A weekend on Whittle Mere – Teakettle Fisheries
I haven’t fished at teakettle much this year, in fact this is only my second trip in about a year. I finished work at 2pm on Friday and made my way up the A1 towards Peterborough. The lake has been fishing reasonably well over the last few weeks with most of the fish coming from the far end of the lake.
As I pulled up to the lake there was a lad just locking the gate, and from what I could see there were a few cars already dotted around the venue, 6 to be exact. Shutting the otter fence behind me I started making my way round the lake. The first half of the lake was empty, although the lads who had just turned up were stood in pegs 2 and 3 having a look. Due to a new wind being forecast I had a rough idea which part of the lake I fancied and as luck would have the peg I had in mind was empty. Getting out of the car in peg 12, I walked to the front of the swim just in time to see a carp head and shoulder at about 70yrds, then another and another. Well that was enough for me and started to unload the car.
First things first, knock up some stick mix. My stick mix is made up of crushed boilies, on this occasion, the new Sweet Amino. To this I add salt, chilli flakes, chilli powder, micro pellets and also some crumbed pop ups. The reason I add crumbed pop ups is to help break the stick up and it means I have little food particles rising up through the water column. To this I then add some liquid attractor, sweet amino glug and some of the booster spray. Once I’d mixed it all together I left it so the dry mix absorbs the liquids. Fishing with little sticks is something that I do with about 90 percent of my fishing and have done for a number of years. I find it has 3 benefits. It protects the hook point which I am very meticulous about sharpening, it reduces the risk of the rig tangling and it leaves a little bit of food and attraction around the hook point.
Getting the marker rod out I tied on a 3oz lead and started leading about the swim. Due to the long hot summer we have had, the water level is considerably lower than in years passed and with only an average of approx. 3ft in front of the swim. I was hoping the fish were going to be in this area due to the warm weather we were having and the new wind which was going to be blowing into the corner of the lake I was setting up in. Out in front of peg 12 the bottom is pretty much uniform with only a variance of 6 inches here and there and lots of dead or low lying weed. I opted for an area where the weed didn’t seem as bad just the other side of a large clear area. I baited with a couple of spombs on Sweet Amino boilies which had been soaking in the matching glug. Getting the first rod out went with no dramas. I’d tackled up with a helicopter rig, my preferred choice, and a slip ‘D’ rig with one of the new GS1 bottom baits and a 10mm Stinky Pink pop up to create a snowman rig.
Attaching one of the little sticks I had made up it wasn’t long before this rod was out on the spot. The right hand rod spot was an easy decision to make as there is a lovely reed fringed margin which goes around a corner into a bay of peg 11. After a few casts down the reed line I found an area that felt a bit firmer than the others. Again, this was baited with some Sweet Amino and soon my baited rig was on the spot.
For my left hand rod I had decided to fish this about 15yrds to the left of my middle rod, off the baited area. I had caught a couple of fish the last time I was down the lake on just little sticks cast to showing fish. Again with a GS1 bottom bait, a sticky pink popup and a little stick it was soon flying out to an area at about 80 yards.
As the evening went on the lake got busier with around 10 anglers on, most of which were in the same part of the lake as me. During this time the numbers of fish that I was seeing started to diminish and those that did show were nowhere in front of me, I think they had moved off. With limited options of a move I decided to stick it out for the night and possibly have a move in the morning.
The wind started picking up late evening and just as I got into bed the left-hand rod gave a couple of bleeps. Walking down to the rods I noticed the bobbin was tight to the rod blank and the rod tip was knocking. Lifting the rod I felt a resistance on the other end and after a short spirited fight I lift the net around the first fish of the session, a lovely scaley 18lb 8oz mirror.
Photos done, I returned the fish to the water. Due to only having limited time to fish I like to be prepared and during the evening I had made up several rigs with baits already attached and little sticks slid down the hook link. After a quick dip in the sweet Amino glug the rod was back out into the area. The rest of the night was quiet and at first light I was up and watching the water.
I only saw one show in that time which was a bit further around to my left in front of peg 14. However this peg was taken so there was no chance of a move. Just as I was sipping my 3rd cup of tea of the morning the middle rod indicated a fast take. As soon as the rod hooped over I knew I was into a bigger fish. It just felt heavy and took several fast runs in the shallow water. After it picked up my right-hand rod, which thankfully didn’t cause to many issues, I lifted the net around my prize. Looking into the net I knew it was the biggest fish I had caught out of Whittle Mere and at 29lb 12oz I wasn’t wrong. The fish behaved really nicely on the bank and after a few pics I treated where the hook had been and returned it no worse for wear.
Obviously after this fish the thought of moving was a distant memory although there were fish getting caught from the back of the wind in pegs 7 and 8. I would just keep a mental note on that for next time. With both rods back out, I made up a few more sticks and put some fresh bait on the spot. I then sat for a while sharpening some hooks ready for a recast if the opportunity arose.
It was only about 2 hours later when my left hand rod burst into life again. This fish knew where it was going and wanted to get there quickly!! It didn’t matter what I did with this fish it was adamant it wanted to put as much distance between it and me as possible. It was a great fight, to be honest one of the best I’d had for a while but the fish was soon mine. Looking into the folds of the net I could tell this was bigger than the last fish, this was definitely a 30lber. At that moment another syndicate member and fellow Team PCF member, Craig arrived in the swim. He had seen me playing the fish from another peg and came round to see if I needed a hand. It made life a lot easier having an extra pair of hands helping with photos and weighing of the fish. Lifting it up onto the scales, the needle went straight passed 30lb and settled on 33lb exactly, my first 30 from the water and from what we can work out a new 30 for the lake too.
To say I was pleased was an understatement. 3 bites in less than 20 hours including a 29 and a 33, I was a happy boy. I got the rod back out and sat back in anticipation of what the next 24 hours was going to bring.
A few lads left the lake that morning, however a few others turned up and went into swims around me and I think with the disturbance this causes the fish just moved away because over the next 24 hours I didn’t receive a single bleep other than a fish trailing line wiping out 2 of my rods. Thankfully I managed to get that fish in, removed the rig and treated it before putting it back.
I loaded up the car on the Sunday morning and headed back down the A1 to sunny Bedfordshire. I’m not sure when Ill be back out fishing again as I have a couple of tutorials coming up then I’m off to a hotter climate for a well-deserved holiday with the wife.
We are coming up to prime time now for carp fishing. The fish will be realising the seasons are changing and will be having a bit of a feed up over the next couple of months, now is the time to be out there.
So, Until next time, Get out there, Enjoy yourself and remember…… Its only fishing.