Wow what a trip out we had on the carpin for heroes weekend at Linford Lakes.
From the second we turned up early on the Friday morning to leaving at lunch time on the Sunday we were made to feel so very welcome as their guests. (One hundred other anglers who come together once a year to raise money for Help4 Hero’s)
Mike Madeley (Vardis tackle consultant) had agreed to be our point of contact so after the initial introductions, several cups of tea and a breakfast he escorted us to the Pines Lake on the complex which was to be our home for the duration.
Having been told before arrival that the lake held several 30lb plus carp we were all buzzing on the short drive from the club house to Pines. Arriving at the lake it looked so pretty a few ripples and grass banks, a chuck of only 40m would land you on the far side bank and of course for a change wall to wall sunshine which at times was just a bit too hot.
We stood there in amazement for the water was black with some monster carp cruising around. You could have walked to the other side of the lake on their backs at times (OK slight exaggeration). In anticipation of a bit of action the bivvies were quickly chucked up so lines and baits could be got into the water ASAP.
After several hours it became apparent that the carp would not take bait for love nor money possibly due to the heat so a few of us spurred on by Franks success with maggots chose to stick on floats and hammer the Perch and Roach that were in abundance. Some cracking fish came out before it was time to head off back to the club house for a free hog roast and very nice it was.
Those that wanted could have stayed on for several talks and an auction that was to help with the raising of funds but as the Sun was going down we wanted to get the rods set up ready for the night. Whether it was the heat or they were spawning the carp didn’t materialise for us that night if my memory serves me right. Maybe Dog had one that night I cannot honestly remember.
The next morning we got introduced to Steve (the carp catcher) what a character he was who bonded with us instantly and a 30 minute introduction to rig tying turned into two hours before he was summoned away for an interview. Having left us all with his special rigs and baits we were on a new high. Still too hot to fish for the Carp we carried on with the mission of banging out the roach and perch before being requested at the tackle show. Escorted by Mike Madeley we were introduced to each stall and its owners. Feeling like celebrities it soon became apparent that two arms was not going to be enough to hold all the freebies that were coming the lads way so several trips to the cars were required.
With Steve’s rigs attached to everyone’s lines and ready to launch we went back to our lake and banged them out for the night. Things felt slightly different tonight. It hadn’t been quite so hot today and there was less fish showing on the surface with a nice breeze blowing across the lake. Dog had landed his first carp during day light after a good scrap. Alan left his bivvie at 90mph in the middle of the night on hearing his alarms screaming slid on the wet grass whilst grabbing his rod to strike ended up on his arse snapped his line and proceeded thrashing the water with his rod whilst shouting something I’ll not repeat. We all retired again to our sleeping bags and left him licking his wounds and rubbing his bottom. Several of us had indications to full blown runs throughout the night but remained unable to bank anything apart from dog who manages his second Carp and a small Tench for me. This is pretty much the final score apart from several hundred pounds of mixed silvers we all managed to catch.
Sunday saw us starting to pack up about 10:30 for the presentation at lunch time where Dog was awarded his certificate. We were then asked to judge as a group who should win the award for the prettiest fish caught over the weekend. After much deliberation and several recalls the decision was made.
After a bit more chatting on the terrace the organisers came over and said we have been given an open invite for next year and can bring a larger group so keep your diaries clear this really was a brilliant social and we have made some amazing new contacts and friends. We have been helpless many times during the trip with laughter and rather than complain about the noise everyone just came over and joined in. Have had some really nice comments made on several Facebook pages and a call from the organisers today to let me know how much they enjoyed having us there.