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Sizzling Summer at Chilham Mill by Craig Pearman

Sizzling Summer at Chilham Mill by Craig Pearman

Sizzling Summer at Chilham Mill by Craig Pearman 4.8/5 (95%) 13 votes

I had turned up at 7.30pm on Friday 9th August for an overnight session on Chilham Mill in Kent. Unfortunately I would not be able to fish my usual 36hr session this week as I had a wedding to go to on the Saturday afternoon.

I arrived to find the 26 acre lake with only 5 other members on, leaving me with plenty of options available. There was a slight breeze blowing towards the South East corner of the lake and the weather leading up to my session was typical midsummer conditions – red hot and flat calm.

I did a lap of the lake to find much of the lake to be consumed by heavy weed which was to the surface in the majority of areas. I spoke with a few members on my lap of the lake who informed me that the lake was fishing slowly and many fish had been lost in the weed. I proceeded to investigate the windward end of the lake thinking that the carp may have moved on the new wind – albeit a slight breeze.

I sat in a swim known as ‘Double Dugout’ for 15 minutes to view this area of the lake looking for any signs of activity. Literally 10 yards out and 5 yards down the right hand margin I could see what looked like a good common carp feeding on naturals with its tail completely out of the water. My mind was made up and I decided that I would set up camp in ‘Double Dugout’ for the first night.

Now to get a rig in position without spooking the feeding carp! Opting to fish a trusted snowman rig with a 15mm Equinox bottom bait tipped with a 10mm Equinox pop up, I attached a light 1oz lead and with a gentle underarm flick positioned the rig 10 yards to the left of the feeding carp. This was followed by a pouch full of Equinox chops catapulted over the top of the rig which I hoped would flutter down and settle on top of the weed.

The trap was set and the carp was slowly making its way towards my rig clearly unfazed by my presence. The carp disappeared from view and I thought my chance had gone, then a huge plume of bubbles erupted from the baited spot – fish on! I picked up the rod and the fish went on a powerful run out into the middle of the lake and into the sanctuary of the first weed bed it could find. 2/3 minutes of steady pressure and the carp came free of the weed and I steadily lead the fish towards the waiting net.

My first carp on Equinox known as ‘Janice’ went 29lb 10oz on the scales – I couldn’t believe it! Within 10 minutes of casting out a rig baited with Equinox for the first time and I had a fish which was clearly preoccupied on the abundance of natural food in the lake feeding on a boilie which it had never seen before. Needless to say my confidence was high!

After a few self takes, I proceeded to flick all 3 snowman rigs out at 15 yards range on the edge of a large weed bed followed by 1kg of whole & chopped 15mm & 18mm Equinox freezer baits.

Tired from work and the adrenaline of the carp I went about rustling up a celebratory curry whilst the summer sun was setting before retreating to the bivvy for the night. Two hours into darkness I was awoken by a one toner which resulted in a 22lb common and again at 1am by a 30lb 8oz mirror. Clearly I was on the fish and they were loving the Equinox, I positioned the rigs back on the spot and catapulted half a kilo of mixed size baits over the top.

At 3.30am I was woken once again, but this time it was a slow steady take unlike the takes earlier on in the night. I lifted the rod and hooked carp was on the surface after the lead had successfully discharged. I guided the carp towards the net and in the moonlit sky I could see a scaly mirror carp gulping air indicating that it was ready for netting. The spawned out mirror carp known as ‘The Starburst Mirror’ went 30lb dead on the scales and a new thirty for me.

I was so tired from the nights events that I wanted to pull the rods in to get a few hours sleep before heading home in the morning. However when you’re on a roll you need to make the most of the situation.

The rig was re-baited and positioned back on the spot with five pouch full of mixed size Equinox boilies. One hour later, just on first light, the same rod was away again. I was a little dazed, exhausted and slow to pick up the rod. The fish had weeded me up before I had the chance to pick up the rod. After several minutes of steady pressure the carp would not budge from the safety of the weed. I put the rod back on the alarm and went to put the kettle on hoping the carp would move out of the weed in its own time. After 10 minutes of waiting, a few beeps signalled that the carp was still on. I lifted into the fish again and this time it pulled free of the weed. After a spirited fight in the shallow margin I slipped the net under a 27lb 5oz linear. It was a great way to end my first session on the Equinox.

Two thirties and two upper twenties in one night on a new bait – I was ecstatic! I slowly packed away the gear already looking forward to next weekends full 36hr session whilst thinking ‘is there anyway that I can get out of going to the wedding and stay another night?’

Craig Pearman

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