Summer Carping and Tuition’s at Bluebell Lakes

02 Jan 18

A lovely big pit mirror from the spring.

Well it’s been a hectic past few months for me on the angling front, especially with the birth of my daughter back in July  but despite this I’ve still managed to get out as much as possible and sneak a few fish out in between doing angling tuition’s too. I crammed as much in during the spring as I could manage as I knew with the new arrival things were going to be tricky! Spring was spent on a big pit with a low stock of fish but with plenty of walking around and baiting some spots regularly I did have some success with several fish including a lovely 27lb mirror. A fish which I’d seen in the water several times and even spotted hanging around the spot one evening whilst priming the area with a bit of bait. I didn’t need much convincing to try the area on my Wednesday overnighter and after a sleepless night of liners one of the rods ripped off at 6 am with an angry mirror on the end. After a short spirited fight he went in the net first time and as I took a closer look I chuckled to myself noticing that it was the mirror I’d seen on the spot the previous evening. I wondered how long he had been visiting for a free meal! He was a lovely old carp as well, full of character as he glistened in the morning sun. The next couple of months whizzed by with all the constant walking around, baiting spots, and I did manage a couple of lovely commons just before they spawned but by this time my wife was nearly due to give birth so it was time to ease off and do a bit of easier more opportunist fishing. 

26lb plus surface caught in 30 degree heat

As you probably remember back in July we had some baking hot weather with temperatures over 30 degrees and with the wife just days from giving birth I didn’t want to be too far from home which made it the perfect opportunity to get out and do some surface fishing. With one rod, a mat, net and a bucket of Krill Floaters and bits and pieces this was a great way to spend the roasting hot, humid evenings. One particular afternoon I grabbed the gear and headed off up the club water for a few hours surface fishing. There were loads cruising around just below the surface but on having a look at the first corner of the lake I came to, my eyes caught sight of a nice common all on her own near a tiny set of pads. I crept closer keeping low to the ground and pinged a few of the floaters out. She soon came cruising over and slurped a few of the freebies up without a care in the world so I didn’t hesitate in flicking my little controller with a bait banded Krill Floater on just past where she was feeding. I hadn’t spooked her and she obviously didn’t suspect a thing as she sipped in the hook bait and the line tightened up as all hell broke loose.

On light tackle it was a great fight and before long I had a lovely 18lb common in the bag. After all the disturbance the swim went dead so I moved further up the lake where there was a group of decent ones milling around. About half an hour of feeding them steadily with pouches of floaters and I was into another decent one which went off like a train, it was at least 10 minutes before I even caught sight of the controller and a further 10 minutes before she was finally in the net! At 26lb and built like a torpedo it wasn’t hard to see why it had put up such a battle. I went home happy after a couple of hours fishing and keen to have another go making the most of the hot summer days I returned several times over the next couple of weeks always bagging a fish or two and enjoying some great sport.

25lb Leather on a day session

Well my daughter was finally born on the 28th July so I didn’t fish for a week or so and by the time I got my head around things and back into fishing we were half way through August. With limited time I opted to fish the local club water again doing just a few hours at a time with a decent chance of a nibble! My first trip was more of a chance to catch up on sleep with the baby being awake most nights but the fish had other ideas. I arrived at a little after first light to find quite a few fish showing so location was made easy and I was soon sat back with a couple of Sticky Squids out on my favoured pop up multi rig set up attached to a helicopter. A scattering of Manilla and Krill finished the traps nicely. I was just dozing in my chair when the first rod ripped off at high speed and weeded me up briefly before a lovely looking mirror slid into the net. Not huge at just under 20lb but welcome none the less. I even managed a couple of smaller commons before I went home at lunchtime so a successful session totalling no more than 3 hours of fishing. With this short session approach I baited a couple of spots and carried on fishing them for a few hours at a time all through August resulting in 17 fish landed and one lost including a lovely leather of just over 25lb. It just goes to prove that time isn’t everything and that being organised and choosing the right water you can still put some fish on the bank.

As we moved into the Autumn I had quite a few tuition’s booked up with various people, the first one being at the famous Bluebell Lakes, a lovely complex of day ticket lakes out at Oundle that I’d never fished before. With 5 lakes to choose from it would give me lots of options for tuition’s depending on what an angler would like to cover or improve on. At the end of September the van was packed and I made the short drive up to Bluebell Lakes for the first time with the intention of fishing Mallard Lake as this would be perfect for the two lads I was giving a tuition to for the next 48 hours. On arrival it was a lot busier than expected considering it was a Monday morning! The road bank was jam packed but after a quick chat in the shop and to get my ticket it was apparent that the access to the far side had been closed off due to the track being too wet to drive on. So that explained why everyone was parked behind there vans with no barrow! Luckily I had packed my barrow so naturally I was soon barrowing round to the far side where there were no anglers present, and hopefully lots of carp!

In position at Bluebell

I picked a lovely swim on the end of a large set of Norfolk reeds after seeing a good fish roll over in the shallow margins which seemed to stretch out for a good 30 yards before a steep drop off into the deeper water. The swim covered loads of water, plenty for myself and the two guys coming down for a tuition later in the day. The amount of fish showing at long range towards the middle of the lake had to be seen to be believed, one after another sticking their heads out, and some thrashing clean out the water. A strong northerly was blowing from behind us for the first 24 hours and very little happened on the catching fish front but we covered loads of bits and pieces with the guys that they wanted to improve on; accurate casting, feature finding, baiting up, watching the water and chewing the fat over rigs and terminal set ups. It was a great lesson in watching the water as there was loads going on from right under our feet to 150 yards out in the lake giving the guys plenty of opportunity to read the water and spot the subtle signs to look out for.

Rob with his new PB from Bluebell

On the second evening of being there finally one of my guys Rob in the swim next door was away with a one toner just after dark. A hectic battle for 15 minutes in the pitch black and I slipped the net under a new pb for him, a lovely Mallard mirror of over 24lb. Immaculate and totally nailed on a simple multi rig baited with a Sticky signature pop up which I showed him on a previous tuition earlier on in the year. Cracking result! On return to my brolly once the photos were done I lay there pondering what the morning would bring. I felt fairly confident as I’d seen some fish earlier in the day when the sun had moved round on the shallow shelf close in just mooching around. On closer investigation in the chest waders in about 4 feet of water there were a couple of very clean polished areas in the weed that had definitely been fed on recently. I lowered two rods onto the same spot and generously covered the area in a mixture of sweetcorn, hemp, Manilla pellets and chopped Manilla boilies confident that they would return again in the morning especially with a new South Westerly wind forecast to blow straight into the swim by morning. Time would tell!

40lb 4oz of Mallard Common

Dawn soon arrived and so did the promised South Westerly which gained strength as the morning wore on. The night was all quiet except Rob losing a good fish in the early hours after it became snagged on the steep drop off before cutting him off. Understandably he was gutted but we made up for it with a breakfast fit for kings whilst sat in Rob’s swim and enough tea drank to drown in. By mid-morning I began to get liners on my close in rods and with the wind really beginning to pick up it did look good as fish began to show closer and closer to the area. The liners become more and more frequent when finally not one but both rods on the spot burst into life at the same time!  I grabbed the right hand rod as friend Jamie stood behind puzzled asking if the fish had caught the other line as the other rod was still melting. I assured him it wasn’t and asked him to hold it steady while I played this fish in as quickly as I could. Luckily it was only an upper double mirror and was in the net within a few minutes allowing me to see what was on the other rod as Jamie insisted it felt decent before it weeded itself up. On passing the rod over it did indeed feel pretty good as she plucked herself from the weed and with no time to put waders on I was soon stood out in the shallows with her plodding about steadily on the end. A few more plods and a big set of shoulders popped up so I quickly scooped her up, and what a lump she was! 40lb 4oz of pristine common, happy days indeed. I even managed to rebait the spot and bagged a bonus 19lb common before I packed up keen to return as soon as possible. The Guys Rob and Adam had a great tuition and I sneaked out a pb common to boot, can’t complain at that!

Buzzing on a tuition, happy days.

I spent the rest of the autumn fishing Mallard whilst really enjoying the lovely mature surroundings, once on my own where I snaffled a couple of pretty mirrors on singles blasted out in the middle and a few more times with clients on tuitions. One particular tuition with Stu mid-October, we arranged a day on Mallard in very windy conditions. Making the effort to barrow round the other side of the lake where I caught the 40, we first went through finding a suitable area with the marker, accurately baiting up and casting and presenting a nice neat rig that doesn’t tangle bang on the money. Stu was after some confidence building and simplifying of his fishing to suit his short sessions that he does. Well to cut a long story short, with an absolute shredder of a run at 2pm and what can only be described as the most epic battle from a hard fighting 30 plus common lasting 20 mins or more, Stu bagged himself a pb common! He was absolutely buzzing as you can see from the photos and I think a good fish on a day session well and truly gave him a massive confidence boost! I had enjoyed my time on Bluebell for a few weeks leaving me keen to return and have a go in the spring, perhaps spending some time on some of the other lovely lakes on the complex.

Stu with an awesome 30lb Mallard Common

Well that pretty much sums my carp fishing up for 2017 and as always I start my pike fishing on the local Gravel pits and Fenland drains come the start of every November. The predator fishing makes a welcome change during the winter months with uncrowded banks and miles and miles of Fenland drain left unexplored. I’ll let you know how I get on when I next get round to writing up my fishing and updating the next blog.

Tight lines and be lucky, Mickey.