KRACKING CATCHES – Anglers Paradise

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Nick Dudaniec joined us for his annual holiday, and booked the Kracking Carp Lake exclusively for his week’s stay. Being the hardest Lake on the whole complex, having this time on there would give him more chances of catching one of these elusive fish. He ended up with 5 Carp in total with the biggest being Parrot 🦜 at 48lb 5oz!
Nick shared –
“I arrived on Saturday and set up in peg 2. After a couple of laps of the lake I baited 7 or 8 different spots. The first run came on Sunday evening, but I lost the fish – a good common – at the net. I thought that was it for the week, but saw 4 more runs over the course of the week resulting in mirrors of 22lb 8oz, 32lb 12oz, 33lb 5oz and 35lb. At this point I was a very happy angler, and so was surprised when another run came on Friday morning whilst I was packing up. After a long battle I landed a large mirror known as the Parrot at 48lb 5oz.
I was over the moon to say the least. All fish came to 18mm boilies fished over pellet.
Anglers Paradise

Stafford Moor – One of Devon’s most prolific carp waters

I have been visiting Stafford Moor for over forty years collecting a wealth of memories from its banks. During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the fishery was one of the top Stillwater trout fisheries in the country. When I first fished there the lake was owned by Andrew Joynson and managed by Gordon Eveleigh. The lake was well stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout to over 10lb . I well remember tempting a rainbow of 12lb from the lake which is now Beatties. The fishery was extended in the eighties with the higher lake excavated to offer more scope for the trout anglers.

In 2001 the fishery started a new chapter when it was bought by Andy Seery who transformed the lakes into an outstanding coarse fishery offering superb match and coarse fishing.

Today Stafford Moor is owned by the Coombes Family who have invested much time and energy and money into the fishery ensuring it remains one of the country’s top match and specimen venues with luxury Canadian style lodges.

            I had been intending to pay a return visit to target the venues carp for some time and arranged a visit in early May. Joanne Coombes and her daughter Millie offered a warm and cheery greeting as I walked into the shop to purchase some bait and bits for my trip on Lodge Lake. The shop is extremely well stocked with bait and tackle for both match and specimen anglers. The shop also has fresh milk, bread and snacks.

            I was very impressed with the clean and well maintained onsite facilities that include toilets and showers for anglers to use.

            I parked up in the Lodge Lake car park and had a scout around to choose a swim to occupy for the next 24 hours. Fortunately, I had several to choose from and settled for the Big Island Swim. With a gentle breeze blowing into the corner and the odd fish showing I felt confident that this would produce.

            I loaded the barrow and wheeled my ridiculous mountain of gear to the swim. First job was to have a cast around with a lead and float to find the depth and potential features. The Island directly out in front was an obvious point of interest and I decided that I would put a bait on each end of the island fishing a third bait out into the clear water to my right.

            On the left of the island, I found around three foot of water close in with around five foot to the right side. I carefully measured the distance to my chosen spots and spodded out a mixture of pellets and broken boilies.

            I then cast out  my baits into each of the chosen spots and set about erecting the bivvy as ominous rainclouds started to build. With the bivvy set up and tackle sort of tidy I put out a few more boilies with a throwing stick. The middle rod was suddenly away the indicator screaming its warning! I lifted the rod to feel a momentary heavy weight. Sadly, the fish came off within seconds and I cursed my luck. Encouraged I hoped this wouldn’t be my only chance of the session.

            The swims are well laid out with a gravel base ensuring you do not end up fishing amidst a sea of mud. I put the kettle on and made a fresh brew of coffee sitting back on the bed chair to savour the tranquil surroundings.

            When I first fished this lake for trout close to forty years ago there was only sparse vegetation with the banks showing the scars of recent excavation. Today the lakes have matured with the lush greenery of late spring all around. My mind drifted back over the years at the fishery and how it has matured into a haven for wildlife and a fantastic venue for anglers and their families.

            Ominous rumbles of thunder came from nearby as the storm clouds gathered. Rain started to fall with intensity and I was glad of the bivvy’s sheltered interior. I love looking out across lakes as the lights and shades play upon the water. At times the rain pelted the surface with great intensity and I sort of dreaded a run for to leave the bivvy would result in a drenching.

            I hadn’t expected any extensive rain with the met office forecasting 10% chance of showers! I looked that the rain radar and noted that the rain should eventually move away by late afternoon.

            At around 6.00pm the rain did indeed stop and weak sunshine broke through the clouds. Surely the carp would come on the feed anytime soon. I cast out fresh baits and spodded a few more boilies

            As darkness eventually descended I expected a run at any moment. I soaked up the atmosphere relishing the onset of darkness as owls hooted in the nearby trees. The occasional star could be glimpsed in breaks in the cloud. I snuggled into the sleeping bag ever hopeful that a screaming alarm would wake me from my slumbers.

            A breeze picked up overnight and the occasional single bleep came from the bite alarms raising expectation as I woke sporadically during the dark hours.

            The soft cool light of dawn brought with it a sense of disappointment. The confidence that is so vital was ebbing slowly away. I expected to see signs of life as the temperature climbed but all was still except for the ducks and robins that frequently visited my swim.

            I reeled in the middle rod and checked the bait that was all good. I put on a fresh bait and topped up the bait in the swim with a few boilies and pellets. The other rods were left in place as I was confident that all would be present and correct with the baits.

            I brewed a fresh coffee and sat back to survey the lake and analyse why I had failed to connect with any of the lake’s residents. It would have been interesting to know how other anglers on the complex had caught during the 24 hours I was present. I had a degree of confidence in my bait and rigs. The swim I had chosen seemed to be likely to hold carp with good features and a gentle breeze blowing into the corner.

            Perhaps the heavy rain had resulted in a dramatic drop in water temperature suppressing the fish’s appetite? It was possible that the carp were preparing to spawn?

            I compared notes with a good friend who told me that his mate was fishing a prolific water and had not had a run for 36 hours. So maybe the conditions were just not conducive for good fishing? Or was I just a bad angler?

            I am not a regular carp fisher and fish very few longer overnight sessions. With many species of fish to target I am wary of the addictive nature of carp fishing. The desire to hear that bite alarm scream out and subsequent bending rod is a strong compulsion.

            Non anglers struggle to comprehend the whole notion of spending days trying to catch a fish that is returned to the water. I have given up trying to explain or justify the obsession. There is certainly something rather special about carp fishing that attracts a huge number of devotees.

            I am looking forward to my next visit to a carp lake when I will hopefully get it right and bank a fish or two.

Recent reports at Stafford Moor show some very impressive specimens with several carp of over 30lb banked.

(Below) Andy & Jack Burrett  fished on swims 1 and 2 on Beatties lake and banked 43 fish  including a new Common lake record ! ………….. a stunning 36lb 3oz common.

( Below) Ben Smith banked 7 fish out up to 31lb 12oz from the inlet swim on Beatties lake , Ben used pva bags with pellet and 12mm pink wafters.

            I called into the shop after packing away having to admit to Jo that I had blanked on what is one of Devon’s most prolific carp waters. I joked that I was able to blank and still leave with a smile. The fishery owner’s life is certainly not easy as Jo quipped that she could write a book on the strange comments made by visiting anglers. “ How many fish can I expect to catch in a 24 hour session?”. Or “I am off now; I have been fishing for nearly three hours and caught too many fish! Meeting the needs of anglers is certainly a challenge.

My own impression of Stafford Moor is that of a very well run fishery that offers the chance to catch some superb specimens. Next time I intend to put things right!

Upper Tamar 31lb Common

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Shaun Freeman shared these pictures from Upper Tamar: “I’ve been stuck on a 28lb PB for a long time so this 31lb common means a lot. I did an overnighter in gut bucket bay and had three small carp, but heard larger fish topping up by the quarry, so did a night in the quarry fishing the margins. I finished over about 2 kg of 12 mm GS 10 and had the take about 5 o’clock in the evening on a 16 mm pop-up on a Multi rig. Backed up by a 20lb mirror and a 17lb common.”

Stafford Moor – Voted one of the best !

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Stafford Moor fishery has recently been voted one of the best carp fishing venues in the UK coming sixth in Angling Times recent poll

Dan Gunn and his friend Adrian  fished on the double swim 1 up on lodge lake  they banked 7 fish  up to 26lb. The guys were using Krill 20mm boilies glugged & Mainline Hybrid wafters.

( Below) Scott Allan who fished from swim 2 on lodge lake and had 11 fish out up to 27lb , all fish were caught on Mainline cell boilies.


A 3lb 8oz Perch John Deprieelle caught from Roadford this weekend. Perch fishing (by boat only) is offered alongside game fishing at Roadford. Purchase your permits and check the rules here: #ItsYourOutdoors

(Below) Steve Dawe caught three specimen bream at 11lb 10oz, 12lb 8oz and 13lb 6oz from Lower Tamar on a recent session.

( Below) Some fantastic catches by Joe Dietrich from Lower Tamar!
He had PBs all-round with a PB common of 31lb 6oz, PB tench of 7lb 10oz and a bream of 13lb
(Below) Ashley Bunning had 3 fish to 28lb 12oz at Lower Tamar last week, all on Nashbait Scopex Squid wafters over a bed of 20mm Scopex Squid freebies.
New carp fishing spot alert!
This May and September, we will be introducing carp fishing at Roadford Lake. This is an ideal, naturally beautiful location, just off the A30, perfect for anglers living in both Devon and Cornwall.
This will be a trial venture in a designated area at the lake, including 12 swims.

Gigantica Adventure

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Quay Sports Shop manager Chris Connaughton – Mono has recently returned from the almighty Gigantica. Fishing in very tough conditions with the lake not producing many bites Chris decided that Instead of using the usual spomb tactic to get a bed of bait out at around 100yards he opted to utilise our very own Hunter Pro FantaStik (throwing stick) to spread the feed to keep the fish moving as well as baiting up from the bank. This saw Chris land 3 carp to 34lb using his own Remix Baits Cellnapple pop ups alongside Mainline Baits freezer boilies.

New carp fishing spot alert!

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New carp fishing spot alert! 🎣
This May and September, we will be introducing carp fishing at Roadford Lake. This is an ideal, naturally beautiful location, just off the A30, perfect for anglers living in both Devon and Cornwall.
This will be a trial venture in a designated area at the lake, including 12 swims.

Set in the rolling Devon hills on the edge of Dartmoor, just off the A30, Roadford is primarily a brown trout fishery. Carp fishing is now being introduced as a trial across two months of the year – May and September 2023.

There is a large stock of carp in Roadford, and this period of carp angling will be used to monitor the carp and move them to other lakes for restocking purposes.

Carp fishing is permitted in 12 swims: on the west side of the lake, left of the old road of ‘Big Oaks’ and the Grinnacombe bank.

Fly fishing is not permitted in this area in May and September.

Fishery Information:

Address: Roadford Lake, Near Okehampton, Devon. PL16 0JL

Fishery Size: 738 acres

Number of Swims: 10 available for 24 hours and two day swims

Species: Carp

Fishing Times: Two months of the year – May and September 2023, 7am-7pm for day swims

Permits: Available online or from South West Lakes on 01566 771930

Contact: 01566 771930

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