When the Reservoir reopened to fishing on 13th May there were a flurry of Members chomping at the bit to get bankside, not surprising really after having been confined indoors for so long, and it was great to see a flurry of carp being captured.
Amongst those getting wet nets from the off were Michael R with a hat-trick of fish to 16lb, Gary W who had his first twenty from the reservoir in the shape of a 21lb 10oz mirror.
David B managed seven including a hat-trick of twenties @ 20lb 2oz, 20lb 7oz and 22lb 12oz, the others all being doubles to 16lb 6oz, a great first session for sure!
Jonathan had a nice hit managing loads of runs and banking ten all doubles, the best two going 19lb 2oz and 19lb 6oz, he commented that he brought every bit of bait he had and would have had more fish if he hadn’t run out of feed having used 7kg boilies and around 10 kilo pellets during his session to keep the fish feeding and the buzzers sounding.
May 2020 A nice Twenty
June saw a few bouts of stop start spawning activity take place and the female fish became moody as weather conditions bounced around all over the place which prevented them from dropping their load.
It was mainly smaller horny male carp that graced the bank during the month, the best two hits going to Andrew J with a hat-trick of doubles to 17lb, and Stephen J with a home-grown mirror @ 8lb 4oz along with four other doubles to 16lb 4oz.
I’m often asked to offer a few pointers about fishing on the Western and I’m always happy to try and provide some guidance, as indeed are those who’ve been Members of the Syndicate for several years.
Top tips include:
Don’t forget that there are thousands of silvers and gudgeon nibbling away at whatever bait you introduce and you have to feed enough to ensure there’s something left for the carp to home in on!
On most venues you find a ‘hole in the weed’ apply bait, the fish feed in it and you might catch from it, on the Western there is no weed the entire lake bed is the equivalent of the ‘hole in the weed’, and whatever bait is fed becomes the feature the carp feed on.
You wouldn’t see a match angler hook a maggot on, fire out 20 maggots and sit there for the duration of his session without applying more bait, same applies for carp, think of boilies as maggots for carp, a couple of hundred may induce them to feed, a handful or two possibly not!
Try a zig on one rod, work at it and bonus fish will come, even if you don’t like or haven’t used them much zigging works, and the Western is the ideal water to learn or gain more experience using the method.
Upper Double 19lb+
The first week of July saw the third and final attempt at spawning occur and those carp that hadn’t successfully spawned in May and June completed their mission, phew!
From mid-month onwards the fishing kicked off, the majority of Members received action on most visits; Gary C kept plugging away catching a brace here and there before banking one of the larger residents in the shape of a 22lb 8oz mirror a new twenty for the venue to boot, he returned a week or so later and had a canny brace at 13lb and 25lb, get in!
Adam netted a hat trick to 15lb, Stephen D had a cracking brace when he landed 19lb and 22lb 4oz mirrors, the latter being another new twenty for the Western, he returned over the next few days and had three on the bounce all at 15lb, great fun.
Wayne chipped in with a quad-trick of doubles to 19lb 5oz, Jonathan had a hat-trick of doubles to 17lb 5oz, Dean had four commons in succession biggest going 16lb, and Michael T landed a lovely 20lb 1oz common, which is a new Lake Record common, congratulations to you!
Michael P had the largest haul of the month when he managed twelve fish to 21lb 12oz during his session all were doubles bar two, a busy, and at times very busy trip, a good result for you Michael, or purely belter as we say up here!
New Twenty for the Western 22lb 8oz
August and September saw a steady string of captures reported from Members, far too many to list here, but worthy of a mention were;
Peter who normally only manages to fish 2–3-hour sessions, in fact a 4–5-hour session would be a lengthy visit, so it was great to hear he’d caught a couple of braces of carp on two consecutive visits, his first going 15lb 8oz & 16lb, his second 11lb 2oz & 15lb 6oz, well done that man.
Anthony Mc had a brace of doubles to 17lb, Gary C kept at them and kept catching consistently his best hit for the month was catching four to 21lb 5oz, Michael P had a brace of doubles to 19lb, and Jonathan banked a nice brace of mirrors @ 15lb 14oz and 25lb 11oz, yeah!
Wayne weighed a cracking haul of fish in, 14 takes and 12 fish in 72 hours, conditions were far from favourable with a biting Northerly wind, and bleaching rain proving challenging, but he was up to the task, his smallest fish went 10lb, most were between 14-15lb and his best went 17lb+.
The Western can be a difficult water to fish when the weather’s wild, but the carp respond well to big winds and bivvy wrecking conditions and good hits can be had by those Members who are prepared to brave such conditions, so a well-earned result, well done Sir!
One of a Dozen 17lb+
By the end of September Member visits become much less frequent, fewer anglings visiting means less chance of fish being captured, however a few fish were still banked.
Andrew Mc had a nice 18lb 4oz October mirror, but honours for the best end of year captures went to the Winter Ticket Members, Matty J banked fish of 26lb 5oz a new Lake Record mirror and a 22lb mirror in November, Jasmine netted a couple of doubles to just short of 14lb, and Josh caught his first twenty from the reservoir when a bonny 21lb 2oz mirror graced his net.
During December Jordan managed his first from the Western in the shape of a 21lb 5oz mirror, he said it was his first twenty since he was a young whip so a good start! Also having a good start was Shaun with December fish of 18lb 10oz and 21lb 14oz, winter carping at its best, well done to you all, even more pleasing was that several of the twenties caught were new 20lb+ carp for the venue, brilliant news!
December 2020 Twenty @ 21lb 14oz
I always appreciate receiving feedback from Members be it good, bad or indifferent, it is of course always nice to receive positive feedback…, after the crap year we all endured in 2020 I thought I would share this, received off a Member who joined last year;
“Steve, I must say you run a cracking fishery and the lads I have met so far on the bank are a cracking set of lads, and the fish I have caught have all been like brand new pennies, absolute stunning, and mint condition, you have a piece of heaven set in Northumberland……even when the wind blows lol.”