Wrappers delight

11 & 12 /3/17 – Hintlesham specimen lake (overnighter)

I had arranged a 24hr session (only my second ever) with my mate Ben (from the aborted Catch 22 mission fame), and the plan was originally to try a new venue some distance away, but at the last minute, time constraints forced a change and we found ourselves rocking up at Hintlesham at the crack of dawn  on the Saturday. If I thought my sessions already involved wheeling a shed load of gear around, then this was Sheds R Us on wheels, and the planning and packing the night before РHoly crap!

Conditions seemed just about perfect. No wind, Light cloud cover but no chance of rain and with 24hrs available, the ability to just relax and take my time making sure the set up was just right was pure luxury. On the subject of the set up, there have been some new additions to the family.

A beautiful brand new pair of ProLogic Spod and Marker rods (fifty quid the pair off gumtree!), and a new Wychwood Spod reel (bought at the Brentwood Carp Show), and a cheap but solid Okuma reel for marker use. Oh, the joys of new tackle!

Ben had claimed his favourite swim in the corner, with access to the left hand overhanging tree-lined bank. He’d memorised the number of wraps for his two prime spots from a previous visit (he doesn’t get out muchūüėč) and was brimming with confidence. Not wrongly as it turned out. Within a couple of hours he’d bagged himself a nice brace of commons.

I jumped in the swim next door which gave me easy access to the gravel bar a short way out. Air pressure was still around the 1020 mark and the general consensus was not to be pre-baiting too heavily, but unfortunately I had just bought a new spod rod, plus I like to keep busy (mess about with something) so out went a dozen spomb full of hot hemp, pellet and crushed boilies. I absolutely loved getting to grips with the new marker/spod gear and a couple of bank sticks twelve boot-lengths apart took care of the wraps.

The afternoon was quiet and without event but I was happy with rig set up and location. Just before nightfall I brought the rods in and was disappointed to see the absence of hook-bait boilie on each rig. Just the pop ups remained. I’m using a new brand of bait at the moment (Total Baits) and the consistency is very soft and obviously life on the hair is relatively short-lived. Because of this I switched to a couple of old Cell boilies I’d been soaking in hemp oil and could be more confident they would stay put. Both were sent back out on the same spots and left, hopefully, to do the business in the night.

The nocturnal soundtrack was in full effect under the gaze of a full moon. At one point I was convinced I heard A monkey from the Tomb Raider game! We both decided to get some early shut eye but no sooner had I dropped off when one of my alarms sprung into life. This was a whole new experience! I can liken it to being spun around a dozen times then shoved in the darkness towards the noise. Ben appeared, to assist with landing and photo duty and then left me to perform my wraps again before getting back on the spot and crawling back into my pit. Half an hour later I was playing musical alarms again. Ben assisted once more, the fish was returned and the wrap ritual was performed once more before retiring again.

After what I was convinced was only about 15 mins, it all kicked off yet again, but Ben was nowhere to be seen (turns out it was actually 45 mins), so I was left to my own devices (hence the fish-only photo).

The next morning,¬†although the swim had gone quiet, I was still revelling in the previous nights antics. Ben wasn’t finished though and before we packed up he bagged two more commons including the best of the day, a 18.5lb lump. We were both well chuffed with our results, despite not being able to tempt some of the larger beasts out of hiding.

Overall it was an awesome experience and just a delight to get some fish on the bank once more (note to self – learn a thing or two about venues and successes!)


Virtual insanity

26/2/17 – Suffolk Water Park

So it’s official. I’m addicted. What is it about a seemingly impossible challenge which makes it so incredibly attractive and intriguing?


Today’s blanking masterclass showcased the shallow arm of the large horseshoe lake. I was sure my rigs were presented perfectly on a gravel bed 50 yards out and so was convinced, ¬†yet again, that today would herald a change in fortune, the destiny of which I’ve so foolishly placed in the hands of this lake.

WTF happened to travelling light? And this is just a day session!



Cheap Thrills.

29/1/17 – Brentwood Carp Show.

A day out at a show drooling over the latest and best carp products. I was like a kid in a camo-coloured sweet shop and with a few pence burning a hole in my pocket I even treated myself to a new bait bucket, a beautiful new spod reel and numerous other little bits and bobs.

The chief product tester was immediately ‘on the case’ . I think it met with the gorgeous Sia’s approval.

Losing in front of your home crowd

30/12/16  &  1/1/17. Kirton Hall Lake

Hoping to resolve my current fish drought, I managed to squeeze in a couple of trips to Kirton. My last session of 2016 (in zero-degrees misty fog with half the lake frozen) and my first of 2017 (torrential rain with occasional breaks revealing an absolute mill-pond-calm stillness).

During two full day sessions, all I had was one tentative drop-back bite which amounted to nothing. Even a desperate attempt to bag a consolation bream resulted in failure!

I suppose the only positive is I can say is that I’ve managed to fish every single day of 2017.

Happy New Year everyone and good luck in your quests for the forthcoming year.


Who knew?

18/12/16 -?
The plan for today was to go to Kirton and restore some normality and more importantly sanity to proceedings. Unfortunately, the fishing gods had other plans for me, and a last minute check of the website revealed that there was yet another silvers match, putting pay to my plan (which clearly involved no forward planning whatsoever). 

With everything then up in the air, my current obsession with blanking at Suffolk Waterpark suddenly sprang to the forefront of the other options available to me. Honestly, I just can’t let it go. If Kirton gives me a 95% chance of putting a carp on the bank, then the Big Lake at Suffolk Waterpark is easily 5%. All day long.

So I set out for SWP, but as I approached the junction that could divert me to Hintlesham (and a 50% chance of avoiding disappointment), a split-second internal battle took place, and seeing sense, I turned towards Hintlesham. Battle two commenced before I reached the next roundabout, during which I managed to convince myself that I shouldn’t ignore my first instinct as, ‘how would I feel if today was the day at SWP and I’d changed my mind and gone elsewhere?’ Naturally I used the roundabout to its fullest.

As it happened, today wasn’t the day. Who knew?!

It’s about time.

I have many vivid memories of fishing on the banks of the Great river Ouse as a boy back in the eighties, including many trips underlined by the startling image of my Dad striding scarlet-faced up the tow path towards me, which usually meant, once again, that I’d lost all track of time and was “bloody late for tea!”.

I have since come to realise that the years I spent ‘in the doghouse’ were through no fault of my own, and that in actual fact, I’d simply fallen foul of the time-bending phenomenon which I believe all anglers experience.

Here’s the science bit –

If we take a ‘normal’ 1 hour period of time, we can see what happens to it when we expose it to the fishing converter:

1 hr x (standard fishing) = feels like 20 mins

1 hr x (the last hour of a fishing session) = feels like 5 mins

Using the above converter we can see that a ‘normal’ 12 hours fishing actually only¬†feels like¬†3 hours 45 mins

In stark contrast we can also see below, the effect on time away from the bank:

1 hr x (waiting for next fishing trip) = feels like 3 hrs

Till next time…

No alarms and no surprises.

3/12/16 – Suffolk Waterpark (the Big Lake)

I can see this going the same way as my relationship with Melton’s specimen lake. The scores at Melton are currently 10-1 in the favour of the lake and yet I still keep going back for more. The Waterpark may just be my new obsession and could easily find itself at the top of my ‘favourite places to blank’ chart.

Under advisement from the friendly owner in the shop, I chose the car park swim today. It is in fact so close to the car park that you could easily fish from the car, or at the very least, sleep in the car on an overnighter (probably frowned upon) as long as you’re prepared to vault the fence should the alarms start to scream.

I switched to the swim next door ‘Caspers Rest’ for the last four hours of the session, just to spread the blank around a bit. Turns out Casper is a bloody big rat and he doesn’t rest much.

Casper is in this shot, although he’s a bit blurry as he was on the move.