We took an unplanned, unwelcome and, to be honest, unnecessary break from angling for the winter months. We’re not scared of the cold by any means, in fact, the cold weather increases our ability to sup brews.
However, life comes at you fast, and we had babies, houses and flats to deal with. So that’s why we’ve been away from the keyboard and the banks. But, fear not, we are back and ready to start the decade with carp, brews and sh**e angling.
First, let’s catch you up on a few trips from last year that we haven’t posted about yet.
Baden Hall, The Quarry – September 2019
We decided to have a pop at the big boy. The Quarry. Feared by amateurs and sponsored anglers alike. First time I heard of The Quarry was when someone from Korda did a film on it. He blanked on his first 48hrs, and it looked harder than a woodpeckers lips.
We knew our chances were low, but the allure of a fluke 30/40/50lber was too much and seeing as we’re greedy boys, we booked 48hrs in September.
Unfortunately Mad couldn’t attend the trip due to work commitments, so the carpfather, and Jon’s actual father, Mark stepped up to the plate in hunt of big fat carp.
Mark once announced that obsessing over big carp was an illness, and wasn’t important. However, in the days leading to the trip, he emphatically echoed our excitement at the thought of a career-defining fish.
The trip couldn’t have got to a worse start, to be honest. We met up at McDonald’s, nailed some brekky and a toffee latte, and headed off. I brought walkie-talkies for the weekend due to the distance between pegs on The Quarry, so I handed them out for the journey.
Unfortunately, I got too preoccupied quoting Phoenix Nights on the airwaves and led everyone in the opposite direction for 20 minutes.
Mark got us back on track, and after sampling every back road in Staffordshire, we made it Baden Hall.
Now, the first thing that struck us instantly wasn’t the idyllic lakes, the aurora of such big fish waters or the impressive facilities. It was the rugby field outside the tackle shop and the bar.
After a short deliberation about whether to give the fishing a miss, have a run out with the 3rds and sup the bar dry, we stayed true and checked in for our pegs.
The next issue arose here, as the realisation hit that I’d forgot my rucksack full of booze and cooking equipment about 50miles away. Not to worry, I thought, my brother, will gladly drop such crucial items off for me.
To my surprise the little f****r wanted £100. So, I’d have to steal Jon’s wine instead.
Nevertheless, we made it, against all the odds, to the pegs. Our locations are pictured below!
The wind was hard in our face and considering we’d set up primarily for zig fishing, it was hardly ideal. Spodding was a struggle, laying a rig down was worse, and my cabin door fell off. So, I wasn’t having a great time.
We got our rigs out, got some cloudy spod mix in the layers and finally got that kettle on. When the time to crack the beers out came, it was devastation again. Mark had supped us dry quietly from his cabin around the corner. Then he came over and polished off the vino, fell into a swamp and stumbled back to his cabin for the night.
When I came to get in my cabin, it looked like a scene from eight-legged freaks. I’m desperately scared of spiders, so I spent the night in the van. Safe and spider free. Oh and carp-free considering the first night drew nothing in the way of action.
After a solid sleep in the van, we got some brews and breakfast on the go while deliberating what changes to make for the remaining 28 or so hours. The wind was still as relentless as it had been the day previous, and it looked like showing no mercy on us for the day ahead.
Jon, in the face of adversity, looked the wind dead in the eye and found some cracking spots to lay a rig down. Mark resigned to the margins, and I stayed true to the Ronnies as far out as I could manage with the wind in my face.
Long story short, it was another good nights sleep, undisturbed by any alarms. The Quarry had lived up to its reputation, and I believe only one fish was banked in the 48 hours we were there, despite it being near capacity.
To be fair, we knew it was a tough ask, but I did think we may have landed one between us if the weather had been different who knows! We will be back to The Quarry, hopefully in better weather though!
Grey Mist Mere, Warrington – January 2020
With the Christmas festivities over and a disappointing 2019 in terms of angling over and done with, we started 2020 as we meant to go on. On the bank.
Grey Mist is going to be the water we focus on most this year, there are some old pigs in there, and we’d love to get our hands on a few of them. Jon was pretty close to banking one, we think, in the summer. To hear about that session, look for ‘A Mist Opportunity’. We will be venturing out to a few other venues this year. I’d love another crack at Merrington on a better peg, and we still feel like we could get a good result at The Quarry.
Anyway, January was a wet one. The Mist certainly felt the effects, and when we arrived for our first session of the new decade, there was hardly any pegs fishable due to the water levels. In the end, we got our waders on and did our best. There wasn’t much to report from this session apart from a big fat blank and some wet socks.
A few weeks later, Jon jumped on The Mist again to try and grind out a fish, but the conditions were the same, and the fish weren’t interested.
Despite not banking a fish, it was the most valuable session we’ve had on there, and I didn’t even go! When Jon conceded another blank, he packed down early and went for a walk around the water on a fact-finding mission.
After speaking to some of the lads that have fished The Mist for many years (we’ve only fished it a handful of times), he found out some very vital information.
For one, the peg we’ve opted for on nearly every session has a name.
No Carp Peg.
So no prizes for guessing why we’ve experienced very little by way of bites.
In fact, it seems the majority of carp can be found up the top end, where Jon lost that good fish in the summer.
So, we’ve got some useful information to start the year this year! That is if the Coronavirus doesn’t finish us all off.
We’ll be back on the bank and at the keyboard soon.
“He’s six foot something, fit as a flea, good looking – he’s got to have something wrong with him. Hopefully he’s hung like a hamster – That would make us all feel better.“Sir Ian Holloway discussing Cristiano Ronaldo