Week Commencing: Sat 21/09/2019
Anticipation had reached fever pitch weeks before the trip, there were hundreds of messages in the WhatsApp group, the “banter” was flowing, it could only mean one thing……the annual Korda Social was on. Every year DF very generously lays on a trip for the lads from Korda HQ to fish on Gigantica and for most it is the highlight of the angling year.
The weather has been very poor overall this year, with weeks and weeks of stale northerly winds and hardly any rain for months. That was all set to change this week with big SW winds, rain, low pressure…it ticked every box in the carpy weather conditions yearbook! The question everyone wanted answering was; would the fish respond to the severe weather changes? We certainly hoped so….
Gareth “Gino” Radley got into The Alamo and with its good recent form and his angling ability; he was sure to get a chance or two during the week. Taking the weather forecast into consideration, Gino sensibly went out to 26 wraps towards Bob’s Beach to ensure he could bait up accurately all week, and not have to wait for the wind to drop. Baiting with the Spomb he put out 6kg per day of Baitworks Royal Marine and a smatter of maize over the 26 wrap spot. He also baited a spot towards the kitchen at 15 wraps with 3kg, but after a couple of days concentrated all his efforts out front. After a quiet start, with the fish staying off the back of the SW wind he got things going with a lovely 27lb 12oz Mirror known as “Schmokin”. The fish fell for a Royal Marine Snowman incorporating a 12mm White Scent from Hell topper on combi-rigs and running leads. In a repeat performance on Wednesday he got himself a cracking Mirror known as “The Punisher” at 47lb 4oz which really got him buzzing. Gino then made a slight tactical change on Thursday, when he decided to chop all the boilies instead of introducing them whole, in an attempt to hold the fish in the baited area longer. This worked well and Gino went on to land a further four fish on Friday and Saturday, with the biggest being “Pecs” at 37lb 12oz. Top angling Gino.
Renowned for getting a below average draw (yes, he does go in the draw, contrary to what some people think) DF decided he would just have the last ball in the bag and then it was out of his hands. He couldn’t believe his luck when ball one was left in there and he had no hesitation going straight into his favourite, Co’s Point. After a good cast around with a pronged lead to check the bottom, he decided to fish at a comfortable 27 wraps which would allow him to fish effectively, even with the strong winds which were forecast.
He initially baited with 10kg of particle 80/20 maize to hemp with a sprinkling of Mainline Link and Fishmeal boilies. The rods were spread from the left-hand side of the “Tits” across to the right-hand side of the “New Tits”. This was to enable recasts in the dark and help keep the fish feeding in the baited area longer. DF started the week off on Dark Matter tubing, running leads and Spinner rigs incorporating 5.5” Ready Tied Booms and Size 4 Long Shank X Hooks with Fishmeal Wafter hookbaits from 12mm Dumbells to 18mm rounds. Sunday morning saw him land a thirty-pounder known as “The Cod” and a twenty pounder on Monday morning then prompted a change of tactics. DF dispensed with the particle and introduced just the Gigantica Feed Pellet.
After putting out 6kg in the early afternoon, his first bite came only an hour later from one of the fast-growing new fish! For the next two days, he got the spot rocking with the pellet only approach and landed another five fish, which were all around the mid-twenties. After every fish he topped up immediately with 20 medium Spombs (around 1kg total weight). In an attempt to get one of the bigger fish he changed the approach again on Thursday, using more boilie and also some particle. The bites kept coming, but unfortunately none of the big girls came out to play. DF showed what can be achieved from the swim with solid fishing and an effective baiting strategy. He ended the week on a very creditable sixteen fish landed from eighteen bites. It was apparent as the week progressed that the big fish were not feeding hard, but if they had been, it’s a safe bet that he would have plundered them.
Ryan Shaw came out early in the draw and went into Bob’s Beach, which is a brilliant swim at this time of year. In recent weeks, the productive area has been at 22 wraps towards The Alamo, which is a nice comfortable range for most anglers. That is where Ryan chose to go, but things got off to a slow start and it took a couple of days before it kicked off for him. On the tactics front, Ryan fished with Mainline Link, mixed 50/50 with hemp and maize and presented snowman hookbaits on combi-rigs and running leads over the top. Just after 4am on Tuesday saw the first bit of action with a nice 30lb Mirror known as “Archie’s” which took the self-induced pressure off. He repeated the 6kg per day baiting up and was rewarded on Wednesday night with a brace of mid-twenties. Cheese and wine on Thursday resulted in a quiet night (on the fish catching front!) for Ryan, although he did manage to get his clothes washed when he left them on top of his bivvy in the pouring rain! It wasn’t over yet though; as on Saturday morning he landed his biggest fish of the week at 39lb 8oz, a fish known as “Short Dorsal”.
Warehouse Dispatch Supervisor and all-round nice bloke Keith “Keef” Rayment went into Baxter’s. He wanted to get in a swim which suited his style of fishing, and the 20-22 wraps with margin spots in Baxter’s was perfect. Keith set up his stall fishing two rods out at 21 wraps towards The Stink and one towards the right-hand corner. Bait for the week was Mainline Link mixed 50/50 with particle which went in at 5-7kg per day. On the technology front, running leads and simple combi-rigs with Link Snowmen comprising of a Garlic Goo infused White Topper on a Link Wafter were the order of the day. Fish were clearly in the area on Saturday night, but the majority of the fish seemed to be showing to the right and closer in than the 21 wrap spot. On Sunday morning he checked the area which had seen the most activity and found a small firm spot with a wicked drop at 13 wraps towards Big Girls. He committed to this spot for the rest of the week. Next morning, he was underway with a thirty pound Common from the 21 spot which settled the nerves and he followed it up with a stunning 28lb 4oz scaley known as “Squeaky Clean” from the new 13 wrap spot. On Wednesday morning Keith had a pick-up which didn’t register on the buzzer, but his rig had been moved twenty yards by some crafty carp! Tight lines and some add-on weights on the bobbins will definitely help overcome this. On a completely different note, we now have concerns that Keith is thinking of making a possible career transition from Korda. During the cheese and wine night on Thursday his prowess as a table dancer had to be seen to be believed (think, Billy Elliot with worms)!! Keep an eye out at Spearmint Rhino in the future……..
At the draw bag you can either be a hero, or a zero. For Korda Coach Rob Burgess it turned out to be the latter when he picked a ball that put him in a corner swim (which he really doesn’t like). Once he’d put his toys back in the pram, he set his gear up in the super consistent Big Girls. Fishing with two rods at 21 wraps on solid bags to start, he helped himself to a brace of twenties on Saturday night (the boy is a terminator). The fish came over 5kg of boilie and particle, so he upped the anti on Sunday night to 10kg to try and extend the bite period. Rob got two more bites on Sunday, landing another brace of twenties and then decided it was time to go big, or go home. He put out 20kg of Mainline Hybrid and particle on Monday afternoon and then experienced liners all night and throughout the next morning, but unfortunately no more fish were landed. We believe that the change in the weather conditions had an effect on Big Girls. It has been getting Northerly winds drifting the fish in for weeks and weeks, but the change to Southerly made the fish change their pattern of behavior. Rob tinkered with rig changes for another night before defecting over to the Road Lake for the last three nights.
Ian “Chaaaaaav, Bail’s, Pum Pum” Bailey got the dubious honour of being thirteenth out of thirteen in the draw. He took it all in his stride like the pro that he is and started the week off in Stock Pond. After a good cast around checking the spots, he chose to fish out in open water at 23 wraps left of Oblivion with two rods and one across at 23 towards the stock pond pipes. After putting out a 8kg buffet of Mainline Link and particle 50/50, he was sorted for the night. Around 10pm on Saturday night he had a massive dropback as his rig placed across to the stock pond pipes was picked up and unfortunately ejected. On Sunday morning Bail’s and Billy decided that they would swap swims for the week, so Bail’s moved into Pole Position and went straight out to the 27.5 spot towards Stink with another 8kg Link and particle “all you can eat” buffet. He presented combi-links and snowmen consisting of a garlic goo infused white topper on running leads over the top. In the early hours of Monday morning a fast take and powerful dogged fight saw Bail’s slip the net under a cracking forty pounder known as “Polly”. The enormous tail and thick tail wrist on the 41lb 4oz mirror explained the epic battle. A pretty mid twenty common on Thursday were a good result for what turned out to be a tricky week.
Carl “Carlos” Hoyle had no hesitation in going back into Oblivion after last years’ great result. The areas’ have changed a little bit this year, so he had a check over to confirm the information that Andy the Bailiff had passed on. Settling on fishing all three rods at 27 wraps towards the big tree left of Beach he put out 6kg of Mainline Hybrid and ISO Sweet mixed with maize. It turned out to be a very quiet start and after three days had passed, Carl decided to follow in the footsteps of DF and introduce pellet over the spot as it seems to bring them to life and get them rocking with the smaller stock fish. The next morning there was a massive bleed coming off the spot, which continued sporadically throughout the day. Just on teatime he finally got the bite he had been waiting patiently for and a twenty-pound mirror was a very welcome sight. Carl started off on IQ D-Rigs and changed over to combi-rigs and Fishmeal Dumbell Wafters (which he borrowed from DF) to get the all-important bite. It was a tricky week for Carl, and that turned out to be his only carp of the week.
As mentioned earlier in the report, Billy “Carpy Fashionista” Bignall started off in Pole Position but wisely decided that fishing slightly shorter suited him better and he moved in Stock Pond after the first night. He chose to fish across to the stock pond pipes at 23 with one rod and the other two rods at 25 and 25.5 more in open water. He baited up with Krill boilies mixed 50/50 with hemp and maize and started off with Krill Wafters on combi-rigs and running leads. In the early hours of Tuesday morning Billy managed to land himself a 26lb Common known as “Almost Legal” which “Popped his Gigantica Cherry”. It was great having him around all week, there was always “top bants” from Billy “Burger Boy”.
Spencer “Ginger Canoe” Chunn selected Big Southerly after following the predicted weather for the week. With strong southerly and south westerly winds forecast, surely the fish would have to pay him a visit at some point during the week. He wisely chose to fish one rod close and two in open water. The left-hand rod was fished at 13.5 wraps towards the marker pole and the other two were fished at 25 wraps on the small hard hump which has done the majority of the bites in recent weeks. With strong headwinds it took a while for Spence to locate the hard spot, but in the end, he found it and got comfortable. Baiting up with buffet of Mainline Link, Cell and Essential Cell with particle Spence put out 8kg per day over the two spots. He started off fishing Banoffee Wafters over the top on D-Rigs, but frustratingly a bite didn’tmaterialisedespite a few fish being seen in the area. Credit to him, Spence stuck with the plan and on Tuesday morning he had a pickup from a 26lb 4oz Mirror known as “Khazi”. In an attempt to get the spot rocking, he switched over to the pellet approach, which yielded fruit on Friday morning with a 25lb original known as “Elizabeth”. Spence was an absolute joy to have around, he is always optimistic and never gives up. He had everyone in stitches with his WhatsApp antics, most of which would be only available to view after the watershed!
The week passed by all too quickly, and everyone had a great laugh. Cheese and Wine night is always the highlight of the week, and the obligatory game of “Beerpong” went down a treat as usual. It was Bailiff Steve’s first Korda trip and he got destroyed three times on the bounce by DF at “Beerpong” resulting in an early night for him and a head like a blind cobbler’s thumb in the morning!
The final tally for the week was 44 fish landed from 50 bites which considering the big fish weren’t feeding hard was an excellent result, showing what can be achieved with good angling. We can’t wait for next years’ trip; being DF’s 50th it’s bound to be a cracker. So until next time……..
Tight Lines and Bonne Peche