Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wholsea Grange - Land Of Nod

A few of weeks ago myself and Chris Moorhead, a fellow Browning angler had the pleasure of doing a feature for Angling Times at Wholsea Grange Fishery. 
For those who have never been to Wholsea Grange, there are 3 beautiful well stocked lakes to choose from. All the lakes contain a massive array of species, with something to suit almost every angler.

On the day we selected the Middle Pond, which is extremely picturesque with lilly pads and islands everywhere. Almost every peg on the lake has a feature to fish too. Peg selection for the day was based on the photographer been able to get the best pictures possible. We chose pegs 28 and 29, as these offered plenty of scope.
I opted for peg 29 which has loads of features on offer, the first being a reed fringed island at 13 meters. There is also a large lilly bed to the left of the island. The margins also offered plenty of options with a over hanging tree to my left hand side and lovely shallow margin to my right.

My Plan
I planned to start with a line at around 11 meters close to the Lilly pads directly in front of me on the deck, then swap to a shallow rig later in the session. I also plumbed up a line to the left of the lilly pads, should the fish back off. The depth was identical on both lines enabling me to utilize the same rig for both.

My main attack was based on fishing 6 mm cubes of meat, both on the deck and shallow. All feeding was done via catapult.  I also had a few pints of maggots as back up if the meat did not produce.

Deck Rig

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Blue Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.16 (6.7 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.14 (5.6 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 16 Kamasan B911
  • Float - Middy Styrex 3 (4 x 14)
  • Shotting - Bulk plus 2 droppers

Shallow Rig x 2

  • Pole - Browning Z12
  • Elastic - Yellow Browning Cenex Reflex
  • Main line - 0.16 (6.7 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook length - 0.14 (5.6 lb) Browning Hybrid Power
  • Hook - Size 18 Kamasan B911 eyed, tied with a knotless knot with a hair rigged micro band.
  • Float - 0.2 Drennan Crystal Dibber
  • Shotting - A bulk set just above the hook length

I had 2 rigs set up one at 12" and 1 at 18". The reason behind this is so that there is minimal line between the pole tip and the float, which reduces missed bites.

The Session
 I started the session on the deck rig with a 6 mm cube of meat on the hook. Before shipping out I catapulted 2 lots of 10 cubes then shipped the rig out and lowered it in slowly, trying to mimic the falling freebies. It didn't take long before the float buried and the hooked fish headed straight towards the Lilly pads. After a bit of a tussle I managed to guide the fish away into the open water and eventually into the landing net. A Small, but perfectly conditioned Carp was the reward.

I had a couple more fish, including a cracking Ide before a torpedo carp dragged me through the lillys smashing my rig. Unfortunately this seemed to unsettle the swim and I couldn't get a bite. A switch to the shallow rig helped slightly as two Ide on the bounce ended up in the net, then this line went quiet. Had the fish backed off?
I decided to start feeding the other line to the left of the lilly pads, this resulted in  a couple of small Carp in quick succession. Bites then disappeared, but I started to notice signs of movement up in the water so I switched to the shallow rig hoping for an instant response, but I was left hoping as the bite never materialised.
I decided to put the catapult away and put a pole mounted pot on and concentrate on the deck rig. This resulted in fish coming thick and fast. The only downside was that I was struggling to keep the Carp away from the lillys.

I swapped the Z12 for the Xtreme Margin Pole and a much heavier elastic. This did the trick as I managed to get through the remainder of the session with no more chaos. I ended the session with a good few Ide and a shed load of Carp.

Chris's Plan
Chris's approach was contrasting to mine and was based on fishing maggot on the hook and feeding lots of them by big potting on a regular basis. With this approach Chris hoped to target the huge amounts of Ide present in the lake. It worked really well too, but with feeding plenty of bait the inevitable happened and the Carp soon got in on the act too. Chris's final net was much more evenly split than mine as he caught alot more Ide than I did.

It was a brilliant day and we both caught loads of fish with different approaches, proving just how good this fishery is. If you have never been before, I hope this inspires you to go and give it a visit!