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  • Aaron with the mighty Fred 65lb 8oz
  • The tactics used to trick Fred
  • Jack Budd with his first Gigantica fish, The Target 64lb
  • This is what caught Jack The Target @ 64lb
  • The baiting approach in Stink
  • Jack christened his new Kaizen Green's with The Target
  • Wrap Around for Marcus in Big Southerly at 42lb 2oz
  • George in Alamo with this cracker Rising Star 33lb 6oz
  • Rumi's 33lb 10oz from Big Southerly
  • One of our home grown carp, Strap on Sally 33lb 8oz
  • The Sutton at 32lb 12oz for Michael in Stock Pond
  • Michael's baiting and rig approach in Stock Pond
  • Danny with his bit of instant action in Tree Line
  • Michael in Stock Pond with Brizzle @ 30lb 12oz

Aaron with the mighty Fred 65lb 8oz


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Bailiff Comments

Week Commencing: Sat 11/05/2024

It All Comes Good in The End


Another week and another group of excited anglers came through the gates at 1pm ready for any of the challenges that may be ahead of them.

With a full lake of anglers that have all fished the venue before it soon came around to draw time for the swims.  

I think being myside of the draw is certainly a lot more fun than being on the other side of it.  I have experienced it a few times, so I know what the anglers are going through each week.


Even though poor ol’ Aaron Metcalf came out last in the draw, he certainly had a pretty good week in the end.  Aaron pondered long and hard other the remaining swim choices and eventually settled on Oblivion, as this area put him as close as he could get to where the week previous most of the fish had been coming from.

It took a couple of days before Aaron had settled into his swim to be fair, and it was also a very frustrating time for him as all over his swim in his words “it is like a trout farm out their”.  There was fish showing everywhere, so choosing areas to target with just the three rods was giving him grounds for thoughts of what to do.

Despite trying a few different areas and a couple of different tactics, he found an area at 19 wraps in the direction of Bob’s Beach as he looked that certainly felt good to him and took his fancy.

And it took until Wednesday morning that when on the breakfast round we came across a much happier looking Aaron.  He had just had one of this new area!  33lb 8oz of ‘Strap on Sally’ was his reward for all the hard work and effort he had put into the swim.

Then for the next couple of mornings it was a similar story, at each breakfast run he had a sling in the water with one awaiting its pictures.

On the Thursday a slightly smaller one had come to visit him, this one was called ‘The Baby Koi’ and weighed in at 22lb 8oz.  Aaron was still hopeful of nicking a good’un before the end of the week and this certainly came true for him Friday morning when I had put his net under what for me can only be described as one of, or if not, the best-looking fish at Gigantica, and maybe France!

He had already identified it as being ‘Fred’.  There is no mistaking this fish when you see it, it is just an unbelievably good-looking carp!  Fred eventually spun the dials on the scales around to 65lb 8oz, a new top weight for this fish to.  A small gathering had descended upon his swim to share this moment with him, and rightly so, it is not every day that you get to witness such an amazing carp as this one.

Aaron spent the rest of the day on a massive buzz, as you could imagine!  

His rigs that were producing the goods for him was IQ-D rigs using size 4 Wide Gape hooks, with 2 grains of slow sinking corn for hook bait, this was set up on a lead clip system with tubing.  Bait wise Aaron was introducing a mixture of boilie, maize and pellet over the area at about 2-3kg a day.  Really well-done mate, you stuck to it and kept working the swim and got your reward at the end of it. 


Another nice success story of the week comes from Jack Budd, again coming out at the later end of the draw selected to drop into The Stink for the duration of his stay with us.

Again, like Aaron he kept at it in the knowledge that he was in a swim that is not noted for its big hits, but more so for its history of doing better sized fish.  And this was how it was going to unfold for him.

Despite having to wait right up until mid-afternoon on the Friday for his first bite it was well worth it.  I was down in Oblivion at the time doing some rig shots when we heard an almighty cheer go up.  Something good had been landed by the sound of it, so I set off in that direction and arriving in the swim I could see a very happy chap in Jack, it’s a good’un he informed me and as soon as I looked in the net, I identified it straight away as ‘The Target’.  Not a bad way to open your account on Gigantica, this was his first fish from the Lake and a new P.B. at the same time.  He informed me that in another couple of minutes that rod would have been wound in as he was in the process of bringing the rods in!

This fish was caught at a very comfortable range of 15 wraps out towards Alcatraz as he looked, not that far out in a swim that commands a lot of open water.  But fishing shorter in these swims at this time of year does seem to be the one.

Spinner rigs on Heli Safe leaders was his tactics.  The rigs being constructed from Boom material and size 4 Krank Kamakura hooks.  Hook bait of choice was Atlantic Heat bottom bait with a Pineapple pop up presented on top snowman style.  Free offerings comprised of a mixture of chops from the Baitwork’s stable with corn and maize.

This was the only piece of the action for Jack this week, but what a way to end you holiday with an amazing and very sought after creature like this one.  Very well-done and congratulations again on your new P.B.


Marcus Bridges managed to get into a swim he fancied trying his hand at, this being Big Southerly.  With the weather this week due to be primarily blowing into this area after the first couple of days he felt he would be ahead of the game and set up and ready for when the fish turned up.

This worked well for Marcus, as come the weather change on the Monday this also brought along with-it Marcus’s first fish of the trip.  Rumi’s weighing in at 33lb 10oz and taken from the long spot in this swim at 25 wraps to the left of Alcatraz as he looked out from the swim.  This was caught on a spinner rig made up using a size 4 Krank hook, Boom material and a Hybrid lead clip arrangement.  Marcus had baited up with approx. 5kg of boilie, Atlantic Heat, and a coating of hemp and salmon oil for good measure.  The hook bait that tempted this on was a good old classic Mulberry pop up.

It wasn’t until Wednesday that some more action happened for Marcus.  A rod cast short down to his left-hand margin was barely in the water for a matter of minutes before it was away, and a lovely original scaly carp laid in his landing net.  Smokey weighing in at just under 30lb at 29lb 6oz, but weight really does not matter when they look like this one.  Again, same rig tactics as before helped land this one.

Just as we had wrapped up the photos of this one and I was about to be on my way, one of his other rods gave out a couple of beeps and he was away!

This time this fish had been tempted by his zig out there in front of him at approx. 15 wraps.  A lovely common eventually made its way into his awaiting net, after a bit of a moment with it picking up his other line in the process.

Wrap Around at a very welcomed weight of 42lb 2oz.  This as I mentioned was tempted by a zig and a brown piece of foam this time around.

Well done this week Marcus, the lake is fishing tough now so to get a hattrick of fish you have done well.


Michael Forster managed a good draw this week a put himself in one of the better swims from last week, Stock Pond.  Lots of fish are hanging around this area now with spawning not too far away and this being an area that they like to take part in this annual event put him right in amongst a number of fish.  It certainly good for a bite at this time of year in this swim, but it can be a numbers game wadding through some of the smaller fish.

It didn’t take Michael too long to have his first one in the net, although it was possibly one of the smallest in the lake, being an escaped stocky from our pond near the main lodge.

Michael managed to also catch one of the original scaly fish on the Wednesday evening, this being ‘The Sutton’ weighing 32lb 12oz.

6 carp paid him a visit this week, all be it mainly the smaller end of the fish he still very much enjoyed his fishing and kept a smile on all week.  All of Michaels fish came from the 9 wrap spot into his right hand corner and by keeping disturbance to a minimum he walked around to bait u from the bank, and this bait comprised of boilie crumb/ground bait, whole boilie, corn and pellet.

Hook bait was naturally 2 grains of slow sinking corn mounted to a swivel on the hook shank and the hook of choice being a very sharp wide gape.

This was presented on a Heli Safe leader set up.

Well done Michael on your session.


Over in Tree Line this week we had Danny Cartright.  Danny had a good draw this week and it was an easy decision to plot himself up in here as on the walk around it was all obvious for us all to see that a lot of carp were in front of this swim as you could have almost walked across them.

It was obvious that the angler in here this week would just need to place a zig out amongst the fish for a quick bite, and that is exactly what happened.

I doubt that he had had his 18ft zig in the water for a little over the hour and he had a fish in the net.  This one was ‘Weltons’ weighing in at 22lb 4oz.  Well done and an instant start to your weeks fishing!

Sadly, this is where Danny’s story ends, as despite his hardest efforts and trying different things he just could not get himself another bite.  I’m sure you will be back again mate, I’m sure that the lake owes you.


Lastly on my list to report is George Smith, who coming out ball 1 put himself into The Alamo.  George stuck to his plan all week fishing his chosen area out in front of him at range and despite having the odd few fish showing in and around the area and slicks coming up off the spot it never resulted in any pick-ups.  Towards the very end of the week George tried one rod a little shorter at 21 wraps and was rewarded for his patience and change in tactic on the Friday with a fish that wouldn’t look out of place in a venue such as Wraysbury, ‘Rising Star’ at 33lb 6oz.  This carp looked mega, as all these original scaly fish at Gigantica do.

George caught this fish on a 15mm yellow wafter on a D’Rig set up fishing over a mixture of pellet and Atlantic Heat boilies.

Just the one fish from here this week but what a great looking fish it was, well done bud.


Overall, a real mixed week that took a little while to build a bit of momentum towards the end of the week, but as they say it would be boring if you caught all the time………. but if I am honest, I wouldn’t mind giving that a try.


Tight Lines