Paul Claridge concludes his season with a tale about his purple patch of success on Burghfield lake.
Ben Connolly – Southern Adventure
10th April 2020
Ben Connolly embarks on a little adventure to a large southern pit…
“I’d known about the lake and a few of its inhabitants for many years. It held some lovely old carp, no monsters that would rock today’s carp scene, but carp that were full of character and a real chocolate box stock, no two the same. But for one reason or another I’d never actually got around fishing there.
This particular year things fell into place, and late summer and autumn saw me chasing the low stock of carp that swam in its crystal-clear depths.
Access onto the lake was terrible, and once you finally got there the terrain was boggy and quite overgrown in places, so it quickly became apparent that carrying the kit rather than using a wheelbarrow was going to be the best option. Due to the long walk to the lake and it’s sizeable acreage, I had to scale the kit right down. I ended up being able to fit everything I needed into the TA rucksack, TA unhooking mat and the slim quiver. It all fitted together perfectly.
Big pre-baiting hits were also in order, that way I only had to carry minimal bait whilst actually fishing. A few trips in, it was apparent that the majority of the lake bead was covered in a heavy blanket type weed. I decided that the best way to approach this would be to fish tall hinges with long supple booms made with 25lb Tungskin. My Krill corkball pop-ups were then attached to a micro hook ring swivel, and Double ring swivels were used at the other end to attach the rig to the leadcore leader.
A month or so in and things really started coming together. I’d located a deep gulley at around 100 yards, and after a few bait ups the fish were regularly visiting the area, early morning shows giving the game away.
Once I started fishing the area the bites came straight away, and over the next few weeks I kept the big hits of bait going in and experienced some of the most enjoyable angling I’ve ever had. The takes were incredible, absolutely savage ‘one toners’ that upon picking up the rod seemed almost impossible to stop. Some of these carp hadn’t seen a hook for a very long time and it showed! These were carp that had definitely thrived on neglect. Seeing them fighting in the deep, clear depths really was something else, it was truly exciting stuff.
I ended my time on this special place with the capture of the first carp I’d even known the pit contained. A thoroughly lovely old carp that to my knowledge has never had its picture publicised, so I’ll continue to follow suit on that front!”