Monday, 7 May 2012
Stait Lake SCAC on a swap ticket.
It was only recently that I realized that Chippenham AC had South Cerney AC on a swap ticket. Not only did they have some wonderful lakes but SCAC is where it all began for me as an angler. As a young boy my first memories are of the Cotswold water parks. We lived in a small village called Ampney Crucis which was within spitting distance of many of the gravel pits including Top Pit and the Large Lake.
Fish included Roach, Perch and the occasional Tench. After a little bit of research online there were some good noises coming from a small lake by the name of Stait Lake. It is perhaps 2 acres in size but match weights have included several weights over 200lb and there were also several mentions of Tench, apparently even fabled double figure fish.
John had fished the lake once before in a match and had bagged up on Roach but felt the opposite side proved to be the match winning area of the lake so we headed in that direction. We got to the swim and unloaded our gear. I fished close to the margin under an over hanging tree and John used a method feeder to target the island in the middle of the lake.
I was catching a few small Roach and John was getting no action at all. He was however continuously dropping bait closer in the margin and about 20 foot out, a good match fishing method. I couldn't help noticing the bloke next to us pulling in Carp after Carp all on straight sweetcorn. Not a species I was after however. I continued to spray in Maggots and finally got a more telling bite, it felt fairly sizable and then began to shake its head, a Perch. After netting and unhooking the fish I realized that it was a good 1lb 8oz and thought I may have been onto a shoal? John changed methods and began targeting the area that he had been baiting previously.
Almost straight away John was onto the fish, the swim was alive with bubbles. Perhaps there were finally Tench on his bait? He had put in several droppers of pellet and luncheon meat so we were both hoping so. The float sailed away and the first fish in was a Carp. This action continued for a half an hour catching several Carp in the process. Amongst those Carp were a few Bream in the 2-3lb bracket. In this time I had caught another Perch of perhaps 1lb 12oz when John had hooked yet another "Carp" on his pole set up. "If only this was a Bream" he chuckled. No sooner had he said that than a bream surfaced from the depths. After netting the Bream, he realized that it must have been at least 6lb, a good sized Bream by any account!
Fishing began to die down so we both changed methods, I had caught one more Perch of about 1lb but an hour had passed without a touch so I changed to sweetcorn. John brought his pole in and began changing back across to his feeder rod when I heard a shout. I looked to my left and all I could see was the last remnants of Johns pole top section disappearing into the depths of the lake. He had done what he said he tells everyone not to do, left his bait in the shallow margins whilst changing to his feeder rod thinking nothing would take it. A hungry Carp had come along and hungrily snaffled the bait in the shallows and took more than it bargained for. In desperation John tried to catch the pole/carp by casting out his feeder rod and reeling in roughly where he hoped the pole would be to no avail. That would be the last he would see of that section and most definitely the last time he would be leaving a bait attached to his pole whilst not fishing with it...
As the day turned to late evening the Carp appeared on top of my baited area, after several runs resulting in lost fish I caught a couple of Carp about 5-6 lbs a fish and we called it a session. John had perhaps landed 35-40lbs of Carp and Bream and I'd probably caught about 18lbs of Perch and Carp. Not a bad session but no Tench to show for our troubles. We would certainly be coming back to Stait Lake very soon.
Next stop Dabchick Lake.
Stait Lake Info