Harry Stirling, Henlow Bridge Lakes
Posted on 6th October 2018 at 21:15
Hi guys it’s Harry from Successful Baits and this is a write up of my trip to Henlow Bridge Lakes.
So, where do I start! My alarm went off at 6.15am, I had a 45 minute journey ahead of me and I wanted to get to my step dads house early! I set off and arrived there about ten past 8 to find my step dad loading his car ready to set off. We were both excited for this trip as we hadn’t fished together for many years, 13 to be exact! Me and my mum hadn’t spoken for many years, for many reasons but bridges are being made and now we are slowly sorting things. What’s the best way to clear the air and talk? Well, in my eyes, fishing. My step dad loves his fishing the same as I do.
The venue we chose was Henlow Bridge Lakes. Although neither of us had fished this venue before, it was only 10 minutes up the road from where my step dad lives so it made sense to go there, and what a beautiful venue to have on your door step! With 4 lakes on the complex, two small lakes and two bigger lakes, we chose the biggest lake called Jordan’s, the hardest one on the complex with 2 large carpy looking islands which are obviously going to be a great feature for anglers.
In our chosen double swim depths were around only 5ft, so not deep at all. Found out after leading around that there were some weedy areas but nothing too scary or tragic, fishable to most anglers. After finding some great little spots I got one rod out super quickly. End tackle on that rod consisted of the following items - decepti-link coated braid, size 6 chod hook, shrink tubing, anti tangle sleeves, quick change swivels, simple but effective. I created a slip d rig using these components as it’s one of my favourites, along with the multi rig. The chosen bait for this awesome rig had to be the VNX+ 16mm pop up, raised off the deck by around one inch, PVA bag with some bottom bait shelf life VNX+ 14mm boilies in and a few freebies scattered around with a catapult. When approaching a new water I tend to always put a VNX+ on my rigs, it’s a very effective bait and one that I feel so confident in that it's become a go to bait for me. Being such an all rounder carp bait it’s great for waters you're unfamiliar with. That rod went out just off the corner at the island.
I quickly got my net made up and he said to take over but I thought I may as well let him get it in as he was doing a great job and had it so close in. This common really was putting up a fight the closer it got in! It shot left, it shot right, it bolted forward, it really did have some energy! It looked a great battle. With the carp soon netted I unhooked him in the net and got the rod back out on that spot.
I felt so confident for the day ahead, especially after having my 1st carp in 20 minutes of being in the water. And that is why I am so confident in the VNX+ !! I mean how could you not be right? I broke down the net and put the carp into the cradle, took some quick snaps with the camera then returned him home.
So back to making this rig, again a standard blow back rig guys. I completed the rig and he attached it to his lead clip system. He cast out to an island and baited up. Now time for me to get my second one sorted, but it was chucking down and I mean really chucking down! As you can see in the pictures I got soaked holding that common, so I decided to make us a cup of tea and wait for the rain to ease off and then set my second rod up.
So, with that rod in the water and my spot baited up, I decided to help my step dad out by helping him set up his rod. I made him a multi rig also using the VNX+ pop up. He found his spot and felt confident. Well, how could he not right, after me telling him how great the Successful Baits range is, confidence is key in this game.
He said he wanted to fish a bottom bait on his second rod so I said I’d make him a bottom bait standard blow back rig, also using the VNX+ shelf life 14mm boilies. However, half way through making this rig my alarm was singing and dancing! He struck into it for me as I had my tray in my lap making the blow back rig for him .. I went to take over and realised that we hadn’t even set a net up yet, that rod had only been in the water for maximum 15-20 minutes.
After nearly a hour passed and no sign of the rain easing up I had to bite the bullet and just get my rod in the water! I used the same method on my second rod as I did the first, same components, same outcome, only with the bright pink Nasty Shrimp neon pop up on as my chosen bait. Again, another one that’s in my top five! I cast into open water with this one with a pva bag filled with Mussel Insect bottom baits and a few freebies scattered around the area.
After sorting all this I ducked into the bivvy to take cover from the rain, I had to change clothes I was that wet! With the kettle boiling away, I was making more rigs and having a good chat about things, we were both watching the water as it was coming alive with signs of fish around our spots and in our peg, we really were super excited. Despite the weather a few hours passed by and nothing, not even a bleep which seemed so odd as I was off to such a cracking start. The rain slowly eased off and we were soon out and stretching our legs. We then noticed a mid double right at the rod tips, so close in the margins! We then saw two carp jump really close in and I mean really close, not even a rod length, probably not even half! With signs of fish that close I crushed and chopped some boilies up and dropped them in and Wayne decided to move one of his rods there, right at our feet! Plenty of bleeps and liners where happening so he decided to leave it there for a while.
All of sudden I started to feel warm! Oh yes, the sun was coming out and the fish took full advantage of that, seeing them cruising in the upper layers of the water I decided to make a 2ft Zig rig, with a piece of yellow foam soaked in the CalaFrutti dip and cast it out the open where fish seemed to be patrolling, but nothing. We both really thought we were going to have a cracking session!
We sat down in the bivvy, put some sausages on the pan and made lunch, although we were hungry it was clear the carp weren't. After a few hours had passed by with only liners and a few knocks we were feeling a little deflated, but we stuck to the game plan and sure enough it paid off for me again, on the same spot I caught my 1st! I stuck into this fish and I kid you not, he didn’t even fight, just come straight to the surface, straight in over the net cord and posed for pictures. Yeah, that’s not exciting at all is it , the most well behaved and chilled out carp I have caught to date. I told Wayne to get his rod on that spot and I’d reel mine in and move them elsewhere, we needed to catch him a carp. I moved one of my rods off the spot and he cast his into the productive spot in the hope of a quick bite, and sure enough his rod ripped off and I hadn’t even got my carp out the net yet, talk about quick succession, they're loving the VNX+ as do most carp. Unfortunately after playing the fish for a short period of time the hook pulled, it was a brand new hook out the packet but these things happen, he was devastated to say the least. He re-cast his rod onto the spot while I was sorting my prize out, taking a few quick pics and away mr carp went.
With the day coming to a close and no more carp we slowly packed up and we made a move and loaded the cars. We have already planned our next visit in a couple weeks time, so I’ll look forward to returning to this stunning venue, and hopefully next time with more carp and more knowledge .
Thanks for reading .
Tagged as: Harry Stirling
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