I fished in hope of perch today suspending half a juicy lobworm beneath a sliding float. The six hours passed by all too quickly with the float remaining stubbornly buoyant throughout the day. It was sheltered in the old quarry as gale force winds roared above, the trees swaying vigorously too and fro. The dark and moody water hiding its secrets. Fallen trees lay rotting at the waters edge. It has been several years since I last fished here and it was good to be back finding that it was reassuringly familiar. Waters are like old friends that never seem to age.
Twelve year old Wilder Van Koutrik enjoyed recent success tempting this fine tench of 4lb 12oz whilst fishing a private North Devon Stillwater. He also caught a beautiful crucian carp of 1lb 12oz whilst fishing a local club water.
Bideford and District Angling Club Coarse Section Monthly competition @ Tarka Swims George’s Lake
1st Reg Sutton 34lb 6oz
2nd Martin Turner 18lb 11oz
3rd Thomas Scott 16lb 7oz
4th Bernie Blight 11lb 10oz
5th Richard Jefferies 8lb 5oz
6th John Lisle 5lb 8oz ,
13 fished. Reg Sutton drew the golden peg P and fished with maggot on a groundbait feeder, he has landed 7 good carp, for a convincing victory, well done Reg. Second on the day was Martin Turner on peg M , a last gasp bream of 4lb was just enough to pip Thomas into 3rd. Thomas has fished corn in the margins on peg Z .Bernie has fished on peg Q for 4th place.
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
I caught my first coarse fish from Mill Park Pond near Berrynarbor whilst in my early teens a tiny perch with bristling spiky fins and bold stripes. It took a worm suspended beneath an orange tipped quill float in a scene that could have been lifted direct from the pages of Crabtree that evocative book that inspired many young anglers in that age long before computer games and mobile phones. I spent many hours fishing at Mill Pond as a youngster fascinated by the mysterious quality of its tree shaded waters.
Roach, perch, bream and eels were our target as young anglers and it was generally simplistic fishing with float fished maggot or worms. As we grew older we sometimes tried for the carp that glided through the water on sunny days appearing almost blue as the shafts of sunlight penetrated the water. I caught my first carp from water on float-fished sweetcorn in 1981 a fish that took close to an hour to bring to the net on just 3lb b.s line. In the early eighties I went on to catch several carp from the lake to almost twenty pounds. The pond also produced several big perch during those years the biggest I heard of was found washed up dead and weighed 4lb 10oz a fish that was at the time very close to the British Record.
Whilst I always had affection for Mill Park or Mill Pond as we knew it then my visits dwindled as my fishing focus changed and the pond of my youth fell into decline with silting issues and dwindling stocks of fish. In recent seasons I was pleased to hear of good catches of roach, skimmer bream and carp.
I was recently delighted to receive an invitation to visit the lake once again and seized the opportunity to revisit my early memories of fishing. Knowing that the lake held good numbers of silver fish I decided to invite three match angling friends to fish the pond on a summers evening. I would tag along with my camera and attempt to capture some of the ponds magic. They would undoubtedly be far more able to show of the fantastic fishing available than myself.
I am always wary of revisiting childhood abodes as time and maturity can sometimes shatter those treasured memories. Fortunately Mill Park has retained its charm and many of the features from my youth remained unchanged whilst the addition of a few water lilies, sympathetic bank work and de-silting has if anything enhanced the water.
Martin Turner, Neilsen Jeffrey and John Forster are all keen match anglers and all enjoy regular success on the local circuit. On this summer evening in early July I joined them in the swims I had fished all those years ago. Sunlight streamed through the trees into the greenish opaque waters. Carp basked on the surface in the warm sunshine. The quaking of ducks echoed across the water. It was as if time had stood still for over forty years.
Martin and Neilsen had elected to fish side by side, Neilsen using feeder fishing tactics whilst Martin pole fishing with tares feeding hempseed. I was absorbed immediately watching the quiver tip as it shook and pulled round and the float as it sat optimistically before darting beneath the surface.
It was fascinating to watch these masters of their craft at work as they constantly made tiny adjustments to their set ups as the fickle fish appeared to constantly change in their willingness to take the bait. It was Martin whose tactics appeared to win over on this evening with quality roach responding to constant feeding with just a few grains of hemp every cast. At times the water seemed to shimmer silver sided roach fed in frenzy beneath the calm surface. Steady feeding seemed to be the key to consistent success with a few grains of hemp fed each cast with Martin getting into steady rhythm of feed, hook fish, unhook, feed and repeat.
Martin handed me the pole for five minutes and I swung a couple of roach to hand experiencing the sensation of pole elastic and a lack of running line.
A few yards along the bank John Forster was using pole tactics to winkle out roach from beside a lily pad. He also made brief contact with a carp that smashed the light tackle as it surged for freedom.
After close to three hours fishing it was time to check the total catch and take a couple of pictures. The owners had allowed us to use keep-nets for this friendly evening demonstration of fishing tactics. Martin, Neilsen and John caught well over thirty pounds, all four of us then retired to Mill Parks on site bar for a lengthy discussion on fishing over a well earned cool pint.
Mill Parks campsite is set in a stunning valley with modern well-maintained facilities. The lake is stocked with carp, roach, bream and chub. As a site for summer camping with excellent fishing it comes highly recommended. It is especially suited for young anglers who should be able to catch their first fish with ease and delight in the excitement of that unique contact with nature that can lead to a lifetime of joy.
Out of season Mill Park offers superb roach fishing with regular matches staged with some stunning nets of silver fish winning matches.
Wilder Van Koutrik aged ten caught this stunning tench of 6lb 7oz from a Private Lake near Barnstaple. Its great to receive a picture of a fine tench from a local water as these fish are no were near as abundant as there were in North Devon waters. This is partially due to an obsession with carp fishing and also I guess due to environmental factors? Its also great to be able to report of a successful junior anglers.
Easter is an ideal time to take the family to the waters edge and Agapi Fruit and Fishing Lake is an ideal location to catch a few fish in tranquil surroundings. Situated close to Torrington the lake has a healthy population of crimson finned golden rudd and numerous carp that are growing well. As the waters warms the venues carp should be tempted with that traditional of carp baits the floating crust.
Big Fish Off
The latest series of the Big Fish Off is scheduled to air on ITV4 starting on the 29th March at 8pm. Not sure when the episode that was shot here is on, but there are sure to be some cracking episodes with a load of laughs, can’t wait. The show will be discussed on Soccer AM this Saturday,17th March and there will also be clips from the forthcoming series.
The Big One
If you’re planning on visiting The Big One Show between the 24th and 25th March in Farnborough, Hampshire, then make sure you pay the Anglers Paradise Team a visit! They will be on stand 28a along with Deception Angling. Zyg and Zenia will be there to greet you. Over the course of the weekend there is an opportunity to win a holiday for 8 people. For a lucky few, or probably the early birds, they’ll be a chance to take away a sample of the “Twist” which is one of the Paradise Baits range, produced exclusively by Burton Bait Rollers.
All the big angling names will be there, as well as their products and hopefully there will be some cracking deals to be had. “We hope to see you there for our 1st ever show, we are very excited!!”
Fish Moving Well
Lee Abbott one of our estate staff lost a big fish on Kraking Carp the other day. Fish are moving well now that the milder climes are here, were glad to see the back of the cold spell we had the other week, even we experienced snow even though it “never snows in Devon”
Special Easter Offer
We still have Fisherman’s Majestic on offer (sleeps 4) on March 31st normally £900 a week, for the offer price of £700. Fabulous views across Dartmoor at a saving of over 20%. Offer is on a first come first served basis. Come and join Rose and myself for. Apart from the offer there is still are a limited number of villas available over Easter.
Paul Painter from Exeter, brought his Sons (Jack 7 and Harry 14) to fish the Middle Cat and Carp Lake at Eldorado for 48hrs and managed to catch quite a few fish! They ended up with 45 Carp, 1 Cat and some lovely Koi from the Koi Lake!
Paul said – “It was good to see my boys enjoying the outdoors and catching lots of fish, Jack loved stalking out the beautiful Koi from the Koi Lake and Harry loved stalking out the Carp. Good to spend some quality time with my boys, top rods! Harry and Jack love your Lakes and look forward to their next trip after a nice big Cat for Harry and some Koi for Jack!”
WELL DONE TO THE PAINTER FAMILY – GREAT CATCHES AND TIME SPENT TOGETHER – WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT!
(Above) Zenia Drury-Gregorek, 33, (-; I got a rare window to fish on my favourite lake, the picturesque Koi Lake and just before leaving to pick the kids up I caught this stunner, using a cocktail of maggots float fishing on the bottom. God I love fishing and it was so GREAT to be out there.I really hope to encourage more ladies to fish as it’s simply magical.
Gavin Simpson, 40 from Wellingborough caught an amazing Personal Best 6lb 12oz Golden Orfe from the Main Carp Lake which is just 1lb 9oz short of the British Record! After about 4 hours of fishing he had a great bite, and he knew this fish felt different straight away. Gavin Said – “As I played it towards the net I saw this huge orange flank and thought WOW! I put the net under it and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, the most enormous Golden Orfe I had ever seen, what an amazing fish! It weighed in at 6lb 12oz, I had to check what the British Record was as I was sure it couldn’t be a lot more. I was right, the current record is 8lb 5oz, this fish was just 1lb 9oz off of the British record!
What a great fish and what a great memory for a trip that was a present from my wife Kerry for my 40th Birthday. I am sure there is a British record to be had in that lake for someone. Get yourself to Anglers Paradise, buy yourself one of Zyggy’s magic hats or hoodies and get yourself in those record books! I’m ‘Orfe’ there again soon myself to try and catch a bigger one!”
Paul Shepperd from Southampton is now the NEW CATFISH COMPLEX RECORD HOLDER – with a 74lb 8oz Catfish from the Main Carp Lake beating Sean Tacy’s weight by exactly 1lb that was caught 2 weeks after!!!
Paul went from 8 years of trying to catch Cat with no success until last year when he caught his 1st to then catching this Monster! Paul baited his swim with 14ml pellets, soaked overnight in Korda halibut goo, using a nine inch hook link with a long hair, with a korda size 6 curved shank hook. Paul Said – “Thank you to my wife and all the lads who helped with netting and weighing this monster. Also, Joe, the estate manager, the rig clinic guru, said this cat only has to eat a 10lb carp to be 84lbs. So there’s the challenge ladies and gents, beat that!
Thank you to the Paradise family for making this dream come true. See you next May. Also just to add to this great weeks fishing, I also met my fishing hero’s Ali Hamidi and Dean Macey at Anglers Paradise. Certainly a Week to remember!”