Harry Stirling, Henlow Bridge Lakes Revisited
Posted on 18th October 2018 at 20:47
Hi guys it’s Harry from Successful Baits UK and this is a write up of my return visit to the wonderful Henlow Bridge Lakes! After fishing this venue for the first time I really did want to improve my knowledge of the lake after only catching two carp last session. So, I jumped onto social media and got speaking to other anglers who have fished this venue before. I was given a couple of tips and info on the lake, i.e deep end, shallow end, gravel bars etc etc. With this extended knowledge I felt even more confident in catching, 'specially as I could almost plan my day. The weather was good so the shallow end was in my mind.
Let’s begin with the start of the day. It was a fairly nice day for angling, very overcast and cloudy but mild temperatures, just right in my opinion - and to be honest, I was right! I landed 5 beautiful carp during the day. On my way to the venue all sorts of things were going through my mind - do I try this, do I try that etc etc.
I pulled up to Henlow Bridge Lakes and had a walk around and I saw some carp crashing and jumping over one end of the lake and, luckily for me, no one was fishing that end so I rushed over there and got the rods set up and found some great spots! One off the Island, close to a snag/over-hanging tree and the other in open water around 4ft deep, it wasn’t a solid bottom but it wasn’t too soft either so I decided to make a longer hook link than normal, around nine to ten inches long. I feel having a longer hooklink fishing over soft silt works well so I can allow for some sinkage as the lead crashes into the bed of the lake. As for bait I used pop ups. Now last year I rarely fished pop ups, I just wasn’t confident in them, but this year most of my fishing has been pop ups. On one rod I had the 16mm Scoberry white pop up, fished with a slip d rig, with some Scoberry and Red Hot Bullet scattered over my spot for free offerings, whole and chopped. My second rod I had the VNX+ 16mm pop up on a multi rig with free offerings of VNX+ 14mm boilies and some crushed and chopped ones. Well, it wasn’t long after getting everything set up and the kettle on, that my left hand island rod one toned off, nearly wiping my right hand rod out! I struck into what I thought at the time was a ball of weed! It had no fight to it at all, coming straight to the surface ready for netting was a little common carp weighing around 10 lb. I carried it over to the cradle for some quick pics then soon sent him on his way. That was my 1st time using Scoberry and I was mega excited to catch on the bait, in such quick time as well.
Shocked and amazed I left him in the net for 2 minutes while I picked everything up of the floor that had been on my lap whilst making the rigs! Then Wayne's alarm was going! I also set up my camera tripod to get snaps myself while he was playing his carp. So, quickly but carefully, I got the carp into the cradle for some pics then let him go. I then netted the other carp he had caught and took some pics before letting him go. We both said what a productive day it had been so far, 2 carp under the belt each and plenty of time to get more.
With all the rods back out there I got the kettle on and had a bit of a chill out. The lake went really quiet for a good couple hours and I thought the carp might have pushed to the other end of the lake with all the commotion we had made, but no, I couldn’t have been more wrong! A double run!!! And I mean a double run, I thought at first the carp might have kitted over the other rod but no, there were 2 carp! I was playing one and needed help with the other! After battling for ten minutes or so, both carp were safely in the net.
We really were on top of the fish and they certainly enjoyed the Successful Baits. With 3 carp caught on Scoberry so far and one on VNX+ for me and 3 on Red Hot Bullet and one on VNX+ for Wayne it reaaly was a great time. Anyway, I really had to get my 2 carp out of the net and pictured up and released sharpish as Wayne was trying to play both fish. Unfortunately one come off but he landed the other, with only one net between us as he forgot his, it was carnage in the swim!
I was fishing with someone else that day who also caught 5 carp in total and lost one. It was a funny old day as I would get a run then, within seconds, he would to! It was really funny and weird, but great. He then caught a little common on the Red Hot Bullet, again weighing around 10 lb.
He got his rod back out there and asked if I could teach him how to tie a bottom bait rig. He’s new to carp fishing and I was more than happy to help and teach him! I hadn’t got round to putting my rod back out on the spot as I was helping him net his capture and picture taking etc., so I literally placed my rod at our feet and thankfully left the clutch loose, because as we were sat there talking and tying rigs that rod went, I couldn’t believe it, you couldn’t of got it any closer to the margin under your bank stick! I was so shocked to get a bite there! I struck into this hard fighting little common and because it was so close in I gave him plenty of line, still with a small amount of pressure as I didn’t want to bully him under the rod tip so let him tire himself out.
After a short time I soon got him in the net, again weighing in at around 10lb. Scoberry strikes again!
One was a common, again weighing around 10lb and the other the 1st mirror carp of the session weighing just over 11lbs. I was buzzing at this point !!! And you won’t believe what happened next - Wayne got a double run!! It was unreal!
I topped up the spots with some more freebies catapulted out there and I actually rested the spots for a hour, then repeated the process of baiting up, not as much as the first amount but a generous handful over each spot, then got the rods back out there. We had to leave for 4 o’clock as I had things to sort out at home so to save time I started to pack everything away that I wasn’t using. Wayne then got another one, another common. No wonder they're called common, he’d caught 4 of them, nothing big but most hitting just over 10lbs. I think one of them was about 7lbs, but a carp is a carp and that’s what we are here to catch! I couldn’t believe he'd had another. I took the pics for him and while doing so his other rod went melting off! I was left to deal with the other carp for him and put it safely back into the lake while he landed carp number 5, another common, but the biggest of the session so far, hitting 11 1/2 lbs. He was so happy as it was his 1st time using boilies and he had landed 5 carp! I was so happy for him, what a buzz and a thrill.
With everything packed up except my rods and the cradle I was starting to think about getting them in as it was ten to four. As I walked over to my rods my right hand rod on the VNX+ open water had a drop back. Now we all know, any carp angler out there will refuse to reel that rod in until it rips and sure enough, after a couple more odd bleeps it did just that. I couldn’t believe it, talk about last minute! It just so happened to be another common, but not just any common, the biggest of the session. Not a monster but at 12lb 3oz - I was more than excited.
It wasn’t about the size of the fish, the mission was to catch carp and we did just that, exceeding our expectations and smashing our last session there, which was a blank for Wayne and only 2 carp for me that day. But having 5 carp each, well I think that's a successful session with Successful Baits UK.
Tagged as: Harry Stirling
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