A Lake of Two Halves

Simon R

Regular member
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May 19, 2002
Sunday saw us back on the banks of Spring Lake at Brafferton Fishery in the depths of deepest North Yorkshire. Viewing the weather forecast earlier in the week it appeared we’d be subject to storms and rainfall of biblical proportions but other than a bit of drizzle early on and a couple of short showers later it was dry, reasonably warm and other than the occasional gust a fairly light breeze.

George and son Rob were fishing elsewhere but Tony was guesting again and Rob had returned from catching cats and sturgeon in France, so we were nine strong at the start once again. For a change we were on the left-hand bank, which other than the match with Guisborough last year, when we had the entire lake, we haven’t used since 2014. I pegged it to give everyone a feature or an empty peg, so we were well spread out all the way down to peg 20.

I pulled out peg 13 which gave me the right-hand side of one of the two tiny islands, although due to the vegetation I wasn’t going to be able to get that close to it Plumbing up I found it was the same depth at 6m that it was at 13m., so two basically identical .5g rigs were used, varying only in line diameter and hook-size. In addition I had a dibber set at 6” deep to intercept any cruising carp (of which there are often quite a number on this lake) and a margin rig to fish my right-hand margin.



At the start I dropped a nugget of groundbait and some 4mm feed pellets out at 6m and some 6mm pellets and corn into my right-hand margin. A couple of maggots slipped onto the hook produced a small roach first put-in (as expected really) and I switched to corn and then banded pellet on the hook whilst constantly flicking 4mm pellets at the float. The wind – which due to the tree-lined nature of the lake often appears to come from all four directions at once – was currently off my back so I didn’t need to employ my catty. I expected bites, if not from carp then from skimmers to come fairly quickly but after an hour and numerous bait changes I doubt I had 8oz in the net, a couple of roach and the same number of tiny skimmers in my net.

Rob had started quickly picking up a fish on the pellet waggler after only ten minutes or so but that was practically all he’d had


Chris caught a big perch early on too


Rotating around between fishing at full-depth, shallow and in the margin, I caught a few bits but was way behind – Chris landing another jumbo perch plus an F1 on the method feeder.


Normally the bigger fish in this lake cruise around just under the surface all day – indeed when I called in for a look after our match at Rising Sun a fortnight ago there were dozens cruising back and forth and big clouds of silt where fish were ripping up the bottom where anglers had discarded bait. However other than a big ghostie that cruised past a couple of times they were conspicuous by their absence in the vicinity of my peg.

I had a short wander to see what else was coming out and up at the top-end of the lake in the big bay that extends from peg one to five roughly it was a different world. Fish cruising about and actively competing for the pellets that Tony was catapulting in – unsurprisingly he’d had 30 or 40lb of fish all on the pellet waggler There were also fish in the reed-beds – Tink catching a few on the method feeder across towards them – unfortunately he lost this one.


Unless something dramatic occurred first and second looked nailed on



I finally got my landing net wet about 45 minutes from the end after bunging another big pot of chopped worm and caster into my margin swim and landed a small F1 followed immediately afterward by a pretty little fully scaled mirror. I lifted into another fish a few minutes later which I was pretty sure was foul-hooked and indeed that proved to be the case - neatly hooked in the bum. I couldn’t tempt anymore carp into the area though and reckoned I might have five pound or so as I shouted time at 4pm.

Down at the bottom of the lake where Barry and Steve were pegged the very slow start they’d suffered had improved a little but not by much – Barry’s two nets totalling 10lb 10oz

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Steve was a carp adrift with 8lb 10oz


Chris’s weight was considerably boosted by the four big perch he caught – the largest scaling 1lb 12oz and he totalled 12lb 14oz

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I had a little more than I thought – 6lb 10oz in total

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Rob had picked up odd fish on a variety of methods and totalled 15lb 3oz


Frankie only had a single roach until late on when he dropped his feeder literally at his feet and was rewarded with a 4lb 8oz carp.


Kev had a busy day targeting the lakes silver fish population and weighed 4lb 15oz – it could have been more had he landed the carp which demonstrated how far the light elastic he was using could stretch before his hook-length parted.


Tony had two nets in – both full of carp and had his best ever match weight of 59lb 13oz

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Tink had done enough to pick up his first bit of silverware of the season and weighed 25lb 4oz


Really strange why the fish were all concentrated at one end of the lake – it is shallower so possibly warmed more quickly after the influx of rainwater over the last few days

and both sides of the lake were pegged so the fish had no other sanctuary elsewhere. At least nobody blanked

Next match we’re on Dromonby Farm on Sunday 25th August with a 1pm draw – fish 2pm-8pm

We’ve got a couple away again so room for a guest or two I would think.



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