The Fabulous Baker Boys Strike Again…and again…and again!Pallatrax Angling
The reason behind the trip.
Due to medical issues over the last few months, my doctor advised me to take time out from my carpentry and take it easy to allow the medication to work. After a VERY short conversation with my partner and a quick message to my good friend and owner of the most beautiful unspoiled nine acre estate lake with approximately one hundred stunning fish including a mix of commons, mirrors and about a dozen big grassies, the decision was made for me: a weeks fishing and maybe a little bit of work around the lake.
With the date set to arrive on the afternoon of the 16th of March, we quickly sorted bait and tackle, and a plan of execution on how we were going to hit the lake running so early in the year with the fish not yet woken up properly from the winter months.
To fish as a team within fifty yards or so of each other at the deepest end of the lake and feed the fish the natural baits they would be accustomed to on waking up for their first feed. To this, I mean as much Waterfly, Gammarus Shrimp, Daphnia, Small Water Snail and Bloodworm. How we prepared this was to soak all of these dried naturals, which reatain up to 60% of their proteins, in some of the lake water for a few hours whilst walking the lake and setting up camp. This allows them to re-hydrate and gives it a bit of body to slowly come up through the layers of water naturally. Once soaked, we then add a small amount of crushed boilie and the Carp Crush Method Mix to get to the right consistency. We then fed this into an area the size of probably two tennis courts so that to allow at least two rods each to fish in and around it.
Once sorted on the bank, we managed to get the rods on their spots just before dark and settled down for an early night knowing that this could be a long haul with NE winds and freezing temperatures: no fish showing, we had to be at our best to bank one of this lakes fantastic surprises.
The method and attack to start us off to comply with the rules of the lake would be 18 inches of black tubing, a black drop off clip with a 2.5oz silt Stonze attached, a quick change clip with 15lb Steamlink tied to a size 6 The Hook with a hair length of about 3 cm. The chosen bait would be 14mm Crave, Almond and the NEW Fluoro Flarze with Oversprays to match. Also using the Neutral Glug we made up some bug paste which is filled with the naturals range and used as a dip for our hook baits before casting the traps.
The early wake up call.
Tucked up in our nice warm sleeping bags in cloud cuckoo land, we were awoken by a screaming Delkim: It was Haydon’s and he was on it in a flash and not before too long it was gracing the back of his net. A beautiful common that we had only stocked into the lake back in the previous November and it weighed 22lb 6ozs. Not the biggest, but never the less a stunning fish and one that seen us get off the mark. After a quick few photos she was released unharmed and the kettle went on for a brew whilst Haydon reset his trap. No quicker than Haydon getting the rod back out there my right hand rod gave a bleep then went into a frantic scream. I gently lifted into the fish and bang it was solid, not because it was snagged but what felt like a big fish sticking tight to the bottom. The adrenaline kicked in and my heart was pumping! I let her punish me in open water for about half an hour before I tried gaining back the initiative and started bringing her back to the net. With a few more heart throbbing shakes and dashes she was in the net and looking like a big girl. Unhooking her in the net, I transferred her into the retainer sling and then onto the mat that was ready with scales, bucket of water and antiseptic treatment all at the ready. Hayd helped me lift her onto the scales and BOOM it went 51lb 10ozs!!! A great start for me and another new 50 for this magnificent unspoiled water. I dont like to keep fish out of the water long so again a few quick snaps and this amazing mirror was released safe and sound.
Gary with a 51lb 10oz Mirror
This was still day one in freezing conditions, yet the Stonze System had already graced us with two fish, could it get any better? Well, yes it could because at 10 o’clock my left hand rod just off the baited spot bent over and with one bleep I hit into a block wall, well that’s what it felt like! I felt the head thrusting left and right over and over again, but I knew that once these wide gape hooks take hold, she was not going to throw it. Over 40 minutes of arm pumping madness, she approach the net and it wasn’t a fish that I recognised but I knew this again was a massive beauty of nature that was going to push the scales over the 50lb mark again and I was not wrong. BOOM 55lb 8ozs and a brace of NEW 50s in less than four hours!!! This is what dreams are made of…..
Gary with a 55lb 8oz Mirror
The wake up to reality.
The next 36 hours went past without a bleep or anything showing, and so it was time for one of us to move. After a quick chat with the boy it was obvious that it was him so we agreed to move him around to a spot on the middle of the lake where he could control and see more of the water and where he smashed it last May. This would prove to be hard going on Haydon as the cold NE winds would batter him, but he could hit the island spots that were getting the sun and seeing small hatches of midgies.
I chose to stay put and give it 24 hours more after taking two big girls .
Staying mobile does it again for the boy.
Well they made him wait till the sun went down, but another screamer put another stunning mirror in his net and taking the scales within a ounce of 37lbs. Well done, my son, just proving that staying mobile and reading the water always pays off, in these conditions the fish won’t find you: you must find them.
Haydon with a 36lb 10oz Mirror
Cold but sun is out so a couple hours of stalking.
From day one, we always feed a few little spots to do a bit of stalking with the float – you just cant beat fish stealth and on top of their noses. We chose to fish at the top of the lake where the average depth is about three feet and in the summer months is so beautiful with its lily beds and over-hanging trees. The chosen bait would be 10mm Meatbeast Squabs wrapped in matching paste – a favourite tactic with our barbel and Polish anglers. I took my eye off the float for two seconds and a chance missed: carp 1, angler nil. Another ten minutes or so proved another chance missed and the fish had gone, so we decided to have a shot at a spot behind the island. I know this spot very well so I pointed Haydon in the right dire
ction and within 20 seconds he was in and fighting a very surprised and angry Common which, after some amazing bursts of torpedo power runs, took the scales to bang on 30lbs and put a beaming smile on the boys face. PRICELESS. That was the stalking over for the day and a well deserved coffee and social with our hosts.
Haydon with a 30lb Common
Will this boy ever let his dad get warm?!
After a great day stalking and having a social the rods were back in the water and we were back in the bags to stay warm but at 1 am in the morning I heard what was starting to be a regular occurrence, Haydon’s alarms crying out fish on and a big common going straight in the net. 45lb 6ozs of pure gold, what a fish and more memories in the bag.
Haydon with a 45lb 6oz Common
Another move but will it pay off?
The conditions were not getting any easier with the NE winds picking up, freezing temperatures and with hard frosts we had to stay on top of game so this time it was my time to move which saw me jump into the swim Haydon started in. Why, you might ask? Well the reasoning behind it was that bait had gone in a few days earlier and the spot had been rested for a couple of days, and I could reach the water I was already fishing plus Haydon’s spots and half of the lake, leaving my options open if anything showed or changed.
Well it was 10:45 in the morning on the fourth day and Baker Boy junior was into yet another fish! This time a stunning mirror which last graced the bank when it was only 17lbs so when it took the scales to 41lb 5ozs it asked questions about where it had been hiding and had obviously been quite happy feeding on nature rather than manufactured baits, hence why the Pallatrax Naturals Ranges are so important in our arsenal of tactics.
Haydon with a 41lb 5oz Mirror
Only four hours went by and Haydon puts another bar of gold on the bank at 23lb and now showing the old man how to do it which I can tell you makes me one proud Father and companion.
Haydon with a 23lb Common
These smaller stocked fish that Haydon has picked up are just as important to us, as they were only stocked in the lake last November which have been home grown and already they have gained pounds. These are our future generation’s dreams and memories so that our passion can and will survive.
Now my move and did it pay off? Well, I can tell you at first light the next morning fishing to the same spot I started the week at produced a single bleep, the rod started to bend I’m on it before it has chance to try and shake the hook and the tussle between me and a very surprised and angry fish started. At this point the fish was winning, ripping line from the spool and tearing off along the far bank and then out to the middle of the lake. I gave Haydon a shout on the walkie to say that I thought I had a big cat on. He reeled in and ran around the lake to help with the netting and still the fish was out at distance and hugging the bottom. It attempted to make a break for the small channel opening to my left. Still out of sight and not properly knowing what I had on, I dipped the rod and attempted to turn the fish before it could escape through the channel and cut me off. In the heat of this heart stopping battle I managed to turn her and she started coming up through the tree lined margin to my right. The benefit of working on the lake for the past few years told me it was safe and that there were no snags that this still unknown fish could trip me up on. What seemed hours later as I loosened the reel clutch, she showed and for the first time I could see this was no cat. Its back was as wide as the back end of a bus and just as I thought she was not ready for the net, she went off on another blinding run but I felt I was starting to win the war against this magnificent creature. I was right and after an hours work, out she was gliding over the top of the net. We unhooked her in the net and transferred her into the sling for the weigh in; I was not going to keep her out of the water for a minute longer than I should. Just remember the freezing cold NE winds and conditions not favouring the angler, I had already had a brace of 50s on the bank but this was my highlight. I have had more 50s on the bank than I am old, but this was totally new ground for me with this tremendous solid and immaculate PB of 63lbs 8ozs BOOM BOOM BOOM. What a fish! A quick inspection of the mouth to check and treat the hook hold showed that the choice of hook that was a size 6 Gripz and the 4″ rig had not even left a mark on its pure white gaping mouth. I quickly got her back into the water slipped the waders on and some quick pictures were taken. What an amazing experience and safe release that I will cherish in my memories for the rest of my life.
Gary with a new PB of 63lb 8oz
About an hour or so later our host, who is the nicest man you could ever meet, viewed the pictures with a massive grin on his face, not only had i had a new brace of 50s but this was a new sixty coming out last August at 56lb, which just goes to show that good fishery management tied in with nutritional baits only allowed in his waters, leads to healthy weight gain and amazing water quality.
Still chilly but the sun is warming up and a chance of rain later.
Getting down to the last thirty six hours there was still time for another fish on the bank and Haydon was not going to disappoint taking another November stock common going 25lbs which is definitely going to be one for the future .
But he still wasn’t finished for the day. A very rare sight of a fish showing itself at over a hundred yards out between myself and Haydon, I quickly got on the radio and suggested to Haydon that he cast to it as it was an easier cast from his swim. My god it was incredible! Within five minutes he was into a fish and twenty minutes later another chunk of a common on the bank and settling the scales at 42lb 7ozs . Get in my son!
Haydon with a 42lb 7oz Common
Beeeeep! My Delkim went into a frenzy. This can’t be – I had only just put the rods back out after helping Haydon with his fish and I was into what felt like it thinks it’s a formula one racing car!! I thought that this must be one of those long commons which go off like a steam train, but the longer the battle the heavier this fish felt. It wasn’t until she went into the net I realised it was a big fish that Haydon had been lucky enough to have caught the previous May. The big fully scaled is everyone’s target who has ever fished this water. With the scales zero’d and everything wet and ready, we lifted what might be my last fish of the trip and boy what a fish to finish on!! Just under 55lbs and my third 50 of the trip in anything but ideal conditions. BOOM I was one happy man!
Gary with a 54lb 10oz Fully Scaled
Sun is out and for the first time quite warm. What will the final three hours bring?
The final hours of trip were dwindling away but our hopes were still up. Everything bar the bare essentials were on the barrow and time was ticking away and we were both sat on the front of our chairs wishing and hoping there might be time yet.
With less than an hour to go and hopes fading fast BLEEP then another BLEEP. I hit it “Haydon! Fish on!” I shouted, and with that I heard another Delkim and its not mine but Haydon’s! I watched him lift into it and its two fish on!! This couldn’t get any better and as we were soon to pack up and this our last chance to bank more fish we were shouting support to each other across the lake and probably half of France!! The adrenaline was pumping and excitement of father and son both with big fish on is something else and wish we could have shared it with the world.
Mine was first to hit the net and I could see I had a nice chunky golden bar of a common. Straight onto the scales she went smack on 44lbs and believe it or not my smallest fish of the trip!!Bonkers, I know, but true!
Gary with a 44lb Common
Haydon was still in battle with what seemed a nice fish. Could this be one of our target fish that has not been out for 18 months? “YES” I hear him scream, noticing its triangular scale as he slipped it into the back of the net “NO WAY” I hear Haydon exclaim. What an amazing sight she was; pristine condition lying on the mat waving her fin at us if to say I surrender: you win, I give up. The question now was with the frame we both starred at had she broken a barrier? The answer followed when we put her on the scales and the dial shot round to a staggering 64lbs: Haydon’s second sixty within less then twelve months.
Haydon with a 64lb Mirror
The Fabulous Baker Boys had done it again showing that the Stonze system and the right watercraft can and does catch BIG fish and consistently, no matter what venue or in whatever weather nature throws at you. How many anglers out there can say they have seen their two sons and now myself catch 60lb+ fish?!
This was to be the fourth trip within a ten month period and, boy, have we been on a run with 3 x 60s, approx 20 x 50s, countless 40s, numerous 30s, and some stunning 20lbers!! That equates to about 200 fish from four trips and priceless memories, which will live with us as a family forever.
A proud dad and proud to use the products on offer from Pallatrax that are there for the health and welfare of fishery management and our quarry .