Tom Meager embarks on an emotional and obsessive roller coaster of a campaign...
Danny Hillier’s – North Lake 35
22nd June 2018
Danny Hillier tells his story of his 35lb 10oz mirror…
I had been baiting an area behind a small bar just into the cleaner silt. Something that has always worked well for me is using a mix of dari, groats, pellet and boilie crumb. I feel this gets the carp feeding in such a way that they drop their guard and I imagine them grubbing around the area in a frenzy as they search for every last seed, I also think the seed takes on all the attractors that are applied to the fishmeal and I use the pellet to soak up any excess liquids so nothing goes to waste. I started applying 2.5 kg twice a week, the seed and liquid attractors would keep the carp visiting for a couple of days. I would then visit the lake in the mornings to look for any signs of feeding.
One morning I noticed the area fizzing and witnessed three separate shows over the spot in the space of half an hour. They had already spawned and the water had warmed considerably so I decided to up the baiting to 10kg for the final week before the lake re-opened. Upon arrival at the lake I simply cast two singles onto the spot as I new the carp would be investigating the area looking for their free banquet! The following morning I was away and after a short scrappy battle I had what was probably the smallest fish in the lake sulking in the net. I topped the area up with a few spombs of the mix but cut the amount of particle and pellet down as I wanted them to be targeting the chopped fish meals. Half hour later I was into my second fish and again it was one of the lake’s smaller stock fish but a lovely carp never the less. I had another 12 hours or so ahead of me and decided to take a gamble to try and tempt one of the bigger fish into a feeding frenzy. I dispatched another 3-4kg onto the area and sat on the edge of my bed chair as I watched the spot erupt. I struggled to get any sleep as the Neville’s sang away and the bobbins danced up and down constantly. I finally managed to drift off for what must have been an hour or so until the right hand rod melted off and the alarm signalled a take. I was doing battle with what I knew was one of the bigger residents, it beat me up big time, taking out my other line and I said to myself I would be shocked if this wasn’t at least a thirty. The shear power of the carp pulling the rod into full test curve and yanking line from a tight clutch. After some time I eventually lifted the net and peered down to see a big old crusty mirror, a proper Yateley carp! She went 35lb 10oz and I was chuffed to catch my first North Lake 30.
Previous to this, and just after the lake had closed for spawning, the members received some soul destroying news. The passing of Yateleys biggest ever carp “Murray” followed by the “Black Common” shortly after. To make matters worse I unfortunately discovered the last remaining “A Team” common “Snub Nose” belly up in the channel on the way back from a walk round. This left me totally deflated and pondering on what to do for the remainder of the year. I’ve decided to crack on and enjoy the rest of my season on the lake as it is a stunning venue which still contains some incredible looking, yet extremely elusive mirrors, one of which being the cream of the crop; The Wedding Fish.
A couple of the newer stocking carp were also caught in the same session from Yateley’s famous North Lake, a 13lb common and a lovely 18lb linear.
The next trip…
I arrived in a swim I had been consistently baiting for a short overnight sessions, I knew the carp were hungry and had been getting on the bait very quickly so I cast both rigs tight on the spot and baited with a few kilos of grub. The majority of the stock were showing themselves in the bay which actually did me a favour as a few anglers set up away from me trying to nick a bite from the area. I knew the carp were using this area for a specific reason and I don’t think it was for feeding. They were visiting my baited area consistently and I knew it was just a matter of time before they would vacate the bay in order to “dine”. I must admit this happened a lot sooner that I anticipated and an hour later I was out in the boat netting the second carp of a double take. I was delighted as the fish rolled over the cord and I saw the tell tale scale pattern of the “Bailiffs Lin” one of the last remaining “Sutton’s” in the lake and one I really wanted.
All captures used the classic Amnesia D-rig setup using Thinking Anglers leadcore, double ring swivel heli, tungsten putty, heavy rings and our trusty hook ring swivels.