Tony House comes to terms with fishing in up to 50ft of water at the famous Cambridgeshire syndicate water.
I had fished the winter on Bundy’s Pit and I was unsure where to go come spring. Then, out of the blue, I was offered the opportunity to take a full ticket. I didn’t hesitate one bit!
It is 50-odd feet place in places, with few features other than the margins, but the lake is absolutely stunning and a joy to fish. The stock is impressive too, with some really big fish swimming around in its considerable depths. My target for the season was a 40lb common, and there are quite a few of those in there too.
I did my first trip and caught a nice little stockie of around 12lb. I had been used to fishing with a spod, casting rods on to bars in relatively shallow water, so this was a whole new style of fishing – mainly boilie fishing. I went in with naked chod rigs, which would allow the hookbaits to be well presented over virtually any bottom. I wasn’t afraid to give them some bait either, starting off with three kilos of 16mm Manilla over the rods.
The second trip was slightly more productive. I found the fish showing out in front of a swim in around 35ft of water. I was still trying to get my head around fishing that depth of water, so I put a couple of rods on the bottom and the third on a zig. I normally use foam hookbaits on zigs, but this time I opted to use a 12mm Manilla pop-up. They are ridiculously buoyant, and even in 40ft of water the 16mm pop-ups don’t perish. I managed a 21lb common off the bottom and a 31lb common on the zig. The weather was warm and, in hindsight, I probably should have had a couple of rods on the zigs.
On my next weekend the weather was proper carp fishing weather and the swim that commanded the shallowest area (which is around 14ft deep!) was free. The fish were there too, so it was an easy decision to jump in there. I went with chods on all the rods and gave them three kilos of bait. It only took a few hours before the left-hander was away. I soon slid a beautiful common in the net, weighing in at over 35lb. I was over the moon – what a start to the session.
Nothing happened that night, but the following morning the left-hander pulled up tight in tandem with the middle rod – I didn’t really know what was going on. I thought the lines had somehow crossed, but then the left-hander started taking line. I picked that rod up and felt a fish, before it went solid. The middle rod was still bleeping, though, so I put the left-hander back on the rest and lifted into the middle rod. The lines weren’t crossed; it was, in fact, a double take! I managed to land that one, but lost the fish on the left-hander to a hook pull. The one I landed was an absolutely gorgeous 36lb common, and it was crapping bait all over my arms. I lost another one that evening, which was a real shame, especially knowing what it could have been. That was it for that trip, but I was back the following weekend as keen as ever.
I went through the normal procedure: three chods flicked out with the lines backed off and another helping of bait over them. I knew the fish were getting on it, and with so many good fish in the lake, you can’t overfeed them. It was another really enjoyable weekend. I didn’t catch any of the bigger fish, but I did have three pristine commons of 25lb, 27lb and 29lb.