Week Commencing: Sat 11/01/2020
Steve French continues his run of French Monster hauling.
The weather forecast greeting the six anglers, was looking very favourable for the time of year. With daytime highs of twelve degrees and mild overnight temperatures, things were looking good.
Having had an unbelievable October trip, culminating in the capture of The Immaculate Common, winter regular, Steve French was back for another go. Coming out last in the draw for swims, after much deliberation he went back into the Beach (scene of the Immaculate capture). He was clearly unsettled, and after two quiet nights decided a move across to Big Southerly was the “one”. After having a lead around, Steve settled on two rods out front at 20.5 wraps and one down the left margin at 14 wraps.
His bait mix for the week consisted of 10mm Sticky Manilla and CC Moore Live System soaked in lake water, then crumbed and whole baits were mixed with sweetcorn and a dash of hemp oil 50/50. Steve put out 20 large Spombs on the twenty-wrap spot and only six on the margin rod, with his solid PVA bags over the top. He is an expert bag angler, and his rigs comprise of 4.5” of 18lb Supernatural, Size 4 Kamakura Wide Gape B hooks fished blowback style with a kicker. An inline 3.5oz flat pear and 30cm Dark Matter leader completed the setup.
With a brisk Southerly wind pushing into the swim, Steve was confident he had made the right move. At 3.15 in the morning he received a steady take on the left-hand margin rod and landed himself a cracking 41lb 8oz Common known as “Lashes”. This fish is one of the 2016 stock fish, which went into the lake in 2016 at 6lb 8oz! He got the rod straight back out with a fresh bag and stayed awake listening out for the fish. At 6.30am he was in again on the recast rod, but this time with a far more spectacular result…
Andy the bailiff was summoned and recalls that Steve ringing at that time of day, could only mean one thing…….Superbeast! When I arrived round at the swim Steve had the fish nestled safely in the net and mentioned that the fish had a small black mark on its left flank. It could be only one fish…..Robert’s. That fish 100% lives in the snag and was caught from the same area last year at the end of winter. We transferred the fish to the retainer ready for some shots in the daylight. Steve is on a two-week trip and with seven nights still to go, the odds are definitely in his favor of him landing another beast. Congratulations mate.
Matt Shepherd got the chance to fish in the hottest swim, which has produced well over 100 fish in recent weeks. Co’s Point has fish stacked up out in front and they seem to be constantly feeding. It was going to be no easy task following in the footsteps of DF, as his results were exceptional, but fair play to Matt for giving it a go. It was the same 28 wrap spot that he chose to fish and used a bait mix consisting of hemp, maize, chopped and crumbed boilie. Twenty Spombs got the ball rolling and he fished two grains of IB Slow Sinking Maize on Combi-Rigs over the top.
After a quiet first night Andy the Bailiff gave a bit of assistance to tidy up the casting, as it is imperative that you fish tidy and hit the clip every time to keep the bait tight. Matt ‘got it’ straight away and almost immediately started picking up bites. He established a pattern of feeding half a dozen Spombs after every fish and was catching three or four fish a day. The main bite time was from first light through till mid-afternoon, with the nights being very quiet. Matt came with a PB of 36lb to beat, but on this occasion, none of the bigger fish came his way. He ended the week with 20 fish including three x 30’s.
Roy Prodger went into the Alamo and settled on fishing the right-hand side. He went out to 31 wraps towards the big tree left of Beach and also had one at 15 wraps towards the kitchen roof. On the bait from he used crumbed Mainline Essential Cell mixed with sweetcorn and got straight at it. Initially he put out three Spombs then put a rod out. Having put the line into the line clip he turned around to cast the next rod and noticed that the line had come out of the clip on the first rod. He went to reset it, then realised that it was actually a bite and had almost been picked up on the drop! After on half an hour in the swim he landed himself a 31lb Mirror known as “Brian the Bully”. What a great way to start.
Roy started hearing the fish closer in and down to the left, so we were optimistic of him picking one up off the fifteen-wrap spot. He had another chance on Sunday, but after the fish got around one of his other lines, it unfortunately came off. Monday morning saw another chance and he landed one of the new fish. His bites came to two grains of slow sinking maize on Combi-Rigs. Inexplicably, that was the end of the action for the week.
After about half an hour of deliberation at the draw, James Hayden went next door to Roy in The Stink. He decided to split his rods, fishing two at 27 wraps to the right of Baxter’s and one to the right-hand side of the swim. He used 10mm Mainline Hybrid which he crumbed and chopped and then mixed with maize and introduced at a rate of 20 Spombs per day. He presented an Indian Spice Pop Up over the top and after landing a Tench on his first two nights, he connected with a much better fish on Monday. The culprit turned out to be a 44lb 4oz Common known as “The Rocke” which is a rare visitor to the bank.
Martin Lenaghan went straight into Alcatraz and started out fishing one rod on the hump at 24 wraps and two out towards Big Southerly at 31 wraps. He baited up with Mainline Cell and ISO-Sweet which he crushed and mixed with maize and Smart Liquid. Starting off with twenty Spombs of bait, he presented a Pineapple Pop-Up on a Spinner Rig using a helicopter presentation. He got off to a good start on Sunday when he landed a 29lb Mirror known as “Violet” off the 31-wrap spot and then things went a bit quiet. One of the keys to fishing in the winter is not to chase the fish around the swim, as you end up with bait spread everywhere and just extend the amount of time it takes to get a bite. Martin thought this was worth a shot and started another spot out towards the Stink. Unfortunately, on this occasion that was the last of his bites.
Andy the Bailiff had a couple of nights in Baxter’s, fishing a spot at 16 wraps which doesn’t see much bait. The fish never came through the swim, but the one that is noticeable this winter, is that the fish are still feeding, but they nearly always come off the spots which are baited regularly. There is no requirement to fish at extreme long range, just the usual 27/28 wrap spots in the open water swims seems to do the business.
The boys managed to end the week on 27 Fish up to 73lb.....not a bad result for January!
Until next time.........Tight Lines and Bonne Peche