Way back in August 2017 a gentleman named Damon White bid for the privilege of fishing for 48 hours on Farriers. The only drawback (for him) was that the poor man had to put up with me too, as I was part of that bidding package – poor man!

I’d had the pleasure of fishing on Farriers once before; during the “Lucy’s bowl” charity event a couple of years ago – and was very keen to make an return trip as I had sat in swim 8 with a rake of big fish bobbing about happily in the weed beds for a couple of days gradually building up confidence to eat the veritable pile of bait I had decided (stupidly) to spod in on the Friday evening when I arrived. Anyway, eventually by Sunday morning, the area was being fizzed on but alas too late… Another angling lesson learnt.

After making that mistake of going in too hard I wanted to go back and fish a bit more sensibly just to try and get a bite. Miles had kindly agreed that we could arrive and fish our 48 hours form Sunday so Damo and I excitedly did a lap with the lovely Jason (local hero and bailiff) to help guide our choices and we soon realised the far bank from the car park (swims 12 – 18) seemed to hold the lion’s share of carp.

To be honest 17 looked like ‘the one’ and Damo was told in no uncertain terms that that was his and I would fit in around him. I plumped for 18 just because I’m a carp fairy and despite looking and looking (and looking some more) I couldn’t see any holes in the dense weed in front of 15.

18 seemed quite straight forward really – there was a bit of weed but I found two spots that gave lovely drops and baited with a mix of pellet and crushed and whole Carp Company Nut Mix boilies – all doused in CC ‘Corn Steep’ and Tiger Nut Extract… Yummy!

A night of incessant liners followed, but I was certain that the fish weren’t moving or feeding out on the bait. Fast lifts that fully settled indicated the fish were really close in; certainly shorter than the first main band of weed a few rod lengths out.

Pre-dawn saw me wandering down to 15 to see if there was anything happening and by 5AM I was moved as I had seen bubblers very close in. To be honest I wasn’t 100% sure whether the bubbling was caused by carp or tinca’s, but I could see plenty of carp cruising over the light coloured floss that coated the pond weed.

I flicked in a naked chod to intercept the fish I could see a few rod lengths out – and one on a Ronnie down the edge – and crashed out for a couple of hours. I can’t pretend I woke fresh as a daisy as I kept getting liners on the chod rod that kept waking me up! Oh the hardship…

When I woke up I reeled in to go for morning ablutions and a circuit. There were significantly fewer fish visible but there was also a chilly northerly blowing down our end, and after a second circuit of the lake we decided the fish must still be in front of us, just being a bit more subtle.

I had a little lead about and found a plum little spot on the left hand side of the swim where the 1 ounce lead tapped down and just I kept feeding the nut mix boilies in 50 at a time and kept the rods out the water. In the mid afternoon Dr Syksey and HRH Brian Sefton popped in for a natter late in the afternoon. What wonderful entertainment they are. Brian is lovely and the goodly Dr is a leg-end.

I kept the rods out (despite their protests) until after I had collected the Indian from the gate. Man it was good a good curry! Even a lovely gentleman named Ellie who had moved into 18 got a popodom and a dip-dip as we were sharing love and feeling the Farriers vibe as an afternoon down pour had triggered some remarkable displays in front of us and in swim 6, as the carp got excited by the deluge and cracks of thunder overhead. It really was exciting!

With dinner ‘smashed’ I made my excuses explaining to Damo I would need to sit on my rods as one was ‘snag fishing’ and I quickly flicked the rods in. Both had to be right as the tap spot on the left rod was tiny and the lake bed next to the trailer was lumpy on the edge of the leaves (like there were sticks on the bottom) but smooth and delicious underneath – so the lead had to be allowed to travel on underneath to make sure presentation was spot on.

I tucked myself into bed and tried not to move – the rods and baits were all very close in and I know from very bitter experience how carp on most lakes react adversely if they know you’re there. I awoke at 3 to a liner and within an hour that rod pulled round and I lifted into… nothing! Damn.

It was just light enough to reset it so I checked the point and flicked the S2 primed Ronnie back under the tree perfectly. Another 40 boilies followed and I went back to my pit to try and keep quiet (sleep). An hour or so later I had a short lift and then a proper pull round on the same rod and this time a heavy weight plodded into the weed just off the tree and I managed to cajole a decent looking fish straight to the net – as it had a small amount of weed just covering its face! Phew.

I ran down and woke up Damo with the good news. As soon as he woke up and the jibber jabber coming out my mouth sunk in, a broad smile spread across his face (what a nice man) and he jumped out of bed keen to assist.

Having checked the fishes fins and carefully lifting it into the Asylum Mat I realised it was a fair bit bigger than I had initially thought. It had a lovely big belly and felt for all intents and purposes like a 40lb’er when I lifted her up! Up on the scales she did a bit more than that; in fact she was bang on 46 and I was shocked and surprised to have fluked such an amazing response. As I said to Damon, it was a very lucky bite, at least in terms of which the fish had made the mistake.

We did a few quick snaps of each side and we released her really quickly as her vent was engorged ready to spawn. It was a bit of whirlwind, and I hoped that Damon would get his chance to catch a Farriers fish before we had to leave later in the morning.

As it was, the fish started spawning in the weed and the lake was (quite rightly) closed to angling. Luckily Damon was off to another local venue for another night and I had the great news that he had managed a cracking PB of 36lb that very night. What a wonderful result!

Maybe we’ll get to do the Farriers thing again one day and then I’m sure Damon will get the chance to catch one of the mint monsters that swim around this very special lake. Thanks to Damon and to the Carp Society for the opportunity to do a trip on Farriers as a guest. There’s only one problem now… I fancy another go!