Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Post Script

As the sun sets on fishing opportunities in 2015 I decided to squeeze in a couple more short sessions...


I've got to admit, after publishing my review of the year, in spite of acknowledging 3 new PBs and plenty of good times on the bank, I still felt a little down about my angling this year. So I decided to get out and do a little bit more before the year is out...

Yesterday I headed down to Birch Lake, Littlebourne armed with a pint of maggots hoping for a tench or two. I figured this small pool would be the most likely candidate to have benefited from this warm spell and even if the carp were a little docile, a ball of wriggly red maggots are sure to wake up a tinca! Perhaps a stealthy approach on the float may have fared better but with a forecast of rain all day, I decided to present my offerings on a light ledger with a pva mesh stick of gentles.

It was a fairly slow day but a successful one as two beautiful tench graced my net. The first run of the day came an hour after setting up to the rod I had cast to a set of lilies near the middle of the lake. Unfortunately, as I picked up the rod there was no resistance. A moment later, the other rod, also positioned near lilies but in slightly shallower water, screamed off with a face-melting run!
This time I hit it no problem and retrieved the culprit - this feisty, dark 3lb 8oz tench!

A few blips at the end of the day were worth hitting!
The next run came soon after on the same rod but whilst a pound heavier, gave no where near as disproportionate an account of itself as its little buddy!

Although I accomplished my goal to catch some tench, I was a little disappointed that a carp didn't try to crash the party. So I began thinking about where I might fish tomorrow. There seemed little point going to Fordwich so decided to head over to Stonar for one last short day session for the year.



Stonar could not be more of a contrast from the tree lined pool of serenity I had fished the day before. A huge expanse of open water allowed the strong Westerly winds to kick up quite a choppy sea! I positioned myself in the wind nonetheless, in the hope it had brought some fish across with it, after I spoke to a friend tucked away out of the wind on the opposite bank who reported the fishing to be fairly slow.

Once again I missed my first run and the second brought me a bream. At this point I decided to switch all three rods over to a boilie approach and to quit trying to dutifully use up the remaining maggots from yesterday. Throughout the day I had several short takes, each soon after casting with a long pva stringer of VF boilies. Had I brought a spod rod with me I could perhaps have kept these bites coming but regrettably I had thought this unnecessary whilst taking my gear to the car.
However, one run was a good'n! A tackle tart would have hated my set up - I was fishing with three different rods in three different test curves, two with cork handles, two bait runners and one big pit. It was one of the lighter rods, a 1.75lb TC barbel rod which received this blistering take and I'm glad about it! What transpired to be a very angry common carp made many violent lunges which would have been somewhat lost on the 3lb TC carp rod which was adjacent on the pod.
Whilst this was to be the last fish of the session, I am very pleased with this little 15lb chunk and very glad to have again fulfilled my ambition for the day.


I have no further plans to fish in 2015 as I set off on Christmas Eve to visit family. That said, a lure rod will be packed as some great stretches of the Avon flow past relatives in both Gloucestershire and Somerset, so you never know...
Until next time my string is pulled, thanks for reading and have a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Looking back at 2015

Marking Year 7 Music books whilst blanking at Fordwich... The only way I could justify a number of trips this year!

2015 has in many ways been a difficult year as far as my fishing is concerned. Trips have been much less frequent due to mounting work pressures but also time spent on the bank has not exactly been easy fishing. That said, as ever, much has been learnt, good times had and a few PBs bettered.

Fordwich
In Fordwich Frustration I wrote about how I struggled on this lake when I first joined the Canterbury and District Angling Association. However, as I got to know the lake better and played to  my strengths as an angler I began to have some success which you can read about in Summer Carping on Fordwich Lake and More Fun at Fordwich. Part of this success was due to quietly targeting intimate and neglected swims. My first session this year with a good mate forced us to pick a big double swim facing out into open water. I had no prior knowledge of this swim and so was forced to explore with the marker rod. Features were found, rigs cast and bait spombed out pretty accurately but nothing more than a single bream graced my net with its presence. And slime.
On this session I spoke to another angler who is very successful on Fordwich. He advised me not to limit myself to the close range swims as I'd be missing out on so much good fishing elsewhere. I took this advice but alas it has not yet paid off. Every session bar one this year has been on an unfamiliar swim and whilst I have learnt a lot and might be more confident fishing these spots in future, I can't help but feel that with so little time available to me, it might have been better spent in familiar territory.

Personal Bests
What seems to be becoming an annual social trip to Charlie's Lake, Ashford in April produced several decent cats for me on a mixture of 30mm Bloodied Eel pellets by Dynamite baits and double 20mm Krustacean boilies by ID Bait Developments. My mates did equally well on big chunks of luncheon meat and halibut pellets. I had several bites which did not 'take off' in spite of fishing a very light lead on a running rig with a big plastic ring. Since then it has been suggested that freelancing baits will produce a greater frequency of confident takes and so I will be sure to try this next time. Nonetheless, I had a couple of cats above 20lb including this new PB of 22lb.


My first fishing trip in France at Le Val Dore proved more of a challenge than I anticipated. The problem was not getting bites as it was for others but converting the bites to carp on the bank. A combination of stepping up the tackle, heavier leads, sharper, bigger hooks and a little more muscle on the strike finally resulted in success. I know this is not a British fish but being the biggest fish I've caught and certainly not with greater ease due to my being abroad so I have no qualms about claiming this as a personal best carp at 31lb 6oz.




On my first trip to the river since the opening of the pike season I managed a few fish on mackerel presented on a float/ ledger paternoster and as luck would have it the first of which was a new PB at 17lb 4oz followed by a few [estimated to be] low doubles.
My pike fishing at Fordwich has thrown up a few reasonable fish this year but mostly very small jacks. For some reason the river always treats me well when it comes to pike. Perhaps one day I will achieve my ambition of a 20lb plus river pike.

Photography
This year I acquired a second hand DSLR from a good friend and have been putting my blank sessions to good use learning how to use it properly. I now have a decent comprehension of manual mode and can take a good shot however, my response time is still too slow to make this a consistently useful skill for catch portraits. Here are some pictures which have I feel have turned out well...



My Wife!
I have been very lucky that this year my wife signed up as a member of the CDAA and has come along with me on a number of trips. She is now pretty competent at float and feeder fishing and has caught some cracking roach, rudd, gudgeon and carp - the biggest of which at 9lbs was printed in the Anglers Mail back in June! I know that next season she is unlikely to renew her membership but this year we have shared some quality time together by the waterside and created memories which will stay with me forever.




Looking ahead...
As far as carp fishing goes I believe I need a change of scenery, not that I am discontent with the beauty of Fordwich but before I go out of my brain I need to take a break and go somewhere where I can get onto the fish within the confines of short-session angling, which is the bulk of my fishing these days. I am prepared to do a bit of work and don't want an easy runs water but a relatively low-stock big pit is probably not the most ideal location for someone with time constraints! I have my eye on a few lakes so hopefully a sabbatical will do me some good and perhaps allow me to return to Fordwich refreshed and ready to embrace its challenges once more.
Every year I regret not spending more time pursuing perch and I really haven't done much in the way of barbel fishing for a while and so these two quarries will inform next seasons targets.
In the mean time, thanks for reading and I look forward another year of blogging in 2016.
Merry Christmas!


Sunday, 20 September 2015

A mixed bag!

Since writing last, I have ventured out onto the bank for a few sessions, some hoping to break my silence on Fordwich, a quick overnighter at Stonar Lake and a few quick trips at Minster and Trenley to practice for the Maggotdrowner's Southern Champions Match at Tricklebrook which I fished today.


In spite of being fortunate enough to have the summer off work, I only made it down to Fordwich for three sessions and as far as carp are concerned, they were all blanks. On the third trip I decided to take some maggots with me to instigate some entertainment. The result was a nice net of roach - I only started retaining these in the last hour of the trip so I am quite pleased with this net.



I will return to Fordwich in pursuit of carp again this autumn, work permitting, before my attention turns to the pike and perch.


At the beginning of September, after a bit of encouragement from a friend, I went to Stonar for a quick overnight session. I was fortunate to get on the swim known as 'Sheds' which is something of a hotspot partly due to it being the last peg before a large section of the lake which is closed to fishing.
No fish came my way through the night but I had three in the space of an hour in the morning of which these two were the best.





A good stamp of fish at Minster
I went to Trenley with my wife a couple of weeks back, hoping to get into some good bream. She struggled for bites for a long time whilst I struggled to hit any that I got for most of the afternoon. I realised that I was a little rusty on the quiver tip so took myself off to Minster the following week as I knew bites would be plentiful there giving me the opportunity to hone my skills. I had 10 small carp and several roach in just 2 hours fishing. They were a good stamp of fish too...

Todays match at Tricklebrook will be, I'm sure, my final trip in September but it was a great day! As chance would have it, I drew the same peg I fished last year. That was my first ever match and I came 4th, so drawing a familiar swim gave me a bit of confidence.




This photo really was the best of a very bad bunch...
I got off to an excellent start, landing 8 fish in the first hour on the pellet feeder. There was then a bit of a lull which I overcame by changing my hook bait to a trio of red maggots. However, as the clock turned 12, the bites turned off. 
For the next two hours I hardly had a twitch. The bites that were strike-able resulted in short-lived battles ending in hook-pulls. I decided to change my hook every time I caught a fish because I feared the losses had been due to the fine wire hooks blunting easily. This paid off! Thereafter, every bite resulted in carp in the sack.
At the weigh-in my net turned the scales to 35lb 12oz meaning I won the carp section! The person who came second for carp had also produced a decent enough bag of roach to bring his total weight to 36lb meaning he won overall - a pleasure I missed out on by just 4oz!!!
I am overjoyed with this result and had a great day with some top guys. My only disappointment is the photos really didn't turn out well at all.

So all in all, the end of the summer has provided a variety of experiences, all of which have been enjoyable, some educational and Fordwich, for now is just baffling!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

If at first you don't succeed...

On my birthday I like to go fishing with my wife. The only problem with this is that, my birthday being in February, she invariably ends up cold and wet and not enjoying the experience. This year she suggested instead of pike fishing on the Stour in February, why not do a few days carping in France in August. I had never fished in France as an adult, though remember catching some variety of small catfish on a float fished worm in the Sein on holiday as a nipper.
So I set about finding the right venue - it had to provide the opportunity to catch something special without being a runs water. Equally, I didn't want to rock up at the French equivalent of Fordwich which following last years relative success, seems to be beating me once more. It was also important that the venue had some facilities to make the stay more comfortable for my wife who I knew was going above and beyond by volunteering to rough it for a few days on the bank.
Lake 2 at Le Val Dore was recommended by a mate and seemed to fulfil all of these criteria. The only potential downside was having to book swims in advance and not being able to decide where you are going to fish on arrival.
In the weeks running up to the trip I kept a fearful eye on social media which consistently reported that the lake was not fishing well and that peg 9 where I was set to fish was not exactly a hotspot!
Furthermore, on arrival I read inscriptions previous anglers had left on the pegs wooded bin lid - some reporting catches but most were quite derogatory and used some very vibrant language to emphasise their sentiments! If I was going to catch here I was sure to face some challenges and have to learn the lake quickly as with only 4 days to fish, time was not on my side.

DAY 1

On arrival at the lake I set about feature finding with the marker rod. I had been told there was a gravel bar coming out from an opposite peg at about 75 yards. After a couple of chucks revealing only deep troughs of silt I reduced the radius and found a very thin strip of clear gravel at 60 yards at a depth of 6.5ft descending to lows of 8ft either side.
The recommendation of the lake's bailiff, as well as others who fish there regularly, was to use small hookbaits, preferably particals, and size 6 or 8 hooks. I had no doubt that I could catch on a boilie approach provided I didn't over feed them, so offered no whole boilies in my loose feed but presented my bait over a bed of boilie crumb and a handful of 4mm pellet and sweetcorn. I decided not to take the advice about small hook baits and tied up an 18mm snowman - my attitude being 'if they are hungry, they will eat it'.  Given the potential size of the fish I could catch I used a size 6 hook, believing at the time that this would be adequate.

I'm prepared to take a bit of stick for confessing to using a boat to position my left and right hand rods under overhanging trees, but casting to the edge of the tree line would still result in being a couple of rod lengths from the margin, which drops off very quickly. If I were to fish these spots at all, delivering the rig by boat was the only option. I've never used a boat in my fishing before and would normally frown upon it but I considered this an exception. Not to mention that I was one of only a couple of anglers who cast a single line 'manually' the whole time I was there!

At 3am I had a run on my middle rod. I lifted into it and felt the fish as the line tightened up. I was expecting it to take line as the clutch was not tight but before I knew what was going on the fish had gone. I was far from discouraged however - it was my first night and I had already found a feeding spot though I was baffled about why the fish came off.

DAY 2 

It would've been easier to use a pod but worth going with
single sticks when locked up to snags.
The next afternoon I decided to have another exploratory session with the marker rod. I found depths of 9ft at 80 yards out to the left with a silty bottom which I decided to fish a zig over with my left hand rod. I also found a continuation of the gravel strip at 50 yards which raised to 5 foot so I duly repositioned my middle rod to this spot and, now knowing that this was on a feeding patrol route, put a bit more of a spread of bait across the area with the spomb. Once again, at 3am came a bite, this time on the right hand rod which was still presenting a single bright pink popup over a bed of boilie crumb. I picked up the rod as the alarm was screaming but felt no response from the culprit on the other end. At 3:20am the middle alarm started jittering which suggested to me that the fish was using the weight of the lead to shake the hook. Sure enough, it was all over before I reacted. 3:35am and the left hand rod fishing the zig screamed off. Once more, I picked up but there was no connection. 
It felt great to have had so much action in the swim - three different approaches on three far removed locations but why had they not resulted in a decent connection? I was now halfway through my trip and starting to worry I might be going home empty handed. 

DAY 3 

I was up early, watching the water whilst my head whirred trying to figure out what I was doing wrong when two lads who work at the club house came round to chat. They laughed when I told them I was using 3oz leads and 8" links and recommended I stepped up the weight and cut down the link to really nail the fish! 
On my way back from the tackle shop later that morning with a hefty supply of 4oz leads I had a chat with the guys on the opposite peg to me. They had had some success on particles but were using much bigger hooks. Although one of them had returned a 40lber to the water that morning, he was disappointed that he wasn't getting more bites and quizzed me about what I was doing to get so much action, having heard all three of my alarms going in such quick succession. Whilst flattered, I felt a bit out of place passing on advice and felt quite stupid admitting to having now let four opportunities to bank a carp slip through my fingers. 
At 1:20am, my right hand rod in the tree line with a single popup now above a size 4 hook gave me a very positive take. I picked up the rod and finally connected with what felt like a very angry fish determined to take me into the snags. It was a true 'hit and hold' situation. I managed to steer it away from danger fairly rapidly but whilst playing it in open water only a few yards in front of me it simply came off leaving me totally bewildered. 
The middle rod also experienced a several short-lived series of bite-alarm blips at regular enough intervals to make it impossible for me to get any sleep but each time not sustained enough for me to feel confident about striking. 
Having had no attention on the zig rig I decided that for the final night I would return a bottom bait to the left hand tree line where I had heard fish 'boshing' and most likely enjoying the freebies I had continued to trickle into this spot to build their confidence in feeding here. 

The rest of the night passed with no bites and no sleep. Questions and anxieties racing through my mind.


DAY 4

'VF' - the bait that did the business
It was clear that even with the stepped-up tackle I wasn't getting good hook holds. I didn't have time to fine-tune rigs through a process of trial and error - this was my last day and last night. I sharpened each of my hooks to an extreme point and decided that striking a little harder couldn't do any harm either! The day passed quick enough and at 11pm, the left hand rod in tree line received a proper take. I picked up and hit it hard. As per the right hand rod the night before, this fish powered into the trees. I heard branches snapping as I applied side-strain to steer the fish away from danger. After a hairy moment, I got the fish clear of the snags and back out in open water. The dorsal broke the surface just in front of me as I held my breath in anticipation of catching a first glimpse of my capture. Surely now a netting was inevitable? Of course not! Without any indication or additional struggle, the fish suddenly swam free and my line went slack. 

It is impossible to articulate my emotions at this stage. Distraught. Broken. There isn't a word which encapsulates the juxtaposition of being tantalisingly close to success and then so painfully denied. 

Insomnia ensued in silence until 5am when that trusty strip of gravel where my middle rod was positioned came up with the goods once more. As the alarm sang I struck hard and stepped back. Holding the rod tip high I felt the fish pulling back so I loosened the clutch and let it take line whilst maintaining a gentle pressure, safe in the knowledge that, aside from the bar and oyster beds on the bottom, there were no major snags within at least 100 yards. It took line for some time before slowing and as soon as I reclaimed any, it took twice as much again! Knowing full-well that this was most probably my last chance of any success in this session I became aware of a mild tremble setting into my arms. I called to wake my wife and asked her to help net the fish as I could not afford to be complacent about anything. Eventually the fish tired and I brought it to the net where it obliged with the traditional last bid for freedom before finally submitting. After releasing a primal 'whoop' I lifted the fish from the water and was surprised by how heavy it felt given how it had appeared in the water. As I placed it on the mat I could see that this was bigger than anything I had caught before and whilst I know it is a mere baby compared to other fish in this lake, I was overjoyed to have my first fish over the magic 30 mark at 31lb 6oz!!!! 






I think the things I got right from the outset were to find good spots and not overfeed them. 'Fishing for a bite' was certainly a winning tactic especially given I had no way of knowing how much bait had been put in by the previous occupant of the swim. I learnt that bigger, sharper hooks and a firm hand initially help acquire a better hook hold but perhaps some of my losses were due to bullying them too much, though I'm not sure what else I could have done so close to snags.
If only I could start again with this experience behind me, perhaps I could capitalise on a few of those opportunities I missed. That said, I do feel proud that I persevered through one of the steepest learning curves I've faced so far and reaped some rewards.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

If you snooze you loo's!

The last couple of months have easily been the busiest and most stressful I have ever had to contend with at work and needless to say that has had a massive impact on the amount of time I have been able to spend fishing. However, the perk of the teaching profession is a generous amount of holiday in the summer and as always I intend to make the most of every moment.
My wife, Doz, is giving fishing a go for a one year trial period. She came with me a few times in May and early June before things got hectic with work and experienced some success targeting both carp and silvers. I was delighted when she agreed to spending a couple of spare hours under a brolly carping with me at Stonar lake today on this rainy Sunday afternoon!
We positioned ourselves with the drizzle-laden northeasterly blowing straight at us and as the swim we chose was only really big enough for one angler, decided only to fish 3 rods between us.
I put two rods in the left margin and put Doz's rod out for her under an overhanging tree on the right. As we scattered a few boilies around the general area the sky erupted with sea birds looking for a free meal! We sat back and waited for about an hour before Doz walked round to the loo near the carpark, leaving me with the rods.
Moments later, her 1.75lb TC barbel rod wrapped right round, the bait runner screaming and I lifted into a hard fighting carp. Just as I had guided the lovely looking mirror into the net Doz returned and realised this fish could have been hers! After weighing and photographing the fish she was determined to do everything for herself and recast bang on the money. Unfortunately, with another engagement planned for the evening, time was not on our side forcing us to leave before her efforts could come to fruition. 

This Stonar mirror turned the scales to 13lb 13oz

I have plans to put in some serious time on Fordwich again this summer but am glad that today we made the most of only a couple of hours and still caught. It would have been all too easy to be apathetic and make excuses due to the rain or limited time available. Thankfully, Doz wants to go back soon to settle the score!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The glass is half full! (24hrs at Stonar)


It was early evening on a grey bank holiday Monday when I arrived at Stonar Lake, Sandwich for 24hrs in pursuit of carp. The wind was blowing with some conviction towards the east bank and so I headed straight over there to locate a suitable, or least vacant, swim.
The margins are almost always productive here. This is probably because the lake bed reaches extreme depths as it slopes towards the centre leaving the margins and a few isolated bars and plateaus as the only fishable water. With this in mind, my left and right rod were positioned accordingly in the shallows near the perimeter reeds. I put my middle rod on standby until I had located a gravel bar I had been told was about 90 yards directly ahead of the swim with my marker rod.
Long casts [I still consider 90 yards to be a long cast!] are not my forte however and whilst I am frequently putting yards on to my cast each time I have the opportunity to practice, hurling the marker float against the oncoming wind was never going to work out well. What's more, above the surface of the water Stonar is pretty featureless and appears as an ongoing, sea-like expanse of water making it very hard to judge distance. I had the great idea of setting up marker sticks, wrapping and clipping up at 90 yards so I could tell if I was making that distance or not. This could well have been a good tactic had I not managed to get into a goofy tangle. At 8:30pm this tangle appeared salvageable. At 2:30am it was time to cut the braid and try to get some sleep.
Sleep evaded me for some time and no sooner it seemed had I drifted off I was woken, as is the cliche, by the screaming tone of my left alarm at 4:30am. The result was one of Stonar's many small, yet hard fighting common carp weighing in at 10lb 8oz. Once returned to the water, I began to settle back down only to be torn from sleep once more, again by an aggressive little common of 11lb 4oz. By now it was almost 6am, so I resolved to have breakfast, say good morning to my wife and then kip back down. Whilst I was glad to have caught a couple of fish, I was seriously failing to cope with the lack of sleep!
Breakfast was lovely, as was the phone call home but just as my head hit the pillow that blasted alarm went off again!



This time however, the fight went on and on. The first two fish had been taken on popups in the margins but this fish took a snowman rig on the middle rod positioned another rods length away from the main baited area with a little pva stringer of chops - a decision I made after abandoning the idea of finding that gravel bar! Eventually, I caught sight of what appeared to be a good sized mirror before it careered down into the depths once more at a rate of knots.  When, after many attempts to net this valiant warrior it was finally my captive, it turned the scales to a satisfying 21lb 6oz.


This same rig also produced a 14lb common and 13lb mirror (both below), albeit with a long quiet afternoon watching the clouds go by before the latter was in the sling.



All the pictures above were taken on my phone as, in spite of getting a lovely new Nikon DSLR, I could not get satisfying results on the self takes as I could with my old Sony bridge camera which I used to use for blogging purposes. The phone got the job done quickly and reliably which, when you have a fish on the mat, is exactly what is necessary. I hope, with a bit of practice, I can raise the standard of the photography I offer in these posts.

You might have to put up with me posting a few of these cliched studies will I'm getting to grips with the new DSLR!
As the evening drew in and home time approached, a bream kindly attached itself to my middle rod to let me know that there's no point staying, I'd had my lot. This trip could be viewed as a glass half empty or a glass half full. The best part of the night was spent untangling newly purchased braid only to bin it after much stress and sleep deprivation. The following day however, gave me a steady run of fish, all doubles and my first Stonar twenty! I know which memory I would prefer to hold on to.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Charlie's Transformation!


The new swims at Charlie's Lake are lovely. However, you will need a mallet for your bivvy pegs! 
It has been about a year since I visited Charlie's Lake, Ashford for the first time. My experience on that occasion was quite mixed - the quality of fishing was great but the strict rules did not seem to have been enforced and the facilities were not exactly comfortable.

How it has changed since then! New owners Karen and Steve, who are both very friendly, have done a remarkable job of tidying the lake up, building new swims, the toilet flushes now, rig checks are carried out and bookings are strictly enforced. My latest visit last weekend was a real pleasure, marred only a little by the cold north easterly wind. A warm spell a week prior to my session had served to raise water temperatures and switch the cats on to feeding and whilst by my arrival the frenzy had slowed a little, a steady stream of runs were enjoyed by my friends and I throughout our stay.


Angling buddies Richard and Shaun getting some action!

If you are targeting cats at Charlie's you must have 18b mainline, use running rigs and barbless hooks. Last time I fished here I used ultra light ledgers in the belief that cats don't like to feel any resistance. I have since heard that it's a change in resistance they don't like and so used heavier leads which will stay put and allow line to run through the big plastic eye of my korum run-rig lead-clip. I experimented with slack and tight lines and to be totally honest neither seemed to have any advantage or disadvantage when it came to hook-ups under these conditions. 

One tactic that did pay off, I believe was glugging all my hook baits heavily in Predator Liquid. Everyone knows that cats can sense food from some distance through their whiskers but when you see how small their eyes are you realise that they are clearly not sight-predators in the same way pike are for example and therefore any additional scent I can put in the water to help them find my bait has got to be an advantage. For hook baits I used 30mm Bloodied Eel pellets, double 20mm Halibut pellets, ID Bait's Krustacean boilies and large chunks of luncheon meat. The cats took all of these indiscriminately. 



I had several double figure fish and beat my old Wels Catfish PB of 17lbs 3 times in this session resulting in a new PB of 22lb. Although bigger fish are regularly caught here I am very pleased with this fish as I don't go after cats often at all. Now that the new owners have transformed Charlie's Lake I am much more inclined to return to try for something even bigger!

21lb 8oz

My new Wels Catfish PB - 22lb

Fishing at Charlie's is strictly for over 18s and costs £15 per 12hrs. Look here for rules and further details. I'd recommend booking at busy times by calling Karen on 07857539785.