Plan “B” Brings A Pleasing Twenty – Lower Slade

The weather scuppered the boat trip out of Minehead with the wind due to swing West to North West by midday. A difficult call for the skipper but the right one as the weather men got it right. And so it was plan B. I had loaded the carp gear into the van the previous night thinking I might set out early but it was 6.30am by the time I woke up and close to 8.00am by the time I was on the road with dark thundery clouds in the morning sky.

It was precipitating down profusely when I arrived at Lower Slade and I watched a fellow angler pushing his barrow into the bay. With this area no longer an option I settled on a roadside swim that gave access to areas where I had previously enjoyed success. Whilst I haven’t fished Slade much for carp in recent years I don’t believe they change their habits to dramatically frequenting the same old areas with the wind influencing this.

By the time I had three rods out and some bait scattered about it was around 9.30am. The showers had passed by and the sky was blue with wisps of white cloud and the lush green growth of late spring was all around. A robin alighted upon the rods and searched for crumbs of bait around my feet.

After an hour or so I decided to check one of the baits and recast. As I prepared to recast the bite alarm on the right rod blipped and the bobbin bounced a couple of times. I grabbed the rod and wound down to feel a heavy weight as a good fish shook its head. The fish gave a good run around giving a few anxious moments as it found some weed, becoming solid for few moments before steady pressure coaxed it free. Eventually it swirled close to the bank and moments  later it was safely within the net.

The scales put a number on it of 21lb 14oz; a pleasing result and another carp ticked off my challenge to bank a carp from each SWLT North Devon Lake this season. I had charged my camera battery the previous night and had remembered to grab the camera on the way out of the house but had forgotten to put the battery in! Fortunately these days we always have our phone with a camera! Hence the slight grainy image.

The rest of the day drifted past and for a while it seemed as if summer had arrived as the call of the cuckoo echoed around the valley. I packed up late afternoon as a cool North-West wind sprung up as predicted.

Big Slade Mirror!

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Pete Roberts fished Slade in terrible weather and was rewarded with a very fine mirror carp weighing just over 29 lb. Recent weeks have seen some stunning fish banked at this picturesque water nestled in a valley above Ilfracombe beside the old Barnstaple to Ilfracombe railway line.

Lake Record!

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Dan Carder continues his run of success at Lower Slade Reservoir banking what is believed to be a new lake record. I am hoping Dan will share a few more details of the capture in due course. In the mean time congratulations to Dan on catching such a stunning fish from one of the areas older more established fishery’s.

Big carp from Local reservoirs

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Deano Johnson had this cracking 26.02 common from Lower Slade on his first visit having just purchased our all waters ticket.

Shaun Freeman who has these two commons from Tamar a few days ago. 20lb 3oz and 22lb. Both caught on Mainline Cell pop ups fished on a stiff hinge close to the bank.

Shaun Freeman who has these two commons from Tamar a few days ago. 20lb 3oz and 22lb. Both caught on Mainline Cell pop ups fished on a stiff hinge close to the bank.

An Autumn day after pike

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A late Autumn day and pike seemed to be the perfect match so with a light South-East wind forecast I decided to head for Lower Slade Reservoir. I set up in the bay that was filled with large amounts of Canadian pond weed a mixed blessing as it makes fishing difficult but holds plenty of food for the fish.

I tend to keep on the move when pike fishing giving it an hour or so in each swim. As I reeled in the baits to move a pike emerged from the margin to seize my small herring, a shake of its head and it was off.

I posted recently about the new rules that prohibit the use of treble hooks. Below is my new pike rig ensuring the size 4 single unimpeded.

I moved to the roadside and replaced the baits. The day drifted past as fishing days do and it was exceedingly mild for early November.

Mid afternoon and I baited up with the only smelt I had brought along having found it tucked away in the freezer as I grabbed my baits this morning. Was it coincidence that the float bobbed immediately after casting this out resulting a pleasing jack of around 4lb.

The rest of the afternoon passed by with clouds and reflections upon calm waters.

As the light faded I was reluctant to pack away the rods and left them out until the last minute dismantling bite alarms, packing bags etc until just the rods were left.

Take care of precious pike

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Late autumn is a time when many coarse anglers start to target pike a species that has always been associated with the colder months. North Devon has only a handful of waters that contain pike so it is essential that anglers take every possible precaution to ensure that valuable stocks are not impacted upon by careless handling or use of inappropriate tackle. Pike are not the most robust of species and it is often quoted that they thrive in waters with limited angling pressure.

Pike have a formidable set of teeth so it is essential that a wire trace is used to prevent the fish severing the line leaving hooks within the fish. South West Lakes Trust has introduced a ruling banning the use of treble hooks on waters within their control. A size 2/0 single hook is the maximum sized hook allowed. Anglers fishing for pike should have a suitable sized landing net, long handled forceps, long- wire cutters and a large unhooking matt. Anglers unhooking pike should ensure that they hold the fish carefully and firmly and may find specialist gloves beneficial to reduce the risk of cuts. Many anglers find unhooking a large pike an unnerving experience and should ideally seek advice from a regular pike angler before fishing for the species alone.

Richard Ball caught this fine pike of 14lb 4oz using a sardine ” it was hooked in the scissors it was my first pike on a single hook so I was happy to gain confidence in the rig.”

Richard Ball

sent

18 minutes ago

Fully Scaled Slade mirror

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Simon Orman from Tiverton fished Slade for the first time on Friday the 26th and was rewarded with a fully scaled mirror carp weighing an impressive 27lb fish was caught on cc Moore.  Anthony Hunt did a quick session catching a fine upper double mirror iain Ross has also been among the fish landing 2 upper double commons also caught with cc Moore. Bailiff Paul James squeezed in a quick overnighter catching a fine common of 24 12 caught on home made baits.