12 September 2014

Horseshoe Lake Tench

Horseshoe is a lake that I have wanted to fish for many years ever since I watched Matt Hayes tackle the water on Total Fishing. It is a large 60 acre lake in the shape of a Horseshoe with a shallow section named summer bay and a larger deeper section called winter bay. The plan was to fish the lake for few nights in search of the many large tench that reside beautiful water.


IN CONSTRUCTION


8 September 2014

Farlows Lake 2014

04/09/14 - 07/09/14 Farlows Lake is situated close to West Drayton in the heart to the Colne Valley which is the ultimate location associated with specimen carp fishing. The lake is approximately 25 acres and is a small rural oasis nestled in an urban surrounding. Numerous bays, alcoves and islands give the impression of a much smaller lake and this creates the perfect fishing venue for the stalking carper. The fish stocks are also impressive with fish to over 40lb, many back up thirties and literately hundreds of twenties. Included in this incredible stock are some older original fish nicknamed the A team. These include Smudge, The Pretty One and the Cut Tail Linear.
On arrival to the lake for our planned three night stint it was evident that the weed was thick and had covered most of the lake. This had seemed to deter many anglers and they targeted the open water accessed via the road bank .This baffled me as it was obvious that the fish would be where the weed was as it is essential for cover and packed with natural food. I love fishing in weed and have confidence in my rigs, presentation and playing the fish. This is partly down to the type of lakes I have angled in the past and I learnt my trade fishing Keston Ponds which is a notoriously weedy water.

I selected a swim with only a few spots to fish to between the weed and this decision was based on some rather active fizzing where fish were obviously feeding. I had been to the on site tackle shop and asked what part of the lake was fishing well and followed the advice I was given. Rigs were simple home tied naked chods fished with Nash Coconut cream popups and around fifty or so baits chucked under arm over the area.

I settled in for the night confident of a take and it didn't take long for my middle rod to rattle off. I picked up the rod and the fish went crazy flat rodding me and peeling yards of line from the spool within the blink of an eye. After playing the fish for five minutes he was nearly ready for the net when ping.... slack line. I felt gutted and on closer inspection my line had sheared. I had checked the line prior to casting out as I always do so can only put it down to a rather sharp snag that had weakened the line when the fish was heavily weeded. My mate Danny had heard the commotion from the swim next door and came over to help but on his way back from the swim his rod bent around and he landed a stunning 20lb fully scaled mirror.

The rest of the night passed and it wasn't until the early hours of daylight that I received my next take from the same spot as the previous one. This fish ploughed straight into a weed bed and decided to play nice allowing me to pull him in with a large amount of weed over his head. Anyone that fishes in heavy weed regularly will know that as soon as it covers the fishes eyes they tend to stop fighting and can be dragged in without commotion. Danny did a great job with the net engulfing both the fish and a pile of weed. The carp (pictured above right) was a scale perfect 25lb 2oz common and was a great start to the session especially after losing the first fish.

The new day had began with a cracking fish and I was confident of more to come and the same rod was away by midday.  Again the fish didn't put up the best of fights and came in covered in weed. This time a 21lb mirror with the most strangest scale pattern was laying on my mat. The mouth was slightly deformed and it was  a strange shape but it was still a cracking looking dark Farlows carp. It seemed now that we were on the fish and I felt confident on successfully landing them in such thick weed with the help from my tailored rigs tied with size 6 Drenham continental hooks and 25lb stiff link. I feel that is is so important to have a large strong hook when fishing in weed to minimise hook pulls and the Drenham Continental hooks fit the bill perfectly.

The next night arrived and I managed a small common estimated at15lb that we did not photograph. Every fish up to this point had been caught from the one rod on the same spot fished at a distance of only fifteen yards. During the days I had managed to get a carp feeding in the crystal clear margins that was pushing 30lb but I couldn't get him to take my bait that was lowered into position only a foot or so from the bank in six feet of water.

The next day arrived and it was to be a great one. The weather conditions were consistent which is always great for fishing and also the lake was fishing extremely well with reports of good fish from our half coming from amongst the weed beds. It was a 3pm when my middle rod let out a few beeps and stayed twitching on the Delkim with no line taken from the awaiting spool. I  picked up the rod and immediately felt some heavy head banging on the other end that I assumed was a tench. I pulled the fish in to the margins without putting much strain on my 3lb test curve rods and Danny began the netting attempts amongst all the weed that had been dragged in with the fish. At one point the fish got out the net and nestled around some reeds but I managed to bully her out and into the waiting landing net. We began to peel back the weed and were amazed at what we saw laying in the mesh. A huge prefect Farlows linear as dark as mahogany sitting in the bottom of the net. Danny lifted her out the water and the struggle was evident, this was a big fish.
We debated over the weight prior to getting her in the sling and lifted up the Rubens that shot past 30lb settling on 32lb. I was elated to have caught such a great looking fish and a thirty to boot but it was to get even better after I had spoken to the fishery manager who confirmed the fish was the Cut Tail Linear one of the most sort after fish in the lake. A real old warrior and one of the few originals.

I managed another 20lb mirror and that ended a great session on such a great water. Farlow isn't the hardest of lakes as the stock in huge and we expected a fews runs but the quality of the fish was exceptional. They were all lovely dark fish courtesy of the crystal clear water and we did not expect a 30lb linear. The facilities on site are next to none and include a tackle shop supplying all the necessary bits of tackle you would need for a session, clean toilets and a cafe that does the best egg roll. I really enjoyed my first trip to this lake and it wont be my last.