Last casts of summer

            I enjoyed a catfish fishing session at Anglers Eldorado with some good friends back in early July and blanked. My good friend Bruce Elston did well during the session and also enjoyed success on several follow up trips to the venue. I was keen to get back to the lake for a last try as summer fades into Autumn.

            On August 30th with warm sunshine and a gentle easterly breeze I set off from home to join Bruce at the lake. The road wound through mid Devon countryside showing signs of a long hot summer.  I noticed that several trees were already taking on Autumn hues their leaves starting to dry up as the long drought takes its toll. I glanced at the River Torridge as I drove over to witness a pitiful trickle.

            I found Bruce set up at Eldorado cat lake with an adjacent swim that had been producing well reserved for me a few yards further along the bank.

            I set up my tackles and introduced a few handfuls of pellets and boilies into the area I was planning to cast into. We were both using beefed up carp tactics with boilies and self-hooking rigs.

            After an hour it was good to finally have the rods out and the bivvy assembled ready for a 24 hour session. I put the kettle on and looked forward to sitting back with an expresso. Things don’t always go to plan!

            I had inadvertently packed the wrong adaptor for the coffee maker meaning the capsules would not fit. As I pondered this issue the bite alarm beeped and rod tip pulled around as what I assumed was a catfish moved away. I picked up the rod and leaned back to feel nothing.

            First chance missed and you don’t always get another!

            A few minutes later I heard Bruce’s alarm and looked over to see his rod well bent as an angry catfish tried to find sanctuary in the overhanging branches of the Island opposite. Bruce held the fish hard grudgingly allowing line to be taken from a tightly set clutch. The pressure told after a few minutes and large boils appeared on the surface as the catfish fought hard in the silty coloured water.

            I stood waiting with the net as the fish came closer. A large tail broke the surface and then a large head and cavernous mouth. The head went into the net easy but its tail caused a few anxious moments as I tried to film the event with my go-pro in one hand.

            With the fish safely in the net, Bruce prepared the unhooking mat and weigh sling ensuring they were well soaked with lake water. The fish pulled the scales to 31lb 7oz. A great start to the session.

            An hour later my bite alarm bleeped into life and I struck into a hard fighting catfish. The fish powered away threatening to take me into a snag so it was time to give the tackle a good testing leaning back and seeing just how much pressure could be applied using 20lb b.s Big Game main line. After a tackle testing few minutes the cat was wallowing beneath the rod tip where Bruce wielded the net and safely secured my prize. Uncannily the fish weighed in at 31lb 8oz just an ounce different to Bruce’s yet a totally different fish.

            The rest of the afternoon passed by uneventfully until a much appreciated Fish and Chip delivery by Bruce’s daughter.

            As the evening set in we both topped up our swims with bait and cast out fresh. The sun slowly set illuminating the evening sky as swallows swooped low over the lake. We were both optimistic that the night would bring a further result with past sessions producing well overnight for Bruce.

            It is always enchanting to watch the light fade from within the bivvy with expectation of a run at any moment. The wind dropped away to leave the lake mirror calm. Bats replaced the swallows swooping in the night air.

            In the early hours I awoke to answer natures call and gazed up into a night sky full of vividly twinkling stars. The valley lay silent with just  the occasional hoot from  an owl.

            I awoke as dawn slowly broke and made a fresh coffee before checking one of the baits and introducing a sprinkling of pellets and boilies. I sat back still optimistic despite the blank night. I chatted with Bruce who was also surprised at the lack of overnight success.

            As the sun rose higher in the sky its light illuminated the far bank injecting vibrant colour into the day like an artist working upon a canvas.

            We both packed up reluctantly leaving the rods out until the last minute just in case. Whilst there is still time to catch catfish our sights are set on an abundance of other species as autumn descends.

Anglers Paradise

Catches from Paradise

posted in: Coarse Fishing, Sidebar | 0

The latest news from Zenia at the prolific Anglers Paradise complex.. Don’t forget that many of the lakes are also open to day ticket anglers.

(Above)Bradley Bone from Clacton On Sea in Essex had a session on Nirvana’s Specimen Cat Lake in the hope of catching a big one, at 7.30pm that happened!! Bradley landed a personal best 54lb 6oz Wels Catfish on two 30mm halibut pellets fished in the margin.


Caz Osborne from Stamford, Lincolnshire who after years of trying…finally beat her previous personal best 13lb Carp with a 18lb 3oz Mirror from Eldorado’s Bottom Cat and Carp Lake! Her partner Julian was green with envy!! She also had a 25lb Cat whilst the men had their tails between their legs!!

Caz’s Story –

“On the build up to our stay at Anglers Paradise, we had especially been looking forward to fishing the Bottom lake at Eldorado and planned to do 2 nights and days. However I have been ill with pneumonia since before Christmas, Jules (aka the King) and my friend Rob took my kit down for me and set up camp. This year I set no goals for fishing, but really hoped to better my long standing best carp weight of 13lb 13oz.

With the weather being as hot as it had been, the King set up running rigs to target the Cats and this resulted in a cat at 25lb same as my previous PB. However on Wednesday morning we had some rain and it was much cooler, so we hoped the Carp would show.

I was delighted when the alarm rang out and I caught a lovely Mirror Carp at 18lb 3ozs which broke my old PB by over 5lbs which stood for 4years!!

It was caught on my new h-gun Nash rod which was a present from Rob, using a Paradise bait Catastrophic main bait topped with a burton bait squid and octopus pop up, wrapped in the Kings magic paste all in a PVA bag with halibut pellets casted to the island.”



Kevin Boxall from Grantham, Lincolnshire had a reel mixed bag of catches catching plenty of Carp including a personal best 26lb 13oz Linear from the Specimen Carp Lake, a personal best 37lb 10oz Cat from the Octopussy, a personal best 3lb 8oz Eel also from the Octopussy and a lovely Golden Tench from the Specimen Carp Lake.

Here’s his story –

“Sunday, I went to Octopussy, and caught a 37lb 10oz Catfish, using luncheon meat. This was a personal best. On Monday I went back to another area in Octopussy and caught a 18lb 10oz Catfish on halibut pellets and my biggest ever Eel at 3lb 8oz.

On Tuesday I went to the Main Carp Lake and landed a 17lb 6oz, with a number of smaller carp, using Live System boilies. I stayed overnight, but no action, however on Wednesday, after catching a number of small carp and losing two good sized ones I eventually ended the day with a 19lb 8oz Mirror Carp.

On Thursday, I decided to try Easy Access, landing 2 Catfish of 20lb 4ozs and 14lb 9ozs. On Friday I decided to try my luck on the Specimen Carp Lake, first of all I fished the split and caught many small Carp and a Golden Tench (not weighed, estimated about 2 1/2lb). I was getting fed up, so decided to move near the deeper water. After catching a few more little Carp, I eventually landed a 26lb 13oz Mirror Carp again using Live system boilies. I had fantastic week, have booked up our 4th holiday for next year before we left.”

Anglers Paradise


A-Luring weekend

2017 Lure Weekend
Friday 24th February to Sunday 26th 2017 is the Dates you need to remember as it’s our Annual LURE Weekend!
Location – Anglers Paradise, Halwill Junction, Devon EX21 5XT.
Prices Start From £110 Per Person which includes – Accomodation for 3 nights, Fishing + Entry into All Competitions!
It’s a Weekend you will not want to miss, they’ll be great Team Captains who you will gain knowledge to better your future fishing, exclusive Lakes to Fish and Great Prizes to be Won, if you’re a beginner, intermediate or experienced – it doesn’t matter – ALL ARE WELCOME!
They’ll be plenty of help and advice throughout the weekend, so it doesn’t matter if you are new to Lure Fishing.
Amongst others we have Drennan, Fox Rage and Quantum Specialist as Sponsors
We have Limited Spaces Left for this Fantastic Event, so if you are interested, please don’t delay!

Anglers Paradise
Anglers Paradise


posted in: Carp Fishing, Sidebar | 0


Winning Zyg
Winning Zyg

Zyg Gregorek continued his winning streak at his own water and sent me this report… Our June 5’C’S Syndicate match held on the match lake saw my creaky split cane tackle called into action once again catching this nice 14lb 12ozs Mirror Carp. The winnings were once again donated to charity. A different fish smaller than the last one, you can see from the marks the fish had been engaged in amorous activities (that’s why it lost some weight) so I had to give it a kiss before putting it back.