A year in the life of an Angling Lines Field Tester – Pt 1

Paul Cooper is one of a small band of anglers we use to Field Test our venues. Over the course of several Blog Posts he’ll take you through his 2010 trips;

Sapphire mirror carp

36.04 mirror from Paul’s Sapphire trip

From early Spring to late November with Angling Lines;
Part 1 – Sapphire Lake

I have been field testing lakes for Angling Lines for around 6 years now & 2010 was no different. With 34 venues on their books there’s never a shortage of lakes that need a review or a helping hand. I did not have to wait long for my first call from David Keep of Angling Lines… Michel Bigot had just taken on a 25 acre lake known as Sapphire. I was to visit in April along with a fishing colleague, Mark Skellam (Skelly). We would have the use of a 5 bedroom gite, which was situated at head of the lake, for cooking and showering etc.

38lb carp

38lb common

I contacted Shaun Harrison of Quest Baits and he wanted me to try out his latest addition to is range, Chilli Chocolate. The next day I received my delivery of 5 kilo of 20 mils, 10 kilo of 15mils and 2 kilos of 10mils, along with 10 mil pop-ups. A sack of carp pellets and hemp would compliment the bait and I was set to go.
My end rigs would consist of 19lb Seaguar Fluorocarbon and 25lb Mantis to size 4 Smart Point SP310 hooks with a snowman set up of 10 mil bottom bait and 10 mil pop-up.

We arrived at the lake to find a cold North Easterly wind blowing across the lake. We both settled on the East bank with the wind at our backs. Overnight I heard fish crashing out on the far bank. With no fish to my name come 6am I was on the move to the far bank shortly followed by Skelly.

Facing the cold wind, I plumbed and leaded around the West Bank and found a 3 foot 6 inches deep shelf that went out for about 40 yards into the lake before it deepened off to around 5foot.



Carp from France

A crisp 33lb Sapphire mirror

I decided to fish this margin shelf and measured and marked all my rods at 36yards. I then fanned my rods out so that my left hand rod was straight out in front of me at 90 degrees and the other 3 rods angled off at regular distances to my right to selected marks on the horizon. This would enable me to intercept fish passing through my swim at different distances from the bank.

The first fish came within the hour with a very finicky drop back, as did the second fish a short time later. I decided to take a chance and fish very tight lines with heavy bobbins, so as to exaggerate the bites and give a clear and obvious indication on my indicators.

This certainly paid off as the fish came thick and fast and by the 6th day I had accounted for 50 carp to 38lb, with 13 being over the 30lb mark and the rest averaging upper twenties. Skelly captured 16 carp with 3 being over 30lb.

This was my first trip of the year… what a result!


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