Week Commencing: Sat 04/01/2020
Nathan has the best laugh ever and DF destroys them.
Happy New Year to everyone, we hope you had a great Christmas and are looking forward to your 2020 trips. Our first guests of the year were keen to get started. We had a group of five mates and DF himself was booked on to film a Winter Masterclass. With very favourable weather for the time of year, a bite or two was surely on the cards. With mainly Southerly/South Westerly winds for the week, a full moon and low pressure, we couldn’t have asked for much more.
Nathan Donovan (brother of Jason!) came last out of the draw, but still got the chance to have a go in The Alamo; a long proven big fish swim. He set out his stall fishing all three rods at 27 wraps towards the big tree left of Beach. Bait for the week was Mainline Fyber which he chopped and crumbed, mixed it 50/50 with hemp and maize, then “garnished” it with some Pineapple Supreme Goo.
He was struggling to hit the 27-wrap spot consistently, so Andy the Bailiff went to give some pointers. Nathan won’t mind us using him as an example of what we see regularly at Gigantica. He had a beast of a Spod Rod, but he had a reel which was underfilled with 35lb Whiplash. The resistance this caused was restricting his distance massively, and the Midi Spomb wouldn’t get the distance. A quick respool with standard Korda Spod Braid and an Armacord shock leader made a lot of difference. Once his casting technique had been adjusted he was “Spombing like God”. We want all our customers to achieve their potential......if you need help; just ask; it’s what we’re here to do.
On Monday lunchtime Nathans’ Multi-Rig baited with a Pink Fruitella Pop-Up was picked up by something seriously special. We track all our fish, and certain big ones have a habit of going missing for a couple of years. As it turned out Nathan was attached to one of the missing big girls. After a long, heavy fight he called Andy to say he had a big fish in the net, which looked like sixty plus. Looking into the net, Andy’s first estimate was it’s f**king mahoosive, must be 80lb. DF and the cameras were summoned and we hoisted “The Giggler” onto the scales. After a double weigh to make sure, DF called the weight at 84lb 8oz!! Last caught, two and half years ago at 61lb it had absolutely piled on the weight without being caught. What an epic capture. There aren’t many anglers who have an eighty pounder in their portfolio; let alone catching one in January.
The Gaffer/DF was in Co’s Point for the week, and it would be fair to say, he was very keen to get going considering recent results. Having fished the lake for ten years and always keeping in touch with what is going on, he knows exactly where he wants to fish, how he wants to fish and comes prepared accordingly. Dan gets all his information from the bailiffs who are permanently at the lake and trusts their judgement. With the WhatsApp groups we set up for visiting anglers, you can ask any questions you like to put you in the same position. We want all our guests to catch, it is our mission in life.
Dan started off fishing the “going” spot at 28 wraps straight out towards the “Tits” and baited with 30 medium Spombs of crumbed Mainline Fyber, sweetcorn and hemp. Rigs were 6” booms with Armakord Combi’s and a prototype size 4 hook set up on Helisafe’s. Hookbaits were Pink Almond Pop-ups with two plastic red maggots on top. He received his first bite at 4pm from a low twenty and had another two fish of a similar size before winding the rods in at 10pm in order to get some sleep.
He was up and at it before first light on Sunday, putting out 12 Spombs and put out two Pink Almonds and one 12mm Yellow Isotonic Pop-up over the top. He picked up four fish on the Pink Almonds during the day, but the Isotonic didn’t seem to be the one. Andy the Bailiff had a few fish that afternoon which fell for two grains of slow sinking IB maize. The next morning Dan switched one of the rods to the IB maize and it literally went straight away. That was clearly what they wanted, as he switched all three rods to the IB maize and never looked back.
Due to filming and needing to get some sleep, he was winding the rods in and putting them out just before first light almond with 12-20 Spombs of bait. So essentially, he was fishing days only, which we believe helped to hold the fish and have them feeding confidently each morning. After dropping a couple of fish on the heli’s he made the change to running leads and that was the one for the remainder of the week.
Getting bites in January is always a bonus, but Dan was absolutely slaying them. Most days would see eight or nine fish find their way to his net, including a couple of better ones. Just before winding the rods in on Tuesday evening he received another take and this time the result was one of the special original fish known as “Shakey”. A super long Mirror with massive paddles. On the scales it went 53lb 8oz, so its first time over the magical 50lb barrier. The next morning, he had “Big Mac” at 52lb. It was interesting to see that the better fish came in quick succession, which indicates that there were definitely windows where the bigger were feeding.
By the end of the week, Dan had amassed the biggest haul of fish we have seen in the last ten years! He landed an unbelievable 64 fish from 70 bites, including; 2 x 50’s, 3 x 40’s, 7 x 30’s, 32 x 20’s and 20 x doubles. This just goes to demonstrate that getting the tactics right when the fish are on you can yield great results. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all you have to do is smack a bit of bait out and the fish will walk up the lines. The amount of effort and work rate that Dan puts into his fishing is relentless. He is always looking for the next bite and never stops until it comes. Fantastic angling......#terminator
Paul Higham fancied having a go in Big Southerly and with the favourable southerly winds, seemed like a good shout. He set his stall out fishing two rods on the small hump at 25 wraps and on to the left-hand marker pole at 13.5 wraps. Bait for the week was hemp, corn and boilie crumb. He started with twenty Spombs out to the 25 area and 10 on the marker pole spot. The first three days were fairly quiet, with nothing much being heard at night. On Thursday the wind started to shift round from Southerly to Northerly and all of a sudden, the activity increased. During darkness on Thursday night the fish started to show closer in, surely it was only a matter of time before one slipped up. At 2am on Saturday morning, he finally got the chance he had waited so patiently for when the rod on the marker pole trundled off. After a tense battle, he slipped the net under a decent size Common. It turned out to be one of the snag residents known as “Bernard’s” who nearly always comes from Stink or Big Southerly. Paul has had some bad luck on his recent French trips so a 46lb Common made the week for him. Well done mate.
Andy the Bailiff dropped into the vacant Pole Position and with time running out, he chose to just put out some bait on Saturday afternoon, then put the rods out on Sunday, once everyone was settled in. Twenty Spombs of plain hemp and sweetcorn went out to 28 wraps and on Sunday lunchtime the rods were cast over the top. Two rods were fished on a small yellow Pop-up with two fake maggots on top. The other rod went out on two grains of IB slow sinking maize on a spinner rig. Within the hour the maize rod had been picked up by a pretty double mirror, so a switch on the other rods did the trick, with six fish landed in the next four hours, including two thirties.
After couple of quiet days, the wind changed northerly and the fish started to drift back. Over the last two days of the week another ten fish came his way. The key to getting the bites quickly is to not over feed the fish. Two or three Spombs after a couple of fish was enough to keep them in the area and hungry. By introducing larger quantities of bait, you just increase the amount of time it takes to get a bite. Additionally, baiting and casting accurately is imperative, so always fish in your comfort zone to make things easy if the weather changes. Andy finished with 16 fish including 4 x 30’s, 7 x 20’s and 5 x doubles.
The week was absolutely fantastic, spent with a brilliant group of lads. The return trip has already been booked for next year, so that is something to look forward to. The final tally at the end of the week was an unbeleivable 83 fish landed from 90 bites, which for the time of year is exceptional. We can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the winter.
Until next time
Tight Lines and Bonne Peche