Zenia banks new personal best catfish

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Zenia Gregorek posted this on her social media page.
My buddy “Scar Face” the Catfish! A few pounds bigger than last year making her my new personal best Catfish at 37lbs.
“As always she gave me a great fight and it was great to see her again, I definitely have a special bond with this fish, she’s a precious one to me that’s for sure!!


I arrived at Anglers Eldorado’s Day Ticket Catfish lake where I was to join Bruce Elston, John Hughes and crew who had booked the lake for an exclusive three day fishing trip. I could only fish for twenty four hours due to other commitments but hoped I would at least witness the catching of one of these mysterious fish.

My catfish trips are few and far between as they are not abundant in Devon with just a handful of waters legally stocked. Anglers Paradise is undoubtedly the most prolific catfish venue in the county with several lakes holding the species. The Day ticket Lake hold cats to over fifty pounds with a good head of fish between thirty and forty pounds. Catfish are very powerful fish that test the tackle to the limit. They resemble a giant slug crossed with an eel and can grow in excess of 100lb in UK waters.

One of the joys of angling is undoubtedly the friendships that are forged whilst walking the waters edge. I have fished with Bruce on and off for close to forty years and knew John Hughes from my days chasing pike on the Somerset Levels in the early eighties. Angling paths so often converge with years in between yet these friendships seem timeless and are picked up as if no time has passed.

And so, we all six gathered for a walk around the lake chatting enthusiastically about the prospects from each swim and listening intently to Bruce’s intimate knowledge of the venue.

The lakes perimeter was decorated with an abundance of brightly coloured summer flowers with yellow flag iris in full bloom. We discussed the swims in detail and drew straws to see who would fish where.

We all set off with our heavy loads to set up for the vigil ahead. General tactics were to fish boilies over beds of pellets.

It took a couple of hours before all traps were set and the business of waiting began. Coffees and teas were brewed and snacks devoured. Conditions seemed ideal, warm with a light cloud. Birdsong reverberated around the lake mixed with the sound of angler’s chatter. The hours drifted pleasantly past in expectation rods poised, alarms set.

Early evening brought a welcome pizza delivery from Bruce’s wife. Rods were wound in and the meal enjoyed together on the bankside.

As the light levels began to fall so did the expectation as everyone hoped for a run. I was chatting to Pauline on the phone when my alarm screamed as line poured from the reel. I dropped the phone and grabbed the rod to enjoy a short battle with a common carp of around 9lb. Strange to be slightly disappointed when it’s not the target fish. On another day fishing the same tackle I would be delighted with the catch.

I re-positioned both rods before darkness and enjoyed the fading  of light from the day until all colour has drained. I placed my crocs beside my bed-chair, rain pattered on the brolly and I drifted off to sleep.

At around 1.00am I awoke. Glancing out I saw lights coming from Bruce’s swim and assumed he had enjoyed success. A walk along the bank with the camera confirmed success and I was thrilled to capture the image of Bruce cradling a 22lb 3oz catfish.

A couple of  hours later my alarm woke me from my sleep and I made only brief contact with either a carp or catfish.

An hour later I was again woken by the harsh call of the alarm and line streaming from the reel as the rod tip lurched hard left. Another carp was the culprit, a good looking common of around 12lb.

The summer dawn slowly broke and expectation remained high until I slowly dismantled camp leaving the baits in the water until the last minute as is my custom.

I ended up chatting at length with Bruce, John and Mitch before struggling up to the van with my barrowload of tackle.

Bruce sent me a full report the following day with the catfish playing hard to get on this occasion. The total score being cats of 19lb 3oz and 22lb 3oz to Bruce. An 11lb 7oz cat to John. A carp of 9lb to Tony, a carp of 13lb to Mitch and a 12lb carp for Bruce. Ben had a catfish that was foul-hooked so didn’t count a shame as it would have been his first.

Bruce 12lb carp

Bruce cat 19lb 3oz
John Hughes 11lb 7oz catfish

All are eager to return next year and do it all again. When perhaps the cats will be on the munch and weigh even heavier!

Anglers Paradise


posted in: Carp Fishing, Sidebar | 0
Congratulations to Joe Drury who has set a new Devon Record with a stunning carp from Anglers Paradise Kracking Carp Lake. I have posted the below direct from the Custom Made Rigs Facebook Page.
Once again well done Joe who I know has a very difficult time and deserves this stunning capture.
I rarely set my targets on a particular fish, but this trip was different!
Like many anglers and friends, myself and Matt were well overdue a social. What with the recent world issues and our own health problems, we hadn’t fished together for a few years.
We decided the ‘Krackin Carp Lake’ on ‘Anglers Nirvana’ at Anglers Paradise would be the most suitable. There’s now stone chipped swims which was an important deciding factor. Natural is nice, but not suitable for anglers with disabilities. Unfortunately I have to put myself in that category these days, a level chipped swim has now become a must.
Although the ‘Krackin Carp’ is just down the road to where I live, I hadn’t seen the lake for a long time (years)! However I have a lot of knowledge on the water and the fish that reside in it.
Over dinner the night before my sons (Zaine and Zeejay) were asking questions about the lake. I explained that it was a hard water with Carp that don’t have the same feeding habits as most. I told them about a male fish aptly named ‘Silver Back’, and how I believe it should be at its best weight. With an arrogance that’s been missing from my fishing for atleast 6 years, I said, “it’s the only fish I’m interested in, it’s a mid 50, the biggest in the lake, and that’s why I want it!” I say it’s an arrogance because when you talk this way it comes across that you wouldn’t be grateful for anything less. Not true of course, they’re all welcome! I’ve needed to find a way to install some confidence, and setting that target was the ingredient I needed.
I had previously said to Marti that I’m so grateful to be back on the bank with all the help from friends that catching fish had become secondary, but I needed to get my confidence back. A recent interview I did with Kev Hewitt Angler reminded me just how important confidence is. I’ve said it a million times before, “confidence catches”! Practicing what I preach hadn’t been coming easy.
Retuning to the lake after many years felt good. I felt comfortable and confident. Although I had set a target, I didn’t feel any pressure. Matt and I had prepped well. We were confident in our bait choice too. Both of us had opted to use ‘Monster Tiger Nut’ by Dynamite Baits, crumbed up with sweetcorn. We chose to match our hook bait with our mix so we used ‘Sweet Tiger & Corn’ pop-ups (also from Dynamite Baits). Both the rig and the crumb were shipped out to the spots using a homemade baiting pole and spoon!
At 4.30am on Saturday morning I made a call to Matt. “Mate….I’ve just landed ‘Silver Back’!” His reply was predictable 😲xxxx😁! He came over with an excitement in his stroll. I swear he was more excited and nervous than me!
Silver Back weighed in at a record 55lb, a new personal best, the complex record carp and the biggest carp ever caught in Devon.
After having fishing taken away from me to this! Fishing is an incredible sport; the highs, the lows, the stories, THE LIFE!!
The response has been incredible!
The support from my wife has been essential!
Thank you everyone ❤️

Carp Known as the Parrot at 46lb 9oz

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Ian Fuller  caught a PERSONAL BEST 46lb 9oz Leathery Mirror known as ‘Parrot’ from Nirvana’s Day Ticket Kracking Carp Lake.
Ian used a couple of kilo’s of full, half & crushed CR1 Boilies on a spot just off the lillies.
After leaving it for a few hours, he put a Rod over the spot on last light with a CR1 Wafter over the top on a size 6 Ronnie Rig and caught this beauty!
Anglers Paradise

Big Cat from Paradise

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Daniel Maher fished Anglers Paradise and sent me this report :- ” traveled down from Liverpool with my girlfriend and new born baby on our first family fishing holiday. On my last night (Monday 10th) I fished The Specimen Catfish Lake over on the Nirvana day ticket site and landed a cat at 50lb 6oz.  
I was fishing a Sticky Baits 12mm pineapple and n’butyric pop up inside a solid bag that was filled with 2mm Sticky Bloodworm pellets. 
Anglers Paradise


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(Above) Tony Trenary, 65 a retired Stripper/Chippendale joined us at Nirvana’s Day ticket Specimen Cat Lake and caught a 48lb 8oz Wels Catfish on a 18mm krill active and 15mm scopex squid.
(Above) Head baliff Ashley Bunning had a session on Nirvana’s Specimen Cat Lake targeting the Carp but instead catches one of the big girls – a Catfish of 64lbs!
Caught on a single Citruz pop up!
Anglers Paradise