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December CELL Session!
18 December 2011 at 02:55
December CELL Session!
We recently received this report from Mainline angler and Abbey Lakes bailiff Rupert Whiteman as he takes on the big fish venue with a long December session! Over to Ru to take up the story:

"While waiting for the infamous Point swim on Heron lake, I decided to settle into Peg 6 on Fox mainly because all the going swims were taken, but also so I didn't have too far to move my gear when the chance to switch lakes arose. Peg 6 commands a nice area of water where you can see what's occuring across the whole lake but the centre of Fox is relatively bare at this time of year and is basically an incredibly wide strip of sand and silt, maybe 80 yards across and about 300 yards long. It's been a very mild winter so far, but with the recent dip in temperatures, the carp seem to have searched for and settled into any remaining weed beds, where I believe the water is perhaps slightly warmer at present? With this in mind I decided to bait my barren section of the lake quite heavily and see if I could tempt the fish back out into open water? This turned out to be easier said than done as a strong south westerly wind blew up and stayed for the next 10 days! Driving down the lake towards the 'Holding' 'beds about 200 yards away!

I found 3 spots which had nothing more to offer than minor changes in depth, all at a range of between 65-120 yards. I then sticked out around 2-3kilos of 18mm Cell boilies and Spombed around 5kg of spod mix containing matching Cell Response pellets, Hemp, Sweet corn, Tuna and good ol' Salmon Whiskas to each of my spots, sat back and waited!

During the first night I had a run on my right hand rod which was on the 120yard mark, after a short tussle I managed to bank a lovely scaley 30+ Mirror. No more action was forthcoming and I reeled in the following morning, sticked another kilo or so of Cell boilies over the swim and rested it for the day.

On day 3, I had a screaming take on the long range rod again at dawn but couldn't stop the fish, it took maybe 100 yards of line on it's first run and if you asked me again now, I'd still swear it was a 100lb+ Catfish! Only problem being, there are NONE in Fox lake! This tug of war went on for about 20 minutes, every time I pulled, it just pulled back harder and added a few more precious yards between us until after a while, everything just locked up solid! I now had big problems as I didn't want to put the rod down or ease off the pressure on the fish so was stuck in the swim with the rod held high and on a fairly tight line for over 3 hours waiting for someone to wake up and come to my rescue! Once we had a boat in the swim, I put on a life jacket and set about dealing with whatever was attached to the end of my line? I had to row over 200 yards just to get to the fish, only to discover to my horror that it wasn't there, it had simply used a thick clump of silkweed like a roundabout, pivoted on it and was actually some way off down the lake, back the way I'd just come! To cut a long story short, after a further 45 minutes of messing around, hanging off the side of the boat up to my armpits in water, I retrieved the rig from a weed bed no more than 25 yards out from the front of my swim! Sick as a Parrot doesn't even come close to the way I felt as we have a carp called 'Cheeky' that's long over due a visit to the bank, it probably weighs way in excess of 75-80lbs now and it's probably the only one big enough to have that much power in reserve? In hindsight, not once did I feel like I had the upper hand or was even remotely in control of the fight!

During the day I again chose to rest the swim, sticking out another helping of Cell in the vicinity and sat back to wonder what might've been?

Just after dark I had the chance to make amends, this time it was the left hand rod fished close in that let out a couple of bleeps, I was on it in a flash as I didn't want this one building up a head of steam again! I knew the fish was a nice one, just a few long but slow lunges against a tight clutch were a telltale sign and after a short fight I had a really chunky, wide fish in the bottom of the net, happy days! On the scales, it went 51lb exactly, I was made up, as after such a long period of time on the banks of Abbey, it was only my 3rd ever Carp over the magical 50lb mark!

The 4th day proved pretty uneventful, I had the rods out all day as at long last I had a few fish rolling in the area and the odd one appeared to be heading my way from the far end of the lake as well, so things should've been looking up but nothing of note happened bar a little common mid afternoon!

Early on day 5, I received a fast take on the long range rod, this one had ideas to put as much distance between us as possible and felt like another good 'un from the off! It had been raining hard during the night and I was having difficulty staying on my feet in my flip flops as the combined effects of a steep bank, wet grass, dodgy footwear and an angry carp tugging away made getting a firm footing impossible! After 20 minutes I had what appeared to be another chunk on a short line close in, after a few last minute bids for freedom in the marginal weed, the fish rolled and I shot forward to net it. In doing so, I finally lost my footing and slid straight up to my knees in the lake! Anyway, the carp was safely in the folds of the net so I sat there and smiled to myself that it was nothing a towel and a swift change of clothes wouldn't put right. Wrong! As I stood up, I lost all traction again and proceeded to go straight back in the lake, up to my middle this time! Despite the mild winter so far, I can assure you that this isn't something I'd encourage in December!

I then did something I don't normally condone and made the fish safe for the night in a recovery sling as I really needed to get back to the Clubhouse, take a nice warm shower and thaw out a bit! At first light I made my way back to the swim and got everything ready for the photos, the carp was indeed another cracker and the needle swung around to 49lb 10ozs, well worth the grief of the previous night!

Since then, the weather has taken a serious turn for the worse and we're experiencing the winds and rain that have been bothering England over the past week or two so I haven't got the rods back out. It just goes to show what can be achieved in the colder months though. After 5 days, I had banked 4 fish, not enough to set the world alight admittedly, but given the choice over being stuck indoors or here, I know what I'd choose every time!

As a footnote, the 6 other guys who'd had the foresight to get in swims at the windward end of the lakes had an incredible run of big fish! With over 30x 20kg (44lb) carp, 12 different 50's and one lucky angler, Hans, banked 'Shoulders' at an amazing weight of 83.11lb!"    
An Abbey winter sunset
A scaley 30 for Ru!
49lb 10ozs!
51lbs of Abbey mirror on the Cell!
Dutch angler, Bud, fishing the windward end of Fox lake with a stunning 54lb mirror on the ever faithful Cell/Hi-Vis Pineapple snowman hookbait
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