Fryerning Haul - Glen Blunden

"After spending most of 2011 chasing my first UK thirty and completing my goal in September, a new goal was required. Fryerning Fisheries is bigger than my normal lakes with untold crays but lots of thirties, forties and a fifty… PERFECT! I started my fishing during late winter, not the best time but there’s no time like the present so I prepared myself for some very quiet, lonely dark nights.
With the crays being a problem, most anglers were following the particle and fake corn path. The problem is that this is not my type of fishing and you must fish to your strengths. I had already had some 18mm Cell hardened hook baits rolled with the thinking that if I did get pestered by the crays, there will be more chance of there being some bait available to the carp that may pass by. So, my plan was in motion; spread boilies everywhere, fish singles and bags, cast at showing fish. During my first few sessions I noticed a lot spombing by most anglers but didn’t see a single fish. Come rain shine and snow I kept plugging away, keeping with my simple baiting and rig but as there was not loads getting caught I was not worrying too much just yet.
With the ongoing cray removal programme that is in operation at Fryerning I was not even getting pestered by the crays. Finally, the second week in January arrived and there was some sunshine to follow all the snow. A full moon was just two days old and I managed to get into the Left-Hand Point swim that commands a lot of water. I was buzzing for it. After a hour of marking about I found a shallow silt patch that I was happy to fish in. I put out 5kg of 18mm and 10mm mixed Cell bollies using my Eazi-Stik throwing stick. My three rods went out all with a soft thud and I was happy and even a friend informed me my middle rod was “A bite,” so I just sat back to wait. Nothing happened for the rest of that day or night, which was starting to puzzle me; maybe I should change to the particle approach?
Lunch time the next day and my middle hanger pulled up tight to the rod and then my Delkim started letting out the screaming tone that I had been waiting for. I jumped off my bed and hit the rod, it almost flat-rodded me straight away, this was a heavy fish. It just kept taking line, then held at about 40 yards. Finally, I got it into the margins with my legs shaking and my heart thumping, I saw a massive common rise to the top before going on one last run. I let it run this time having seen the fish and knowing that there were only three big commons in Fryerning. I knew that if I could land it, this was going to be a new PB. Finally, after about 25 minutes, it rose again for more air then again and again; it was tiring and this was my chance. I held my breath, reached out with the net and slowly moved the chunk over the net till it kissed the spreader block, “C’mmmmmmon!” I peered into the net to see the distinctive scale pattern of The Mommon. I was buzzing so much that I didn’t know what to do first and just had to catch my breath and take it in.
I called Herbie the bailiff to help with weighting and photographing. Even when she was on the scales and they went round to 40lb my heart was pounding. They settled on 42lb 12oz, her biggest weight. Photos were taken and she was soon released back into her watery home. First fish from a new lake… buzzing. First UK forty… more buzzing; 40lb common… out of this world. My rig was very simple but effective, featuring a size-6 Kurv Shank, 10 inches of N-Trap Silt in 25lb, with only the hair stripped of its coating. My thinking was that if the crays were to pick up the bait I wanted a stiffish hook link to keep it away from the lead but needed it to be soft enough to take the contours of the bottom and N-Trap is perfect when companied with Korda Sinker. I tied the Kurv on KD style and left a long hair to mount my 18mm Cell, tipped with a fake corn to take away the weight of the hook and add a little colour. I even used the Korda Extenda stops so the crays couldn’t remove the stop and get the bait off the hair. This was tied to a Kwik Link, a 3oz inline distance lead with my leader running around the out side of the lead, drop-off style. My meshed PVA bags were filled with crushed Cell bollie but I didn’t pack the bags tight because I wanted a little air trapped so they would sink a little slower and rest on top the silt.
I had few more blank sessions down there in poor weather conditions but I just felt I had to be there. Near the end of February, just two days after a new moon, I was into my second carp at Fryerning. This one was fighting just as hard as the last one and my heart was beating faster at the thought of another hippo. She was soon in the net and I was staring at The Nunn. It tipped the scales to 41lb 12oz. Second fish, second forty; totally buzzing, totally made up. I carried on with my methods through March with no joy until the middle of April, the day before a new moon. While watching showing fish with Herbie, my middle rod was away. To say I was very happy when she hit the back of the net would be an understatement. On the scales she went 34lb and turned out to be a fish called The Pretty One, my third carp and the third one of my wish list. On a finishing note, all of my fish have been landed within a two-day change of the moon phase; I will leave you all to make you mind up on that theory!"