb 12oz Mirror up for some trophy shots. He finished up with nine fish overall, and two stunning fifties amongst them. Brilliant angling mate, well deserved.
The “British Badger” (who wishes to remain anonymous!) got into Alcatraz and initially choose to divide his efforts between the consistent 27.5 wrap spot towards Stink and the hump at 24 wraps. As always, he was using Mainline bait, and went with Link and Essential Cell, mixed with a small quantity of hemp. 5kg went out to the hump and 10kg out to the 27.5 to get the ball rolling. It only took until Sunday evening before he was in action off the open water spot at 27.5. His Mainline Peaches & Cream Wafter with a yellow topper proved too much to resist for “The Punisher”. Down in weight at 48lb after spawning successfully, it is still a stunning looking fish, which Badger was made up with. Just before breakfast on Monday he was in again with the incredibly scaley “Little Plated” at 35lb and followed it up with a new twenty pounder a couple of hours later. He caught consistently for the rest of the week, with the exception of a wobbly Friday. Ending the week with ten fish overall, his consistent baiting and angling were well rewarded.
Gaz Henderson was on his first trip back for a couple of years, and was just glad to be able to take in the amazing atmosphere that surrounds the lake. The carp gods were kind, and gave him ball one in the draw, so he went straight into Bob’s Beach which has been in great form in recent weeks. Gaz just went straight back out to the 22 wrap area towards the Alamo with all three rods. He baited up with a mix of Mainline Activ-8 and Link and fished White Link Wafters on IQ D-Rigs over the top. Starting off with a 10kg mix of boilie, hemp and maize; Gaz was called into action almost immediately on Saturday evening by “The Stranger” which weighed in at 45lb 12oz. Things got evening better on Sunday morning when he landed another forty and a fifty! “Lennie’s” and “The Patched Fully” weighing 47lb 12oz and 53lb 8oz respectively made a seriously happy return for Gaz. He picked off another forty (Dave’s Common at 42lb) and a thirty before the fish drifted out of the area. Good angling was definitely rewarded this week.
Having spent a week on the Road Lake with the Fat Fish lads, Dean “The Excavator” Cullen took advantage of two late cancellations and booked onto the Main for two weeks. For his first week he picked the consistent Stock Pond swim, and just followed on from the week before (no point reinventing the wheel, when its’ been fishing so well). Fishing towards the shallow spit in the far corner, he had one rod at 23 wraps, one at 22 wraps and put one in his near corner at 9.25 wraps. Bait for the week was Mainline Link mixed 50/50 with hemp and maize at a rate of 10kg per day. Initially Dean had a few funny occurrences which we thought were aborted takes, so he took the Heli System off and switched to Running COG leads, IQ D-Rigs baited with two grains of Slow Sinking IB Maize. The switch had the desired effect, and Dean picked up a nice mid-thirty known as “George’s Pride” the next morning. From then on, he got himself a bite a night, ending with five for the week; the biggest fish being the stunning “Grey Plated” at 46lb 4oz.
Pole Position specialist Tobias Ward went into uncharted territory and picked Big Southerly for the week. Once he’d stopped shaking and palpitating from the shock, he set about finding spots to fish for the week! He decided to fish to the left-hand marker Pole at 13.5 wraps and two rods out front at 25 wraps to the small hump left of Alcatraz. Baiting up with PCF Sweet Amino boilie mixed 50/50 with hemp and maize he introduced 6-8kg per day out front at 25 wraps and between 3-5kg on the 13.5 spot. With mainly Northerly winds in the early part of the week, it took a while before the fish turned up. Tobias stuck with the plan, and over the last three days he managed to land three 30’s; the biggest being “Bite Mark” at 37lb 12oz. All the fish fell for Pop-Ups fished on the German Rig.
Dave Martin was in Co’s Point for the week, and having fished it before, had a plan in mind. He fished two rods towards the “Tits” at 28 wraps and one rod shorter at 10 wraps towards Alcatraz. He chose to bait up the longer spot with 6kg of just boilie; a mix of Sticky Krill and Baitworks Royal Marine. The shorter spot got the same boilie, but it was mixed with a bit of maize and a smaller quantity (3kg per day) introduced. Dave then endured some frustrating days as the fish showed in the area, but no bites were forthcoming. He tried making subtle changes to hookbaits and presentation, but in the end, it was just a case of waiting for the fish to get on the bait. On Thursday morning he finally got the chance he had been waiting for and landed a pretty mid twenty. He followed it up on Friday and Saturday mornings with another three fish, the best being “Starburst” at 41lb. Simple combi-rigs with matching Pop-ups did the business for Dave.
Nigel “The Undertaker” Gillard fancied having a crack at Baxter’s as he, like many others; know that the Immaculate Common frequents the area at this time of year! Nigel doesn’t usually fish at medium to long range, so it took a couple of days for him to get in the groove; but by Tuesday he was “Spombing like a God” out to his spot at 22 wraps towards the Stink. He also had a rod close in at six wraps down the right-hand margin. He baited up each day with 5-6kg of Sticky Krill and maize. In the early hours of Thursday morning Nigel had a blistering take of the 22 wrap spot, his Yellow 12mm IB Dumbell fished on an IQ D-Rig had tripped up a fast moving big fish. Playing it like a hero, he gave no quarter and after a prolonged tussle slipped the net under a good sized Common, which looked well over fifty. At 52lb 12oz “The Long Common” was a fantastic result for Nigel.
Ryan Burns was looking for a shorter-range swim, and having omitted to bring his spod rod, Big Birls ticked all the boxes. Fishing only 80yds and being able to bait up by hand. It took a few days for Ryan to settle in, and with some help from the bailiff team on rigs and tackle, we had him casting the rods across to the 22 wrap hot spot. On Tuesday evening his IQ D-Rigs baited with two grains of Slow Sinking IB Maize did the job. He landed a nice mid twenty, and while unhooking that one got another bite and landed the rarely caught “Strauss Family Common” which hadn’t been caught for over 4 years. Special fish that one Ryan….well done.
Jeff Maskell came out late in the draw, but still managed to secure Pole Position. He had a cast around to check for bits and pieces of weed. Satisfied with what he had found, Jeff went out with all three rods at 27.5 wraps at The Stink. He initially baited with just Sticky Krill at a rate of 6kg per day and fished IQ D-Rigs over the top baited with a Krill and Scent From Hell Snowman. After two days, he reduced the boilie down to 3kg and introduced 3kg of hemp and maize which definitely did the trick. On Tuesday night he had to wait until midnight for a 31lb 12oz Mirror known as “Carlos” to slip up, and a 28lb Common on Thursday which he named “El’ Capitano” gave him a good reward for what was a tricky week.
As with all enjoyable weeks spent in good company, the days absolutely flew by. The week ended with a very creditable 47 fish to 77lb 8oz. The fish we have introduced over the last three years are smashing on the weight, with the majority of the 2018 fish in the 18-22lb bracket and the 2017 fish in the 28-32lb. The 2016 fish are around the forty-pound mark, with the biggest being caught at 44lb 12oz! The future is certainly bright for the Main Lake. Well that’s it for another week in paradise, see you next time.
Bonne Peche and Tight Lines
John Allen kindly wrote down how his session unfolded in the Stink, leading to the capture of Chunky.
Hi Andy, regarding my catch report; I came hoping to fish from a long range swim. Remembering my first trip in September 2018 in Stock Pond where long range heavy baiting, the Spombing rang the dinner bell, also you and Danny in Alamo. Ideally wanted Co's Point again this trip, but knew chances were slim. Picked out seven and took The Stink. I wanted it second to Co's Point in my seven week stint, but luck/fate were not quite on my side. Or fate took a hand and dealt me cards I had to work with and get something going. I took fish from all swims and was pleased about that. The Twin was the icing on the cake.
So with Stink chosen I set up my braided Spomb rod with just a lead and found weed pretty much everywhere I cast. My rig doesn’t present well in heavy weed, so I kept feeling around and was delighted to find two clear spots. I always fish two long and one short. So 8 wraps to right in light weed, good. 26 wraps to Baxters was good for a wide area. I deliberately bought boilies, 10mm Urban Baits Nutcracker. Long range spot put out 5kg. My Spombing is deliberately not tight to one spot, its spread to a wide area. Got that done. About 30 boilies were widely sprinkled close in. Some hemp went out close in widely sprinkled. Widely sprinkled is the strategy as my rig is very short, I get the fish, one or many, searching. It’s a kind of training, the fish search and are rewarded with a nice eating treat. Typical animal training, they will only repeat the behaviour if the reward follows. So they find bait and then quickly move to find the next one and on a head turn they set the hook. In the seven weeks I experimented with this Iwas learning where and how, hence twice in Beach and Baxter’s. Treeline I got two fish but it failed, regular big fish visit and feed there and get away with it. Still thinking and working on that. Still thinking about Dee’s big hit on Big Girls? Something will fall into place at some time and that will help me theorise it.
So the main work done, set up bivvy, only had 4hrs sleep in truck on Saturday morning. Woke up, drove to St Dizzier, Decathlon. I woke up and my brain knew I forgot my pump for bivvy and had to buy one. Also I heard they sell good fine braid cheaply there. Found it, got them, then shopping at Brienne-le-Chateau, time was tight, got to lake close to 1pm.
Bivvy went up, then rods. While at home between trips I got out a rig that puzzled me, found it in Treeline. Barbless hook, hand tied in thick mono and at home I set about making it myself. Took a few hours to work it out, very complex, then refined it to my needs. The hook was a different pattern so I found the hook in my local shop; Nash Fang X Long Point. Used it locally for small carp, it is barbless but the long point resists shaking. Ding, I had the light bulb moment. It’s tied in thick mono, two strands, one forms the D-Rig, the other whips the D Shape to the shank of the hook to near the eye. A small O-Ring is first fitted to D as is a bit of shrink tube to secure the D to curve. I tied up five of these rigs and brought to use, trial somewhere, as it happened by fate Stink would be the place.
First evening was a nightmare setting up rods. Close range easy on my old, own tied rig. The two 26 wrap rods close to dusk, things just went wrong. I ran out of time and put two old rigs on, it was so late I couldn’t see the line on water to sink it properly, it was a big mess. Next day I set it all up perfectly, got the new rig on one rod on left at 26 new old rig right at 26. As Chris in Alamo took a forty on his right rod closer to me I had a fish on left rod, close to him. That fish felt 40+ and came off. I had to decide to stick with it and put out again or return to old rig. I went with at again and caught the 77 on that new rig. Baiting up second night was more but light particle and like 30 boilies close in, while 26 got 4kg of particle on top of the boilies with 1kg of extra boilies. 3rd night (last night) I was so knackered from 2 hrs sleep and heaving that fish up and emotionally for getting my dream fish. I slogged it out, putting 3kg of particle, to 2kg boilies. Caught the Stockie on my left rod and it disturbed the other two lines. The 26 went back out, hit the clip and was roughly in the right place, but could only guess if the line sunk and couldn’t set slack line how I wanted it. Looking at it now it’s too tight and I think it makes all the difference. Here ends my report!! Lol