One of the UK’s most prolific carp catchers, Tom Maker, visits a day-ticket lake he has never seen before for a 48-hour session…
During a recent conversation with Lewis Porter from Fox he was giving me a bit of friendly banter for spending so much of my angling time over on Linear. He laid down the gauntlet for me to come over to his part of the world and spend a couple of nights fishing in the Nene Valley to see if my standard Linear approach would work. He recommended a day-ticket lake called Greenacres, which Mark Pitchers had fished a few times, that is located on the outskirts of Peterborough.
He said there were carp to over 45lb in there and that it was a really nice, quiet venue, so I wasted no time in taking him up on the offer. Then I sat down and looked up on the Internet exactly where the lake was – and it dawned on me that it was 170 miles from home! Despite this long distance I was mega keen to try the lake as both Lewis and Pitchers had nothing but praise for the venue and its stock. Plans were soon put in place for me to fish Greenacres for 48 hours.
Upon arriving at the lake, Dave the owner took me for a walk around and I was immediately impressed. On the whole it looked really mature and there were lots of places for the fish to hide. Dave recommended that for my first night I looked at setting up in the middle area, as it had been doing a few bites in recent weeks. As we walked round I saw a couple of carp show not too far from the area Dave had pointed out, so that was my decision made for me.
I had a quick lead about and it soon became apparent that the lakebed was very up and down, with some fresh weed growth on a few areas. After 10 or so minutes spent casting about I settled on a nice silty area that met a slightly raised gravel feature. It had a small amount of fresh weed on it and looked perfect for a bite. I had decided that I would fish exactly how I would over at Linear (or anywhere else, to be fair) and clipped up all three of my rods to the same spot. I then got the spod rod clipped up and put in around 20 Impact Spods worth of mix, which comprised Krill boilies, hemp and sweetcorn. Over the top I opted to fish pop-ups presented on hinged stiff rigs.
Now, until the last few weeks, I had never used one of these rigs, as they seemed far too fiddly and didn’t suit my style of angling. However, on a recent trip at Linear I had put them on as an experiment to see if they could catch a better stamp of carp and that night I had a few twenties, so I decided to stick with them for my first night on Greenacres. I will start using the rig more often now that Fox makes ready-tied Chod Rigs, as they take away all of that hassle of tying D-rigs and whipping knots. It seemed to make sense to use this rig on Greenacres as, with the light scattering of weed on the bottom, a pop-up combined with a supple coated braid boom would ensure my presentation was spot on.
I received my first action not long after 9pm and by first light I had banked four carp, the biggest being a mirror just shy of 26lb. That morning Matt from Fox turned up to spend the rest of the session with me and film events as they unfolded for the YouTube channel; in fact my fourth fish came just before Matt arrived, so we quickly filmed it.
I then decided to move swims, as I had seen a few fish showing further down to my left. Despite catching four that first night, I just had a feeling that I needed to move to keep catching. After moving swims I had another quick plumb around and found another nice area, this time a gravel hump. Once again I clipped up all three rods to the spot and spodded out a bed of free feed. Within an hour I was away and Matt managed to film me banking a lovely low-twenty mirror, which was absolutely nailed on the hinged stiff rig. With the fish safely returned, I quickly reformed the curve in my hook section, gave the pop-up a quick boost with some Signature Spray, and got the rod back on the spot. That was all of the action I had for the remainder of the day, but that night I managed to receive a further three bites including one from a lovely old common of just under 25lb at first light.
On the final morning I packed up early and tried some stalking in a quiet corner, but unfortunately it was uneventful. Before I knew it my time was up and I was back on the road for the 170-mile journey home. It had been a great first ever session on Greenacres with eight carp banked including four twenties. I was happy that my approach of fishing all three rods on one baited area had worked, with double takes occurring on both nights. I cannot wait to get back to Greenacres as it really is every bit as good as Lewis and Pitchers had told me it was.