A friend I recently bumped into asked me if I would like to accompany him on a day out to Hunters Rest. As I understand it this lake is run by Alcove AC and as he is a member I could go as a guest on a day ticket. I have never fished this lake before and as ever with a new venue was looking forward to fishing it.
Arriving in the car park the sun was shining and I was impressed by the view of the countryside. Unfortunately I had forgotten part of my trolley so I had to carry my gear across the field, it was worth it though, what a wonderful looking lake! The intended pegs to fish were behind the island, but alas the one angler already at the lake was already fishing there, it turned out he'd been there since 4:30am so I was never going to get on that peg! I was undecided as where to fish as I had little knowledge of the venue, in the end I went for peg 8 as it has a nice long margin full of reeds.
The lake was very calm and I set up a pellet wag, a paste rig for the margin (nearly 3ft deep) using 0.18 to size 10 B911 (The Nu hooks are running out!), A deep rig for 13 mtr for banded pellet 0.18 16 PR38 and a paste rig for 13 mtr again 0.18 to size 10 B911. I started on the pellet wag feeding 8mms, but after an hour I had not had one bite. I dropped in on the 13 mtr swim with an 8mm pellet, but I was not getting any indications, no bubbles, no liners and no bites! An hour and a half on this finally yielded 2 skimmers and I took a break to apply some suntan lotion as the sun was very hot! Suitably protected from the sun's rays I took my first look down the margin (6 mtrs) where I had been feeding 6mm pellets regularly. I cupped in my piece of paste with a few pellets and within 5 seconds the float buried and finally I was playing a carp. I had two more fairly quickly but the indications stopped and I came off this line to give it more time. It was about this time that the numerous House Martins feeding over the lake starting making a strange call, I recognised it as an alarm call and looked up to see them chasing a Hobby (a fairly uncommon bird of prey that looks similar to a peregrine falcon).
The 13 mtr line was still not working, so I started just cupping in regular decent amounts of 6 and 8mm pellets and eventually the carp arrived showing themselves with lots of bubbles. Hooking them was not easy, they were feeding off the bottom but you couldn't get a bite off the bottom (old Viaduct troubles!) but at least I had fish in the swim at last. It then started to rain and I decided to try the margin again, and now it was solid! I must have taken 10 carp in as many drops on paste and they were big fish, between 6lb and 12lb. The rain was torrential during this period of catching but when the rain eased off the bites in the margin stopped. Back out at 13mtr and now this was solid on the paste rig, and just getting the hook bait to the bottom avoiding a liner was a challenge! I had some big fish to end the day on a very satisfying but very wet note!
I don't think I have ever fished a venue, or had a day on a lake where it was devoid of fish life for 3 hours and then changed to be solid. The only method that did not work all day was the pellet wag. Certainly the margins were where most other anglers fished and caught their fish, but I feel that giving it a long time before I fished it helped me catch for longer down there. For example, a carper turned up and fed and fished his margins only, within an hour he had a 13lb fish followed by another 3, he then went 3 hours without a run.
What a cracking venue, if I had time on my hands I would certainly be a member and spend some pleasure days there. If you're looking to join a club for pleasure sessions and the odd club match I would check out Alcove AC as they have this and a couple of other gems on their tab.