Monthly Archives: May 2017

Curse of the Chilli night

Yaay Christmas has come early and a new trip begins, bait picked up from DNA and the car stinks of garlic lol, oh well it will mask the smell of old people, sorry mum.

Good drive down, arrived early Thursday morning just in time for breakfast but it’s cold ,damp and misty booo. Camp set up in Happys, mmmm that could be taken in a different context, but all done, rods set up ready for the starting whistle. I can’t believe the changes to the lake from my last visit, the different pathways through the wild grass areas and the changes to the swims, including a new point swim with access at water level in all, fantastic .

Chicken and mushroom pie , wine , cheese, chockie pud, blah blah, then rods out, far tree line and near side margin to the right targeted ready for the night ahead.

Full of food and feeling a weary old hector ( the older readers may remember the saying from a well known children’s programme ) its was off to the land of nod only to be rudely awakened by mum truffle hunting at silly o clock in the morning on her side of the bivvy, at nearly 78 years old she can do what she wants as it’s a privilege to have her with me even though she can out snore me.

7 o clock, quiet night and mums off on her ablution run and quick change from night attire to breakfast gear. No sooner had she gone one of the far bank rods was away resulting in a 24 lb football shaped mirror falling for snowman rig with 15mm DNA bottom bait and 10mm piece of white milky malt DNA candy stick. Where’s my photographer when I need her, the margin rods off and a chunky 22lb mirror is in the net, great start to session , this one falling for 15 mm bottom bait with corn tipper.

A hearty breakfast and we now look forward to the arrival of new visitor , my mate and Danny Murphy lookalike Dave who should be driving down from Roscoff .Dave arrives safely and decides to plot up in the new point swim, owning up that his footy skills are more that of Eddie Murphy lol. With a bit of help his 2 bivvies are erected, yep , one for sleeping in and the other for his extensive bank side wardrobe , unlike yours truly the original bank tramp.

After a fantastic BBQ it’s time to put his rods out , and less than an hour later a 20lb common is safely in the folds of his net awaiting its picture taking with one very happy angler, what a start, again to a single bottom bait with corn topper just 20 yds out to far bank.

Well what do you know , the rain starts as per usual for our visit and continues through the night although it’s warm and snug in the bivvy . Early doors I’m rudely awakened from my beauty sleep by something I could only describe as sounding like a goose farting in the fog, you guessed, mum up to her tricks again, turn over and head buried in pillow until the birds call me from my slumber to welcome the new day and no rain as of yet.

A call from next door had me landing a pristine 11lb common for Dave then my tree line rod was away, a decent fight, and a surprise 30lb 8oz grassie sat in the folds of the net sulking.Photos done, fish back to her home and happy smiling faces. At the time John and Jan were off down to the village with mum so it would be a nice surprise on their return.

A rod each and Dave and myself decided on a day in fizzers in a quiet corner which turned up a lovely 35 mirror known as drop tail which we soon found had put on 18 lb in 2 1/2 years, a tremendous weight gain. John was buzzing with the news and coolly let us know it was chilli for tea , and you know what happened last time on chilli night.

To cut a long story short the chilli went down great guns with clean plates all round. Plates cleared and Jan headed towards the door to the kitchen when Dave heard the high pitched tone of his receiver. Boy is this bloke nimble on his feet, up from the table,opened the door without breaking stride and down towards his swim followed some distance behind by myself puffing and blowing, giggling and shouting “it’s ok Dave il be there sometime today”, thinking chilli night strikes again.

After a prolonged fight Dave had white stripe in his hands for the photos at 36 lb, a gorgeous looking mirror. I dont know who was more pleased, Dave,myself or john, but with the fish growing like this , a few years down the line I hope il be able to get on for a week .

Quiet night then quick wet wipe and lynx wash lol ( socks don’t stick to bivvy wall yet so they are fine although boxers are now on back to front as they have been inside out already ), think I’m trying to get so stinky I can mask the pong from mums feet.

Stalking for the day and 3 litte gems to mid doubles, and time for tea.Another gorgeous meal finished and the high pitched tone of an alarm has both of us sprinting for the door. My left hand rod was away and as soon as I lifted into the fish I knew it was heavy as it just plodded across the front of the tree line. 10 minutes later after nearly flat rodding me in the margins she was in the net and an enormous pair of shoulders met my gaze. It was confirmed “Avril ” had slipped up at a weight of 45lb 4oz and new lake record for now. Buzzing. Johns smile widened and soon we were celebrating with a jack Daniels and cigar for Dave for his 36 mirror.

Another quiet night and another day stalking, just 1 fish to my rod from the stock pond , a lovely mid double mirror that has now been rehoused in the main lake.

With the weather now settling and sun high in the sky we found the fish in numbers on the bottom bank just up from fizzers and were able to watch them in the margins sunbathing. I have to admit the size of these did surprise me and 3 fish in particular looked BIG, how big I wouldn’t want to say until someone banks one. What this lake actually holds is amazing for its size, but with the natural life in the lake, supplemented with the pellet and brilliant food source sweeties from DNA it doesn’t surprise me.

Left my baits in situ again, but Dave managed to get a rod near the bush where we saw the fish, a few baits scattered alongside and await the action. Not long after a lovely 9lb common to Daves rod in the moat so game on.

1.30 am and I wake to calls from next door as Dave plays an angry fish taken from the new spot which decided it was going to plough through all the rods causing utter carnage in the light of the full moon. The result was a 34 lb grassie, slightly smaller in length than the one I had but thicker with a tell tale scar on its flank.Photos done, fish rested in the flotation sling, then off she sulked into the blackness, happy days.

Just to show it wasn’t a fluke, Dave lands another fabulous mirror later in the day , this time 36lb 5 oz , how much better could this week get. A chunky 24 1/2lb common falls to my rods along with a couple of doubles from a stalking session, then its time to pack down before sometime tomorrow. Night spent in apartment, finally having a shower, leaving Dave all alone bankside. Morning report and Dave has had 2 more doubles, and we are on our way after the goodbyes to Calais. Thanks to john and jan for the wonderful hospitality again and Dave for the bankside humour and coffee making , lets hope we can sort some more trips mate. Daves last day produced 2 more fish so a total of 25 fish in all , a great week, and lets hope the fish don’t decide to spawn before the arrival of Gary in a weeks time, until then , these clothes need a wash .


The Northern Monkey and the Hot Water Bottle

Another season begins and a return to the lake for our good friend and northern monkey Neil,hoping to poach one of the big girls before anyone else has chance. The weather to greet him at the airport with John and Jan was favourable with clear skies  and strengthening warm wind. Quickly setting up in the slip swim on arrival at the lake in strong sunshine and casting towards the tree line he quickly moved onto 5 fish through into his second day but once again the local weather decided to do a complete u turn with bitter winds and sudden drop in temperature, which had the fish heading for cover. Unknown to Neil it seems he may have suffered from a touch of sunstroke as he appeared at the dinner table shivering and donning woolly hat and extreme winter clothing. This, after spending the previous day in shorts in near 30 degree heat. A drop to 9 degrees during the day then -2 during the night to leave a deposit of ice in the rings, crazy weather. What Neil omitted to tell me was the little present Jan gave him to return to his bivvy with, a hot water bottle shaped pressie that he hung onto for dear life as he scurried back to the confines of the bivvy along with another sleeping bag, awwww bless. I have to say though in Neil’s defence I have suffered these sudden temperature drops and indeed the bitter easterly winds during a February trip and it’s not funny I can tell you, still trying to find the dangly bits that fell off above said northern monkey.

The rest of the week saw Neil working hard stalking in the moat and at its mouth to bring his tally to a very respectable 11 fish from high teens to a mirror of 27lb 14 including  3 x 20s, struggling in the changeable conditions.

One thing noticeable was the fact that neither Neil nor John recognised any of the fish either from previous personal captures or photographs which is looking good for the future of the lake and its stock as all we’re in fantastic condition and fought like demons.

Once again Neil left the lake a happy yet frustrated happy vowing to do battle with something larger on his next visit.

Hopefully the break of a week will see the return of warmer settled weather for the return of myself, mother dear and a new visitor in the shape of Danny Murphy lookalike Dave. Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment.