An Easing of the Lockdown Madness

Like many of you anglers out there, we were all desperate to get back out on the bank. I’ve just spent the last 6 weeks patrolling and cleaning the lakes, where I bailiff, catching poachers, stopping youths with fires and being verbally abused by members and the general public.

But, put that to one side, it’s not as bad as I thought it would have been. The day came to open the lakes after we were told we could go fishing. I turned up at the lakes, with my mate at 5am, but the gates wouldn’t be opened until 7am. We set our gear on the peg, a big double peg called the Helipad, got the kettle on for our morning coffee, and chilled out for an hour before the rush.

7am came around and we were at the gates, ready to open. We checked the angler’s memberships and licenses were all in order, and let them in. It was like shopping in the Xmas sales, all rushed in to get the best pegs, they were all polite and grateful to be back on the bank.

So, back to angling.

I had set up my stall and got my rods ready to cast out, I was excited to say the least. I had gone for the D-rig on one rod, and a Ronnie rig on the other, with squid and octopus boilies in a snowman style topped with a yellow pop-up for a visual target for the carp. Once I had made up a 3 boilie stringers then attached to the hooks I cast out one rod, approx. under half way across, just shy of the aerator. The other rod was cast to my right, down the margin at the side of a deep bay, in front of an inlet.

Last winter, at a work party there, I was watching the carp in that bay, so I thought it was a good place to start. All was quiet for the next 6 hours but then my right-hand rod burst into life and resulted in a mid-double mirror, which was caught on the D-rig and stringer.

I got my rod back out on the spot and sat waiting with another coffee and a chin wag with my mate. I brought my rods in and decided to go for a walk around the lakes to check on the anglers, making sure they were OK and to check membership cards, etc.

All was OK, with the members, so I got back in my peg and cast back out. Out of the blue, my mate’s rod went into meltdown and he lost it in the snags. It was a big fish so I said get it back on the spot and sprinkle some boilies on to it.

Not long after that I received another take, which felt a little bigger. Whilst playing the carp it came into the margin then tail walked across the front of my peg. I thought I was going to lose it, but it finally went over the cord of my net. It was a big-framed common that weighed in at 22lb 15oz. It was a cracking looking common carp. That day was full of fast action takes up to 4am, catching mid-double commons and mirrors. The bonus was my new bait was working. I had recently been taken on with a bait company, so I was trying it out and, I admit, I was impressed.

The next morning I sat there early, with a coffee, watching the water. Fish were turning and rolling on the other side, so I thought a move was on the cards. I was just about to start putting my gear together when two guys jumped into that peg. I was gutted so I stayed put hoping that they might come back over, they didn’t.

All the next day I watched the guys across from me catching carp. Our side just stayed quiet. I had caught 6 carp, up to 22lb, so I was happy with that but, if I’d moved, I would have had more. Ah well never mind, maybe next time.

The rest of that weekend, and into the next week, I visited the lakes to keep an eye on things, until Wednesday. I returned with my gear, and my son, for two nights and my second session after the lockdown. We managed to get on a double peg, opposite where I was last time. There had been over 70 carp out that week so I thought we would be in for a good session. I got my Wolf X3K Series 3.5lb rods, baited the hooks the same as last time, cast one to an aerator and the other on the margin. My son did the same but, instead of a snowman on both rods, he did one with a single bottom bait with stringers. I had one take, in the early hours, resulting in a low double mirror from the aerator then, that morning my son caught a high double common on the single bait from out in the middle. All the first night we were kept awake with liners, and one carp. I was shattered. Around 9am I brought my rods in and returned to my bailiff duties on the lakes.

Once I got back to my peg I got my rods out, both in the middle, one on a snowman and the other on a single bottom bait, with stringers.

The second night, after tea, the wind calmed down and we sat there watching carp jump and play about the lake. It was like a mirror, flat calm. That night I fell into a deep slumber when I received a take at 2am, then another at 4am, then again at 10am. In all, I had caught four mid double commons and mirrors, nothing bigger this time. I had caught two on snowman and two on bottom baits. But, as much as I watched them in the margins, I couldn’t catch from there. That’s why I changed to the middle of the lake which paid off for me.

Hopefully I will get back on again soon to get a few on my X3K rods. Let’s see what happens.


Tight lines everyone…..

Stay safe…..


Karl Brandreth




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