2021 was a year that I thought was going to be a write off with lockdowns, no night fishing and little idea at all what was going to happen angling wise. Around mid-January I received a text message I had been hoping for and I was offered a gold card membership on the RK Leisure complex for the 2021/2022 season, which gave me full access to the whole Horton complex. Due to being a weekend angler, I decided early on that I was going to only focus on Kingsmead 1.

My ticket wasn’t due to start until May 1st, so I decided to concentrate on my club water until my ticket started. I managed a brace of mid 30s along with quite a few back up fish in April once we were allowed to night fish again, which was a start to year that I won’t ever forget.


My first session on K1 was the opening weekend of the 1st of May. Due to how busy it was, a draw for swims was carried out and to my surprise I was third out. I chose a swim known as Trudys, which controls a massive amount of water in the centre of the lake, which I thought would be a good starting point. I decided to keep my approach very simple and put both rods on one spot over a heavy amount of bait and present two bottom bait rigs over the top.


I got off to a flyer that first weekend landing a low 20 stocky and a 31lb mirror, which gave me a huge drive to get back down the following Friday after work. Due to work I arrived very late that following Friday and I was the last person through the gate, which at the time was very annoying. However, as the season went on it turned out to work in my favour massively as by the time I would arrive everyone would be set up and quite often had pushed the fish off into the quieter areas where I could then get on them. I continued my run of fish that second weekend with a low twenty common from the opposite end of the lake.


The next session I had planned was towards the end of May and I had booked the week off work to get down before the fish started to spawn. I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect week and I ended up having 9 fish that week with 5 of them being over 35lb, topped off with one of the most wanted fish on the complex known as The Upfront Common at a huge weight of 47.15! A new pb and an amazing looking carp!


The following weekend I set up on The Church Lake for one night after the fish had begun to spawn on Kingsmead. I caught a fish named Groucho that night on the Church at 38lb! I couldn’t believe my luck to be honest.


Things took a massive swing after that and the fish had their minds on spawning, which made the fishing tricky from June right through till the end of August. I decided to pull off and return during last weekend of August. I carried on where I had left off and managed four fish to just over 30lb. During September I carried on fishing and catching consistently. I tended to turn up in the pitch black on a Friday around 10pm and get on any showing fish. I don’t think I’ll ever beat the way September went and there were two different sessions where I managed seven fish hits during a weekend! During one of these weekends, I landed another A team resident known as Jake’s Sutton at 38lb, which is just a mega carp!


I was fortunate to have a big hit in September too, which is one I’ll never forget! I managed five fish in a night with Kingsmead’s largest resident ‘Scar’ at a massive weight of 53lb! I was absolutely blown away and I couldn’t believe it. I think it was a couple days after that session I was approached by Gardner Tackle and I was asked if I wanted to get involved within the brand. For me this was a massive opportunity I just had to take.


I carried on with the same approach on through October November up until now and I am still consistently catching. I have kept to the same approach all year, which consisted of big beds of Mainline Cell and bottom bait rigs made using Ultra Skin and size 4 Covert Dark Mugga’s. I’m currently on 44 bites with a few months still left. I want to say a massive thank you to James and Gardner Tackle for giving me the opportunity and to get involved with the brand. I’m planning on targeting the famous Horton Church Lake with the hope do on there as I’ve done on Kingsmead.