With the tunnel booked for 3 in the morning it was an all-nighter for me and the 13 other lads that were heading over to France with. Either way, I don’t think a single one of us would have got a wink of sleep anyway as we were all so buzzed for the week ahead of us!
We arrived at Abbey Lakes at around 8’ish and decided to do a lap of the awesome Heron Lake. After the circuit around the lake I had 7 pegs in mind that I felt I would happily fish. We then did a draw for swims, in which I picked out number 5 from the hat so I felt like I could be in with a chance of getting a decent swim.
As it got to my pick there was only one swim left I really fancied, right in the thick of weed in the centre of the lake and so that was my choice made. With that we all headed off and everyone got on with their own thing for a while setting up.
The week started hard for me as I always like to have a good lead about on my first day – hopefully finding several good spots I would fish, which would then give me different opportunities with different depths and types of bottom. But that was the problem! After hours of leading around I had only found one spot which was nowhere near the thick weed beds that I had wanted to be close to.
After getting some bait out to this spot I decided I still really needed to find another spot. There was a slight clearing in the centre of the thickest weed bed out in front of me so I thought why not just have a lead around out there. After all I had a boat to help land the fish. The lead went down with a firm hard donk, on a lovely gravelly hard spot right in the middle of all of that weed! It felt like I had landed on gold.
As there weren’t any other swims free on the lake that I fancied, I decided to give it a good seeing to with the bait and sit on it. Two nights passed with no bites and I was really starting to worry that all the leading about and all the bait I had put out had messed my chances up.
Luckily, everything kicked off on the 3rd day when I landed a lovely personal best common of 39lb 14oz – an awesome carp with some lovely white tips to its fins. A huge sloped nose 45lb mirror followed shortly after, and before I knew it both spots where rocking!
With the fish getting right on the bait I was putting on the spots, I started putting a bucket of particle on each spot with around 5 kilos of Pacific Tuna and Live System boilies every night. I was bait-boating the particle out over the spots, but catapulting the boilies all around the hole in the weed. Normally I would Spomb the bait in, but the fish appeared to shy away from it on this lake and the catapulting was a tactical decision to make sure I had a good spread of bait over and around the spot. I also got the feeling, the noise of the boilies hitting the water was drawing them in, as I was receiving quick bites after baiting up.
I’m always a great worrier when spombing, I am very precise with my baiting and I always put the extra bites I get down to getting the bait right on top of the rig. I like to clip my spomb up on my distance sticks a little shorter than I do my rig to allow for the drop of feeling my lead down. The deeper the water the more I allow for the drop and pull my spomb back.
To get this bang on I was setting up a marker float and wrapping it up like I would my rig and feeling it down and then popping the float up from there. This method ensures that the bait ends up right on top of my rig when it comes to taking the bait boat out. With this all being bang on and the fish feeding on the spots I couldn’t keep up with them.
Over the next 4 nights I went on to land 21 carp and lost 7. I caught one of the prettiest scaley carp I’ve ever caught. I can honestly say that I had a holiday of a life time, with some crazy boat battles sharing the experience with some amazing mates. It couldn’t of gone much better for me.
Amongst the final tally I had couple on the lovely Ronnie rig fishing a Live System cork balled hookbait. The other 19 fish were all landed on a rig that has really accounted for a lot of my big fish this year. It’s a simple corn rig made up with a Covert Dark Incizor and the amazing Trick Link hooklink material! I really swear by this stuff whenever fishing to a firm silty bottom, as it kicks the rig out so perfectly and blends into the bottom, to the point you can’t even see it. If you’re fishing particles this rig is really worth giving a go. It’s a presentation I have enormous confidence in as I find when putting it out, fished against the benchmark ‘hinged stiff rig’, the corn rod rattles off a lot more often and inevitably bags me a couple of extra fish each trip.