A Sandhurst Session to Remember

Posted by: Dale Turner on September 15th, 2015

Ok then guys and girls, It’s been a bit of a busy few months for me. I’ve not really done as much fishing as I would like to have done, due to a few events I went to at the start of the year. That and every day life really, but any session I have done has been up at my syndicate ‘Golden Gates’. It’s been quite consistent for me on the catch front, with at least one or two fish a trip, but enough of that – let’s get into my trip to Sandhurst Lake.

Me and my girlfriend, Tam, had a week off work and we had both decided to go fishing together for a couple of nights. We were supposed to be going to Par Fishery, but the dates got mixed up somewhere along the line and the lake was fully-booked, so I made a last minute call to Sandhurst Lake and managed to get booked in. To be honest I was quite excited to be going there as I hadn’t been before, and has always wanted to fish it but hadn’t done so until now.

We left home about 9.00am(ish) as it was a good two-hour drive there, plus there was the M25 and M3 traffic to contend with. Arriving at the gate to the lake around lunch time, we walked around for a couple of hours and watched the water trying to working out where the fish may be, and chatted to a few of the lads that were already on there. After speaking to them it was quite clear it was fishing slow but I wasn’t going let that bother me. I finally decided on a swim which was on the right hand side of the island which you have to cross over a scaffold bridge to get to. The swim commanded a big area of water in front which looked over to the main road bank, plus I found a few fish showing in the area.

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

This little fella might look like any other Sandhurst duck but he’s been all around the world and has some really interesting stories to tell.

Once set up it wasn’t long before the rain they forecast for the day came in. The change of weather seemed to switch the fish on as they really started to move about more. It was looking good for a few bites now the weather had changed. I spent an hour finding some spots as the weed was rather bad in places, plus I got a little tip off from the owner Nick on spots in that swim. I managed to find some proper nice clear areas amongst the weed. Having done that I stuck a bit of bait out with the throwing stick making a big area of bait over the three spots I had found. As soon as I had got a couple of rods out on those lovely hard spots amongst the weed I decided to take shelter from the rain as it was just like standing in hail storm, it was raining that hard. So I left the third rod leaning up against the bivvy, all clipped-up and baited ready to go once the rain eased off. Whilst I was sitting in the dry, watching the water and chatting to Tamzin, a fish rolled literally a few feet from my third spot so I quickly got the rod that was all ready to rock and flicked it out. The lead went down with an absolute crack the cast couldn’t have gone better. I sunk the line and put the rod on the rest. Before I could even put a hanger on, the rod trip wrenched around to the right and I was soon in to my first ever Sandhurst carp It was a right ol’ hard scrap and weeded me up but I managed to get it moving with a bit of pressure and Tamzin soon slipped a proper old dark 26lb 10oz common in the net for me. We did a few quick snaps and put her back.

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

Good old-fashioned British rain. At least it had a positive effect on the fishing though.

Once all the excitement was over and I had sorted a new rig out, I got the rod clipped up and it was soon back out on the money spot. Nothing else really happened after that and darkness started to close-in. The rain went on through the night and so did the liners, fish were obviously out there on the bait but no pick-ups, which was weird. I set my alarm for 5.30am so that I could see if fish were still in the area. It was obvious they were still there as the fish were still really actively showing all over the place but I couldn’t work out why I hadn’t had a pick up in the night. It was clear the fish were out there and feeding, so I had a little change and swapped my hook baits from white to standard 16mm Krill pop-ups. I spread a good 2kg more bait out over the area, because they were definitely up for a bit due to the way they were behaving out there. About half an hour after sticking more bait out the liners began again. The weather seemed to clear and we end up with a bit of sun, which was nice, but the fish decided to start cruising around on the surface sunning themselves, and at this point the liners slowed-up. About 2.30pm the weather changed slightly with overcast and light showers, and with that the liners started again, it was looking good for it. Come 3.00pm the right hand Neville let out a couple of bleeps, the bobbin pulled up tight, and soon enough I was in bent in to another Sandhurst carp. It didn’t do too much in the fight just tore left, right and under the rod tip, as soon as it was ready for the net Tamzin did the honours again, we had another dark old 24lb common which looked like it had been through the wars, a proper old warrior. Once we had a few pictures I slipped him back to fight another day. I got a fresh new rig with a nicely-sharpened hook back out on the spot, with about 200 more free offerings around it. About an hour later I decided to reel my middle rod in for a recheck and as I was walking down to the front of the swim to reel it in the rod I had the last fish on burst into life as the bobbin smashed into the blank, and when I lifted the rod it was like hooking into a train! All I could do was loosen the clutch off and let it take some line as it was pulling so hard and aggressively across the surface, bow-waving around the place! I worried that it might pull the hook out so I let it do what it needed to do.

After it had taken me three-quarters of the way across the lake, and then buried itself in a weed bed, I tried to get it moving but it was stuck solid. I quickly gave Nic, the owner, a ring and he gave me the all clear to go out in the boat to retrieve it. I got Tamzin to hold the rod up with a tight line whilst I ran around and got the boat and the lifejacket from the other side of the lake.

As soon as I had got back over to her with the boat I took the rod from her and was soon on my way out to the fish. Once over the top of it I managed to get hold of the line and pull it up out of the weed, getting it moving. It tore off once more, stripping line from the reel until it weeded me up again. That didn’t last long though as my line pinged up out of the weed and I was back in contact with it and on the move. I got towed about the lake going up, down and pulled around in circles for a good 20 minutes before catching a glimpse of it and could see it was a absolute chunk of a mirror. At this point I was praying that it didn’t come off. After what seemed like an age I started to gain a bit on it, finally it was tired-out and ready for the net. As I slipped the net under it I felt a glourious wave of relief wash over me like chocolate rain. Once in the net I had to take a minute and sit in the boat with my thoughts, as the rain started-up again, piercing the previously flat-calm surface of the water. It had been a crazy battle, and certainly one that will stick in my memory. I unclipped the rig from the swivel, broke my rod down and fastened the net to the side of the boat with the fish facing forward and slowly rowed back to my swim where Tamzin was waiting to help me moor the boat. When I’d got to the bank I popped my net back together, leaving the fish sitting in the margin while we got everything ready. Whilst I was lifting her out of the water on to the mat I remember thinking “this could be a new PB here” as it was such a big framed fish. The colour of it was amazing, jet black with a slight blue tinge, and once up on the weigh staff the scales rolled around to 36lb 8oz. Not a PB but I was still well chuffed with the capture.

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

Jet-black with a slight blue tinge. Not a PB but I was made-up with the capture nonetheless.

 

 

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

Back she goes – a capture I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

It all seemed to slow up after that and before we knew it, it was Friday morning. We had to be off the water by 9.00am as there was a match on that weekend, which meant the end of our session at Sandhurst Lake. I’ll be back for more in the not-too-distant future though – watch this space!

 

Dale

 

 

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A Sandhurst Session to Remember

Posted by: Dale Turner on September 15th, 2015

Ok then guys and girls, It’s been a bit of a busy few months for me. I’ve not really done as much fishing as I would like to have done, due to a few events I went to at the start of the year. That and every day life really, but any session I have done has been up at my syndicate ‘Golden Gates’. It’s been quite consistent for me on the catch front, with at least one or two fish a trip, but enough of that – let’s get into my trip to Sandhurst Lake.

Me and my girlfriend, Tam, had a week off work and we had both decided to go fishing together for a couple of nights. We were supposed to be going to Par Fishery, but the dates got mixed up somewhere along the line and the lake was fully-booked, so I made a last minute call to Sandhurst Lake and managed to get booked in. To be honest I was quite excited to be going there as I hadn’t been before, and has always wanted to fish it but hadn’t done so until now.

We left home about 9.00am(ish) as it was a good two-hour drive there, plus there was the M25 and M3 traffic to contend with. Arriving at the gate to the lake around lunch time, we walked around for a couple of hours and watched the water trying to working out where the fish may be, and chatted to a few of the lads that were already on there. After speaking to them it was quite clear it was fishing slow but I wasn’t going let that bother me. I finally decided on a swim which was on the right hand side of the island which you have to cross over a scaffold bridge to get to. The swim commanded a big area of water in front which looked over to the main road bank, plus I found a few fish showing in the area.

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

This little fella might look like any other Sandhurst duck but he’s been all around the world and has some really interesting stories to tell.

Once set up it wasn’t long before the rain they forecast for the day came in. The change of weather seemed to switch the fish on as they really started to move about more. It was looking good for a few bites now the weather had changed. I spent an hour finding some spots as the weed was rather bad in places, plus I got a little tip off from the owner Nick on spots in that swim. I managed to find some proper nice clear areas amongst the weed. Having done that I stuck a bit of bait out with the throwing stick making a big area of bait over the three spots I had found. As soon as I had got a couple of rods out on those lovely hard spots amongst the weed I decided to take shelter from the rain as it was just like standing in hail storm, it was raining that hard. So I left the third rod leaning up against the bivvy, all clipped-up and baited ready to go once the rain eased off. Whilst I was sitting in the dry, watching the water and chatting to Tamzin, a fish rolled literally a few feet from my third spot so I quickly got the rod that was all ready to rock and flicked it out. The lead went down with an absolute crack the cast couldn’t have gone better. I sunk the line and put the rod on the rest. Before I could even put a hanger on, the rod trip wrenched around to the right and I was soon in to my first ever Sandhurst carp It was a right ol’ hard scrap and weeded me up but I managed to get it moving with a bit of pressure and Tamzin soon slipped a proper old dark 26lb 10oz common in the net for me. We did a few quick snaps and put her back.

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

Good old-fashioned British rain. At least it had a positive effect on the fishing though.

Once all the excitement was over and I had sorted a new rig out, I got the rod clipped up and it was soon back out on the money spot. Nothing else really happened after that and darkness started to close-in. The rain went on through the night and so did the liners, fish were obviously out there on the bait but no pick-ups, which was weird. I set my alarm for 5.30am so that I could see if fish were still in the area. It was obvious they were still there as the fish were still really actively showing all over the place but I couldn’t work out why I hadn’t had a pick up in the night. It was clear the fish were out there and feeding, so I had a little change and swapped my hook baits from white to standard 16mm Krill pop-ups. I spread a good 2kg more bait out over the area, because they were definitely up for a bit due to the way they were behaving out there. About half an hour after sticking more bait out the liners began again. The weather seemed to clear and we end up with a bit of sun, which was nice, but the fish decided to start cruising around on the surface sunning themselves, and at this point the liners slowed-up. About 2.30pm the weather changed slightly with overcast and light showers, and with that the liners started again, it was looking good for it. Come 3.00pm the right hand Neville let out a couple of bleeps, the bobbin pulled up tight, and soon enough I was in bent in to another Sandhurst carp. It didn’t do too much in the fight just tore left, right and under the rod tip, as soon as it was ready for the net Tamzin did the honours again, we had another dark old 24lb common which looked like it had been through the wars, a proper old warrior. Once we had a few pictures I slipped him back to fight another day. I got a fresh new rig with a nicely-sharpened hook back out on the spot, with about 200 more free offerings around it. About an hour later I decided to reel my middle rod in for a recheck and as I was walking down to the front of the swim to reel it in the rod I had the last fish on burst into life as the bobbin smashed into the blank, and when I lifted the rod it was like hooking into a train! All I could do was loosen the clutch off and let it take some line as it was pulling so hard and aggressively across the surface, bow-waving around the place! I worried that it might pull the hook out so I let it do what it needed to do.

After it had taken me three-quarters of the way across the lake, and then buried itself in a weed bed, I tried to get it moving but it was stuck solid. I quickly gave Nic, the owner, a ring and he gave me the all clear to go out in the boat to retrieve it. I got Tamzin to hold the rod up with a tight line whilst I ran around and got the boat and the lifejacket from the other side of the lake.

As soon as I had got back over to her with the boat I took the rod from her and was soon on my way out to the fish. Once over the top of it I managed to get hold of the line and pull it up out of the weed, getting it moving. It tore off once more, stripping line from the reel until it weeded me up again. That didn’t last long though as my line pinged up out of the weed and I was back in contact with it and on the move. I got towed about the lake going up, down and pulled around in circles for a good 20 minutes before catching a glimpse of it and could see it was a absolute chunk of a mirror. At this point I was praying that it didn’t come off. After what seemed like an age I started to gain a bit on it, finally it was tired-out and ready for the net. As I slipped the net under it I felt a glourious wave of relief wash over me like chocolate rain. Once in the net I had to take a minute and sit in the boat with my thoughts, as the rain started-up again, piercing the previously flat-calm surface of the water. It had been a crazy battle, and certainly one that will stick in my memory. I unclipped the rig from the swivel, broke my rod down and fastened the net to the side of the boat with the fish facing forward and slowly rowed back to my swim where Tamzin was waiting to help me moor the boat. When I’d got to the bank I popped my net back together, leaving the fish sitting in the margin while we got everything ready. Whilst I was lifting her out of the water on to the mat I remember thinking “this could be a new PB here” as it was such a big framed fish. The colour of it was amazing, jet black with a slight blue tinge, and once up on the weigh staff the scales rolled around to 36lb 8oz. Not a PB but I was still well chuffed with the capture.

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

Jet-black with a slight blue tinge. Not a PB but I was made-up with the capture nonetheless.

 

 

Sandhurst Session – Dale Turner – Blog – Trakker

Back she goes – a capture I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

It all seemed to slow up after that and before we knew it, it was Friday morning. We had to be off the water by 9.00am as there was a match on that weekend, which meant the end of our session at Sandhurst Lake. I’ll be back for more in the not-too-distant future though – watch this space!

 

Dale

 

 

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