Well… After what was a successful March for me April had me scratching my head, other than a 13lb mirror I had early in the month the rest of it was a struggle! I just didn’t fish very well during the month and looking back I would have changed a lot of things, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
My first session was a weekend on Teakettle Fisheries Whittle Mere lake. I got to the lake in reasonable time on Friday afternoon and after a quick walk round I saw a couple of fish show in front of swim 7. This is an area I hadn’t fished before and it took me a while to find clear areas amongst the weed. The right hand rod was fished to a margin snag in about 4ft of water, the middle rod was in open water and the left was fished with a zig. I had a take early Saturday morning on the Middle rod which resulted in a 13lb mirror. The fog was that thick that morning I had to wait about 4 hours before I could get the rod back out onto the spot. During the day fish started to show to my left so I moved swims into peg 8. I could still position my rod on the spot where I had caught from but gave me the option to fish where the fish had showing. It wasn’t long before the fish moved away and started showing in front of peg 12, directly opposite where I was fishing, so I upped sticks and moved again. I fished in 12 for the night which unfortunately resulted in a blank. Would I have caught if I had stayed in 8?? Possibly, but if I had blanked I would have been kicking myself for not moving.
My next trip out was over the Easter bank holiday. The plan was to fish Whittle Mere on Wednesday, move onto Thorney mere on Thursday to host some guests for the night, then I had the Sheltons open day on the Friday to attend. After the open day I planned to get back on Whittle mere for a couple of nights.
Well Wednesday night I didn’t fish very well and to be honest I just chucked the rods out as I was excited about moving onto Thorney Mere the following day. Well unsurprisingly I didn’t catch anything on Wednesday night and moved on to Thorney Mere around lunch time on the Thursday.
This lake is an absolutely stunning venue with islands, reed fringed margins and crystal clear water. Taking advice from the bailiff on the venue I set up in a swim called ‘Peaches’. This swim gave me a few options including a large bay to my left, open water and also one of the islands. I just sprayed boilies between the three rods hoping to intercept the fish as the moved around the island and towards the bay. As these fish haven’t been fished for a lot I had it in my head that they would be crawling up my lines, how wrong could I have been! Other than a couple of liners nothing materialised.
Gary Spencer, Steve Evans, Phil Grice aka Clint and myself attended the Sheltons Open day on the Friday which was a great success for Sheltons and also ourselves. Martin Dawson, co owner of Holme Fen popped in for a couple of hours to. Listening to him talk about the amazing stock in his lake had my mouth watering!
During the day we had lots of interest in our bait and also our waters. I think we signed 6 new members onto our Whittle Mere syndicate during the day and Gary had his diary out taking bookings for the various waters we run. We had a lot of people coming to us to let us know about their success using our bait and talking about captures from Premium Carp Fishing waters, its days like this that make me feel proud and honored to be associated with the company.
After what was a long day I returned to the lakes but rather than fishing on Whittle Mere I set up back on Thorney Mere, however in a different swim called snake 2. This was the only area I had seen fish show the previous day. Yet again the next 18 hours had me questioning my angling ability. I don’t think I fished badly, I just don’t think the fish were there, this lake was proving to be my nemesis, but more of that to come….
I reeled in first thing in the morning as I was going to move onto Whittle mere as we were having a social on Saturday evening for one of the member’s birthday. I sort of pressed a reset button that morning and tried to put the last 48 hours fishing behind me. I was on the hunt. After a couple of hours walking around the lake I found about a dozen fish in a bay to the left of peg 11. Watching the fish from up a tree for about 15minutes I saw one fish which was a good upper 20 possibly a 30, I knew where I had to be. Just as I started to climb down from the tree another member drove through the gate and stopped in peg 11, And in that moment my shoulders dropped and my confidence just vanished, arrrhhhhh!!!!. I decided to have another look around both lakes. After about 3 hours of climbing trees wading through reed beds and standing watching the water I found a few fish in a bay on Thorney Mere. I’d say they were mid doubles although there was one fish which id have said was about 25lb. Then what I saw next nearly had me falling out of the tree I was perched in. I saw a head of a fish coming out of the reeds followed by its body which just kept on growing and growing. This fish was a huge common possibly ‘THE’ big common in that lake that has been see and has been estimated around 40lb. This thing was massive. I ran back to my car and drove back to the area. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fish for long due to the social so I Just flicked out a couple of chodies either side of the reed bed where I saw the fish. I reeled in after an uneventful hour to get round for the social. It was a great evening spent with some of the other members, the BBQ was going all evening and the caterpillar birthday cake that was presented to Daniel was greatly received. I left just before dark so I could get the rods back out. The night passed uneventfully, what was I doing wrong?!?!? This lake truly was beating me up!
Talking to Martin on the Friday he had invited me up to Holme fen for the night on Sunday, this was an opportunity I wasn’t going to pass on. Although the common I saw is a fish I’d love to catch, having the opportunity to fish a lake with, at the right time of year 20 different 50’s in it, I wasn’t going to pass on that.
Arriving at Holme fen I had the whole lake to myself, which was great however If I picked the wrong swim I had no one else to blame other than myself. Holme fen isn’t the easiest of waters and it proved this during the next 15 hours. I didn’t have so much as a bleep so I packed up and was on my way home with my tail between my legs. I had just spent 5 nights on the bank and not one fish graced my net. Although I was out for 5 nights I didn’t do much fishing, my head was all over the place jumping from one lake to another and chasing fish around. If I had stayed in the same swim/area things may have been a bit different.
April also saw the First Team PCF social of the year. My run of bad luck continued as I pulled number 11 in the draw. My dad and I ended up fishing in Blown Away, a swim furthest away from where the fish had been getting caught from the previous week. Although we didn’t catch anything it was a fantastic weekend with a lot of banter and laughter. It was great to see one of our team members smash his personal best twice on the last morning with a 38lb mirror shortly followed by a 41.
So all in all April wasn’t good for me at all, I think sometimes I over think things and probably move around a bit to much but we all learn from our mistakes. May can be a bit of a strange month too. With the water temperature warming up the carp have other things on their mind but maybe just maybe I might hit it right and be in the right place at the right time. Only time will tell. Until next month, get out there, enjoy yourself and remember, Its only fishing!