Cheshire mere success for Korda Carp Academy student!

Dan Bailey put what he'd learnt at this year's Korda Carp Academy to good use when he targeted a very tricky local mere and ended up tempting one of its sought-after residents.

At Carp Academy he spent a couple of days fishing with carp catching machine Marc Cavaciuti, and he put all of that to good use when he returned to the local water and landed his first fish from the 45 acre venue, a fantastic mirror known as Gilly at 27lb 2oz!

Dan explained: “The majority of my fishing is done on the silty meres near to my home, and this season I set myself the challenge of fishing the mere, which is very difficult but the rewards are there to be had.

“The lake itself contains around 100 fish, with eight of those being 30s, which means that it is regarded as a big fish water in this part of the country, and over the years some very well-known anglers have fished it, and you can see why when you look at the historic fish that it holds.

“I attended Carp Academy and knew that not only would it be a great opportunity to improve my general fishing, but also to get some tips and edges from my tutor, Marc, to use on the mere!

“I couldn’t get back on the mere until Saturday lunchtime, and I spent my free time sorting everything out in preparation, and when I finally arrived I was pleasantly surprised to find the lake fairly quiet, and I quickly loaded up my barrow and went round to a swim known as Pines. There was a gentle wind blowing into my face and I was sure there would be a few fish in the area.

“I wasn’t in any hurry to get the rods out as they’d only be wiped out by a sailing boat at this time of day, then around 3pm when I was getting ready to spod some bait out, a friend called to say that the wind was due to change, so I packed up and moved onto the back of it, in the hope that when it did turn the fish would follow it.

“The first night was very quiet with no signs of fish, but around 2pm the next day the wind changed, as had been forecast, and I decided to top up my area with another 2kg of Rob Gillespie’s GLM chops, and I was fishing home-made bright pop-ups over the top on an adaptation of the spinner rig, which I’d been shown at Carp Academy. I was using a naked helicopter set-up with a Boom hook link.

“As the light began to fade I saw a fish show 100 yards out in front of Left Holly, which confirmed that they were indeed moving on the wind. I sat watching the firework display across the road and then got my head down, only to be awoken when the bobbin pulled up tight and held there.

“At first I thought it was a bream so jumped into my waders and leaned into it, but although I’d hooked it 70 yards out it didn’t do anything until it came in close, when it tore line off the spool and I had to steer it away from the lines of the angler in the next peg.

“Eventually she slipped into the net and on the bank we identified her as Gilly, then weighed her and took some photos before slipping her back.

“I was overjoyed to catch one of the elusive fish from the mere, but the fact that it was one of the better ones made it even more exciting. I’m almost certain that the rig change also helped me to nail it,” he added.