I usually apply my trade on the big Cornish reservoirs, so Anglers Paradise situated in Devon, a holiday complex made up of a number of small waters is not a venue you would usually expect to find me.
However, after doing a show at the complex several years ago, I fancied going back and having a dabble. The lake I was interested in fishing was the Kracking, which is set between the Specimen Catfish lake and another carp water named Xanadu. It’s part of the Nirvana lakes and is set away from the main complex.
Kracking is a small lake and holds very few carp in today’s terms, approximately fifteen, give or take a few and there are a couple of carp swimming within it’s depths that I have taken a shine too. With so few fish (even though it’s a small lake) they are by no means easy to nail.
I booked on and made my way to the lake early one Sunday morning. There was a strong cold northerly blowing and the heavens had opened overnight, so not ideal carping conditions! At first I wasn’t sure which lake was which on arrival, but when I saw the four bivvies set up I knew I had found the right water.
The four anglers were all friends and were all pulling off that morning, after blanking. After a quick walk around, I soon decided on a swim and got the rods out. My approach was simple, consisting of Covert Lead Clips fished straight on a Mirage fluorocarbon main line. The hook link consisted of boom section made from 12lb Subterfuge Super Stiff fluorocarbon and a short 15lb Trickster Heavy supple section tied with an Albright knot to form a combi-link. At the sharp end I used a size 6 Covert Mugga simply knotless knotted on. I love Covert Mugga’s, they turn extremely quickly in a fishes mouth due to their aggressive angle and they are as sharp as you like!
Bait wise I opted for a Mainline Milky Toffee pop up set up as a bottom bait with a shot on the hair and a Cell bottom bait along with a yellow piece of foam on the second rod. Each rig had a small bag of Cell pellet and an oily stick mix attached for added pulling power and to aid presentation.
I rarely expect to catch on my first session to a new water, I treat it more as a learning curve. I like to map the lake out in my mind, watching and listening to what the carp are up to. This sometimes means being up before first light, staying awake all night and being prepared to move no matter what the time of day or what the weather is like.
However, sometimes an angler visiting the lake for the first time can catch from the off, sometimes doing something different from the norm can pay dividends from the off. Unfortunately I didn’t work for me on this occasion, not straight away anyway, I worked hard and was rewarded with a capture, a 24lb 10oz mirror was nailed on a Covert Mugga after a slight rig adjustment. I basically trimmed the hairs off each rig and replaced them with small Covert Pop Up Hook Aligner, effectively turning my bottom bait rigs into efficient pop up rigs.
The carp I caught wasn’t one of the two I’d like to see in my album, but any carp is welcome in my net, especially when it’s tough going. It was an enjoyable stay, the staff at ‘Anglers Paradise were very welcoming and a credit to the fishery.
There are several Cornish carp avoiding me at the moment and I can’t be in two places at once, but I will be back to Anglers Paradise to have another go for those two elusive carp I have my eye on. I will keep you posted!