I bet the title made you look twice but that’s exactly what happened! Ben and I hadn’t been out fishing for a while so we decided to have a session on Lake Pepper here at Cottington.
Pepper Lake from Swim 9
We’ve caught some stunning big carp from Pepper over the years and always look forward to coming here. Christmas had come and gone and the New Year was looming. Nothing was planned party wise so we went on New Year’s Eve. As we arrived a couple of anglers were just packing up in two swims we fancied trying. We both know Lake Pepper quite well and knew of some features in these swims. The gear was barrowed quietly into the swims for the start of our session.
It’s two rods only on Lake Pepper
It didn’t take long for us to get sorted and our hookbaits were soon on their spots. End tackle was constructed with Ashima Hooks, hooklink, shrink tube and safety clips. Nothing fancy, just good old simple rigs. They’ve always worked fine for us on Cottington so we didn’t see any need for change.
Ashima Shrink Tube and Hooks
This was the first time we had fished on New Year’s Eve but it didn’t seem any different to any other day to be honest. During the afternoon of New Year’s Eve I had a screaming run. It was a belter. Something had taken a fancy to my Cell hookbait and was away with it. After a rod bending fight I managed to guide it over the net and Ben scooped it up. It was a 26lb 4oz Mirror and was my first ever on New Year’s Eve. I was well pleased with it.
My first New Years Eve fish!!
Nothing more happened except that at midnight there was a barrage of fireworks going off all around us to announce that 2016 had arrived. It was a fantastic display.
The loud noise of the fireworks hadn’t frightened the carp though because just before daylight one of my alarms was telling me to get up. Head torch on and out into the pouring rain with no coat on isn’t fun. Luckily I managed to wake Ben by flashing my head torch at his bivvy. He put a coat over me while I was playing the carp. Nevertheless my trousers were getting soaked. This carp was putting up a more spirited fight than the other one. It eventually surrendered and lazily rolled over the net. Ben did the honours with the net and we could see this was a bigger carp. It was a nice Mirror and took the scales round to 32lb 8oz.
And this makes it a brace, ones session, different years!!
I’d now caught a carp in 2015 and another in 2016 in the same session. That was a first and I was well pleased with it. We put it in a retaining sling and waited for the rain to stop so we could photograph it. We had to change our clothing after because we were both wet through. We take extra clothing with us for this very reason.
The day past by without incident and that night we had a visit from our very good friend Paul who is a bailiff at Cottington. He kindly bought down some Chinese for us. It was very thoughtful of him and it went down a treat. We had a good chinwag over a coffee before he left for home.
On the last morning I could see a light flashing. It was Ben trying to attract my attention. I put my coat on and went to his swim. At least it wasn’t raining. The healthy bend in his rod was a giveaway that he had one on. The carp was staying near the bottom and it was ages before it broke surface. We could see it was a good Mirror. Ben was in control but it wasn’t ready for the net. It made several runs before it would come anywhere near the net. It finally gave in and Ben pulled it towards the waiting net and I was able to pull the net up around it. It was a big one. The dial on scales stopped at 38lb 8oz.
Ben’s 38lbs 8oz Mirror
And carefully returned to fight another day
He’d caught it on a Mainline Milky Toffee pop up with a pva web bag attached.
Simple bag and pop up
The bag and hookbait had been liberally dosed in Fosoil for added attraction.
It obviously worked a treat and Ben was well happy with it.
Our session ended all too soon without anymore carp but we’ll be back to Cottington for another session very soon.