Welly Whackers- John Moore

John Moore had an autumn to remember, taking a staggering number of big fish from the well-known Wellington Country Park, including three personal bests…

“All year I’d been getting inundated with phone calls from my good friend Martin Pick, telling me to get down to Welly. After his impressive year, I was desperate to wet a line. However, due to my missus giving birth in June I’ve not been unable to get down. Even though I joined at the start of the year, it wasn’t till September that I made my way down for my first session; to say I was excited was an understatement.

Finally, the day arrived and like two kids at Christmas, Picky and I made the journey down for my first trip. It was more of a social and to get a feel for the place. Neither of us caught, but Martin gave me the lowdown and a rough outline of the lake, just so I could start getting the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

On my second trip, I started my session in Daisy Point. With the weather being cold, things really didn’t look good in there so a move was on the cards. The lad in the Hole in the Bush was off in the morning, so I decided to do a night in Daisy and then move over. The Hole was the swim in form and because I had a few nights at my expense, it felt right to get in there. Around 3am I received a take out of the blue, on a single cast out to a likely looking area. We all know that magical feeling when lifting into your first fish from a lake; imagine what I was like, first night, first bite and fishing a lake with whales in. The knees were knocking, which didn’t make slipping into my waders an easy task. After a slow sluggish fight, I finally had my first Welly carp under my belt and it was a lump! The scales pulled round to 42lb, wow! What a place this really is. Mike, who was in the Hole in the Bush, came over to do the honours with photos and give me a helping hand. He made the capture extra special for me, not only being helpful, but also being just as happy for me catching as if it were his own. That for me is what its all about, making me feel welcome from the start.

When the morning came, I still decided to move. I know it seems strange after catching that lump, but it was clear there were more fish next door. The move paid off as I managed four fish to 28lb and unfortunately lost one. Even though that put a dampener on the session, I still went home a happy man.
Confidence was high when I returned the following week. I was amazed to find the in-form swim empty, with fish showing in the area as well; it was a no-brainer to jump straight in. Sadly, it fished slowly that week and the fish clearly weren’t as active. I did manage to winkle one out on my second night, resulting in a new personal best ghostie of 41lb 9oz.

The next trip down was to stay with me for the rest of my life. Not just for my captures, but the people who spent this special memories with me. The lake was busy, and all the swims that had fish in front of them were occupied. So I jumped in the Grassy, which was the closest I could get to where the fish were showing. I baited the corner of the island with a couple of kilo of chopped and whole boilies. This looked a great ambush point to intercept the fish if they move off the main area. On the second day I had my first bite, resulting in a 27lb mirror, but it wasn’t until my last night when the session really kicked into action.

Around 11pm I had another take, resulting in another ghostie at 35lb 6oz. After it wiped both of my other rods out, I thought I’d blown my chances after causing some disturbance. I got all three rods back out on the spot and it wasn’t long till I was away again. I instantly knew this was a better fish; it had a really heavy weight and stayed deep all the way in. After battling the beast for well over 10 minutes, it was in my net. I flicked my headtorch on, and I really couldn’t believe what was in my net. I shouted Martin over to give me a hand; we both knew it was a new PB for me. Sure enough, the scales pulled round to 48lb 1oz! Simply mind-blowing! It was through the morning that made this capture more special. There was a large gathering in my swim when word got round what I’d caught and everyone came over to share the moment and destroyed my tea supplies.
Suddenly my right-hand rod sprung into action, and again it felt like another good fish. It was slightly nerve-wracking having a large crowd in my swim, patiently spectating another arm-wrecking fight. When it slipped into the net, we identified that it was one called Split Tail and another PB at 48lb 2oz. The rest of the session was a daze, and I still can’t get over that session. The carp gods were definitely looking down on me this time…