Henry Lennon - Stanwick Lakes, Mallard
Posted on 23rd July 2017 at 18:59
As University finally came to a close and summer rolled around, it was time to concentrate on the more important things in life – carp fishing! Summer has always been the time of year when I can get out on the bank most frequently, and even with work commitments and my parents moving back from Switzerland to the UK, I wasn’t going to let this summer be any different.
I had planned a 48hr session with SB UK boss Uwe on the Vermuyden Lake at the Fenland Fisheries complex. However, with Fenland being an hours drive from my house and having the day beforehand free, I thought it would be rude to not squeeze in a quick overnighter on a lake that would cut down on the travel time for the following day. The complex I chose was Stanwick, and what a set of lakes it is. I fell in love with the place instantly, and decided there and then that I would do a campaign for the rest of 2017 on the Elsons Lake on the complex. However, my journey on Elsons is a story for another time, as with limited hours, I decided to fish the slightly easier Mallard Lake.
Although it isn’t as hard as Elsons, to say Mallard is an easy water would be a lie – it actually turned out to be a fairly difficult water for this particular session. With high air pressure and equally high temperatures, the carp seemed content in cruising around in the upper layers and hiding in the weed. I settled on swim 14, a peg that gave access to a carpy bay and a few large weed beds. The peg also offered the perfect tree to climb to spy on the carp, and I spent the first few hours of my session up said-tree, watching numerous carp cruising around in front of me.
I opted against fishing zigs as I didn’t arrive at the lake until late and knew that it wouldn’t be long before darkness fell and the carp would venture out of the weed and (hopefully) get on the munch. After the bailiff informed me that the water had been fishing fairly slow, and with the un-ideal weather conditions, I knew that I’d be fishing for a bite. A scattering of VNX+ 14mm Shelflife boilies along the larger weed beds and marginal spots, accompanied by matching hookbaits and VNX+ Ready-to-use PVA sticks, I got back up the tree to observe the big black shadows cruising in front of me.
One thing I love about summer fishing is that, often, you are able to sleep completely in the open. I had checked the weather forecast and it didn’t look like it was going to rain, so I set the bedchair up, tucked away behind some trees, and settled down for the night.
As unorganised as ever but you can’t beat a night under the stars!
A nice upper-double common, the only fish caught whilst I was on the lake and the saviour of a blank.
On a few past occasions, unforecasted rain has found me when sleeping without a bivvy (as you will discover in my next session report!), but I was pleased to awake the next morning dry and well rested after a long week at work. However, I was less than pleased to awake to a dry net and a dry unhooking mat, but I still had a few hours left before I had to pack up for the session on Fenland Fisheries.
The bailiff made his way round early that morning and informed me that nothing had been caught between the 6 of us fishing Mallard, and combining that with the hot weather and the carp’s reluctance to feed, it looked likely that the session would end Carp 1, Henry 0. Nevertheless, I remained hopeful and I knew that my rigs were in the right areas for any carp that did feel like getting their heads down and, as always, I had every faith in the bait.
And my faith proved to be well placed! At about 7:45am, my rod to a weedbed let out a squeal as a carp bow waved across the surface. The lead had been dropped and I was free to play the fish away from the weed that coated the lakebed. Without too much trouble, a pristine, upper double common graced my net and I was saved from a blank. A few quick self takes later and the carp was returned – happy days!
I spent the next hour or two gazing over Elsons lake, as it was situated directly behind my swim. After talking to the bailiff in more depth about the large residents it held, I was sold – this water would be my main focus whilst I wasn’t at Uni and I was living at my parents and I was going to catch the 40lbs common it held! But all that for another time.
Tagged as: Henry Lennon
Share this post: