Two friends and myself where due to do 2 nights on linear lakes, as we had never been, it seemed like an ideal place to get a few bites (well we hadn’t done much fishing since France in June so needs must)
The night before we were due to leave, we had an update on swim availability and it was looking very busy; so after some googling and talking with other people, we soon came across bluebell lakes. Not one of us had ever been or known much about the place, apart from it was home to some stunning fish! So 10pm Tuesday night the decision was made...bluebell lakes it had to be!
We set of around 7am and made our way down. On arrival we spoke with the bailiff onsite and started to have a walk around, mallard lake which was meant to be there runs water but after speaking to some guys already on; then it quickly became apparent that this wasn't the case, or at least at this moment in time anyway. Next lake we came across was a trickier lake called sand-martin; we had a good walk around and spoke with a few guys on, and again it was looking like all the lakes where fishing very slow indeed. With that we took the gamble on sand-martin, we were fishing for just one or two bites really, so it may as-well be for a bigger fish.
After seeing a few fish in a certain area of the lake we left a bucket in the lightly looking swims, and then went to the car-park to get the vans the vans. It was getting on for midday by this point, so it was the rods out the van first.
I started off with a marker rod; I was trying to find a presentable area, amongst the dense Canadian weed that covered a large part of the water in front of me… Finally I found 2 spots that I settled on, one I would fish 2 rods on and the other just the one.
I had picked up some of the new Shropshire gold in 10mm with some wafter’s and glug. I had 2 kg on 10mm squid in the freezer to, so I decided too bring that too. I had air dried some Shropshire gold, letting them soak in some glug the night before; so they where fully hydrated and I fished those on there own over the single rod, my hook was baited with a 15mm wafter in the small clearer area. The second spot I put out some 10mm’s, corn and hemp; I didn’t go mad with the baiting as I wasn’t sure how much was already out there, so was 3 medium Spomb’s over each spot, just enough for a bite. After 24hrs in with no bite’s, but knowing the fish were still in front of me boshing at first light. (Receiving liners very regularly, I had to change something) Come midday with bite time been and gone, I wound the rods in and had a re-think; the guy two swims down came over, asking if I could do the pictures of a stunning 28lb common… so I jumped at the chance and good job I did; after talking for half hour or so, he couldn’t tell me enough about the place and what lies beneath so to speak! One thing he mentioned was; the three known 30’s have been caught more times from the tree in my swim, that any other part of the lake..... With that I headed back to my swim, straight away I got my waders on and had a walk along the margin to my right (creeping up to the edge of an overhanging tree)
Looking around I found a lovely clear spot right on the edge of this tree in around 4ft of water, it looked like it had been used regularly by the feeding fish. Back to the bivvy I went and tied up my favorite pop up rig, with a 12mm washed out pink nutty narna. Baiting with 4 handfuls of 10mm Shropshire gold and squid went into the wader pouch, and then back I went to the spot. I lowered the rig right on the edge of the spot, as I didn’t want it looking so blatant and then in went the 10mm over the top. My second rod went out with a solid bag with crushed 10mm Shropshire gold, and again a 12mm pink nutty narna to a small clear patch around 20 yards out. Not knowing what to do with my 3rd rod, I put it back on the spot I had previously had it on with just 10mm Shropshire over the top. Back to the waiting game…
It had been a few hours now, since I’d re-done the rods and I was sitting on my hands not wanting to move them; as I’d found a way to get in behind the trees, down my margin and as I looked into the water there was 5 fish sat right under the tree. With me knowing my bait was less than 2 feet from them, it could only be a matter of time before I had a chance of hooking one of them! Sure enough 45 minutes later my rod doubled over and I was finally in to what can only be described as a train. It wouldn’t stop trying to bury itself in the weed; eventually after about 5 minutes or so, she quickly became tired and in the net it went. Relieved was an understatement, she weighed in at 27.10 and I was buzzing with excitement!
That was my trip done and anything else would be a bonus in these tricky conditions.
After the catch pictures and then letting her go, I had another look in the tree, there was 1 or 2 fish still coming in and out, so wasting no time at all; the waders where back on and the rod was back in position with some more bait over the top. Around half 7 was my next bite and it was from the pva bag this time and another beautiful common that went 21.08. Buzzing!
The next morning it looked to be a hot one, with that I put 2 rods out on zigs at various depths; but still kepping the one under the tree in place. Just before midday when I was least expecting it the margin rod was away again! After a great scrap in the weed, another common rolled into the net; this time 19.06.
Three fish all on the new bait, and from a new venue; with only one other fish off the lake to my knowledge, I couldn’t be happier! I’ll certainly be using Shropshire gold in my fishing from now on.
What an eye opener.