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Matt Wright – June Banklife

After success on my syndicate at the end of May the fish began to spawn and this coincided with my fishing taking a back seat for a few weeks due to buying a house. My mind was never too far away from Broadwater and I tried to walk round and trickle bait in as and when I could. My first overnighter came mid-month but ended in a blank, I couldn’t keep a rod in the water as the crayfish battered me all night, not ideal with a 4.30am alarm the next morning. I planned to do the last Saturday night of the month and turned up mid-afternoon to find a fairly busy lake. I settled in a swim called Tench Peg and one I rarely fished. All three rods were fished in a line up to a thick weed bed at around 30 yards with 2kg of Sterling Baits SP1 over the top. That evening a good friend of mine Chris Rouse turned up to fish in the next peg. Chris is one of the best anglers I know and the effort he puts into his fishing his phenomenal. He has tore Broadwater apart over the past few seasons and his results are all down to the hard work he puts into his angling. Chris was here for four nights so we decided to have a few beers and chatted the night away talking all things carpy. I retired to bed around 1am and after a rare lie in on the bank the following morning I found myself packing away after yet another blank. I checked the weather forecast for the week ahead and the conditions on Monday night looked perfect for Tench peg;  a fresh southerly wind with low pressure, perfect! I put another 2kg of boilie on my spots as I left and hoped the swim would still be free Monday night.

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After a long day at work on Monday I was soon driving through the gates of Broadwater and luckily Tench Peg was free. Chris had moved a few pegs the other side of me as nothing had happened for him. I was soon stood in my swim and it was like a Jacuzzi out in front of me; there was so much activity over my spots. I quickly set about getting the rods in position as myself and Chris had planned to have another few beers and watch the England game against Iceland that evening. All three rods went out perfectly and were fished with a critically balanced 18mm Sterling Baits SP1 hard hooker as my chosen hook bait with another few kilos of matching freebies spread in the area. It was time to relax and enjoy the game; I was happy with how I was fishing and felt very confident. Throughout the disappointing game of football I began to receive liners and with ten minutes remaining my receiver let out a series of beeps and started dancing across the floor. I sprinted to my rods and the right hand rod was in full melt down mode; I was soon connected to an angry Broadwater carp that was still stripping me of line. I managed to turn the fish before it buried itself in the weed bed in front of me. I kept steady pressure on and it was soon moving again plodding in front of me. Under the rod tip the fish found a new lease of life and tried to take me down both margins before taking one final gulp of air as I guided it across my net cord. It was a fish known as Jaffa and the colours of the fish were incredible; a proper old carp that rarely sees the bank. Chris did me proud with the camera and Jaffa behaved impeccably for the photos. I returned her safely back as we both watched the orange silhouette of this old carp slowly disappear back to the depths. I was buzzing with this capture; England were out the euros but there was no taking this smile off my face. Chris walked back to his swim and I was about to attach a fresh rig when my middle rod let out a series of bleeps that turned into a one toner, I was away again. The fish had kited to my left but was soon in front of me and set about beating me up in the deep margins. After a few more lunges another nice mirror was sulking in my net and it was a fish called Trio that was a re capture. I sorted the mayhem in my swim after two fish in quick succession, attached two fresh rigs and got both rods back on the spots with another kilo of bait over the top. I had a celebratory beer with Chris before retiring to bed ready for my 4.30 alarm the next morning. It felt like I had only been asleep for a few minutes when I received a savage take on my middle rod. This instantly felt like a good fish as it stripped me of line from the off. It took me ages to get the fish close in and it powered off more than once as it led me on a merry dance trying to take me round the snags to my right hand side. The fish eventually began to tire and after a final few spirited lunges I was staring at another member of the Broadwater ‘A’ team at the bottom of my landing net; a fish known as ‘Big Barry’. I had heard commotion a few swims down and Chris had a lovely common in the net as well. Chris came to take the graphs of Big Barry for me and I returned the favour for him. It was actually 3.30am and I decided there was little point going back to sleep. I sat admiring the breath taking sunrise drinking coffee after coffee until it was time to pack up an hour later. I drove out the gates that morning one happy angler having caught three of Broadwaters ‘A’ team in an overnighter.

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At the beginning of July as part of the Broadwater ticket, a trout lake called ‘Cocks Close’ opens on the complex that members can fish for three months. It is extremely weedy but holds a very special strain of carp. The first Friday of July came round and I decided to fish that night after work on Cocks Close. I was on strict instructions to be back home no later than 8am the next morning as it was my son Dylan’s 13th Birthday on Sunday and he was having all his mates round for a sleep over on the Saturday night. I arrived at the lake straight from work and a warm south westerly wind was blowing straight across the lake. After a few laps I decided to fish on the end of the wind after seeing a few fish in the area. I had a lead around and found a lovely clear area amongst thick weed that I put two rods on roughly two rods lengths apart. The fish hadn’t been fished for in a year so I gave them two kilo of 18mm Sterling Baits SP1 straight away and my chosen hook bait for both rods was an 18mm critically balanced SP1 hard hooker. My third rod was fished under a marginal overhanging tree. My chosen hook bait was exactly the same as my other two rods and I scattered roughly 50 baits up and down the margin. I was extremely confident and very happy with how the rods had gone out. I didn’t have to wait long for my first take but unfortunately a greedy Tench was the culprit. Fellow Big Fish Gear Team Member George Farmer arrived and fished down the bank from me and we chatted away into the hours of darkness. Just before midnight I received a ferocious take on my right hand rod and I was attached to a very powerful fish that instantly weeded me up. I kept slow steady pressure on the fish as it led me from weed bed to weed bed. I could see the fish on the surface with a big ball of weed above it and thankfully George was on hand to net it for me.  We removed all the weed from the net and revealed a cracking scaley carp and one of the nicest fish I have ever had the pleasure to catch. The night passed with another tench to show for my efforts but I was more than happy with my first night on Cocks Close. I packed up early the following morning to get home and enjoy Dylan’s birthday weekend with him. George had managed a corking common in the night and Chris turned up early Saturday morning to show the rest of us the way as he had a nine fish hit over three days showing off fine examples of the impressive stock that reside in Cocks Close. I have just finished writing this in time as I am off for a quick overnighter tonight, fingers crossed I have more success and some lovely carp to show you next month.

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Banklife: Matt Wright

 

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I wrote an article last year for Big Fish Gear about my own personal fishing and how 99% of my angling is based around short overnighters during the week. I struggle to fish the weekends as I run my sons football team and I am unable to pick and choose when I fish. I cant look at the weather forecast and think right I need to be on the bank, pack the car and go. I get one night a week and that’s that, whatever is thrown at me I have to deal with. I am fishing Broadwater Carp Syndicate again this year and usually arrive at the lake after work around 6pm and have to be home the next morning for 6am latest. I then need to get the gear out the car and packed away, showered and changed into a suit, drop my lad to school, girlfriend to work, dog to my mums and be sat at my desk for 9am; it makes me tired just thinking about it.  The start of May came around with the weather still all over the place; one minute we were sat in bright sunshine and then wake up to a frost. A lot of the fish on Broadwater were being caught during the day and with me fishing nights and pulling off at bite time I was really up against it. My overnighters throughout winter and early spring had started to take their toll. I was becoming extremely frustrated as I was fishing my hardest and had caught some nice fish along the way but I felt I wasn’t getting the rewards I deserved.

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Due to the rain over the winter period and games being called off I had a back log of matches for the kids football meaning we were playing three games a week to get all the fixtures finished before the end of May. My bank time would be even more limited than it usually was; it just meant I would have to be extra prepared for my overnighters. I spent one Sunday afternoon tying rigs and preparing hookbaits, I was baiting on the way to work (yes in my suit) and when a spare night came along I would hopefully be able to head to the lake and fish. On the second Sunday in May I may a decision to fish as I couldn’t get there at any point during the week. I arrived at the lake about 5pm after the kids footy and there was one other angler on and after walking the lake I didn’t see a single fish. I elected to fish on the end of a new warm northerly wind and ended up having 8 tench from midnight until my 5am alarm, not what I needed with work the next day. The following Thursday I was soon pulling through the gates again for a quick night. It felt a lot warmer than it had for a long time and I soon found three to four fish behind a reed bed in a small bay. The fish were basking in the shallows enjoying the sun and that was enough for me to settle in the bay for the night. I know the swim well so quickly set about positioning three rods with minimal disturbance with roughly 30 baits over each rod. I was still using my winter bait, the CN2 from Sterling Baits and I fished a critically balanced 18mm hard hooker over the top . I watched the water for as long as I possibly could before turning in for the night. I was woken the following morning by three beeps on my left hand rod; I looked out to see the rod bent aggressively to the left. I was soon playing an angry carp that tried to take me into every snag possible. After a spirited fight I soon had a lovely upper double common in the bottom of my net. After a few graphs I slipped her back as my 5am alarm sounded in the background. I was a happy man driving to work that day and was already looking forward to my next session.

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I kept the bait going as the fish were becoming more active with the water temperatures rising every day. I began to bait with my usual fishmeal boilies, the KC70 from Sterling Baits. My next session came the following Tuesday and I arrived at the lake a little later than usual. It was dad’s birthday and he would have been 63 if he was still with us. It was either mope about the house or go fishing and I soon found myself pulling through the gates of Broadwater. Fish were in the bay again where I had been baiting so I quickly got all three rods in position fishing the same spots as the previous week with 30 baits over each rod. I fished a critically balanced 18mm KC70 hard hooker over the top on all three rods. It was a gorgeous evening, the sun was penetrating through trees of the snaggy bay and I watched fish pass in and out of the bay all night until dark. I sat up for as long as possible appreciating my surroundings having brew after brew and I just felt so much more confident than I had for a long time. I soon retired to bed and was woken around 2am by the sound of my ATT letting out a flurry of beeps; the same spot as last week had produced again. The fish tried to take me into the left hand snag as I lowered my rod and put as much pressure as I dare to coax it out. Luckily the danger was soon over and the fish was plodding about in front of me. After a few more lunges and a gulp of air, another nice common was sat in my landing net. The rod went back on the spot but there was no further activity throughout night. My dad must have been looking down on me bringing me good luck and I drove out the gates the following morning pleased that I seemed to be fishing with more consistency.

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The weather the following week was looking really warm and I knew this would be my last overnighter in May due to other commitments. After a great 7-2 win to end the season for the kids football on the Sunday I made up my mind to fish the Monday night and arrived at the lake around 5pm, slightly earlier than anticipated. It gave me the opportunity to have a good walk round the lake. I saw the odd fish in various areas of the lake but there were so many in the small bay again, I had to fish it. Three rods were positioned in exactly the same spots as the previous weeks but I put more bait out. Fellow Team Member and a good mate of mine Richard Huckvale came to see me and decided to fish the next peg down. We chatted the night away before retiring to bed ready for our early morning alarms. I received a few liners about 1.45am on the left hand spot. I lay there thinking the crays had done me and tried to wake myself up to re do the rod when a fish rolled over my spot. No chance I was re chucking now and it turned out to be a good decision as I finally had a take shortly after. I was connected to another angry Broadwater carp that tried to do me in the left hand snag once again. I could feel my line grating off the underwater branches before finally getting the fish into open water. Another epic battle ensued and I was soon staring at a stunning dark carp sulking at the bottom of my landing net and one I hadn’t seen before. The fish weighed just shy of 20lb and I was well chuffed. The rod went back on the spot and another 50 to 60 baits over the top. I was just getting back in my bag when I heard the sound of someone else’s alarms, Rich was in. I ran round to see him and he had a known fish called the Parrot. We weighed her at 23lb and I was well happy for him, Rich had fished hard the past few months and this was his first fish of the year out of Broadwater. I walked back into my swim a few minutes later and to my surprise my left hand rod ripped off again, it had only been in the water 10 minutes. The fish were definitely clued up down here as it headed directly for the left hand snag. I managed to guide the fish out into open water but it was so powerful and stripped me of even more line even though my clutch was so tight; suddenly everything went solid. Rich arrived in my swim and waded down the margin following my line that had wrapped round a marginal branch. As he freed the line I was still connected to the fish and an epic battle resumed before I had another pearler safely in my net. It turned out to be a known fish called Trio and I was smiling from ear to ear. It had been a crazy half an hour landing three carp between us and two known fish to boot. We set our alarms for 4.30am and took some stunning graphs before returning the fish back to their watery homes. I often look back on my overnighters and think I don’t half make it hard for myself and sometimes question why I bother with them but it makes every capture so rewarding. It was a great way to end the month and I drove out the gates early that morning extremely pleased.

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The carp are spawning on Broadwater as I write this so I will leave them to it before returning to hopefully catch my target fish before the end of the year. I am looking forward to the summer ahead with a few trips planned and hopefully I will have some nice carp to show you next month.

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Banklife with Matt Wright

1I can’t believe the long nights are here again, the summer seems a distant memory and I’m sat behind the rods exactly a year to the day since I caught a fish known as Paw Print from a local syndicate called Broadwater. Being one of Broadwaters elite it was a special capture and still one of my favourites to date that I got to enjoy with two friends Ricky and Graeme.

Continue reading Banklife with Matt Wright

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Coming July 2015…

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3 new Hoodies – Grey & black, black & grey & army green Banklife hood

1 new BFG Hoodies – Grey & black hood

3 new T’s – Grey, black & army green Banklife T

1 new BFG T-shirt – Grey & black T

New black Banklife joggers and jogger shorts

Lots of new Banklife hats & caps

Limited numbers available…

COMING JULY 2015