Chemo has a winter result on famous Colne Valley day-ticket water, Farlows Lake.
It’s no secret that my favourite type of carp fishing is on day-ticket venues, and Farlows has long been one of my very favourites. I had a 24-hour trip ahead of me and it was either Farlows or Wraysbury North Lake. My choice would depend on swim availability on both lakes, so I made a couple of phone calls to check what was going on at each venue. After speaking to the bailiff at Farlows, I decided that would be the best option.
Luckily, as I arrived at Farlows, a couple of lads were packing away from peg 61. Known as Scott’s, this is one of my favourite swims on Farlows and the lads that were moving out had caught a few fish to low thirties, so there were clearly a few around the area. I know the swim well, so I knew exactly where my three baits were going. It wasn’t long before the rods were out and I was fishing. I had recently been doing really well at Farlows using lots of F1 Corn with a stack of Korum Super Soft Imitation Corn on the rig, so this is the approach I went with; a tin over each rod to start with top ups as necessary.
Two hours in and I had a lovely upper double on the left rod, fished just short of the second island. Result, but to be honest with the number of liners I was getting, I was surprised it had taken so long. With the rod back out on the spot, I put two tins of F1 Corn over it with a large Spomb.
Not long afterwards, the same rod was away again and this time it was a 21½lb linear. Farlows has hundreds of linears this size and what a right old runaround they give you! The next two takes resulted in a large branch festooned in mussels and old end tackle, and a bounced take. The branch is something we have to accept happens on busy venues. Thankfully, the carp had escaped. Another two tins of F1 Corn were Spombed over the left spot and a nice fresh size 6 Avid CRV rig was put on.
Things went quiet for a couple of hours, so I stocked up the rig board. Again, the left rod was away and this fish put up a really good account of itself. Not surprisingly, it turned out to be an angry 25lb common. As I slipped the net under it, the right-hand rod was away too. “About time, too!” I thought, as the bobbin had been twitching and lifting for the last half hour. The culprit was a low double common. I slipped the small one back, then got some nice shots of the lovely 25lb common. Again, fresh rigs were put on and repositioned, followed by yet more F1 Corn. This was turning into quite the session – not bad for February!
All went quiet for an hour or so, then the trusted left rod was picked up again! Straight away I knew this was different gravy. The fish stayed deep and moved slowly for about 15 minutes. When it eventually began to give in, I could see why: it was a clonking great big mirror. Before I unhooked it I phoned Eggy, the fishery manager, to come and take some shots for me, as I knew he would want to see a fish of this size. When he got round to me we weighed the fish and settled on 35½lb - a clonker indeed. Farlows has done so many thirties of late, it’s hard to keep up with just how many! With such a mild winter, the fish have just kept on munching.
These Farlows carp do love the old F1 Corn, so with the fish returned I topped up the swim and reset the rod. I also popped up the HQ Bivvy as it was gonna be dark shortly and I sure as hell wasn’t moving swims!
Just on dusk and I was in on the left rod again. This one came straight in, giving me the impression it was a small one, but that changed once netted! An amazing looking 25½lb mirror was soon being pictured. It was dark by then, but having placed marker elastic on the rods I was confident the rig was back where it needed to be, and at 2.30am it proved me right with a 17lb mirror. Even in the dark, I still topped up with a further two tins of F1 Corn. I had to be away by 9.30am, but these fish were really munching, so I felt I would still get another chance. Sure enough, at first light I was again proven right, and my last carp was another linear at 20½lb, which I was very pleased with.
I packed away having had 10 takes with eight fish landed. Fantastic day ticket fishing at its best! I had used 17 tins of F1 corn, which most anglers wouldn’t dream of using in the warmer months, let alone in winter! You see, to keep them coming, you have to feed them.