Bayeswater Day Ticket Lake is home to a very impressive stock of fish. There are approximately 200 carp in three acres, however, due to the size of the lake it can be extremely tricky at times. As the name suggests the fishery is owned by none other than Gary Bayes himself, who I’m sure the majority of carp anglers will have heard of. Most of the stock are in excess of 20lb, with a decent head of 30lb fish, all topped by a current lake record over 40lb. The fishery has an accurate, up to date website which is www.bayeswaterfishing.co.uk – you can also contact Gary and Anne direct on 07746 050657. You can find the fishery by using the following address: Boreham, Chelmsford, CM3 3HY. A little tip from me to you is that the gate to the venue has three stone pillars in front of it… it took me a little while to figure that out – lol!
All anglers must have ID cards and gate keys before turning up to the fishery. ID cards are for life and if Gary purchases new waters in the future, your ID cards will cover you for these also. You can purchase your ID and keys from either Specimen Angling at Bevan Tackle, or the Angling Direct branches at Raleigh, Chelmsford and Colchester. The cost is £25 for the ID card and key, however, you will be required to have two passport photographs. You can also request these through Steve Bugg, on his Facebook page, or by phoning Anne Bayes on 07746 050657. You will need to give your full name and address along with the aforementioned two passport photos and a cheque.
Day-tickets are charged on the bank during your session and the bailiffs will be round two to three times per day. The prices are as follows: six hours will be £7.50, 12 hours is £15, 24 hours is £25 and 36-48 hours will be £40. Another nice little touch is that if your session is longer than 24 hours, the charge will only be £15 per extra night.
‘The Rules and Reasons’ which you can find on the fishery website are some of the best I’ve ever experienced and other fisheries around the country could/should really take note from them. Bayeswater don’t like pushing a rule book at people and rely on the anglers to have common sense and respect for the lake. ID cards must be on you at all times, they allow the use of up to four rods (relevant licences permitting). Please drive slowly down the farmer’s lane, the safety of the fish is absolute paramount, bait boats are allowed and slings/nets must be dry before using them on the fishery. I’ve picked out some of the main rules to feature in this article but please check the full list prior to visiting the venue.
The fishery like you to send in your catch reports, if possible, to: firstname.lastname@example.org so they can share your success through their website and social media platforms which are as follows: Bayeswater Day Ticket Lakes which is their Facebook page, Steve Bugg’s Facebook page and Bayeswater_fisheries on Instagram.
The venue is also home to Bayeswater Syndicate Lake which holds fish to in excess of 50lb – however, with it being a syndicate venue, if you are interested you will need to contact Gary and join a waiting list.
For my session I’d planned my visit to the venue for December, on the back of knowing Bayeswater has incredible winter form and consistently produces fish throughout the colder months of the year. I set the old alarm clock for 3am to make the long journey down south from Nottingham early on the Friday morning and beat the rush hour traffic. What was surprising though was how mild the weather conditions were and, after loading the car, I remembered looking down on the dash board and seeing 10ºC on the display, which immediately gave me more confidence. What I will mention is prior to setting off for my session, on the Thursday night, I made a quick call to Gary Bayes to find out what the situation was like down at the lake. Obviously with it being a day-ticket venue, and one with particularly good winter form, I knew there was likely to be plenty of attention at the venue. Gary explained to me that 10 out of the 12 swims had already been taken due to it being so close to the weekend, which obviously wasn’t the best scenario with a three-hour drive in front of me. In the end the decision was made to still make the trip. I always have in the back of my mind, when I arrive at these venues, that there is always the opportunity to move swims with so much angling traffic to and from the fisheries. After making the journey down to Boreham, I arrived at the venue a little later than I expected due to traffic, nevertheless, I had managed to get there just before first light, which was a bonus.
My first port of call was to have a walk around the lake. Obviously, I knew how busy it was going to be already, so this wasn’t necessarily to have a look for signs of fish which would normally be the first step when I arrive at a venue. I wanted to have a look at the remaining two swims available and get my buckets dropped in one of them before anyone else arrived to fish the lake. As I made my way around from right to left it was certainly busy and the first swim which was free was peg 10 on the opposite bank to the car park. As I looked out into the lake, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the peg was situated to fish the central body of the lake. Immediately my confidence shot through the roof as it is common knowledge on these busy venues, at this time of year, the fish tend to group up in the central areas of lake out of the way of the pressure (weather dependent, of course). I dropped my bucket quietly to reserve peg 10 and went about having a look at the last remaining swim on my way back to the car – peg 12, which commanded the dog-leg section of the lake (which I had been told by Gary was the shallows). With the weather conditions being mild but overcast and low pressure I decided to stick with peg 10 and the open-water spot. If the conditions had been bright skies and plenty of sunshine, I might have taken a gamble with the shallows – however, past experience has always told me to go with my gut instinct which in the case was open water.
Once I’d loaded the tackle on the barrow and made my way around to the swim, I wasn’t in any rush to get the rods out, the swim was secured and I had 24 hours ahead of me to get a bite. By this time it was still getting light and with not being able to see the whole lake, and obviously never having seen the venue before, I didn’t want to start crashing leads around which may have affected other anglers – especially at bite-time. I watched the water for half an hour in the hope of seeing a fish but this unfortunately never came, so it was time to set the brolly up and get everything sorted ready to get the rods out. By the time I could see the whole lake it was around 8am and I was surprised at how small it actually was. I knew it was around three acres in size, and, in my head, leaving out the dog-leg section, I couldn’t imagine not being on a few fish in my position. In peg 11, which was just to my right-hand side, I had a word with the gentleman that was fishing who explained the lake had been slow and there hadn’t been any fish caught whilst he had been there. Luckily, he did have some knowledge of the lake and was kind enough to point me in the right direction. There are power lines that overhang the lake and peg 10 was adjacent to them. The rule on the venue is that you can only cast as far as the power lines which meant I couldn’t reach the middle of the lake. Fortunately though, I wouldn’t be too far away, and as I wrapped my rods up to ten wraps and carefully cast them under the power lines I was greeted with a firm drop. A friend of mine, Marcus Clarke, who had fished the venue the previous winter, had also dropped me a message to cast between ten and eleven wraps, so I knew I was on the money.
My tactic for the session was to use single solid bags which would give me just enough attraction to get a bite and allow me to cast at any signs of showing fish without worrying about my presentation. I also didn’t want to start introducing bait by spodding because I thought this may hinder my chances with the lake being so small and fishing slow at the moment. My solid bag set-up was simple and comprised of a 3oz in-line lead, set up running style, a Solid Bag Tail Rubber, 18lb Supernatural braid and a size 4 Wide Gape X hook. Hookbait-wise I chose to start with my ever faithful 12mm IB wafters on two of the rods and a 12mm Salty Squid wafter on the third. To fill my bags, I started by adding a small scoop of Cloud9 groundbait to the bottom of the bag before placing my rig on top of it, I then add a small scoop of pellets next, just to cover and protect the hookbait from the next step, which is the most important part. I add a handful of maggots into the bag to give it that extra bit of attraction and movement before finishing by adding another section of pellets and placing my lead inside the bag.
Once I’d got the rods in position which were all equally spread out at ten wraps across my swim, it was time to think about my line presentation. Anyone who has been following my series will know that I’m a massive fan of a tight line and for the majority of my fishing I stick with this principle. However, sometimes you have to fish to the conditions which are in front of you and this was definitely one of those occasions. I decided to completely slacken all the rods off, so the line was bowing from the rod tips, and I also added some ½oz back leads to the equation. My thought process was that all 11 anglers that were on the lake were all fishing towards the centre, which was putting a huge amount of pressure in that middle zone. If I could keep everything pinned down and out of the way, it would allow the fish to drift into my area without bouncing into any lines and surely this would give me an advantage over everyone else.
The morning and early afternoon passed uneventfully, apart from the odd line bite, which obviously told me there were fish in my area. The first bite came to the angler in peg 1, over to my right-hand side, where I believe he landed a mid-20lb common. This was great news for the rest of us down the lake as the fish had not only potentially given bite time away but that they were willing to feed as well. Just before dark I recast the rods with fresh bags ready for the night ahead. I was told most of the bites on the venue in winter came during daylight hours, however, there is always that chance of a night-time fish.
The night was quiet and you could hear a pin drop around the lake. The water was like a sheet of glass but at 3am my middle rod pulled up tight and I was into a carp! Once I’d shaken the drowsiness away and got that rush of blood from jumping up so fast under control, I carefully got into my chest waders and the battle was on. After a tense 15-minute battle under the tip, with the fish continually trying to bury itself in to the reedbeds at either side of the swim, I landed what looked a reasonable fish. The first thing I did, however, was wind all three rods in, clip them up, give them fresh hookbaits and cast them back out onto the area. Now you may be reading this thinking why has he recast every rod and not just the rod he had the fish on? The reason being those bags had been out there for 12 hours before I received the bite and, with first light only a few hours away which is always a great time for a bite, I wanted the freshest bags possible out there. Once everything was done I dealt with the fish which went 31lb 6oz – mega. My first night on the venue and a 30-pounder to boot. I was over the moon.
I must have fallen back to sleep after the commotion of the fish, because, the next thing I knew, I was awoken by another bite on the middle rod. The fish stripped around 10 yards of line on the initial run but after I’d turned it, it decided to bolt back towards me at a rate of knots, leaving me frantically trying to gain line and keep in contact with it. Again, once I’d carefully got into the chest waders the fight commenced and in the end I landed another lovely fish. I repeated the same process I had gone through a few hours previously and recast all the rods. By this time it was 9am and I only had a few hours left before I had to leave and make the long journey home, but I knew there was still a chance of another fish – call me greedy, if you like. This time the fish weighed 26lb 15oz and with it now been mid-morning, I managed to get some cracking daytime shots.
The last few hours came and went without any further action, but two fish from a new venue in the middle of winter and with one of them a 30-pounder as well, I couldn’t really have asked for more. Those solid bags with a few maggots inside, coupled with slack lines and back leads, really did the trick and Bayeswater day-ticket lake is most certainly a venue I will visit in the future without a doubt. Both Gary and Steve have created and maintained a fantastic venue which not only offers anglers comfortable, quiet surroundings, but, the chance of some quality fish as well. A massive ‘thank you’ must go to both Gary and Steve for accommodating me on my session!
Be Lucky, Loz.