The Combes family at Stafford Moor are delighted to be open again for fishing with carp anglers returning to the venue to enjoy the superb sport on offer. ,
In 1986 I remember eagerly collecting my copy of the book ‘Casting at the Sun’ by Christopher Yates. I read the book enthralled from cover to cover as it described angling adventures on mystical lakes where great carp glided through mysterious waters. In my view the book is the best piece of angling literature ever written encompassing much of anglings true essence.
Thirty odd years later Pauline and I set off to listen to a talk by Chris at Pentridge Village hall in Wiltshire.
We left our farmhouse B & B on a wet and misty evening in late November driving through tree lined rural village lanes. On such an evening the sat nav was a welcome guide to our destination. As we entered the village of Pentridge we were guided by signs to Chris Yates that eventually brought us to a chaotic assembly of randomly parked cars.
We entered the village hall that was packed with an audience predominated by men. It was pleasing to see a wide mix of ages with several younger faces smiling enthusiastically as they chatted, swapping tales of a predominantly piscatorial nature. The hall proved the perfect venue with its high ceiling and timeless décor that would I imagine have changed little in recent decades unlike many village halls that have been modernised and sanitised.
This was the third evening talk featuring Chris with each event selling out and raising substantial funds to assist in cancer research. Anglers had travelled from far and wide to listen to the talk with visitors from the Netherlands, South Wales and North Yorkshire to name a few. What entices people to travel so far on a cold wet November night?
Chris arrived receiving a warm welcome from the packed hall and chatted warmly to all signing books and other paraphernalia. Winners of an auction to spend a day fishing with Chris were given special certificates and raffle prizes were announced as those present dug deep into their wallets in the hope of winning a valuable prize.
The event organiser Neil Martin introduced Chris to the audience who immediately adopted a hushed tone of anticipation. And so, the talk began with Chris announcing that he was not sure where the talk would lead. Starting off with his latest passion for marsh harriers Chris delivered a mesmerising talk that flowed easily reminiscing about fishing in rivers and lakes whilst weaving in fascinating stories of ghosts, lost friends and other adventures. The core essence of Chris’s delivery was one of fun, humour and a connection with the natural world.
After a lengthy break with more book signing it was time for the raffle draw with some stunning and memorable prizes on offer. I was delighted to win a Lucky Crucian carp float donated by Chris. A treasured memento of a special night.
The raffle was followed by a fascinating question and answer session between Chris and the audience covering more fishy tales, tactics and ghostly goings on.
And so, the evening drew to a close and we set off into the night our minds swimming with fish and countryside visions. Mr Yates is certainly an antidote to the negativity of this modern world.
Below – My recent book ” I Caught A Glimpse” Is available from – https://thelittleegretpress.co.uk
(Above) Alan Clarke banked13 fish from fragile rock swim 8 up on lodge lake. Alan was fishing with DT baits super fruit and oily chicken and white wafters.
(Above) Steve Penn who fished on the back bays (swim 9) on Beatties lake and had 6 fish out fishing with Baitworks Atlantic feat boilies.
(Above) Tony Woods who fished on swim 12 on the spit up on lodge lake. Tony had 2 fish out up to 28lb caught on Sticky Baits Manilla & Krill boilies.
(Above) Jim Gillard who had 12 fish out up to 26lb 12oz which is Jim’s new personal best from the inlet swim on Beatties lake this weekend. Jim caught on Sticky Baits Manilla boilies in pva bags.
(Above) Nigel Bassett) banked 3 fish up to 28lb on swim 2 ( sunset bay up on lodge lake) Nigel caught on Sticky Baits Krill and Manilla boilies.
(Above) Malcolm Seymour who fished on big fish corner on Beatties lake in a day session had 2 carp to 25lb plus an eel 👍 in a day session all caught on Sticky Baits Krill white wafters and Krill bottom Baits.
(Above) Edward Reilly who fished up on swim 1 on lodge lake this weekend, Ed had a few fish out up to 28lb caught on Sticky Baits Krill 16mm boilies.
(Above) Darran Kerry and Darran Jeffery who had 6 fish out from swim 9 (the angle) on lodge lake this weekend including Darren’s new pb of 23lb.
(Above) Geoff Waring and Adrian Carnell who fished up on Albert square swim 15 on a day session and had 3 fish out up to 24lb they caught on Sticky Baits Krill Wafters.
(Above) Nicholas Billett had 3 fish out up to 27lb from swim 6 up on lodge lake.
(Above) New lake record of 34lb 10oz on Beatties lake from Graham Pollard who had 12 fish put in total from the summer hut swim fishing left to the island. Graham caught on C C Moore 15mm Pacific tuna boilies.
(Above) Marc Brownhill who had 8 carp out up to 24lb from swim 14 (beach 1) up on lodge lake all caught on Sticky Baits Krill and C C Moore Pacific tuna boilies.
Dan Cornwall caught a personal best 25lb 4oz Mirror and 24lb Common from the Specimen Carp Lake and won our JRC Fish Of The Week competition. Dan’s story –
“Having waited all year for my holiday at Anglers Paradise, the time had finally arrived! I had booked Julian Chidgey to help me during my trip, and we started on the Koi Lake. We patiently fed the swim, and I was over the moon when my first cast resulted in an 8lb 4oz Koi. I was keen to try for a big carp and Julian suggested the Main Carp Lake, I was really excited as this was only my second ever night fishing session. We looked at various rigs, methods and the Shimano Isolate boilies Julian suggested smelt amazing. We caught two Carp, the biggest was 18lb 8oz only just short of my PB.
Rounding the session off with my first Catfish. One method I really wanted to improve my skills with is surface fishing. Julian suggested trying Fat Boys and through steady feeding we soon had some carp feeding. We used a controller set up, and Julian showed me how to mend the line to allow for the strong wind and tow. We landed two doubles to 13lb 8oz before heading back to the lodge for breakfast.
After this, we went to the Specimen Carp Lake and Julian explained that free lining was really effective here. The carp were very wary but eventually we got a bite, only for the fish to snag me up. Julian was straight in the lake with the net and was soon swimming back with the fish of my dreams a 25lb 4oz dark, scaley Mirror! We then moved to another spot on the Lake and it was a repeat performance as it took ages for the carp to gain confidence. This time a big Common took the bait and again headed straight for the lillies, Julian was on hand to paddle out again and this time my prize was 24lb. Having spent all year trying to get my first 20lb, it was amazing to get two in a day! My trip to Anglers Paradise has been amazing, and I’m already looking forward to coming back next year!”
(Above) Chris Trethewey has been coming to Anglers Paradise for 20 years now and in all those years he’s been trying to catch a 8lb+ Koi but never succeeded…Until THIS year!!! Here he is with his personal best 10lb 8oz beautiful Koi from the Koi Lake.
(Above) Regular to Anglers Paradise David Trethewey had a session on our day ticket Xanadu Lake and caught not 1 but 3 Carp! He had a 19lb 12oz Common, a 18lb 14oz Mirror and a 15lb 6oz Common. David also caught a 27lb 8oz nad 26lb 5oz Mirror from the Specimen Carp Lake, he went home a very happy chappy!
(Above) Here is the charming Billie Jobi, age 4 with myself (Zenia Drury-Gregorek) who caught her first ever Perch from our recent ‘Nash Getting Kids Fishing Days’ at Anglers Eldorado, caught using some lovely wriggly maggots on a whip. She’s now hooked for life!
GIRLS FISH TOO AND DO IT BETTER!!
(Above)Here we have the lovely Eloise Wyatt with some of her stunning Koi catches from the Koi Lake giving her husband a run for his money again!! It really is great seeing so many more females enjoying the sport, here’s to seeing many more!
(Above) Great to see another couple enjoying Fishing together. Emily Wearden is new to Fishing but now she is loving it more than ever along with her partner James. To put the icing on the cake, she caught her 1st ever Catfish at 19lb 2oz from the Easy Access and her partner James also caught his first ever Cat of 19lbs.
James also proposed to Emily during their stay and she said YES!! Congratulations to you both!
BIG CAT ALERT!
(Above)Scott Brown had a session on Nirvana’s Day Ticket Specimen Cat Lake before starting his week’s holiday with the Family at the Anglers Paradise Complex and caught a personal best 65lb 2oz Catfish using big chunks of luncheon meat
Stafford Moor continues to provide top carp fishing with numerous quality catches with a new lake record one of two fish to top thirty pounds.
(Below) Mark Wheeler banked 19 fish from swim 14 (beach 1) up on lodge lake in a 48 hour session up to 26lb 3oz all caught on TNT streamies , the best session he has ever had was Marks words!
(Below) Adrian Carnell and Geoff Waring who fished up on the dam wall on lodge lake on a day session and had fish up to 28lb caught on Sticky Baits Krill & Manilla boilies.
(Below) Ash Whitehouse who now has our new lake record on Beatties lake of 33lb 12oz !!!! Caught from peg 2 (the triangle ) Beatties lake on C C Moore Pacific tuna & Nash tangerine dream.
(Below) Dave Hadland who was fishing on the beach swim on Beatties lake with friend Dave Morris. They had 26 fish out between them ! Up to 28lb 14oz all caught on pellet and Sticky Baits Krill Walters on Ronnie rigs.
Bideford & District Angling Club Opened their club Lake Tarka Swims back in 2006 and it has been a resounding success for the club attracting a good number of Junior anglers and providing a valuable facility for local disabled anglers. In addition to this it has been the venue for the club’s regular matches that are held monthly throughout the year with popular mid-week evening matches during the summer months.
On Saturday June 22ndthe club opened a new lake named ‘Karen’s Lake’. Construction of this lake commenced in March 2013 and the six years leading up to its opening have not been without difficulty with a few leaks along the way. The club’s membership have done a sterling job in completing the project with regular working parties and much behind the scenes work to obtain funding and expertise. The venture has been a partnership between Bideford Club and the Environment Agency with funding from rod licence revenue and local businesses. The lake has excellent access for disabled anglers along with toilet facilities.
Karen’s Lake has been stocked with around seventy carp over 10lb with the biggest close to twenty pounds. The lakes opening saw a large number of local anglers descend upon the lake with their families. It was a perfect summers day with warm sunshine and a vivid blue sky decorated with white cotton wool clouds drifting on a warm summer breeze.
Gazebo’s, barbecue and cupcakes gave the event a village fete atmosphere. The carp were active swirling in the weeds as some began to spawn amorously as the water warmed. Other carp could be seen cruising in the clear water occasionally slurping down a piece of floating crust.
The first carp officially caught from the lake within fifteen minutes was caught by Matt Cross and pulled the scales close to 17lb. A few minutes later Nathan England hooked a beautiful dark coloured common of 17lb 5oz; in a perfect script his son Jake England hooked a golden mirror carp to allow a father and son portrait. Several other carp were caught including a mirror carp to the rod of Junior angler Tyler Scott and another mirror to Dean Siford.
The carp will undoubtedly wise up quickly and become more of a challenge in the coming years but I am sure the lake will bring many hours of pleasure to local anglers. Both lakes are testament to the hard work of Bideford Angling Club and its supporters. The venues are a wildlife haven with dragonflies, amphibians, grass snakes, bird life and aquatic life abundant.
Karen’s lake is members only and a very good reason to join this club that charges just £25.00 per year with a one off £20 joining fee. OAP Season is £18.00 . Juniors £3.00 per year.
Day Tickets for Tarka Swims Lake can be obtained from Summerlands Tackle.