Henry Lennon, The X Lake
Posted on 22nd August 2016 at 17:06
X Lake is a 14-acre former gravel pit, located just north of Milan. With a head of around 250 carp, 5 of them being over
30kg (67lbs), it is somewhat surprising that this venue is relatively unknown to the UK carping scene. I became aware of the lake whilst searching for somewhere to fish for my annual carping trip with my Dad, and as the recommended method to tackle the water was a solid boilie approach, I decided that it would be the perfect venue to tackle with Successful Baits.
The lake was about a 2-hour drive from my parents’ home in Switzerland, and we arrived at the lake at about 10am on the Thursday morning. Upon arrival, we saw that the lake was split into two bodies of water, with our designated swim situated in the larger body of water. I would have preferred to have fished in the swim that gave access to the intersection between the two parts of the lake, as many fish were crashing here on arrival, but I was confident that a large spread of boilie would draw the carp towards our peg.
The bottom was sandy/gravelly with a few larger boulders dotted around, dropping down to 16ft in places. The fishing had apparently been difficult recently, due to the hot weather, so my Dad and I agreed that a few fish each would be a good session.
Bait-wise, I had 10kg of Nasty Shrimp and Calafrutti in 18mm, soaked in the Calafrutti liquid bait additive. Both the Nasty Shrimp and Calafrutti turn a very pale white colour when in the water for a few hours, and this is very visible in the clear, X lake water. I believed the carp would be attracted to the area due to the cloud created by the bait soak, and then they would home in on the highly visible baits, hopefully resulting in a good hit of fish.
Once the six rods and 3kg of bait had been distributed in the swim, we sat back in the shade to get away from the midday sun. Plenty of fish were still crashing in the intersection between the two parts of the lake, but they seemed to be making their way towards our right hand rods. The Calafrutti liquid additive was working. At around 4:30pm, I had a slow take on the right hand rod. The carp came in fairly easily, but then plodded around in the deep margins for a long time. After wiping out two of the rods, my dad slipped the net under a very clean looking mirror. The carp weighed 26lbs 14oz, and was a great start to trip.
THE FIRST OF THE TRIP
Around midday, my dad was into his first Italian carp. The same right hand rod that went off yesterday produced a 31lbs mirror. As we were returning the carp, one of the margin rods screamed off, resulting in a 29lbs 3oz mirror for myself. Unbelievably, the situation was repeated again, as we got another bite whilst releasing my carp. It was my dad’s turn again, and he landed one of the smaller stockies, at around 18lbs.
At 29lbs 3oz, it was to be my biggest of the trip
The three rods were recast into the swim, along with a topping up of bait. Following this, I bathed in the deep margins to cool off from the fight. I was expecting to get a few more runs during the day, but darkness came without the alarms making another sound. We got takeaway pizzas and settled in for the night.
I did receive plenty of bites in the night – unfortunately, they were from mosquitos. I had around 15 in my bivvy, and they must have given me over 100 bites, so I was in some discomfort in the morning. We did receive a few bleeps on the margin rods, but nothing to strike in to.
After breakfast, I got the throwing stick out and fired another 1kg of bait over the spots. I went on a walk around the lake to see if I could see any carp feeding in the margin, but besides many bass and turtles, the lake seemed fairly dead
DAD'S FIRST ITALIAN CARP
The three bigger carp we had caught all looked fairly similar, being the same boxy shape with a clean flank and a two tone colour scheme. However, that was the end of the midday action for us. We had hoped for a few more bites, but at least we had discovered the feeding time for these fish, so we could be ready the following day.
The night produced one carp – a 25lbs 7oz mirror for myself that fell to a long range rod at about 100 yards in 10ft of water. It was hard to pin point the depth at which the carp were feeding, as we had caught from 8ft up to 16ft. We believed that the fish were happy to feed anywhere if there was a food source present, so I baited heavily during the night, putting about 4kg of boilies out, in preparation for bite time at midday.
As noon came and went, we were without a carp. Fish were crashing in front of us, and we were beginning to get concerned that we hadn’t connected with any carp. At around 3pm, as we had begun to wonder if we had missed our chance, the long range rod gave out a few bleeps as the bobbin fell to the floor. My dad reeled in the slack to find a heavy weight on the end. After a fight that lasted up to an hour, in which my dad really began to struggle due to the hot sun, he landed a beautiful 34lbs mirror. We had hoped it was going to be one of the true monsters, based on its fighting capabilities, but we weren’t disappointed – it was dad’s new PB! I was really pleased for him, and we celebrated with a few Moretti beers whilst lying in the margins to cool down. I put the last kilo of bait out and crossed my fingers, hoping for a few more bites before we had to leave at 11am the next morning.
Dad was over the moon with his new PB
Morning arrived without a bite, and we began the tedious job of packing away the gear. At around 9am, just a few hours before we had to leave, I had an upper double stocky. I recast the rod, hoping to get a last gasp monster carp, but it wasn’t to be. We packed up, agreeing that we did fairly well given that it hadn’t been fishing too well, and it was great to spend some time on the bank together. I am eagerly awaiting the next time I can get on the lake, as one of the locals showed me a picture of a 60 lber that he had caught the previous weekend, and it is a fish that I would love to catch.
Maybe I can squeeze a weekend in around winter time, when the fish are at their heaviest, but we will have to see - for now it is back to university and some UK carp!
Tagged as: Henry Lennon
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