Carp Fishing ~ More Highs Than Lows (Part 1) ~ Rick Golder

Once the winter came, I had a few sessions on a local lake with a friend, Adam. It was great to have some social trips, as the rest of the year I never do it; my fishing is always totally on my own. We had some success too with my best at 27lb, and Adam having a stunning 34lb common on one of the colder days of what was generally a nice mild winter. These trips also gave me the chance to try out some new things for the season ahead, some of which I liked and have taken into my angling full time. I had been given a new prototype pop-up hook of the Covert Dark Chod Hooks, and these were perfect for both my chod and stiff link fishing. The tester ones were uncoated, and came in a silver stainless finish, but they had done me well. The colour certainly hadn’t put the fish off, but as I began running low, I couldn’t wait for the new coated ones to arrive, as they are sure to be another edge.

Once mid February came, and the days started to draw out, I began my proper session fishing again. With these longer days, I’m sure we carp anglers think that is it, the spring is here and the fish are all going to be really having it. That is certainly not the case, and a cold spring can be worse in results terms than a bitter long winter. It was nice to get digging out the kit I needed for longer trips like the turkey curry I’d frozen, made with the leftovers of Christmas, but I still kept the thermals and hot water bottle in.

I had a couple of trips to Kingsmead with the knowledge that it had produced a few, and hopefully there was a chance of an early fish. It looked bleak though, and with nothing to go on, I had to make a couple of guesses as to where to start. The first trip was a bit of a disaster in that I lost a good fish. I started off in one swim, on a guess, but in truth it was one of the popular ones, which I vowed not to do! One night in there, on the end of a cold wind I couldn’t get out of, and with stronger winds forecast, I hastily packed the gear at first light and headed round to the opposite side, which was flat calm and in the sun. As the day wore on I could tell things weren’t going to plan, as the wind swapped round, back into me, and a bank of black clouds brought hail and cold rain that made it look and feel like December. I had the rods out well, but as the wind increased, I doubted I could have accurately hit the spot at 70 yards again in what was proving pretty uncomfortable conditions.

That night the wind built up more, with bits of branches falling from the trees and waves hitting the boards at the front of the swim and sending spray right up the bank. Twice that night I had the rods blown off the rests, and when the buzzer on the right hand rod let out another series of bleeps in the early hours and in the absolute height of it, with me hanging on to the brolly, I imagined it was another branch blowing through the lines. In truth I wasn’t that quick to get out, and when I did I found myself attached to a fish that was plodding round out in what looked like the North Sea out there. It was hard holding the rod vertical in the wind, and I got it all the way back, only for it to drop off at the net!

The next trip wasn’t much better either; the first night was one of solid rain, while the second night the sky finally cleared, and it dropped down to -3! I was already getting fed up with poor weather, and the spring couldn’t come quickly enough.

The lake closed in mid-March, but I had other plans for another local lake that I don’t fish much now, but is always good for an early bite, as it seems to wake up earlier than most of the ones in the same area. I had a couple of walks round, each time with the marker rod and a kilo or so of my favourite Essential B5, but I already had a good idea of the first places to look for them. Spring and snags are joined at the hip in my mind, and this lake had a small, sheltered bay full of snags and overhanging trees, off the cold winds but catching most of the sun all day long. I was stood on the high bank looking into the mass of tangled branches below, when deep down, right on the bottom, a good fish glided slowly under them. This was followed soon after by another, and that was good enough for me. They’d obviously only just woken up, as both fish were moving almost in slow motion. This was the place to be then, and I spent a while with just a lead finding something to fish to, wanting to do this when not actually fishing, as I knew I needed to keep the disturbance to a minimum within the enclosed confines of the bay on my actual sessions.

This was limiting too, as there were a number of areas that I could fish, but which would have presented serious problems trying to get anything out, so severe were the snags. Where I had seen the fish was the prime example, as not only were there the tree branches below the surface, but the lake bed was littered with old metalwork too. I wasn’t doing that, and although I was kitted up with strong gear, I was only going to fish spots I knew I was going to land fish from. I remembered a spot from many years ago, one that had produced a couple of fish for me, but it had disappeared over time when I started fishing lakes elsewhere. This spot had produced a very special fish twice for me, its only two known captures ever, and I concentrated my efforts on that first recce trip trying to find it again. This wasn’t easy, as the branches overhead told me that no one had cast out in that direction for quite some time, and my first attempt cracked hard into the woodwork above, meaning I had to get on my knees just to miss them.

About 20 casts in, I suddenly got one to crack down, and on pulling the lead I got the gentle tapping of broken ground that I remembered from all those years before. It was tiny though, and with one slight pull I was off it and in surprisingly thick weed, the legacy of a mild winter. I clipped the rod up and measured it against my rod at home using the distance sticks in the garden, and when I had done another baiting up visit, I was back pushing my barrow fully loaded across the flooded field towards the lake.

I was using the some new line in 18lb, and straight away I knew this was exactly what I was looking for. It was super strong, but with sinking abilities matching a fluorocarbon and a lovely subtle colour – just what I needed in this snaggy situation. Coupled with a nice big size 5 Chod Hook, I had good covert aspects, strong hooking power and every confidence in the strength of it all.

The rods went out well, both with short stiff rigs on with screwed-on pink pop-ups, my now favourite colour to fish over the standard dark red of the B5. I’d boosted up the bottom baits with a coating of Salami glug whilst frozen, and on thawing, the coarse nature of the base mix had drawn it all in. The beauty being with the main spot was you were either on it or not; it was that easy to tell, and after a few attempts I felt a lovely dull thud down the blank as the lead hit solid bottom. I didn’t pull back at all, knowing the stiff boom of the hinge rig would kick the bait well away from the lead as it feathered down. This rig has to be fished helicopter/rotary style to get the best from it, and I find it strange people use a soft boom section, as the bait separation on a stiff mono boom is one of its greatest advantages. With an aggressive curved hook link section, this rig doesn’t rely on the lead for hooking, which meant I could use nice small chod leads that hit the surface with a gentle plop, rather than an almighty splash. I slackened the lines off, and had them hanging vertically down from the rod tips with the bobbins resting on the floor, so all in all I couldn’t do it any better.

I neither saw nor heard anything, which was disappointing, as if they’re in this bay, you generally hear them at some time. However just before first light I had a take on the rod fished on the old spot. It was only half a run, as when I picked the rod up it was already in the weed behind, and with steady pressure it came out, discharged the lead, and I gave it as much as I dared to keep it in the safe open water in front. After a few spirited runs I drew it over the outstretched net. I could tell it wasn’t a monster, but it was a cracking long jet black mirror, a real confidence boost so early, that was well hooked in the lower lip, the strong tackle easily taking the strain. As I held it up for the camera it felt as cold as a block of ice, but I had every faith in getting more from this sheltered bay. I left that morning, but kept the bait trickling in knowing I was back for another single night the week after. The coot population showed interest though, and I wondered if bringing bait to their attention wasn’t a good idea.

To be continued…

Carp Fishing ~ The Quarry A New UK Adventure (Part 2) ~ by Tommy de Cleen

Tommy is visiting the Quarry pit again this spring, here’s installment one of a two part article detailing his previous pilgrimages to the UK.

Continued from part 1… During the week I did two features; one for Carp TV with my friend Joe Morgan, and a nice little feature for UK Carp (now Carp Feed). It was during this feature that Vince stalked a nice common, so he was off the mark as well, which was really welcome. He was struggling to get a bite on his main spot and I suggested he should move to another swim, but elected to stay in 15 and managed one more bite off a small mirror.

As the week came to a close I lost another one and caught 2 more small commons. I had really great time fishing with Vince, meeting up with some friends that I had made in the UK. On the Saturday it was time to go home ‘back to reality’, but not before a quick stop at the Mainline mansion to pick up my bait order.

As this trip came to an end I was already brainstorming about my next trip and throughout this week I talked to my good friend Peter van Der Star about arranging an autumn trip back to the Quarry – and the plans for the next trip was already in the making. First things first, I wanted to try to catch my first one out of the Albert Canal and it did happen for me after some blanking when I landed my first carp in the shape of a big 44+ mirror on the 28th May! A week later I had 7 more out of the Albert in less than 24 hours fishing, again a few good fish up to 45lb, but that is another story to tell.

Now that I had caught a few fish from the Albert I could relax, as the pressure of catching from this tricky water was off now, and the plan to fish in the UK in the autumn needed to be taken forward. I talked to Peter about it and he was very happy with the arrangements, so on the 14th of October we set sail on my second trip of the year to the UK this year and man was I buzzing to be visiting the Quarry again.

We got to the lake during the night and it was raining, so I put the shelter up in the ‘Sticks Swim’ and Peter slept in the van for a few hours until first light. It was pitch black so I could not see a thing but I heard a few fish crash out to my left and right. I woke up before first light, as you do when you are buzzing to start fishing, and I saw that the water level was well down, and that the shallow bay was even shallower than in May.

When Peter woke up we did a lap of the lake when Peter woke up, but I had made up my mind already where I wanted to fish as it was the only area that I had seen activity. And I felt that it was better to start in a swim that I had fished from and fish before and I knew fish like to visit.

Peter´s first choice of swim was the Corner, a fair few swims down from me, but we came to fish and not just for a social. Rods came out to play and traps where set easily as I knew where to put them in this swim. In the end I elected to put them where I had fished before and I managed to feel the drop, so I knew I was on the gravel.

There was only one problem, the weed on my side of the gravel was up and this could mean fish I hook could go into the weed and cause a few problems. This was born out on the Sunday morning when I had a bite, but after some pulling I lost it in the weed. I was gutted but put that rod back on the spot as I was sure I was going to get another chance.

My rigs where perfect, the bait I used was perfect only the fish did not play ball at all as the whole lake was fishing real slowly. Peter moved a few times, but he could not buy a bite either despite working hard, by moving every day and trying to find them fish.

On Wednesday I text Ben to ask him if it was possible to fish one of his other waters he kindly came back to me with a reply ‘yes you can fish another lake’ to which I replied excitedly ‘which one?’. The answer was you can fish the Top Lake if you like! That was awesome. We knew the lake had some stunning fish in and an opportunity like this doesn’t come every day so, I told Peter and we started pack up to make the move a few miles up the road to the Top Lake.

I knew ‘Geezers’ had died earlier this year, but there were still a few other gems to be caught from this ultra hard syndicate lake. As we had been given the opportunity to try so thought that we had better make the most of it.

We stopped at the Co-op in Hatfield Peverel and bought some food and drink for the rest of the week and then went looking for the lake. We found it quite easily, as the directions Ben gave us where spot on, and as I opened the gate and drove and the track (past the famous Cleverley Mere) we got to the Top Lake car park and there were no other cars in sight!

We did a lap of the lake looking for signs and made up or minds on which swims we would fish.

I was told fish in here follow the wind, but it was a cold north wind blowing so I chose a swim at the back of the wind and thought I’d see from there as we had 3 nights left so anything was possible. Three rigs found their way into the lake and the waiting game could begin again on this stunning looking lake. I was buzzing again and we were in with a good chance of a fish. We had a bit of a social this time and Peter tied everything in the book to catch one. In fact the only thing we did not try was zigs.

I even moved on the Friday morning as I had seen a few fish show down the other end, so had tried hard as well – but to no avail as we blanked are socks off. That’s fishing; and on Saturday we packed up and had one more stop before the long journey home.

Rig wise I had fished with the same presentations that I had in May – a rig that caught nearly all my fish this year. Bait used was the new prototype Mainline baits – so I knew there wasn’t anything g wrong with bait or rigs. It was just the carp did not want to play ball and the carp god did not want us to catch this time (I did pray to them). Luck, it seemed, was not on our side. Even though we blanked I had a great time in great company and fished two totally different lakes.

On this last note I would like to thank a few people on helping us on the way, first of all Ben Lofting for the opportunity to fish his fantastic waters, Gardner Tackle & Mainline Baits for their ongoing support!! Owen Davies and his girl Ali, Chris Cox, Jon Cook, Peter Hub for the visits and the long lasting friendship and Dave Levy (thanks for the picture and tips to fish at Top Lake).

Tight lines,

Tommy De Cleen

Carp Fishing ~ The Quarry A New UK Adventure (Part 1) ~ by Tommy de Cleen

Tommy is visiting the Quarry pit again this spring, here’s installment one of a two part article detailing his previous pilgrimages to the UK.

In January 2016 I wrote my first article about fishing on English soil that was written about my love and fascination for fishing in the UK and the urge to catch carp on the Island where it all started. England is where modern day carp angling started, so for me it’s ‘back to the roots’ as I have always adapted some English techniques in my own fishing over here in Belgium, and other places I have been to.

The English way has always been kind to me, and has caught me a lot of fish along the way. When I say the English way, I mean rig wise, observation (watercraft) fishing in the margins, wrapping and clipping, feeling the bottom, using a marker and all other stuff. Tricks that overall have made me a better angler.

Actually, fishing in the UK was the natural progression and I did the odd trip years ago, but now I got the UK bug properly and I like it a lot! It’s not easy fishing, like going to France and catching hippo after hippo from a commercial fishery that’s stocked to the brim with chunks. We all like to catch big fish, and so do I, but needs to be a challenge; if it’s too easy it gets very boring and that’s why I set myself targets that will take some effort. Fishing on the big canals over here in Belgium is certainly a challenge and so is fishing in the UK where I like to go to lakes like the Quarry in Essex.

It’s a pretty busy day ticket lake with head of around 270 fish. These fish are a mixture of original fish (from when the Quarry was a syndicate) and new fish that were stocked in the last few years and all of them are fantastic looking fish. After my first session at the Quarry in late autumn of ‘14 (I blanked) I really wanted to go back and fish it again, and so plans were made to return again.

After a walk around the venue in 2015 with my mate Peter van den Star from Holland (when we were fishing at Ladywell) we decided that we would do a session in 2016. Man, was I looking forward to that trip and the chance of catching a UK thirty or even a forty. I was very exited!! But this was only August 015, which was a long way from spring 2016, and as Peter is a self employed builder he did not know exactly when he could get time out to do this session.

After a lot of chatting Ben Lofting (the owner of Cleverley fisheries and of the Quarry we were advised to come around May, as that is a very good time to come, but Peter could not take a week off as he was working hard on a very big project at the time. So he told me if you want to go, but you have to go with someone else as I don’t drive yet myself (which is ‘work in progress’ for me).

I started to ask around guys I know and Vincent, who is also a member of the Benelux Gardner Tackle team whom I met him at a few shows in the winter and had fished together too said he would like to come, so the plan was to fish the Quarry with Vincent for a week in May.

I booked the week via Ben and booked a ferry to sail on 6/7 May to fish until the 15th May. To say I was looking forward to this trip was an understatement and Friday 6th May could not come quick enough. Time passed slowly, and I did some fishing (blanking) on the mighty Albert Canal. These where my first steps on this big canal that I had wanted to fish for years but never had the guts to really give it a go until that point. The UK Quarry trip was on my mind all the time…

Finally, Friday 6th was upon us and it was time to get everything in Vincent´s van. It was an easy drive up to Calais and the ferry crossing was a necessary (boring) evil but as it was the first time for Vincent, so it was kind of exciting as well because it was his first session fishing in the UK!!

I think back on my first ever fishing trip to the UK as being epic and I still have the same feeling after all these years, I just love coming over and meet up with great guys who I have met along the way through Facebook and being a Mainline and Gardner consultant!! So it’s always nice to meet up with some of the guys.

Right this crossing went fine and the drive up to the Quarry on the ‘wrong side of the road’ went great (first time for Vince) and we soon found our way to the gate to paradise. Driving along the dirt track was just magical as you know it’s going to be a great weeks fishing. We drove all the way to the back shallow bay and took out the bed to sleep a few hours under the stars.
I only slept a few hours as it was dawn very soon, and I could hear jumping fish in the shallow bay so made my way down to the lake. The van was up the bank just behind swim 15, and being the last swim on this bank I saw fish jump to my left ,right and in front!

A plan started to form in my head, so I woke up Vince to do a lap of the lake but knew in my mind already of where I would like to fish. The swim son this bank have a reputation of producing some of the bigger fish in the lake. We did a lap of the lake and after returning to 15 I asked Vince where he fancied fishing? I gave him first choice to pick a swim, and he said I would like to fish in here in 15 and that was fine by me, as I was really happy to fish in the Sticks swim next door.

As soon as the rods were ready I did some plumbing around with the marker float and found a few nice spots that were clear of weed, so happy days. The left hand rod was fished to a gravelly spot at around 15 wraps and the middle was fished short of this same area. The right hand rod was fished to the right on a clean gravel area at 9 wraps. I baited a lot on the 15 wrap spot and went easy on the baiting of the close in spot, electing to fire a few pouches of boilies around that area – and that was me almost done. I just set the traps after the baiting up and the waiting game could begin.

Vince did the same and after we sat down with a nice cold beer, taking it all in and enjoyed a nice evening. It was quite busy around the lake, being prime time and weekend so we just did our thing. Bait wise I was using Cell (self rolled at home) and the new Essential Cell in a mix, I had never see this bait I only heard about it so Ben gave my a 10k bag plus the 5k of Cell I had enough of bait for the week.

Vince carefully got up a tree and could see fish close in and started stalking a few spots, but he thought the fish were up here for other reasons other than just feeding. The weather was great so perhaps spawning was in the air!! Ben’s opinion was that it was still too early and I hoped he was right!

Sunday passed blissfully by and I could hear quite a few fish along to the right of me and it made me think about changing the two rods that were positioned at the 15 wrap mark, because I had not seen any signs yet. I was confident that a bite was in the air on the right hand rod and early Monday morning that rod ripped off and this fish started to kite to the right. The right hand side of my swim is full of overhanging trees and the next swim around 100 meters away, which is why the carp love this area as it’s a bit like an out of bounds area! With some side strain I turned the fish around and after a 10 minute battle it was in my net and my first of the session was a fact!!

What a fish it turned out to be, a mirror of 32lb 12oz (writing about it gives me that same tear in my eye) and it was my first ever UK thirty. I was buzzing and my trip was already a success!! Man what a feeling. After the pictures were done I slipped the fish back into its watery home and cast that rod back out onto that spot and put another 5 pouch full of boilies on top.

The rest of the day past in a haze, as I was on cloud 9 and feeling very happy! Isn’t that is what it’s all about? Enjoying your angling and catching a few along the way.

I had a very nice low twenty mirror the night, on the same right hand rod, so on Tuesday lunch time I had a rethink for the other rods, as these where still silent and I had not seen anything out there. I decided that the middle rod was going to be fished on the same gravel as the right hand rod – about a rod length apart – and the left hand rod was going to be fished as a ‘single’ in the middle of nowhere.

That night I lost one on the middle rod on a new rig I tied up that evening, but the action confirmed the gravel area was definitely the place to be, a fact that reinforced a few seconds after losing that fish when I received another take on the right hand rod (the banker rod)!

Once again this fish tried its best to go right along the tree line, but I turned this one as well and she ended safely my net and what a fish again!! This time it was a 29lb common and again a new Uk Pb common. I was buzzing again and forgot all about that lost fish as this one more than made up for it. What a fantastic water this is!!

To be continued… Tommy De Cleen

Carp Fishing ~ Eclipsed on the New Moon ~ Lewis Read

Some of you guys will already consider moon phases as being important when it comes to arranging holiday and getting out on the bank. The debate on whether the moon phase has a direct impact on the fish we angle for has been raging for many years and both sides seem to be able to offer some statistical evidence leaning one way or the other.

Personally I have always erred on the side of their being an indirect link, that given half decent weather conditions, a positive moon phase seems to edge the odds of the big fish making a mistake in our favour. I have difficulty rationalising the logic that there is any kind tidal influence, but we know with certainty how most invertebrates seem to be tuned into moon phases.

Anyway it’s been a while since I have scrawled anything about my angling. It’s not been utterly bereft of any captures, though those few bites I have extracted have tended to be the more modest samples of Welly’s inhabitants, scratching bites on over nighters during a period when the majority of bites have seemingly come mid afternoon is par for the course. If that’s when you can fish, then that’s when you can fish and these patterns are normally only temporary in the broad time scale. All these efforts had resulted in a mid thirty ghostie and a 27lb mirror since I last wrote which was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

This weekend I had a horrific chore to complete at home – namely tiling my bathroom – so I stayed indoors Saturday day time and cracked on and did as much as I could bear before begging TLSW to let me go, after all by this time in the evening I was as grumpy as her! It was also my daughter’s birthday, but as she had been out all day and had a friend staying I thought it was probably safer to usher myself out the door where I couldn’t say anything that could upset the two wonderful women in my life.

Subsequently, I got sown the lake for 7:30pm after an arduous 10 minute drive (LOL) and the first sight of the car park indicated that it was relatively quiet for a weekend. Rather than jump in a plot I spent the next 1 ½ hours having a little mooch about, but the fish were not showing anywhere so I opted for night in the ‘Up and Over’ in Bramble Bay. It’s a sheltered (warm) snaggy deep corner that tends to hold a couple of resident fish, but also an area that the fish have been visiting occasionally over the last few weeks and I guessed with the lack of fish activity in the main lake it would be worth a go.

During the night I heard a really good fish lump out in the corner to my right and also had the occasional nudge on the slack Mirage, which is always a really good sign that there is a fish or two nosing about in the sediment.

It was getting late by the time I pushed the Barrow into the swim. As I cast out my first rod the light was already going and by the time I had honed the third rig and flicked it out with a 3 bait stringer attached and a 12mm pink Caviar and Cranberry pop up on Ronnie, it was pitch black and I proceeded to fire in about 100 boilies roughly over the middle rod positioned in a silty gully at 35 yards. The left and right hand rods had a few halved boilies dropped close to the hookbaits, all very easy and accurate due to their proximity to the bank.

I woke at about 6:30, after a chilly 5C night under the stars, and slowly started tidying bits away so I could make a hasty exit at 9 when the public are allowed entry into the park. Fortuitously, at 7:30am the middle rod pulled tight and whizzed off taking line of a relatively tight clutch! I had a big tree line over to my right and in the end I had to be quite forceful to stop the fish from making it all the way there, which would have been a good 35 yard dash and would have almost certainly ended in catastrophe!

After that it kited hard right and ended right down in the corner and it was a ‘submerge the rod’ and cajole the fish back down the tree line job! Dear god, I hate the buffered vagueness playing a fish like this gives…

Luckily it never caught up once and a few minutes later I rolled a nice looking two tone mirror into the waiting net! I recognised her as a fish I had captured on my first year form the swim next door (quite territorial one this) and she looked in great condition so I called the Gaskinator could snap a photo or two for me. In the end we elected for path shots that Dave swears blind are ‘carpy’, and as he didn’t have a nasty Jimmy shirt on I just went with it.

The other usual Sunday morning arrivals all turned up including the goodly Dr Dave, Darren Belton and his guest Rob Marsh and I got myself off home to walk my hound, do some more DIY (YUK!) and go out for dinner with the girls. Much later, after enjoying a curry that turned out to be a bit fiery, I arrived back at the lake and just made it to the hut. Dear god I hoped I would last the night even after the contortions and groans that emanated from the throne room!

Another dark set up, and as I readied the rods as quietly as I could I heard a few fish show in the middle of the bay and then a clutch going for a few seconds before a buzzer burst into life animating movement form the bivvy. I knew that ‘Greg’s Girlfriend’ (Darren) was on Daisy and a short while later news came through that he had caught the awesome/magnificent Ulcer Fish at 58lb 12oz! A new PB and to one of the true gentlemen of a super friendly syndicate, it’s always nice when nice people catch.

I finished doing my rods and put the RHR down to Turtle Corner again (I had to, after hearing that chunk in the night) and then putting the left and middle out near where I had caught from in the morning. This time I scattered about a kilo of mixed 20mm boilies out with the catapult, spreading them between the two Ronnies (boom boom).

It was late by the time my chores were completed so I dived into bed around midnight and awoke to a toner at just before 6. Once again the fish went for it, bulldozing over towards the snags over to the right and then right into Turtle corner. Luckily, the super reliable size 4 Mugga did the job and a better fish rolled into the net. I weighed her and settled her in the retainer and messaged Alan to let him know I had ‘one in the slammer’ so he could get to the park a bit earlier for our scheduled video day (media Monday’s as they are known in the office).

Alan arrived at the park in good time – nice and early – and we got the fish safely photographed and returned and set about doing a few product videos.

Late in the afternoon, the legend that is Edwardo Wade arrived and as he did ‘Good Looking Nick’ appeared and I got handed an iPhone. It was Darren and I was dumfounded by what he had to say next. “I’ve just caught Little Big Head, and it’s in the retainer!” Oh my, oh my, oh my…

That was another of the big Welly 4, and he’d braced it that with Ulcer in less than 24 hours! Nick and I popped round and Ed, Rob and Darren were all ready to go so I was happy to goal keep, run and get water and just soak up the magnitude of the capture! She weighed in at 56lb 12oz and the two carp certainly constitute the biggest UK brace ever by some margin. Absolutely mind bending.

Sometimes just being there to help and witnessing angling history like this really blows you away. God only knows how Darren is feeling. Elated I would hazard a guess. The new moon phase had done the whackers again, and both The Turtle and Willow are both still due a capture. Perhaps the next decent moon phase will be the one.

This weekend just reinforced my belief in the Full and New Moons as these phases certainly seem to throw up the monsters at Welly and at most other big fish waters I know.

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