Wellington Country Park went through a massive change during the summer of 2014 as a consequence of a massive algae bloom that in turn killed all of the weed off. There was still the odd patch of short weed around certain parts of the lake afterwards but with the onset of winter it all soon disappeared. So now the lake is 100% clear of weed!
I spent an awfully large amount of time during the winter marker’ing up in certain swims. What is considered as a pretty featureless lake is anything but that! The variations in depths, humps and plateaux are there around the lake, albeit on a smaller/subtler scale than I’ve been used to finding on previous venues I’ve fished.
The other interesting thing was that changed because of the lack of weed was that the carp were definitely following the wind more than they have in previous years. Things had changed…
During the early part of the spring I started catching again; nothing big by the lakes standards, but the homework that I had done during the winter was finally starting to pay off. About two months ago I started targeting some different areas from those I’d normally fish to; slightly deeper softer siltier areas away from the gravel and firm silty areas – as my baits have been getting whittled down by Crayfish on the harder spots.
When it comes to feature finding ‘leading around’ seems to be the norm on most lakes. It’s okay for finding clear areas in weed or getting a donk down when the lead hits the deck but I still think it’s preferable to use a marker float to find the subtler features and depth variation.
My change in luck seemed to coincide with our house move (a long story). The lake wasn’t very busy when I arrived on the Friday and after a long walk round I opted to fish one of the bays after observing some fish fizzing in there. With a gentle breeze pushing into the bay it seemed a pretty good choice. After all if nothing happened during the course of the night I should be able to move if necessary in the morning.
I knew the swim I was in had a couple of humps out in front of it; one to the left and one to the right of the swim at about thirty yards range. I really wanted to fish down the back of them in the siltier areas and after a few casts with the marker I was happy with the spots I‘d found and proceeded to get the rods out. The middle rod was cast straight out in front of the swim at a similar distance as the others to a slight silty depression in the lakebed.
I fished with Mirage Fluorocarbon on all three rods, coupled with a metre of Camflex Leadfree as a leader. I took my time and moulded some putty around it every six inches, just to make absolutely certain everything was pinned down as good as it could be. The rigs incorporated a size 4 Covert Mugga coupled with a Covert Rig Ring and a small shrink tubing kicker. The hook length material being either one of 16lb Mirage or Ultra Skin or Trickster (as I was happy with all of them)…
A 16mm pop up and a tangerine sized Micromesh PVA bag that contained a mixture of crumbed and whole boilies was attached to the rig before casting each rod out. Then I catapulted a few different sized baits around each area and a couple of Spombs of boilie crumb (which had a good soak in the Element Liquid) were lobbed out onto the areas as well.
That was it; time to just sit back and await events… I managed to stay up until gone eleven and just before I retired I heard a big fish crash out not that far away from where the left hand rod was positioned. During the very early hours of the morning I had a couple of bleeps from the middle rod, I looked out of the bivvy just as the hanger settled back down to where it had been.
I turned over and was just dozing off again when that same rod just ripped off. The next thing I knew, I was standing up to my knees in the lake playing a carp. The fight wasn’t that spectacular and I could tell by the way the carp was acting that it was going to be one of the lakes smaller residents, and so a few minutes after hooking it I caught a glimpse of a common as it slipped into the net. After making sure it was secure I popped into the next swim to ask my mate to help take a couple of pictures. He wasn’t there so I assumed that his photographic services must have required somewhere else (I found out a little while later that he had been taking some pictures for one of the other lads that had just caught a fifty from the small lake). It didn’t look like the new camera was going to get christened this time so I decided to to slip the carp straight back.
After all that excitement I stayed up and watched the lake as the light levels started to increase. Just as the sun started to appear over the trees I had a couple of bleeps from my right hand rod just before it melted off and after a proper battle in the margins a rather large carp was safely secured in the folds of the net. I really didn’t think it was all that big, but after we got it up on the scales I couldn’t help but laugh as my mate said “47lb 4oz”!
It was one of those magical moments as that carp actually happened to be the fortieth forty pound carp.
The next run came the following morning. This turned out to be another lovely mirror that pulled the scales round to 33lb 5oz. That was to be my last bit of action for that session and I got packed up very early Monday morning for the long drive into work.
I was quite lucky on my next session as I managed to get back into the same swim again, and this meant that I didn’t have to use the marker float at all. Once again it wasn’t until the following morning that I received a funny sort of take; this time on my left hand rod.
That carp didn’t do that much initially, but once it got into the margins it just kept powering off and it was to be some fifteen minutes after hooking it that I finally managed to net it.
I gave my mate a call to come round and do the pictures and I was called a few choice words as we it hoisted up onto the scales. Once again I‘d guessed it weight wrong and it was a huge framed carp that weighed in at 48lbs 10oz!
I was absolutely blown away as I had gone almost two years without any of the big girls and in the space of a few weeks I had bagged a pair of them. A few quick pictures were taken before we slipped her back.
I had another chance the next morning, but unfortunately after a short battle the fish fell off! I simply couldn’t wait to get down again and carry on chasing the massive fish that live in Welly, but for now it was time to get to work…
I’m out of space for now. Keep believing and you just never know