Nathan stacks them up on social session!

Nathan Highley had a red letter session on his Norfolk syndicate recently, culminating in three cracking thirties. Good angling Nathan!

I decided to book a week off work and some of it was going to be spent on my Norfolk syndicate. Just only the week prior I was fortunate enough to catch my target fish from the water, so this was going to be spent as a social with friends and to celebrate my capture.

I arrived down the lake on Monday morning and after a quick lap I decided to settle into the area that I had cat from the week before. This area is prime when a westerly blows and knowing that the winds were going to be west south/west for the week it seemed silly not to go in there.

I soon had the rods out just behind a bar in one of the silt gulleys. All three were kept the same, 3ft of original ESP camo leadcore, silt lead-clips, 8 inches of 20lb Two-Tone silt and size 5 D-7’s, the rig itself was a simple multi rig, 2 with yellow pop-ups and one on a white pop-up.

DSC_0058Over the top I spread 4 kg of boilie over all 3 and settled in to see if anything materialized. It seemed that I was only in bed for a short space of time when the left hand rod one-toned, a good scrap then took place and in a short space of time a good sized mirror was in the bottom of my mesh, I had a quick check on the time which was 4:00am so decided to weigh the fish and put him in the sack until first light, on the scales it went 31 – 10 and was a pristine mirror.


The prestine mirror at 31lb 10oz

The next few days went really quick and I managed to catch every night but unfortunately none of them were bigger than 17lbs, I did happen to loose an absolute steam train of a fish on the Thursday night which left me shaking.

On the Friday me and a couple of mates had decided to go up to the on-site bar and grab a bite to eat, play some pool and darts and mainly just chill out. The days on this lake are very poor with very little getting caught, so the brake was welcome. After some 4 hours the time was around 5 in the evening so we decided to call it a day and go and flick the rods out for the final evening. Again everything was kept the same, it’s a set up I’ve used for a while now and never lets me down so have never seen the need to change.


The Bronze Slopey Common

The evening sunset was really beautiful and me and my mate sat chatting drinking tea well into the night. I hadn’t been in bed long when the middle rod was away, the fight was hard with the fish taking line on several occasions, after a good 10 minutes I had a good sized common in the bottom of my net. I quickly readied everything for the weighing and on the scales she went 30 – 04, a fish known as the bronze slopey common.

I got the rod back out and despatched another 3 spombs of boilie over the top, then got back into the bag and tried to get back to sleep. I was only in the bag for 15 minutes when the right rod was absolutely melting off. On picking up the rod the fish took a good 30 yards of line of me, but once I’d turned it, it came in pretty easy and didn’t really fight at all. Five minutes later it was down my right margin and my mate who had heard the take had come over to do the netting.


The trip finished with the Muddy Common

I told him it didn’t feel very big and that it was probably a small one. I didn’t get the first look at the fish but my friend did and just turned round and said it was a cheese (something us Norfolk boys say for a 30!) Once in the net I realized which one it was, a fish named the muddy common and one I really wanted to catch. Up on the scales she went 33 – 08, we put her in the sack until first light, and I sat back to soak up the atmosphere of the place and to take in that I’d got a brace of 30lb commons in the sack. The picture’s of the two came out really well and I was made up from how the week down there had come together’.

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Yateley Whacker for Tony!

tonyburnhamHigh Wycombe based carper Tony Burnham has been in touch with news of his second 40lb+ common this year from Yateley North Lake.

This time Tony caught a fish known as Murray weighing 45lb 4oz. The bite came just three feet from the bank on a spot baited with hemp, chopped tigers and pellet soaked in CC Moore tuna extract.

Tony tamed the massive common with the help of a Terry Hearn Classic rod and the business end comprised a balanced tiger on a 6″ clone rig using 18lb Soft Ghost and a size 5 prototype ‘mk-3′ stiff rigger.

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Tel’s Top Tips #6

The longer nights of Autumn


The Chertsey 27, from a spot that could have been easily dismissed.

One for the more pressured waters. Now that the nights are longer it’s around this time that I’ve often found carp feeding away from the pressure, sneaking into the more unusual, obscure areas after dark. You know the places I mean, the little bays within bays, the corners within corners, all the places that you wouldn’t really expect them to go, and because of this they’re largely ignored. I can think of plenty of unlikely looking spots that I’ve fished in the past, which to look at in the day would have seemed completely devoid of life, yet at night they’ve come alive.

I remember one such tight corner on Chertsey where it was just about possible to squeeze in one rod, close to a shallow, gravel bottomed channel which went under the M3. The channel itself was fenced off ensuring nothing could escape, and alongside this fence a narrow, rusty bridge crossed the water. I’d walked across it more times than I can remember during my time on the lake, always stopping for a look as I passed, but this one time I noticed that a small patch of gravel had been cleaned off overnight. The water was crystal clear so I could easily see that there were no fish in the area, but the paler coloured, dinner plate sized scraping in the gravel was enough of a sign to tell me that they’d most likely been creeping in after dark.

I dropped a few tigers onto the shallow gravel, making sure I could still see their exact position as darkness fell, and as I was only fishing from the next swim along the bank, I kept walking back and forth to watch the area. By crouching down beside the old rusty bridge I was able to use the reflections from the motorway lights to my advantage, and that night I was amazed by what I saw.

Despite it being a chilly night, the carp ventured in and fed in water barely deep enough to cover your knees, at times rocking and swelling the water within a rod length of where I was silently crouched. Due to the nature of the swim, getting a bait onto the spot would have been pretty much impossible after dark but a plan was already coming together in my head, I just had to wait until the next day to put it into action.

Looking into the fish-less, tap-clear water the following morning it was hard to believe what I’d witnessed during the night, but the missing tigers and the presence of a couple more scrapings amongst the otherwise algae covered gravel was enough to tell me it wasn’t imagined.

The following night I had a trap waiting for them, waded into position and lowered with perfect precision whilst all was quiet. Looking at my hookbait in just two feet of crystal clear water with no fish anywhere near it seemed a little mad, but sure enough, within a couple of hours of it getting dark they were back and that rod was soon whistling off with a dumpy shaped mirror of 27lb’s. I went on to catch a couple more from that spot over the following nights too, which went to show that no matter how unlikely an area it seems in the day, once darkness has fallen it can be a different picture altogether.

Be lucky,

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