We had never fished here before but having invested in some new tackle, played around with some rigs and accumulated a bag of mixed bait, we wanted somewhere to go that was known to have a reasonable head of large Carp, hopefully in a feeding mood.
The fishery is accessed off the Helperby to Boroughbridge Road, down a signposted track and through a farm yard where you will be met by the friendly Alsation guard dog. At this point it is advisable to stay in your car!
Driving through we came across two signs to the lakes, we opted for the right.
The lake was quiet with a slight breeze across it's surface. Immediately in front of us was an island with overhanging bushes, to the left of which was a smaller island joined to the bank by a mass of floating plants.
To the right again we went, facing the island a peg apart. Stu and I both agreed to leave the poles behind and settle for heavy tackle in the hope of catching a few of the known inhabitants.
There are approximately 100 Carp are in the water some in excess of 20lb.
Tactics of the day were two rods apiece, mine set up, one with floating bread around the margins (or anywhere a fish could be seen), the second legered against the island over a bed of loose corn, maggot and bread mash. Four pieces of corn on a hair and one on the hook tied to 15lb braid and 12lb mainline. Stu opted for method feeder on both of his, again one against the island, the other out towards the middle water, both with cubes of luncheon meat on size 10 hook to 12lb line.
It wasn't long before his rods were bending into small carp and skimmers on a regular basis whilst mine were remaining still not even twitching. Patience, my time will come......
At this point two other anglers had positioned themselves at the other side of the island and the owner was making his way round to collect his ticket money. Time was ticking by, another Carp was on it's way to Stu's net and I was still fishless, maybe a method feeder was required? The owner, meanwhile was causing a bit of a stir at the other side, he had seen an injured baby 'parrot' on the bank and was attempting to catch it in a landing net. Just as we were starting to laugh at his antics, he caught it, held it and it bit him. "The bl##dy things bit me" you could hear him screaming in between the howls of laughter from both sides of the island, he was jumping up and down "It's taken a chunk out of my bl##dy finger". I was laughing that much I missed a bite, my first one of the day.
It wasn't long before I got another though, and a small Carp came to the net followed shortly by another.
The other two anglers had moved to the bottom end of the lake where a couple of large Carp were rolling in the margins and Stu was still 'bagging up'. Time to move I thought.
I opted to take my gear and move to the other side of the island, whereupon I launched a boilie out to the island and placed the floating bread crust to the side of the smaller island. The sun was warming the water's surface and a large Carp of about 12-15lb was milling around the bread, it took it, wehay, it was short lived, I missed and everything went quiet again.
It was now late afternoon and the lake was quiet all around, a few more anglers were getting themselves positioned around the lake, rod pods set, buzzers tested, they knew something.
The angler to my right launched a couple of large balls of groundbait out towards the middle, a big chunk of luncheon meat followed and shortly after his buzzer was screaming. A Mirror Carp around 18-19lb came reluctantly to his landing net. Quick change of tactics and I opened a tin of meat.
Using a short piece of 'overflow' pipe, I punched a chunk of meat and threaded it on to the hair. This went out against the overhanging bushes of the island and bang, the indicator flew up, my line stripped off and a Carp around 8lb came to the net but not before leading me a merry dance around the weeds.
As the evening drew in, the sound of buzzers bleeping then screaming filed the air. The Carp were becoming more active.
I finished the day with another five of mixed sizes plus 'the one that got away', the angler to my right caught several, all in double figures and a few more were caught further down including two 20's. Stu had a fine bag of mixed Carp and Skimmers. This lake was a serious Carp water.
A most enjoyable day was had but one thing was noticed and that was a few of the Carp had a small hook or two in or around their mouth, the remnants of someone's fine tackle, which we removed before returning them to the water. This is not a water for light tackle or pole, 'cause once those Carp bite, they take some stopping.