Carp Fishing – Angling at a Tangent – By Lewis Read

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Carp Fishing – Angling at a Tangent – By Lewis Read

The year blew in rainy and mild – Friday nights huddled under ‘the Beards’ little brolly talking utterly hysterical nonsense with Meeky, Marcus and anyone else unfortunate to be in ear shot. It was a lovely way to see the year in, if not a little selfish, as the prime motivation to get down to Ringwood each weekend was not only the carp but the pure escapism it offered from watching someone I love slowly waste away…

The methods employed were sound, but the timing (or getting in the appropriate areas in the key weather windows) was just out! So close… When word came out that Gaz had had a few, no one was surprised. Just a tad unimpressed at the secrecy and skulduggery of covering them up the captures in an otherwise open syndicate. Well done Wolf Boy, it was fine angling…

A new rig I had been showed seemed to make a difference, as did the application of a delicious, yet largely forgotten particle.

Unbeknown, my dedicated ‘one water’ Roach Pit mindset was about to change.

My good friend ‘Jabba Jabberson’ got offered his Welly ticket and as we had both put our names down on the same day several years before I presumed I would be offered mine too. Now that would be interesting – all those wonderful, big, bold, bruising carp 10 minutes from home… the close proximity of the venue itself would offset the cost of the ticket in diesel savings over a course of a year’s driving backwards and forwards to the New Forest. At least that’s what I pointed out to the long suffering (yet adorable) Mrs Read…

There followed a month or so of frantic phone calls as I secured my ticket through a network of friends that helped introduce me to the syndicate leaders and iron out a little hiccup that almost had me not get my dream ticket… Thanks StottGod – I still owe you for that (and the bent bivvy)…

In reality my 2015 angling didn’t really come to any sort of fruition until summer when I managed a few bites from Roach – nothing big but I was over the moon with each and every one. A new rig I had been showed seemed to make a difference, as did the application of a delicious, yet largely forgotten particle.

I managed a few bites from Roach – nothing big but I was over the moon with each and every one.

By the time June the 1st finally arrived I had a Welly ticket in my hand but an imminent funeral to attend put angling temporarily on hold. It was a sad time – but my angling (and the buzz of starting on Welly) was such a distraction that it calmed the storm, largely.

When I finally got on the lake I found a wonderfully friendly syndicate, with a few faces I knew, but many new friends in the making. The angling proved to be exceptionally good – as I had hoped and expected and up until a pretty serious algae boom (which killed the weed and saw the management close the lake on a precautionary basis to protect the stock). Eminently sensible too.

Members of the syndicate assisted the hard working (toiling) Peter in removing as much of the dead weed as possible. Boy that man grafted for weeks… By the time the O2 levels had stabilized at night and the lake was re-opened the water temperature had just started to drop and it turned out that I only had a short window to capitalise on the ‘bobbins bonanza’ that the particle was bringing… (A slight exaggeration but I love that phrase!)

I have fished consistently 3 nights a week since the ticket began, and bar the closure and a week away with Mrs and Miss Read, a week at Rainbow (which I’ll come back to in a minute) and a week working in the Czech Republic catching pasties – but what an adventure. I tell you that’s a properly long days driving getting there in one hit! It’s amazing how far you can go fuelled by Red Bull and the ‘desire to get it done’. It was a fun trip making some promotional materials with our Czech customer – and it was great to have the company of young Calum Kletta.

After a few speculative nights dotted around the lake I finally pinned a good number of fish down in Bramble – culminating in a PB of 49lb 14oz.

By the time I got back I was more than eager to get back to Welly, and after a few speculative nights dotted around the lake I finally pinned a good number of fish down in Bramble – culminating in a PB of 49lb 14oz from the New Swim on a ‘clone’ rigged Carp Co Nut mix boilie. The fish were coming and going during the dead of night, and if you were awake long enough you invariably heard them coming or going through the channel in and out the bay in the early hours.

To say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement, and the bite had come from close in during the morning as the sun beamed down on a lovely margin…

I think she was my 18th (or 19th) carp from the lake since June, and the rest had included a few of the lakes burgeoning A-team, just down in weight after a good heavy spawning.

That reminds me – certainly one highlight was taking Sophie, my 10 year old daughter, down the lake for her annual nights angling with me. It was during a phase when I had been catching a few from a pretty neglected swim called ‘The Reeds’ (should be called the Read’s but no one seems to take any notice when I say that!). She is most certainly my lucky mascot, as I managed a 3 fish catch in a hectic night of activity that saw each rod go off. Obviously, I’ve told her she has to come fishing with me more, as the year before I had captured a brace out of the lovely (yet tricky) Pit 4 at Frimley when she had joined me…

Sophie is most certainly my lucky mascot, as I managed a 3 fish catch in a hectic night of activity that saw each rod go off.

Anyway, back to the year that has been! The trip to Rainbow was an eye opener; and I was certainly being chaperoned by an angler with a great experience base and understanding of the venue really helped (none other than the lovely Mr Steve Broad). Not that we hauled – far from it. To describe the week in swim 14 as difficult would be an understatement, but the insight gained into the unique approach to fishing at Rainbow was truly refreshing. Don’t believe all the hype you read – as the methods evolving there are designed to reduce the risk to the fish in a pretty mind blowing environment. Put it this way I don’t think a fraction of the carp caught would be landed if it wasn’t for the use of large floats up the line and very stout tackle. We both caught a Rainbow carp each, and whilst it wasn’t the mental big fish activity I had imagined, it was a terrific week in terrific company. If you ever get a chance to go – do it…

The trip to Rainbow was an eye opener. It was a terrific week in terrific company.

Right where was I? Welly…

After the capture of Little Big Head the bay did a couple of MONSTER commons a couple of weeks later. In honesty a few of us knew they were in there by this point – and again ‘timing’ came into play. The anglers that caught The Big Common and The Chinese Common (Pickie and Hayden) did everything dead right and fully deserved the captures. What an amazing lake! Doing two 50lb commons in less than 24 hours from swims a stone’s throw away from one another. No wonder I can’t sleep at night when I go angling there! First night is always ‘insomnia night’, especially when you’re getting the tell tale single bleeps as the big fish nose around on the bait, nudging the Mirage Fluorocarbon about occasionally. God I love it there (you may have noticed).

The Autumn ticked by slowly, and the spree of big fish captures all the members expected never really materialised. The lake did a few bites – sporadically – but with no consistency. Probably top of the tree in terms of fish captures during this short period was my mate Greg (‘Jabba Jabbason’) who did something a little different and nabbed a mid forty and a fifty in a couple of weeks at the start of November. Definitely a very gifted angler…

No need to much about with rigs. The'Clone' did the job all year.

Finally, after a fair bit of ‘toil in the fields’ I put myself in the right place at the right time and my season so far culminated in another PB – a stunning bruiser of a Mirror called ‘Shoulders’ that scraped over 50lb! To stay I was stunned and thrilled would be an understatement. The capture (at the end of November) has been carrying me onwards so far into the winter. Despite still fishing as much as I can, and just had 1 iffy pick up since then I’m still utterly addicted to the whole Country Park experience – and unless its frozen I’ll be going back.

’Today’ is Friday 9th January and I’m sat here in Gardner HQ knocking out this little website piece, absolutely thrilled at the prospect of a wild, windy, wet set up after dark this evening – just to be on the banks again and hopefully in with a shout…

I can’t sufficiently convey how the prospect of spring on Welly at the moment fills my stomach with butterfly’s of anticipation and excitement. Long may this undying love of carp fishing endure…

Finally, wherever you fish in 2015, I hope you have a fantastic year!
A stunning bruiser of a Mirror called ‘Shoulders’ that scraped over 50lb!

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