16.12.15

Lee England's Water Park 30s treble!

The weekend arrived and I set out for my usual three-night session on my local syndicate. After arriving in the dark and rain, I found a few fish and barrowed round to the swim. I found myself setting up under the light of my head torch. The lake itself wasn't fishing very well at all and seemed to shut up shop under pressure. The rods went out perfectly on the spots and I felt confident of a bite. I sat up most of the night listening to the rain smashing down on the top of my brolly and found myself flicking through Facebook where I stumbled onto the Suffolk Water Park page.

Reading into the recent posts, I found an angler had managed a decent hit of fish in a swim that I had fished only a week ago. Six fish in fact, with the biggest being a 38lb mirror known as Nemo. I thought nothing of it until later that evening when it started to play on my mind. The fact that only a week prior to this angler turning up, I was in that same swim fishing with a bait that had never been in the water park before and I had smashed out some bait. Could the fish have moved round into that swim, found the bait, and stayed waiting for more?

I awoke Friday morning to static rods and no sign of fish. I packed my gear up again in the dark and went to work. After finishing my day’s graft, I still had that gut feeling that perhaps my thoughts the night before were correct. I decided that instead of heading back down to the syndicate, I should divert and head to the water park, still mulling over the thought of the bait I'd stuck out the week prior and whether it was really possible for the fish to have stumbled on it a week later and then be held up in that area.

Upon arrival to the park, my intention was to get around the back arm somewhere near the peg I'd fished previously. I looked at the board and the angler in peg 3 was due to leave at 4pm. Perfect! I rushed round to the swim and quickly set about moving my gear in behind the angler that was packing up. I had a quick check on the weather report, something I always do before starting any session and it showed some very heavy southerly winds were due to hit the park from Friday evening through till Sunday night, 37 kilometres an hour in fact. I knew this would push fish down into the bay in front of me and would certainly keep whatever fish that were in the area here as well.

Armed with 12kg of North East Baits Red Reaper, 6kg of a new maple test bait and around 3kg of high leakage trout pellet, I set about preparing my rigs. I opted to fish the exact same spots as before. I Placed a 15mm washed out pink wafter under an overhanging tree to my left, a dumbbell wafter half way up the bay in front of me, and a 15mm Red Reaper combined with a 12mm white reaper pop up snowman style just over a bar that is on the right of the bay's entrance.

I went in with the ever faithful blow-back rig using 15lb Korda Kamo tied knotless knot to a size 6 Wide Gape Kaptor with a small rig ring. All three rods were on inline drop offs in 3.5oz. These are perfect for snag fishing as they dump so easily on the take bringing the fish up in the water away from the snags but also when the fish picks up the bait, they come into contact with the centre of the lead very quickly as opposed to fishing say a lead clip. My baiting strategy for the session was to start with half a kilo of 15mm boilies on each spot, along with a few Spombs of pellet. I then topped the spots up every hour.

All three rods went out by 6pm and I didn't have to wait long before the left hand rod was away, two hours to be precise. The lead dumped on the take as planned and after a decent battle, I had my first fish in the net. It was a pristine 17lb mirror. It was now pitch black and blowing a gale so after some quick self takes, I had the rod rebaited and back in position.

The rods sat dormant for most of the night with only a few liners and some fish crashing in the bay to keep me entertained. 6am came around and I was awoken by the sound of a Delkim. The left hand rod was away again and after a good scrap, I had what turned out to be another 17lb stockie common slipping over the cord. Sticking to my baiting plan again, I reached for the Spomb and rebated again. I made a phone call to a friend and asked him to come down to do some snaps for me with the 17lb stockie but before he arrived, the right hand rod whipped round again. This felt a lot better, hugging the bottom and slowly plodding its head. Knowing the caliber of fish the park has swimming around, I kept a cool head and played the fish for around 25 minutes. My friend arrived just in time to lift the net under a chunky scale perfect common. We hoisted her up onto the Rubens and she tipped the scales at 30lb 1oz.

Buzzing wasn't the word. Not only had I equaled my biggest hit of fish from Suffolk Water Park, I'd nailed my first 30lb common of what has been a pretty disappointing year on the bank. After some pictures and a well-earned cup of coffee, I got the rod back out on the spot and continued the feed, topping up the other two rods.

We were just sitting back admiring the pictures when the middle stow slammed up against the rod and then dropped off completely. Spilling my coffee, I hit the drop back and was into my fourth fish of the session. 10 minutes later, this fish was still giving me the run around and I was under one rod and over another. It felt like a really good fish and at times I just couldn't stop it from going exactly where it wanted to go. Another five minutes passed before I eventually managed to turn its head and see it come up for its first gulp of air showing a ripple of plated scales amongst the large waves that were beginning to build as the wind started to pick up. Eventually she hit the back of the net and tipped the scales at 21lb 4oz. Hardly the monster that I had first thought, but all the same an absolutely stunning fish and definitely one for the future.

Once again I was rudely interrupted by another carp. I was picking up the sling from releasing my previous capture when I heard a few bleeps. I looked round to see my left hand rod virtually bent double, barely holding in the butt rests. The drag started to tick and by the time I had got up and got to the rod, the fish had managed to take enough line to get itself around the back of the snag that I was fishing to. When fishing near snags, I always have my lines bow string tight and the drag set so it just gives line before the butt rest releases the rod. This normally gives me enough time to get to the rod, but being knelt down between swims releasing a fish didn't exactly give me the greatest of starts getting to the rod.

Nethertheless, I applied constant pressure and somehow managed to persuade the fish away from the snags and into open water where it hugged the bottom deep and every now and then gave a gentle nod. This was without doubt a decent fish and having just landed a fish on the middle rod, this gave me a bit of room to play what at times felt like a train. After a hard battle, the fish hit the back of the net and I knew it was big but it wasn't until lifting the net and putting her on the mat did I realise I could very well be lifting a new PB.

Lifting the sling up onto the scales and watching the Rubens bounce round four ounces short of what would have equalled my personal best didn't matter. A second 30-plus fish in three hours certainly brought a smile to my face. She was 35lb 2oz of pure Suffolk Water Park muscle. I had actually caught this fish around the same time last year at 34lb, so she was up in weight and looked pukka in the pictures.

I'd had three and a half hours of pure madness on the water park banking two doubles, two 20s and now two 30s. The wind had now picked up blowing a gale, the rain had started to fall and my arms where aching from all of the action but I knew I had to carry on getting the bait out there to keep this feeding frenzy going. I drew for the Spomb once again.

I prepped the rods and waited for a slight lull in the gales. Out went the rods and I eventually had time to squeeze in a cup of coffee and do a bit of house work in the brolly before the left hand rod once again bounced round. The rough water had certainly upped the oxygen levels and the fish were thriving on it and fighting like mad darting for every snag stripping yards of line trying their best to bounce the hook.

I slipped the net under what turned out to be a cracking 22lb 8oz common and stuck a bank stick through the spreader block. As I looked up at the snag I was fishing too, I could see a few bubbles and it was obvious to me that there was still feeding going on over there. Instead of getting the spomb back out, I flicked a handful of baits over with the throwing stick and got the rod redone and back out as soon as possible.

After setting the bobbin, I had a quick check on the fish in the net before preparing the landing mat ready for the snaps. As I went to reach for the scales, the rod I had literally just cast out signalled a few beeps and the stow began to drop. I picked the rod up, reeled down fast and hit into another fish.

At his point I already had a fish in my net and had to get my friend to assemble my spare net out of the rod bag. I was playing this fish literally looking at my friend Reedy and shaking my head in amazement. I couldn't believe how the session was going. When we landed the fish and lifted the net, Reedy turned around smiling and said one word 'hat-trick'.

Looking down at the fish, it was obviously another 30 plus. By paying attention to the swim and seizing an opportunity which could have easily been missed, it had landed me another 31lb fish and put the cherry on this very tasty cake. After the snaps were taken, we decided to reel in the last rod that was still out and shoot round to the onsite waterfront cafe for a much deserved breakfast. But before doing so, I sprayed another kilo of bait onto each spot. After a morning of hectic action, I thought that both myself and the swim needed some much deserved rest.

We arrived back in the swim around 2.30pm and by 4pm, the rods were back out on the money and I sat in anticipation waiting for a take. They didn't keep me sitting around long after an hour and half later found me playing my eighth fish of the session. Although this turned out to be the smallest so far, it was definitely one of the best looking. Another scaley mirror of 16lb 4oz to add to the photo album.

The swim slowed right up after this fish with no signs of activity and the wind started to drop off. I didn't get a single beep all night and it wasn't until half past seven the next morning when I landed a mint 15lb stockie making sure that I would be going home soaking wet after beating me up on the mat whilst taking the photos.

After packing up and speaking to the bailiff, he informed me that the biggest hit on the park so far was 12 fish in three nights so nine in two wasn’t too bad in my eyes considering three of them were 30-plus. The water park is an amazing day ticket venue giving anglers of all calibres an opportunity to catch some amazing fish at a well-established fishery.

News ArchiveNEWS ARCHIVE

ARCHIVE