As I sit here now tapping away on my iPad, it’s 10.30 am and already 35 degrees but a nice refreshing cool breeze takes me back to last spring and summer on the big pit. Well I say big pit and I suppose it is really in comparison to some I have fished, but at 50 acres it’s plenty big enough especially as there are only 25 odd carp that reside there.
It’s not the most carp angler friendly of lakes, for quiet a few different reasons. In the summer it gets virtually impossible to walk a complete circuit due to the vegetation just taking over all the tracks. So depending on what part you are fishing there are a number of different parking areas.
Most swims are un castable from the bank so waders are a necessity. A sailing club takes up a good corner of the lake where there’s an entrance to some major snags that the fish love to hang about in out of harm’s way, the sailing club bank also covers a good area of water that’s out of bounds.
All lakes have there problems, the ones above just hopefully keeps the lake quieter than it would be so with that it suits me and the guys that are angling on there. I didn’t start till late in the year the previous year on there, (Sept 2018) and was really just doing a recce to get a bit of knowledge for a full on onslaught the next coming spring.
I fished various swims around the pit trying to get a feel for the place, but it was evidently obvious it was going be a tough one. Watercraft was going to be the key factor on this lake, that and learning all about the Carp’s favourite areas and previous captures ect.
I decided to wrap up early Winter on there to fish at home on my Brooke lake as I wanted to try and have ago for my Brooke lakes Bull nose an incredible common, that I figured was so worth having a go for before I was off to escape the Winter and head off out to Goa back to my life guard job.
I managed to end the year with a nice few carp from Brooke lake, and catching Bullnose early December at 47 absolutely perfect and so glad I did decided to have ago. Bullnose was so impressive on the bank she is incredible has to be one of the best commons about and that’s not being biased at all see for yourself.
It was a long hot 3 months in Goa eyes peeled on the sea, it does wear you out somewhat. I thought a lot about my fishing on the big pit and how I was to approach it. Mostly all I had to go on was previous captures so first of all I need to explain, I was only fishing for the one fish my target an absolutely stunning mirror very dark and long a complete beast of a carp weighing around upper 40s.
The other fish were all most certainly welcome, and the A team consisted of a cracking mirror of around 40/41 a long leather around 39ish, another two mirrors of around upper 30s maybe over 40. I am not 100% on the actual numbers no one really seems to know but I have heard between 25/30 fish so not a great deal really.
My fishing for many years now has always been about targets, it’s what I get most excited about, I set personal goals it’s all about me and that target carp in particular. Any other fish along the way are all part of the journey and very welcome especially when it’s ultra tough.
I decided to use as I always do early in March when it’s still very cold, one of the compulsive range pop ups with a light scattering of freebies. I love a wicked white at this time and the freebies to match, but i’ll still use either an Esta Blend or one of the Pineapple Esta,s on one rod or to showing fish.
I fish with my angling buddy Jim Hepper we have fished together a good few years now both of us doing very well on Vinitro, whilst we were there.
Jim is part of Mad baits and IMHO a true asset to us, for those who don’t know Jim as he is very media shy let’s just say his had more big fish than most in the country.
Jim’s coming up to 71st birthday this year and brings a massive wealth of knowledge to Mad. Jim was very good mates with Rod Hutchinson and was fishing with him in the early pioneering days on Cassien. Also he is for his age one of the keenest anglers I know. So with our two heads working together we set about trying to work the place out.
In Vinitro as it warmed we switched to more of a Particle approach but always with added boilies and then later in the year we would drop the Particles and keep the then well established boilies going in, this proved to be a great approach as we both caught the big un and many of the others.
So that was our plan for the baiting approach for the year ahead on the big pit.
Jim had started on the big pit before me as at the time I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be, I was still on Burgfield. He had a nice hit of three fish including the leather at 39lb
The lake is an open expanse of water with only the one island, the whole lake is fairly shallow average depth around 6ft, with a good few bars and Sandy spots, and deep silt. Some deep silt areas your hook baits will come back tainted, very off putting but I have had them sheeting up like crazy in these areas.
One area I really fancied was from a point swim looking down the lake so the westerly, south westerly would be in my face more or less. From this swim a fair distance out I found that it dropped off from 5/6ft into nice clean silty deep area of between 9/10ft, one of the deepest parts of the lake. It seemed to me the perfect interception area at any time of the year, I could imagine them late winter in that area and creeping up the shelf to the shallower water to search for food.
I spent a little time in this area before I went against my instincts and moved to concentrate on a new area. I had been listening to other anglers a lot about where she had come from and where she was going to come from and so on. Now all this info is great but not gospel as I learned the hard way.
She’d been out from a particular area in a bay the previous year and I spent way to much time in that bay. I constantly baited and got in the swim week after week, thinking surely they would turn up, from up the trees I only ever see two fish come in the bay, one common of around mid 20, that did have a feed along the tree line and then disappeared not to be seen again, and one good mirror that came in and circuited the bay and left.
I was now in a dilemma do I stay or move, I had easily clocked up some 20 odd nights and there was a whole pond out there to explore, I’d wasted enough time so I gave the area up it was time to move.
Spring had flown by and we were getting into summer now and they had spawned, and I was still for all my wasted efforts fish less.
Dead opposite the point swim that I liked right up the other end of the lake, the weed had took over and that was where the fish were spending their time, but finding spots was very hard and then you had to land them. Anyway I plotted up on this bank and found a few little spots and managed to land my first one from the big pit, after 23 nights.
It just goes to show that rigs in the right area will produce the fish, they had been seeing the bait regular so I knew they’d feed it was just getting on them.
I’d landed myself a nice but empty mirror of 29lb, I later lost a good fish that cut me off on the lead core gutted. Anyway I was happy now I’d moved and managed to get amongst them.
That session the wind was pushing nicely into that bank and looked great with fish evidently in the weed beds. On my next trip I headed straight back to there but the wind was now blowing hard back down the lake to my old Point swim. I sat there for a while not seeing anything and my mind was now thinking they must have moved out on this wind and maybe the old Point swim will produce.
Within no time I was sitting on a bucket at the front of the Point watching.
I needed to see one fish and I new I’d be in the right area, in 50 acres one sighting anywhere near me I’d be happy especially with this low stock.
I must have sat there for at least an hour and a half then fairy long but within my range behind the drop off a mirror slipped out to the gills.
That was my Q, off I ran to collect my gear from the van.
Once all set up I waded out with the pluming rod, and soon found that the nice gravely drop off was now covered in thick weed, I had to pull back closer until I was able to find what I was looking for. A nice channel between weed was perfect I visualised them coming up onto this weedy area working their way forward until they would find my bait.
A big bucket of spod mixed with 6ml and 10ml Addiction was put out each day standard. With the braided line I was getting a nice thump down on the cast I knew I was angling to the best of my ability.
The wind that night was so strong in my face I had to take the bobbins off and just clipped the lines up. 5am the next morning one of the rods was melting off, I remember thing yep that’ll be a bite, I didn’t even bother with the waders I just jumped straight in.
The worry in this swim and others is there are buoys out in the lake for the sailing club, and this one was motoring off like a train so no time for waders sod that.
All the time I’m thinking “what have I got on here is it the one” you just don’t know do you.
Also as I’m on a point they can kite long left or right on you and into the bank along the tree line either side and create all manor of problems. Just to my left was a lot of weed on the surface and luckily this slowed her down from getting round there and I then pumped it back with some weed and landed a nice scaly mirror.
I safely pulled the net back and rested the fish for a while I was just looking in the net when I heard my other spool clicking away fortunately I’d quickly phoned Jim to come round and do some shots as I’d only set one net up. So I was back in the lake playing another one that wanted to be up the other end of the lake.
Jim arrived just in time to set up and pass me the other net, after a similar scrap another nice mirror was safely in the net. This was unbelievable I was well happy a double take off the area I was already very confident with.
The fish turned out to be two known thirties a bit down in weight after spawning a cracking scaly one at 30.4 and a nice 29.12 perfect my confidence was booming.
No more action that day but another big bucket went out nicely before I got the rods out that evening hopefully anticipating another chance same time the next morning.
Unbelievably the next morning I had a triple take, I had two 20s a mirror and a common and a upper double a crazy morning they must have been bang on me and I do feel slightly unlucky to have not had any of the A team as surely they were there unlucky I guess.
On my next trip I was as you can imagine dead keen to get back in there, sadly the swim had been trashed. When I arrived the Seagulls were sitting over the area and others were diving and only just ducking under and getting baits that were floating up. God knows what was put out there rancid old bait at a guess, to confirm this it was drifting in on the breeze it stunk.
I was so gutted I had completely set up camp and was well excited to get back in the swim. Anyway it was trashed so I packed up and moved.
I spent a bit of time up the other end, the weed beds would soon be on the decline and fish the would want to make the most of the naturals before they up rooted and started drifting around the lake.
At the end of July a really low pressure drop (998) and a new moon saw me head back to the point. It was just such a good area and I was so sure it would at some stage produce the goods. The spots were baited as the norm, and on the second morning a cracking mirror of 29lb brought a confident smile to my face, sadly the only fish on that little trip.
I was clocking up some nights now 38 and 7 fish landed and one lost not a bad tally to be fair, but where were the big uns?
We were now into August and the weed was starting to up root and drift about or just hit the surface and make line lay impossible. I fished up the other end as I’d seen fish show and spent literally hours clearing weed it was a major task in most swims at this time. But my mind was on the Point swim I wanted to prep it up for the Autumn that was on its way.
Into September now, it was much cooler and I spent my time in the Point, the weed was a joke to be honest I spent about 4 hours one day just to clear my line lay so that I could get the rods out. I had a nice clear channel ready for my lines.
I had the rods all rigged up ready to go and I’d been concentrating on sorting my rods and when I looked up a huge great weed bed had drifted right into the opening of my channel this was not good as it was already getting late and would soon be dark, I frantically cast the floating weed rake out but it was a losing battle there was to be no rods out that night a complete wipe out.
I had really been prepping the swim all was going really good. The beginning of October a new member turned up, So where does he plot up, yep the point!
To say I was gutted was an understatement not the guys fault but I was now just lost I was deflated I’d worked hard in there, and it turned out the guy had all the time in the world and was not going anywhere soon.
I joined Jim up the other end of the lake, what made it worse was that I was now looking down at my old swim. In the early hours of the morning I see his light on I knew he’d caught one, and I knew I was wasting my time in the swim I was in, think he had a 37 mirror not too sure. The guy proceeded to catch a couple more and loose a couple as well.
I returned back the following week hoping to get back in the swim, I grabbed my bucket and in the dark headed down the track as I approached I had my fingers crossed I hoped the swim would be free, my heart sank as the same guy was still in there, of course he was why wouldn’t he be.
Once again I set up at the opposite end, the next morning Jim who was next door came and gave me the news the guy had caught the big girl. Sometimes your just not meant to get it that’s the way it goes, she went 49lb as well her best ever weight. Fair play to the guy he’d had the session of a life time, but I will get my time and it will be even sweeter.
Late October I had one last trip, the point was free now, I did my last three nights making a total of 60 nights in all.
I learned a lot, mostly to follow my own instincts Jim had a few nice fish but that’s his story to tell, I’m now after writing this all fired up and can’t wait to get back on the hunt I will keep you posted…