Finding a water in north of England (especially Cheshire) which appeals to the modern day carp angler is hard, with most waters being occupied by anglers seven days a week and all the spoils being shared further down south. To my delight, RH fisheries Acton Burnell syndicate approval letter had been posted through my door and located in beautiful Shropshire countryside, I knew this opportunity wasn’t to be missed.
With the fees paid and the membership received, the syndicate coincidently, started on 1st June.
My first trip to the complex came shortly after, on the way home from purchasing my new Van from Stratford upon Avon, passing by for an overnighter as this was the first time I’d been fishing with my good friend Chris for over two years!
After catching up all night with tales of carp fishing trips we later slept with no action for either of us but the trip was solely to get to grips with Acton Lower lake and the rather bigger Acton Top lake.
Two weeks had past since I got the opportunity to fish the complex again, this time being the Top lake.
Myself, Chris and another one of our fishing colleagues Luke decided to target more of the open water swims so we have a vast span of water to look over – our aim being, to spot areas where fish regularly hold up in and act comfortably.
Two nights had passed and with Luke catching a couple of stockies and a 26lb fully scaled we considered the trip as a success as it was all of our first trip on the Top lake and now had something to work off with hookbaits and baiting situation.
It was Friday and my fortnightly trip to Acton was upon me again and loading the van this time seemed different. Something special was going to happen.
Arriving to the lake, I see Chris comfortably set up in one of the swims we wanted to target and after speaking to him he said ‘carp jumping out in front of this peg and peg to the right, I’ve been watching them most of the day’.
After scoping around the lake I see, there wasn’t many pegs available so going off what we seen last time and what Chris has said, I’ve jumped in the swim to the right of him.
Scanning the water like a hawk, I set up my rods and bivvy way up the bank and dropped it in the swim being careful not to disturb the carp by the waters edge.
I decided to ‘flick’ a couple of rods out where the fish were showing and sit on my hands before investigating the swim with a gripper lead later.
The afternoon was dawning in and it was time to find my spot which I had planned to bait up with 6mm urban bait nutcracker pellets, fresh maize I’d cooked up the night before and a new boilie I’m testing for Urban bait.
I started scanning the water as far as my swim commanded and found fairly silty bottom with dead weed hanging off the lead when reeling in.
Suddenly, that nice glassy silt feeling signalled up the rod, and with a few cast of the gripper lead later it was confirmed.
I’d found an area which was cleaner than the rest, around a rod length either side and two rod lengths behind.
I decide to fish the ‘spot’ nearest to me so none of my lines will be interrupting the fish when feeding.
That evening I went in with 10 spombs just fishing for a bite at a time, with the mix I prepared the night before.
I do like to heavily glug my bait so it doesn’t take on the smell of the silt.
With the spinner rig being banned on this complex, I chose to use my next favourite choice of rig when fishing in this situation which is a standard IQ – D rig fished helicopter style. 3.5 oz lead and a sharpened size 4 crank hook completed the rig mechanics.
Bait choice was the ever faithful Urban Bait Nutcracker Wafters doused in a special brew of Nut Juice and Nutcracker Glug.
Nothing happened that night and watching the water at first light, to my surprise, there wasn’t much showing.
With a few thrashes being heard further down the lake and all the swims being taken, it wasn’t very encouraging.
My plan was to stay put and not disturb the swim with baiting up etc as I was confident the bait was still there.
My hope was the fish grazing by and noticing the bait when passing through and not disturbing them as they start to nose dive and feed more aggressively.
The day went by without anything significant happening, apart from a couple of swans trying their best to wipe out my rods!
The time was now roughly 19:30pm when my middle rod bleeped once as the line tightened and then roared off like a steam train.
I hit the rod and immedialty knew this was no stockie.
Kiting left and right on a big line, I kept my rod high as anglers have been known to get cut off on the muscle beds.
A very heavy and dogged fight was taking place with the fish shaking its head in desperation as it pulled slowly closer to the net but with help from my neighbour Chris she was salmon scooped into the net to my relief.
Hoisting her up on the scales, I knew she was big and with Chris doing the honours she came in at 43lb 08oz and was fin perfect.
After taking some amazing shots with the iconic backdrop what Acton Burnell is known for, we slipped her back in to make another anglers dreams come true.
The red wine was shared that night as we laughed and beamed with happiness as our plan came together.
Until next time.