It was that time of year for my annual social trip with my good friend Sam. We had planned to go down to Northampton to fish Stanwick lakes, namely the historical Elsons. I’d been keeping an eye on the place via social media and keeping in contact with Alex Grice and Mark Pitcher’s that have been fishing pretty regular over the past few months.
It had fished well over the past few weeks with numerous fish being caught, so I thought it was a great time to go down. We turned up on the Sunday night around seven. After a lap round, I had decided on an swim after seeing one show. Consequently, I went an got the barrow making my way to the swim then began to have a lead about. I found a lovely spot out in front of me roughly 6-7tf deep with patches of silk weed, but as I pulled the lead back it gluided across the area. To combat the silk weed I opted to fish helicopter rigs with 2.5oz leads complete with stiff-hinge rigs complete with Pacific Tuna corkball pop-ups as hook baits.
Baiting wise I spombed a small amount of hemp out with 2kg of whole and chopped Pacific Tuna boilies. My third rod was placed just to the right of my in area towards the corner of the lake – the area was covered in silkweed. I placed the rod towards the corner on same rig presentation but a white Pacific Tuna pop-up was mounted as a hook bait and a small spread of roughly thirty baits was fired over the top with the catapult.
As all three rods were in position it was time to fire up the stove, get a brew on, sit back and watch the lake unfold as the golden sun began to set behind the trees turning the sky almost red in colour. We saw a couple show a few hours into dark before hitting bag. I was awoken by Sam ‘Jimmy I’ve got one ‘ it took me a moment to realise what he had said, he said it again followed by ‘it’s a mirror, a big mirror!’
I was soon up off my bed. Earlier that night we were talking to one of the members of the syndicate lake Gavin Walding, he was saying that there was a big old mirror named ‘Spike ‘ that was hard to catch and weighed around the low to mid-thirty mark.
It turned out to be spike, I was buzzing for Sam. We waited half an hour until the sun came up for the photographs before I headed back to my swim. I sat up for a while watching the water and after a couple of brews my left hand rod burst into life, I was attached to my first Elsons carp. After a short-lived battle I slipped an upper double mirror over the net chord. My first bite had came over the baited area and had taken on a Pacific Tuna corkball.
After returning the lovely upper double, I sat back with hope of another bite. A few hours past, the wind had picked up slightly, blowing a north westerly towards the corner of the lake to my right. It looked prime for a bite on the right-hand rod. Then, away it went, erupting on the surface as I picked the rod up. It swam towards me and headed straight towards the pads in my margin. I could see the fish clear as day through my polaroids as it tried knitting me up in the pads. Eventually, I got its head up and slipped the net under my second carp of the trip. An old mirror laid there on the mat.
Buzzing that I’d had two bites, I returned the mirror back to its watery home and soon had my rod in hand re-baiting the rig with a white Pacific Tuna pop-up. The rod went out back on the spot followed soon after with 40-50 Tuna boilies. By now, I could see numbers of fish travelling in and out the corner, constantly passing over the rod – it was only a matter of time until the rod went again.
That afternoon I went on to have another four bites, landing all of them – 19.14 common, 17.4 common, 22lb common and a 23.8 mirror – all the fish came to white Tuna pop-ups while topping the area with 40-50 baits after every bite.
Action was really slow on the Tuesday, the wind had dropped and the temperatures had risen. We decided to have a walk around the lake. We did find most of the stock under a group of overhanging trees in one corner of the lake. It was nice to see a few of the big ones sunning themselves with their backs out the water in the afternoon sun.
Sam had a go at a bit of stalking and managed to catch himself an upper double mirror before calling it a day and heading back to the swim to get all sorted for our last night.
With rain and low pressure coming in through the night, it was perfect. For the last night, I spread my rods ten feet apart and scattered three kilo’s of Tuna over the area. Two rods on corkball pop-ups and the other on a Tuna Whites.
Picking my chin up off the floor, I got the rod back on the spot. We only had a few hours left before it was time to pack up and it looked so good for another bite. There was plenty of fish activity in front of me, showing and bubbling up. I had to wait until morning though and my right hand rod on the White Tuna pop-up blasted into life. I knew straightaway that this was a better fish powering off at immense speed and soon I had it under control. After a ten minute battle, a gnarly old mirror slipped into the net.
They say leave the best till last and boy did I. On the scales the old creature went 29.4 my biggest of the session just hours before it was time to head off back up the A1 home and brought what was a great session to a greater end .
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