I’ve had the new CC Moore Equinox for about 6 weeks but because of work commitments and other grown up stuff I’ve not had the real chance to give it a try. But what this delay has done is let me get a batch of hook baits made dried and re glugged several times to just how I like them.
Making my own cork balls was when I noticed the first difference to the Equinox sauce. It doesn’t dry! No matter how long I left them air drying, I couldn’t get them dry to touch after a glug. It’s not that they are soft, just that one of the additives clearly doesn’t react to air like most bait ingredients do. The other thing that really stood out are the smells and flavours, to my nose it’s a deep smokey smelling bait with a very sweet taste. Now it’s not like the bait boffins at CC Moore would tell someone like me what’s in it, but I’ve got an idea of one or two of the ingredients and a few mates who have taken the taste test has come back with a different combo.
Anyway… with all of the changes at Yateley, I decided to get a ticket for the Split lake on the Yateley West Complex. As a Silver ticket it’s been battered for years and the thought of being on there for the first year of it as a syndicate was a really exciting prospect, so I secured a half year ticket with the intention of waiting until the ‘Silvers’ left in March before I tried to winkle one or two out and avoid the big tadpoles in there.
The stock of carp is a little unclear with some saying around 90 carp in the pit whilst others reckon there are somewhere nearer 40 carp. Either way rumours of a gigantic ornamental, some cracking old mirrors and big Redmire commons is more than enough to get the juices flowing.
With a Monday off work and a couple of kilo’s of equinox heavily glugged, I decided to give it a go and after a lazy morning I headed off to the lake at about 10am. I was travelling light so I could get around three or four swims and see if I could find a few spots for later in the season. When I arrived, only the Sparshalt lads and the fellas having a social on the pads were there to greet me, so I had the lake to myself.
Spoilt for choice and not knowing any areas, I did one circuit of the lake and decided to settle on the bank which backs onto the dairy. From these swims I could get a good view of the lake and with no-one around have a good plum around to find a few spots at different ranges.
Being a sucker for natural features, I started in a swim with some really carpy looking margins and over hangin trees. Whilst I had one fishing tight to the snags, I could have a good cast about to find some spots. Seeing the Split at the height of last summer with a carpet of weed on the surface I’m really excited to see how well this weed management works and hope that it keeps the lake fishable safely for longer, nevertheless it does give the lake an eary look
Naturally carpy but eary aqua green water.
With a spot found about 50 yards out (roughly in line with the channel between the splits) a heavily glugged cork ball was attached to the rig via one of the newer bore rings with the extra ring and pinged out to the spot following by several pouches of similarly glugged boilies. Line set and I sat back, one of the problems with travelling light is that the tea making gear gets left behind and with no-one to blag a brew from, it was just water and mobile internet to keep me company.
After an hour of watching the lake, then the internet, then the lake I got an indication from the margin rod I’d forgotten about. Nothing too exciting but fishing a tight line I knew it must be a fish attracted to the scent being let off by the Equinox.
Nothing happened for a five or ten minutes and then the Nev let out a short scream. Because I was on a tight line and fishing locked the tip of my rod pulled round and I knew I’d hooked into something. First of all I thought Bream, then Tench and when I felt the weight guessed I’d hooked my first ever pussy. But it was none of them; very quickly I recognised the dull weight of a big carp. The fight pulled me around the snags in to the open water and back again. Thankfully, I’ve had plenty of experience dealing with fishing tight to snags and knew that the conti hook would never straighten out and the GR60 wouldn’t let me down.
What I hadn’t expected was the difficulty I was about to have with the landing net. Because of the oversized tadpoles, we have to used 50”+ nets and I’d managed to obtain – for a very good price – 56” arms which I’m sure will be ideal for big cats, but trying to land a carp in there with the resistance from the mesh wasn’t a pleasant experience and the carp was in and out of that net too often for my liking. Note to self – I need to whip a hook onto the pole to allow me to clip the mesh on to make it easier to manoeuvre it in the water.
With the fish in the net, I realised two things – firstly my camera is in the car (travelling light remember) and secondly there was no-one around to take a picture. With a cry for help on Facebook fruitless, my only choice was to secure the fish and go to get one of the lads from the Pads to take a picture. And I still hadn’t looked in the net, all I knew was it was my first Split lake carp on the new Equinox bait, and I was determined to get a picture for my album.
Back in the swim, I finally unwrapped my prize and was presented with a stunning looking Chestnut Redmire common – you beauty!! With it out of the water for just long enough to photo and weigh, back it went into the deep margins. The fish weighed 28lb but I didn’t care, I’d managed to nail a Yateley Split lake carp within an hour of fishing and what a stunner!!
With the rods back out on the spots, I sat back and had a cupp.. swig of water buzzing at what I’d just caught when the other rod was off!! Surely not another one within five minutes of the last? This time sadly the fight only lasted 20-30 seconds before the line went slack. Upon checking my rig the loop had pulled tight to the eye of the hook, so it was definitely a fish on, but the barb was masked with that dodgy cotton wool weed – gutted!!
Back on the spot with a few more pouches of bait, the rod was off again within 45 minutes! A much easier fight this time resulted in me landing my second Split common carp and a miniature of the first! Being a smidge under 20lb, I didn’t bother the lads on the Pads and after a quick matt shot another stunning chestnut common was back in the water.
Not long after I’d landed this one, the heavens opened and only armed with a poncho, I had a good natter with one of the bailiffs then decided to come home and make more hook baits because it seems the Split carp have a soft spot for CC Moores new Equinox boilie. Only time will tell, but what I do know is that I’m really excited about the new season on Yateley West Split Lake.
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