The Yateley Split lake is located on the West side of the Yateley Complex sandwiched between the Pads, the North and the Car Park lake and is definitely the most mysterious and unchartered water on this side of the road. Nobody seems to know exactly how many or what is resident within the lake. This air of mystery sounded like an exciting challenge, and challenge it has been, both mentally and physically.
Like most of the Yateley Lakes it’s notoriously tricky and has a reputation for being both extremely snaggy and weedy, often compared to a football pitch or meadow. Although Martin who runs the venue has acted on this since taking, over and is actively managing the weed and snags to achieve a better, safer fishery for all that fish it.
I’ve only been able to do single night sessions, mainly on a Friday, so it’s been a case of trying to find the fish and putting yourself in the most likely area possible from what swims are left (making the best of the situation).
I fell in love with the place straight away; there’s something very endearing about the Split, and after seeing some awesome specimens in the snags close up knowing what is in there has really given me inspiration to keep going.
On the whole I’m pretty happy with how I’ve fished as bites have come steadily in that time – only from the wrong species namely the Wells Catfish; and these are also ‘moggies’ of monster proportions too!
Despite listening to many anglers ideas on how best to avoid them I stuck to my guns and it all finally came good on the 11th night of my campaign. During that time I had captured some hefty catfish and double figure bream. Then on my 11th bite I landed my first Split lake carp, a cracking mirror of 33lb 14 oz.
It was an extremely angry old male that pulled out all the stops in attempt to ditch the hook but using a little patience and skill I led him to the folds of my net. The size 4 Covert Incizor held firm in the bottom lip. I had the dual emotions of great excitement and huge relief all at once.
The tactics I’ve been using on the Split Lake have revolved around an aggressive boilie approach using Active Bait Solution’s ‘I-Bait’ and ‘Maple Cream’ boilies fished on either hinged stiff rigs incorporating a size 4 Covert Incizor, 20lb Trip Wire, 25lb Ultra Skin, 35 lb Camflex Leadfree and other Covert components or my balanced bottom bait set up, the Ultra D- Rig. This rig again uses a size 4 Covert Incizor and 25 lb Ultra Skin all of which was tied to my favourite (brutally strong) mono 0.40mm Hydro-Tuff. With the temperatures rising, I think anytime soon the lake will close for a month for spawning, so it may well be a while before I have another go.