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Posts: 30589
   Old Thread  #116 25 Jan 2017 at 3.58pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #115
Thankfully the relatively light angling pressure allowed the Treesmill inhabitants to grow slowly but surely to decent weights, which I will come to soon. Among the club’s other lakes was Billberry, a lake that supposedly held the oldest carp in the county, said by some to be over 40 years old. The lake was originally gin clear, so given their age and the clear water they too were as crafty as bog house rats. This is the old mirror known as Cod Dorsal at 18lb. I saw the fish under the trees that lined the west bank but she would have none of my clumsy attempts to fool her. Eventually I caught her on a freelined floating Mixer draping the reel line across a tree branch so that only the Mixer touched the surface...That fooled her, alright!

Then calamity…The lake became polluted by clay waste when a contractor started to excavate sand and clay using the lake water to wash the clay away leaving behind the valuable sand. The result was that the lake turned a horrible chalky white colour, and while it apparently did not cause any distress to the fish, the anglers hated it and stopped fishing it, so a few carp were removed and placed into Treesmill. These were venerable fish having been stocked many moons earlier.

Time passed…Now with the Rashleigh reaching its prime thanks to the de-stocking policy quite a few fish surpassed the twenty pound mark and a few topped thirty. Largely because of the regeneration of Rashleigh the Club's other waters were now almost totally ignored and interest in Treesmill, for instance, largely disappeared…apart that is from a handful of members who were fishing it more or less on their own and having a whale of a time! Though a few of the originals had reached old age and passed on plenty remained, battle scarred old warriors that had grown particularly crafty in the now gin clear water of the lake. Quite a few of the fish reached respectable weights in the low to mid twenties range with one or two going a tad bigger. But they were largely ignored, much to the delight of Nige and Steve who were quietly getting on with the business of having a few!

Initially my own track record at Treesmill was not so good and if truth be known I failed miserably at the lake when I first tried my hand there. In fact, I remained resolutely a blanker and even with Steve and Nige’s help I couldn’t even buy a fish there and felt totally defeated by the place. The underwater topography just blew me away and how the pair managed to catch was beyond me! I returned to other waters where I could catch a few and turned my back on Treesmill, joining the other members who though it was too hard.

Then came the day when suddenly I felt that carping was loosing its allure. Problems had started to occur with distressing regularity at Rashleigh and Waldon where idiots were giving the lake the sort of abuse you wouldn't want to read about. Salamander was now firmly on the 'circuit', even College had (temporarily) lost its appeal. I needed a new challenge so I went in search of pastures new and decided at last to join Steve and Nige on Treesmill in a more serious attempt at catching a few of those Treesmill biggies.

For some strange reason my second stint on Treesmill was met with almost instant success, and first trip up there I had two twenties out in 24 hours, a mirror and a common. The mirror it turned out was a bit of a mug – which accounts for why I caught it. Steve and Nige knew the fish as Our Mate…says it all really! …

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   Old Thread  #115 25 Jan 2017 at 3.57pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #114
Eventually the mining company decided they had no further use for the pit and Treesmill was closed down and allowed to flood. The area being a mass of springs it took no time to hide all the ugly evidence of the lakes former history under millions of gallons of fresh clear water.

Strangely enough the history of carp fishing in the south west is closely linked to the Walker era as quite a few lakes in Cornwall and Devon were stocked with fish from that time, including old farm ponds, quarries and pits that received Leney-strain fish. Our lake, Treesmill, was one such lake, and as the popularity of coarse fishing grew in the County, Treesmill was taken over by a local angling club. The lake was as bare as a badger’s arse to begin with but nature quickly took a hold and soon the scars of the lake’s industrial past were softened by Mother Nature’s richness. Dwarf Lilies appeared in the margins and small clumps of water milfoil grew on the shallows.

Treesmill is an interesting lake being very deep in places and relatively shallow in others, and the in-between areas are up and down like a yo-yo. There are islands and weed beds and sheer drop-offs and gentle slopes; you could say that as a carp lake it has everything not least some highly elusive carp. In fact back in the day the Club was instrumental in the development of carp fishing having stocked carp not just into Treesmill but into all their other lakes. Careful fishery management meant that no one lake was allowed to become the dominant carp fishery within the Club.

However, back in around 1970 an injudicious decision by the then committee resulted in a massive over stocking of carp into Rashleigh (some say upwards of 3,000 were introduced to the ten-acre lake). The few originals in there, all good sizes, began to suffer as competition for the available food dragged them down. Something had to be done so a subsequent committee took the obvious and sensible decision to dramatically de-stock the lake of the smaller carp, hoping that this would allow the big old originals to grow on properly. Consequently fish were moved from the out from that overstocked lake and into other lakes on the clubs books, Treesmill among them.

As I mentioned, Treesmill already had a few carp in it, but they were not in the full flush of youth and were consequently too damn clever and had a tendency to disappear into the myriad of features on the lakebed whenever anyone tried to fish for them. So it was hoped that by moving some of the smaller fish into Treesmill, sport for the carp anglers would improve. Sadly the lake lay almost completely ignored for many years, the fish being allowed to get on with their lives in peace and quiet.

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   Old Thread  #114 25 Jan 2017 at 3.56pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #113
Foxes pass shy and unseen across the landscape, their earths scattered sparsely around the undulating farmland that surrounds the lake, while sand martins flit and dance overhead feeding on the insects hatching from the silt of the lake. Their nests are tunnelled out of the sandy slopes of a large sand burrow that dominates one side of the lake. Unfortunately the banks of the lake still bear the scars of its industrial heritage, but with the passage of time Mother Nature is gradually reclaiming her rightful place.

We start our story way back in the early days of carp fishing history when buzzers, bivvies and bedchairs were a thing of the distant future. Only a tiny handful of fanatical carp anglers fished for the species and of them only one, Denys Watkins-Pitchford, wrote about catching them with any authority. His book, ‘The Fisherman’s Bedside Book’, published in 1946 under his non de plume ‘BB’, was probably the forerunner of modern carp fishing literature. BB's descriptions of great encounters with this almost mythical fish stirred the blood of many anglers who, up until now had thought carp were uncatchable.

Then in 1951 came the dawn of carp fishing as we know it today, albeit in a much less sophisticated manner than the way we fish nowadays. That year Redmire Pool took the angling world by storm after Bob Richards caught a 31lb 4oz mirror from the pool. A year later Dick Walker broke the British record with his capture of a 44lb common from the Pool, and the rest, as they say, is history. Redmire was a place of legends to us back then populated by huge carp that could be seen hosting through the weeds or basking on the shallows. Then there were Redmire's own ghosts, tales of which were many. We were lucky to go up to the fabled pool just once, a five day session in 1989. They were right about the ghosts but they were very friendly ones! Tat caught one of the fabled Redmire commons but it was the only fish of our five day trip. Sadly I fear that for the most part we were no match for those elusive beasts.

Posts: 30589
   Old Thread  #113 25 Jan 2017 at 3.55pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #112
I'll be the first to admit that Treesmill did not appeal to me at first. I was concentrating more on College, Salamander and Waldon at the time, still experimenting with various products for Nutrabaits, so I was not really taken by the thought of switching to another, more unknown venue. I thought that lack of intimate knowledge of the lake and its inhabitants would have an adverse effect on my test results, so I left Steve and Nige to it while I concentrated my efforts elsewhere.

However, the pair kept on at me to give Treesmill a go so eventually I weakened. In addition to Steve and Nige, the two committee members, there were only two of three other members who went anywhere near the lake, that is how hard the majority of the RAC memberships thought of the place. Rock hard and not worth the effort because there was nothing worth catching in there. Oh the fools!

As it turned out Treesmill was by far the richest venue on the Club's books and the transferees really bunged on the weight. In addition there was around a dozen ancient originals, which, if you could find them, were well worth catching. This is a view of the lake showing some of its the small islands.

Having failed to get to grips with the lake at first, in time it became a firm favourite of mine. I was so glad that Nige and Steve kept twisting my arm to join them on the lake and am also most grateful that they let me in on their well kept secret, namely that the lake was a treasure. Since they had switched from Rashleigh and College and started fishing Treesmill they had kept quiet the fact that they were fishing Treesmill, along with the fact that they were having a few! The lake is now well known to any SW carper worth his salt but back then it was a real gem, the jewel in the crown of Cornish carp lakes.

I doubt that there is a single old school carper living in the south west who does not look back with the deepest affection on the early days of Cornish carp fishing. In a fishing life that spans over fifty years, one now filled with countless fish the size of which I could once only dream about, my fondest memories go back to those early days when I began to spread my wings as a carper and find my way around the mystery that was carp fishing in those days. Sadly, as far as I am concerned, most of the mystery is gone, at least in this county, but despite this, the memories remain etched deep in my fishing history. The story of Treesmill and its inhabitants is full of days of wonder, tales of excitement and pleasure-filled memories galore.

If you search hard enough, and with sufficient enthusiasm you may find, nestled at the end of a long, narrow, overgrown dirt track, a lake. It has a name, rather an ugly one I think, and anglers being anglers their penchant for renaming lakes was in force here...(thought this was also as a blind to keep the true identity of the lake quiet for a long as possible). The lake soon became known as Treesmill by the few club members who fished it after the name of a small Cornish stream that runs through the local countryside on its way down to the sea.

The lake is actually an flooded open cast mine where China clay was extracted right up to the late 60s. it isn’t the prettiest spot in the world but in the right light with dusk approaching it has its moments. There is wildlife galore, flora and fauna to please the eye. Gorse, or broom as it is called locally, dots the hedgerows heralding the arrival of spring and once the broom arrives the foxgloves are never far behind.

Dwarf lilies grow in on the shallower areas of the lake but these are few and far between; for the most part the lake is deep, dark and mysterious.

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   Old Thread  #112 25 Jan 2017 at 3.53pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #111
As Wheal Rashleigh became seriously over stocked by the inopportune introduction of hundreds (some say thousands) of small carp in the early 80s, so the lake deteriorated in quality. The small carp caused many problems including the depletion of natural food, the loss of weight and condition of the original carp in the lake, the destruction of the weaker marginal weeds and the discolouration of the water from a nice semi-clear green to an opaque chocolate brown.

Rashleigh went downhill swiftly and a drastic rescue plan was augmented following a site visit and subsequent report by Bruno Broughton, a well respected expert in fishery management. Among other steps he recommended was to de-stock the lake and transfer as many as we could catch into Rashleigh's neighbour Waldon Pool. So commenced a lot of serious effort on the part of some (not all by any means!) of the Club's members to shift the small carp from one lake to another.

As previously mentioned, the transferees enjoyed life in Waldon and a few even made decent weights, as this pic of a nice plump mirror caught by Steve Churchill, RAC committee member, shows.

Any carp that made the grade was put back into Rashleigh but this still left hundreds that failed to blossom in the same way as the others had done. So this still left the Club with the problem of what to do with these smaller carp in Waldon and the obvious solution was to (unofficially!) catch and transfer them to some of the Club's other lakes, mainly Treesmill and Billberry but quite a few were put into Glynn Valley. I say unofficially as there was no committee authority to do this as it was never brought up at the meetings, but considering the people doing the moving were also committee members, well, not a problem.

Billberry was never one of my favourite venues. I fished it only a few times and was lucky to catch one of the original residents a leather that was known as Cod Dorsal. Steve W. on the other hand fished it a lot and he caught well. Once again, if the fish did well they went back into Rashleigh but one or two smaller ones (and a few not so small!) found their way into Treesmill, the largest of the Clubs lakes and one that was at the time hardly fished. Nowadays Treesmill has become the Club's premier carp venue not least because it is the only one of its waters that can be otter-fenced.

The majority of RAC's lakes are impossible to fence but Treesmill is relatively flat and is much easier to fence. I therefore see it as the next flagship water in the Club…I just hope the committee sees it the same way. Treesmill was not popular with the majority of the membership back then as it was regarded as a hard water not simply because of its size (at 20+ acres it was the biggest lake on the Club's books) but also because it was believed to hold only a few decent carp. In addition the underwater contours resembled the dark side of the moon being a mess of gullies and toughs, plateaux and shallows. Because of its unpopularity and secluded nature the lake became prime target for the tiny few carp men in the Club that fancied a challenge and the two that really developed and brought the lake to its present glory were Steve Churchill and Nige Britton see below with a Treesmill common.

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   Old Thread  #111 12 Jan 2017 at 6.29pm  0  Login    Register
I attended the carp society night with yourself bill and tim, really good nights, think that's the one where my cousin went for a slash when the raffle was being drawn,he asked us to look out for his number and it came out so he wandered up all happy until you told him the colour of the ticket was different
He didn't find that one funny, unlike me and our mate steve
Miss them days
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   Old Thread  #110 12 Jan 2017 at 6.25pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #109
Fantastic read ken, being an avid nutrabaits user i found your article very informative and forfilled my curiosity on a lot of thoughts I've had over the years, well done mate, by the way the blue one piece nige is wearing takes me back.
Posts: 30589
   Old Thread  #109 12 Jan 2017 at 4.24pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #108
The Broughton Report was really paying dividends by now as Rashleigh in particular started producing more and more big fish. The enrichment program Bruno had recommended - liming followed by horse manure + de-stocking and allowing more light onto the lake - had proved a real blessing and some really good fish were coming out. This is committee member Nige Britton with a superb Rashleigh stunner.

As if proof were needed that Rashleigh was turning not just a corner but a bloody great hairpin bend, we began to experience blooms of blue-green algae. This stuff only blooms on rich waters so while it was a bit of a pain at the time as long as it did not affect the fishing - which it didn't - the sight of the algae on the lake was a very positive sign.

Early winter shot of the bottom bay at Rashleigh. It shows the thin layer of blue-green and you can also see the horrible but oh-so-necessary rope preventing the catch at all costs merchants from casting into the snags in the bay.

I feel that the use of the essential oils and other products helped us a huge amount throughout the 80s and this lead to a much deeper involvement with Bill and Nutrabaits. As the range expanded over the years we worked our way though the catalogue of the firms EOs, base mixes, flavours and other attractors and while some were undoubtedly better than others, even the ‘bad’ ones put carp on the bank.

I like to think that our long association with Nutrabaits helped promote the brand but it was always a two way thing, as we have been able to source a few products that have made it onto the Nutrabaits product list. The one that has really stood out is Cream Cajouser which I passed on to Bill as I knew it would be a winner for Nutrabaits. It was also a winner for Richworth where it was known as Birdfood Enhancer! This is the modern version. I don't know it it is the same product that I sourced back in the 80s.

Using EOs was a real eye opener for us. Once we had found the right level they added a new dimension to our carp fishing. Like many others we had been looking for something that little bit “different” in terms of attraction to act as a label for Tim’s HNV base. Tim’s concern over the use of commercial solvent-based flavours led in turn to a switch to natural attractors, which included essential oils and as far back as 1983/4 we experimented with EOs and other attractors, which we incorporated into Tim’s prototype HNV bait.

In the company's formative years we fished better and harder than at any time before or since, as proper field testing in the true sense of the word means testing the good and the bad and sometimes you spend many session basically wasting your time, which tends to reflect badly in the eyes of those who don't know the full story! Mind you, I wouldn't change a minute of it!

Posts: 30589
   Old Thread  #108 12 Jan 2017 at 4.22pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #107
Nutrabaits was officially launched in 1987 and Tim and Bill came down to do a slide show for the Devon and Cornwall region of the Carp Society. As far as I know this was their very first selling trip and my great friend Pete Amey bought from the stand they put on at the show the first products the company ever sold to the public, a couple of bags of Hi-Nu-Val and a couple of essential oils. Pete has remained a staunch Nutrabaits fan to this day, though sadly his age is catching up with him and his fishing days are limited. (Pete represented Britain at the 1960 Rome Olympics, by the way. Not a lot of people know that.) Bill was so grateful that he made Pete an honorary field tester/consultant and to be honest I think Pete was more chuffed with that than he was with the four fifties he later caught on Nutrabaits gear!

Tim and Bill were putting their own gear to good use too at the time, which was all the encouragement Tat and I needed to keep on testing.

What I did not take in fully at the time was the huge degree of preoccupation we could achieve using really small baits. Rod's early articles in Angling magazine outlined his thoughts on using mass baits such as groats and hemp to achieve preoccupation and these inspired a whole generation of carpers to try particles. Rod was way ahead of his time, of course, and I was just one of the hundreds that were caught up in the particle bait revolution. As most of you know if you have read my stuff for Haith's, I too have been a big believer in tiny baits and this belief was founded on Rod's writing and my own experiments with Nutrabaits products. As a result my love affair with mini and micro baits lead me to develop boilie crumb, boilie morsels, boilie soup and of course started me off experimenting with micro seeds and particles.

If you want to know if your bait is any good, offer it to your cat. If the cat likes it so will the carp - and no, I am not having a laugh with you. This is for real.

Boilie Soup is incredible if applied correctly.

I wrote about boilie crumb in an early Nutrabaits catalogue and by all accounts this was the first time the tactic had ever appeared in print. It didn't take long for the idea to catch on and I progressed from an old Spong mincer to a food processor. In the modern era the Korda Crusher is a convenient way of making crumb and Ridge Monkey have taken the whole thing a step further with their Boilie Crusher. What on earth did I start way back then when I first wrote about crumb?

Rashleigh, Waldon and Salamander provided us with three ideal venues on which to test bait. For a start the clarity of the water allowed us to look in on the fish and judge how they reacted to baits and baiting situations and this was vital in assessing optimum levels for the products we were testing. This little common was caught in one of our favourite swims on Waldon. The lake was being more or less ignored by most of the RAC membership.

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   Old Thread  #107 12 Jan 2017 at 4.20pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #106
In addition to testing the oils, we also made up batches of bait using the recommended levels of the Addits and as Waldon was being saturated with our baits that were testing the EOs we took the Addit baits to other venues, namely College and Salamander. At the time we did not know what we were testing, only that it was a variety of weird and wonderful chemicals, but as results seemed pretty positive Tim finally identified the various component parts of the three Addits. The most interesting of the three was Addit digest, the enzyme based additive.

What we used was by no means the final recipe for the Addit Digest at launch. The product we were on was a trial blend of an enzyme compound containing Bromelain and Trypsin as well as other proven additives such as Citric Acid and Lactose. Tim told us about the very strict parameters that had to be followed while making up the baits and he also suggested that we use a more refined base comprising both acid and rennet casein as well as Calcium Caseinate, NZ Lactalbumin and Egg Albumin, the later in order to reduce the boiling to time just 45 seconds.

The finished baits were dried and then frozen, then taken to the lake either in Thermos flasks or, later, frozen for storage in the friendly nearby pub at Mabe Burnthouse. In the case of Salamander we lived so close by that we used our own freezer to store batches of bait. I'll go into more detail about the bait later, however, I can tell you that on both College and Salamander Tim's bait proved remarkably effective. For instance the biggest residents at the time in both College and Salamander fell to the bait within a very short time of it going in for the first time.

Initially we put the HNV/Addit bait into Salamander, rolling batches of 500g + the eggs using the smallest Gardner rolling table to create about 1,500 x 8mm baits per mix.

As you can imagine, this was hard bloody work but we found a short cut in the form of 'bricking'. This is a method of creating hundreds of tiny baits from a single brick of base mix, wrapped in cling film and then boiled. The method first found fame in an early Nutrabaits catalogue. Unfortunately the method produces square or cube-shaped baits, which kind of restricted their use at the time as spods had not yet hit the market and the only delivery method to hand was a catapult. However, the spread of bait out of the 'pult, coupled with the varying densities and buoyancies of the individual baits (the nearer to the crust of the 'brick' the more buoyant the bait) meant that bricking produced tiny baits that were ideal for creating a good spread of bait.

We first used the method at Waveney with pretty good results.

We also took the HNV in bricked form up to Redmire for our first (and only) visit to the fabled pool. We saw plenty of carp and on several occasions got them feeding well, so well at times that the lake bed became so stirred up with the famous red silt that we couldn't see the bottom. However, those Redmire carp proved to be more than a match for us. Sure we could see them (for a while) and yes, they were clearly taking bait, but they were too crafty for us and were obviously getting away with it on our rigs. We had only three chances in the five days we were there. I managed to make a total arse of myself with two of the takes; Tat managed to put one of the lovely Redmire commons on the bank. Bloody women!

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   Old Thread  #106 12 Jan 2017 at 4.19pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #102
We continued to test on and off for Tim, Nick and Bill for the next three or four years before we got the news that the launch of Nutrabaits was due in 1987. It was then that Tim sent us what would be the final samples of the various essential oils we were testing. In some cases these were more refined than earlier test samples, in others the samples were from a different supplier. In all cases this mean going back to Waldon and retesting the newest arrivals. To be honest I think Tim and Bill had a pretty good idea of what the ideal inclusions rate for the oils was but they wanted independent confirmation, which Tat and I were happy to provide.

The essential oils we were asked to test were Geranium, Geranium Terpenes, Garlic, Black Pepper, Spanish Red Thyme, Cassia Terpenes, Nutmeg and Juniper Berry. Black Pepper was tested from 2 drops up to 50 drops per 500g. 2 drops did not seem to attract at all; 50 drops they came in, sniffed the bait (sorry for the human analogy) and pissed off again. Dropping down to 20-25 drops produced the most noticeable positive reaction.

In every case the base mix used was a fairly straight forward milk, soya and semo mix the milk being rennet casein comprising 40% of the mix with 30% semo and 30% full fat soya flour. Batches of bait were made up using minute quantities of the EO to start with, gradually increasing the amount until we reached a stage where it was clear they were more repelled than attracted by the inclusion rate. From there we gradually dropped the levels until they started taking again. A level between the lowest amount of EO and the highest was taken and this was used to continue testing to see if they would stop easting the bait after long term use. They didn't. We therefore arrived at a somewhat arbitrary amount, which Bill and Tim then used as a recommended level on the printed labels when Nutrabaits was launched.

Garlic oil was one of the hardest to test as the optimum levels seemed so low. We started off at what we though was the bare minimum, one drop of a blend of garlic EO and sunflower oil. We then upped the level to one drop of pure Garlic, which they loved, but at two drops they shied away from the baits like they'd received an electric shock!

These pix are from the very first Nutrabaits catalogue.

This is the very first Nutrabaits catalogue. The A5 24-page booklet marked the start of our thirty-five year long association with the company, which sadly now seems to have come to an end with the departure of Bill Cottam. The company cannot ever be the same without him.

Fame at last! My photo graced the inside front cover of the catalogue and shows me with Salamander's Big Daddy, caught on the prototype of Hi Nu Val with the Addits. The story and the same photo appeared in Tim's first book too. It was the summer of 1987 and Nutrabaits was off and running.

We put in a hell a lot of hours and effort testing the various EOs for Bill and Tim but we would be rewarded a hundredfold by the support given to us by Nutrabaits in the subsequent years. I shall never forget Bill for his kindness towards me and Tat, nor shall I forget the huge help Tim gave me personally to take my first stuttering step on the ladder of a career in carp fishing. I love this dedication he wrote for me in one of his books...I still don't know if he is taking the pith!

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   Old Thread  #105 9 Jan 2017 at 7.47pm  0  Login    Register
Just brilliant

Like mentioned, love the pics. Happy days
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   Old Thread  #104 7 Jan 2017 at 9.27pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #102
Awsome stuff again Ken

Great read & great photo's - keep the articles coming please!
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   Old Thread  #103 7 Jan 2017 at 5.47pm  0  Login    Register
Posts: 30589
   Old Thread  #102 7 Jan 2017 at 4.47pm  0  Login    Register
In reply to Post #101
This photo of the old pump wheel, taken after the lake was 'tidied', is evidence of Waldon's industrial past when, like Rashleigh, the lake was used for mining limestone. The wheel drove a large bore water pump that was used to pump out groundwater that constantly threatened to flood the pit. Once it was abandoned most of the work's heavy plant was left behind to be covered by the rising water. This made casting into the middle fraught with peril, which is why we liked to concentrate on the margins. Though the majority of the margins fell steeply into the dark depths of the lake, there were some lovely gravel areas to be found, some being close to the wheel, but not so close that you risked loosing a hooked fish. The wheel itself acted as a magnet to the carp but if you cast anywhere near it you would loose everything.

Another of our prime stalking spots was the Dodgy Slope marked in green. It lay on the east bank of Waldon up the sloping unmade road leading to the private house you can see on the right hand side of the overhead. We had to park in the Rashleigh car park and then walk down to Waldon and up the path, before risking life and limb sliding down the steep bank that lead down to the water's edge from the road, hence the swim's name. At the foot of the slope the terrain levelled out onto an overgrown area of shallows with a bright gravel lake bed visible through the undergrowth.
Here Tat plays a fish in the Slope swim. The gravel area is plain to see. Can you imagine the excitement as we watched carp swim right into the margins over the gravel to get at our test baits!.

The carp in Waldon must have lead a strange life! One day they are swimming around in Rashleigh at around four pounds in weight. Next they are moved into Waldon where they live relatively quiet lives for six or seven years, before some of them - those that made it to double figures - went back into Rashleigh when they were caught. Others were moved to a couple of other lakes on the clubs books, Treesmill and Billberry where they did very nicely thank you…but that's another story. Waldon carp gave us huge pleasure and while the carp were not huge they were tough as old boots and scrapped like crazy. Here's Tat with a chunky little mirror from the Slope swim.

Not all the carp that managed to make double figures were returned to Rashleigh, however. Some were returned to Waldon by naughty boys and girls who wanted to keep them quiet! This nice common came on a speculative trip we made back to the old Pool after an absence of four or five years. We had heard tales of some bigger fish being seen by pleasure anglers and lost by the match boys so we decided to have a little look! We caught several from our old haunts, like this common of 18lb and some even bigger. For all I know they may still be in there as we told nobody about them!

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