• carp fishing a new lease of life

During the summer of 2015 a new syndicate was being planned in the carp mecca of Yateley. Alan Cooper (CWA Fisheries) had purchased a lake known as Little Moulsham during the CEMX sale of fisheries in 2014/2015. Word was some vast improvements had been made to the venue, so it was certainly seemed wise to have a closer look. I knew very little about the lake apart from it held a good head of grass carp, which were rumoured to grow to enormous proportions and initially these were what I hoped to target. After a quick call to Alan, he bought me up to date on the plans he had and what the venue contained. I arranged to meet him a few days later to hand over my hard earned cash. Once I’d got my ticket I stashed it away in a safe place and continued with my obsession for a big pike during the months of January and February.

At the end of March I took my first walk around the venue and although it looked a little bleak, I wasn’t in too much of a rush to wet a line. I continued to walk the venue at every opportunity and as the grass carp weren’t active, I decided to make the most of the ticket and have a dabble for the venues carp population.

I was fairly lucky during my first half a dozen or so trips and managed to slip the net under six fish. The high lights were a wonderful fully scaled mirror and one of the lakes larger mirrors, which was stalked out of the edge. During the daylight hours the fish were spending a lot of time in a set of snags at the far end of the lake, which allowed me to view most of the lakes stock in a relatively short space of time. Just feet away from where I stood were a handful of scale perfect commons and a couple of mirrors sunning themselves in the mass of branches. My approach had been simple up until now, get on the fish as much as possible and use a bait they liked.

By the time May had come around I was well into my fishing and with a three day trip planned around the bank holiday weekend I was hopeful of a bite or two. I arrived to find just two anglers on and after a good walk around I soon had two hinged stiff rigs out in the zone. Both rods went out perfectly and I scattered a good helping of Pacific Tuna over each rod. That night I received two bites, which resulted in a lovely stocky and a fish known as two scales weighing twenty pounds and ounces and a low double stocky. By mid-morning the fish were evident in the snags again, so I wound in the rods and much of the day was spent watching them at close quarters. The lake holds a handful of impressive looking commons and after watching them on numerous occasions over the last month, it was one of these that I so dearly wanted to catch.

That night, after getting the rods out perfectly, I received a take at first light and after picking up the rod I just knew this was in a different league to what I hooked up until now. I played it carefully, praying the hook would stand firm and after ten or so minutes she was mine. As I parted the mesh I could only smile, as I knew I had just landed one of the fish I had been watching only a handful of hours earlier. After carefully removing the hook, I cradled a lovely 31lb 2oz common for the camera.

The action didn’t stop there and over the course of the next 24 hours I managed a further three fish, all lovely proportioned twenty pound plus fish. A joy to catch from such a great syndicate.