The weather this summer has been absolutely incredible for us all! Personally, during the summer season I opted to spend time with the family, in the garden, enjoying summer holidays, eating copious BBQ’s etc. It’s been a wonderful summer.
As was the case with many lakes across the country, the management at Wellington Country Park took the sensible precautionary step to close the lake for a few weeks to give the irreplaceable gems a chance to graze in the lower oxygenated water, without the added risk of being caught and the inevitable stress this causes. It was a very sensible step, which was embraced by all of the syndicate members who are naturally extremely focused on the ongoing preservation and protection of the amazing stock of carp that swim in the ‘Lake of Dreams’.
With the lake now reopen and my 8 week break from Welly behind me, it was time to have a little dabble. I exchanged a few texts and phone calls with other syndicate members and was very surprised to learn that on the Friday prior to my planned arrival there were only 5 anglers on. So, excitedly I set the alarm for a 3:30am wakeup call so I could be first on the gate at 5am, when we’re allowed to enter the hallowed grounds.
With the barrow loaded I rolled in behind the hibernating Gavin Carter, who was sound asleep pitched up in the Little Lake (where he had been having some success). I then did a quick couple of laps to see if anything would oblige and show itself to give me some clue as to where to start. Location is of paramount importance so it goes without saying that having a good look is always the first step in terms of trying to catch a few of the lakes awesome carp.
The consistent, refreshing south westerly wind was an instant draw. In fact, it was no surprise when I heard that the wonderful A Team member ‘The Big Sutton’, had been tripped up by Steve Chapman during the night from the windward end of the lake. Instantly it felt right and I felt that I should be seriously considering this section of the 35 acre pond.
As the morning slowly trundled along to the more sensible hours of the day I found myself sat with LewLew, up the windward end almost opposite Steve, when the bobbin on his middle rod lifted and next minute I was up and doing some video footage of him landing another one of the lake’s A-team; the impressive ‘Willow’ that we weighed in at 50lb 8oz! Wonderful angling and it’s always a real treat to witness and help care for these special carp on their visits to the bank. I just knew then, I needed to go and move my barrow from the ‘fairly consistent’ Little Lake, out into the Main Lake to fish for leviathans.
With Lew off shortly, it was a no brainer to drop in behind him in, to a swim known as ‘Grassy’. This swim provides a fantastic panoramic view of the south westerly end and offers plenty of open water to shoot at.
Having left my house so early that morning, I goofed up and discovered I’d left my rig board at home. Having invested 3 or so hours during the week on rigs, this was a bit of a kick in the teeth, so my first task was to set about tying up a few more Ronnie’s with the usual size 4 Mugga hooks but this time I married them to the new Gardner Stiff-Link as a super rigid boom section.
I very quickly applied 4-5kg of Sticky Baits boilies of various sizes and stages of breakdown (some washed out, some not) using a Spomb. Even with the added complication of an increasingly strong south westerly cross wind whipping up, giving it an autumn feel, I was really pleased with the accuracy and relatively minimal disturbance.
As we moved through Saturday, I was very surprised that I remained the only new arrival that day! With Lew and Gavatar now departed, it was now only Steve, new member Mike Bridges and I on for the night. With all three Ronnie’s deployed, I was very confident of a bite. During the night, the wind really did pick up! In fact it was strong enough for me to hold onto my brolly, just in case.
At first light, two single beeps were promptly followed by a one toner. It wasn’t long until I slipped a very welcome 34lb common over the net cord. As the morning daylight hours progressed, the usual procession of Sunday arrivals steadily popped in to say hello, and going into the evening there were now 11 anglers on.
With the sun making a more prominent appearance during Sunday, it wasn’t a huge surprise when an hour after dark one of my rods was away again. The battle that then occurred was simply unbelievable. The power of some of these Welly carp, is like nothing I have had the pleasure of enduring before. The faith I have in the Gardner GTHD line in these circumstances, gives me every confidence to control elements of these fights. Anyone that has battled a furious fighting-fit monster carp will know what I mean.
Although a repeat capture for me, the epic A-Team member named ‘The Chinese Common’ spun my scales round to 48lb! As always, other members were happy to help with pictures and to help with handling her on the bank. Thank you to Mike and Kris for the assistance.
With two nights now under my belt and two fish to boot, I just had to do another night. I reeled in at 11am and decided to tweak things around. I planned to move my right hand rod, to now become my left hand rod. This meant I now had all three rods in open water at range, but not close enough to compromise each other.
Before shooting off to the local shop for some much needed provisions, I quickly applied another 10 or so Spombs of free offerings per rod. After a short period away from the lake, all three Ronnie’s were now accurately recast over the baited spots and the lines sunk and everything set.
‘The Grassy’ is a great social spot to exchange some chatter and banter with fellow syndicate members. With work the following morning in mind, I hit the pillow at 9pm and slept solidly until I was rudely awoken by what became my third carp of the session; all 41lb of it in the shape of ‘Single Scale’. If I had thought the fight from the Chinese was epic, then this was the same again plus some! Oh my word.
After 15 or so minutes, she was (finally) safely retained and I was assembling the camera kit on the bank so everything was ready before I woke ‘#KKK’ from his deep sleep – probably dreaming of Tom Dove and Monster Carp. Kris very kindly duly obliged with photos of this lovely looking mirror.
With only 3 hours of my session remaining, I decided not to recast this rod, choosing to not disturb the other perfectly set traps already lying in wait. Whether that decision had any part to play in what then unravelled, I will never know. But 30 minutes later, I was doing self takes with a 29lb common very swiftly followed by a 22lb common on my third and final rod. It was now 5:30am and I had no rods in the water. I was totally over the moon and the carp literally ‘smashed me up’.