We were hoping to get down to Broadlands for their Christmas social but unfortunately illness prevented it. Anyway we eventually managed to get down there a couple of weeks into the New Year. We were expecting the water levels to be high and maybe some flooding but this has never bothered us in the slightest. We’ve been in carp competitions on Broadlands when it’s flooded and still caught. So off we went.
When we arrived we headed straight for the café and were greeted by Barry, Mike and Martin with a welcoming cup of coffee. After breakfast we made our way around the lake and settled on a couple of swims we thought might provide us with some bites. The water level was up but was receding. Rain was forecast so we got our bivvy’s up before anything else. Once settled we began the task of getting our rigs ready. Nothing fancy. Simple sheath type hooklinks tied to size 6 Ashima C420 Anti Eject hooks and shrink tubed up. More on that later. Mainline Cell and some 50/50 Frutella pop ups would be our selection of hook baits for this session. Using our Ashima Marker Floats we cast them around looking for some features and checking depths. Ben found some gravel and also had some reeds to cast to whilst I had an island and reeds to set my traps on. Our hook baits went out onto different features and once the hook baits were in place we put some freebies around them with a throwing stick. Small pva web bags were attached to our hooklinks and were liberally covered in in Mainline Cell Hookbait Enhancer before casting.
We settled back in my bivvy with the kettle on and waited for some action. As we were having our coffee, it started to rain. As I said earlier, our rigs were simple ones. We can’t see any reason to complicate things when it comes to rigs. Our rigs consisted of six inches of a new sheath type hooklink we are testing for Ashima. This is how we constructed the rig. Firstly tie a small loop in one end of the hooklink for the hair and place a boilie on it. Then slide a tiny piece of silicone onto the hooklink. Carefully thread the silicone onto the point of the hook and up the shank of the hook trapping the hooklink to the shank. The silicone should be placed opposite the point of the hook. Pull the hooklink through the silicone until the boilie is just below the bend of the hook. Thread the other end of the hooklink through the eye of the hook and tie it with a knotless knot. Thread a small piece of shrink tube onto the hooklink and slide it over the eye of the hook. This is then steamed to form an angle in the shrink tube. You can now tie the hooklink direct to a swivel or do what we do and tie a loop in the end. The loop is then placed on a snap link or any other type of quick link. The lead set up we use is a simple safety clip set up with a three ounce lead. If allowed we would also opt to use a leadcore leader.
The first bite came to my rod uptight against some dying reeds. The rod had a healthy bend in it as I picked it up and connected with the fish.
It gave a good account of itself trying several times to get into the reeds. It eventually came to the net. When I peered into the net I could see lying in the bottom was a nice Common. It weighed 22lb 4oz. The rain was getting heavy now but we fished on undeterred. A few hours later I had another take. This time it was from the reeds to my right. Another battle ensued and before long there was carp number two in the net. This one was a Mirror that went 22lb 8oz on the scales. Nice start to the session I thought.
Later, Ben’s friend John joined us and plotted up next to Ben. We all went through the night and most of the next day without a bite. Although John did have a Bream.
During the evening we wound in and went to have a social with Pete and Debbie, the owners of Broadlands. Later we returned to our swims but because it was raining hard we decided not to put our rods out again. In the morning we had a good laugh at John’s expense. During the night one of his alarms gave out a one toner. He got up, put on his waders and coat and ran to his rods. Although his rods were on the pod he’d forgotten that he hadn’t put them out when we returned from the clubhouse. He tried keeping it quiet but Ben had heard the alarm go off and was looking and laughing. Apparently water had got into John’s alarm and set it off. Nice one John!
Anyway the session ended with Ben and John blanking and me with two carp. Regardless of the weather we still enjoyed our session at Broadlands. The guys down there are friendly and helpful. We will be back to Broadlands soon for the Broadlands Carp Cup. We’re looking forward to it.