As work had been super busy, I was really looking forward to having two weeks off and getting some bank time in whilst on holiday. I had recently finished a feature for the Angling Times on the Kracking Carp Lake at Anglers Paradise and I found myself with another three deadlines looming. Two of the features were going to be based at Digger Lakes in Devon. Digger is a venue lake I had only ever walked around once and it had gained a reputation for being a head banger for a large percentage of anglers. With approximately 150 fish in 5 acres you would assume that catching a handful each session would be frequent, well not on this lake. With numerous channels and bays, this gives the carp loads of nooks and crannies to hide away in and escape any pressure. Every swim at Digger has a real carpy feel to it, with large sets of lily pads and lush over grown margins. The lake contains 2-3 thirties, at least ten upper twenties and offers many anglers a good chance of a big fish for south west standards.
My first visit to the venue with the kit, coincided with a feature for the Angling Times (due out in October) and luckily everything fell into place. During a 48 hour session, I managed to land fourteen carp, which included eleven doubles and three fish weighing over 20lbs. The pick of the bunch was a fish known as the Half Lin, which tipped the scales at 27lb+. I worked incredibly hard during that first session and moved four times to make sure I kept on the fish.
I returned to Digger three weeks later and I managed to emulate my previous success, again landing fourteen fish to 22lb. Instead of chasing them around the pond, I found the fish held up in one particular area and I was able to capitalise on this. With the photo’s being held for an article due out very soon (which is why I haven’t included them in this piece), I was keen to get back to the lake at the earliest opportunity. Luckily I managed to tweak my diary and it wasn’t long before I was back for a day only session.
With success on my previous two visits to the venue, I saw no need to change my approach and I kept with my standard combi-rig presentation tied using a 20lb Trick-Link boom section, Trickster Heavy and a size 6 Covert Mugga hook. This stiff rig combi-rig has landed me my last 126 take’s (when I started counting) and I am mega confident using it in any situations, even like then when fishing against snags. On small intimate venues such as Digger, I favour Mirage Fluorocarbon, which helps to keep the line pinned to the deck and out the way of the fish. After a few laps around the lake, I managed to locate a few fish in a swim called Guys. This was a swim I had fished on my only to visits to the lake (landing 20 of the 28 fish I had caught from this particular swim) which allowed me to get the rods out with the minimum of disturbance. Understandably my confidence was high and I sat back to see what would unfold.
Thirty minutes later, the left hand rod positioned tight to the pads bent round on a tight line and I was away. After a spirited fight, I netted a pretty mid double mirror, which I was delighted about. As normal, it was nailed on a Covert Mugga and it certainly wasn’t going to fall off. With a few snaps she was returned home to her watery earth ready to fight another day. I quickly got the rods back out and scattered another forty Cell and Hybrid boilies over top.
The afternoon passed quietly, except for the odd pike chasing the shoals of fry. As the afternoon merged into the evening, out of the blue I heard an almighty splash, quickly followed by the right hand rod looping round and the buzzer singing it’s merry tune. After a good tussle, the second fish of the day was soon in the net.
Almost as soon as I returned the fish, the left rod hooped round again and after a few seconds I knew I was into a better fish. After snagging me in the pads twice, I eventually netted a low 20lb mirror snared in a giant ball of weed. At 21lb 1oz, I was made up to say the least. As dark fell I managed another bite from the right rod which resulted in a low double.
As darkness loomed, I packed up and headed home a happy boy. Four fish in eight hours was good enough for me and great sport from an even greater day ticket venue.