freeline-24 - Page 201

leverley fisheries
have some stunning
waters and have
been a massive part
of my angling life
whilst growing up.
Having fished all of their venues, one
lake in particular has really gripped
me, and it’s never let me go…
Cleverley Mere, being one of the
most respected carp waters around at
the moment, is a water that I’ve
fished for quite a few years on and off.
I never get tired of it with its beautiful
scenery and lovely head of carp. Back
in the 2010 season I had dropped my
ticket on one of my other syndicate
waters having not really enjoyed it
over there due to certain rules and a
few other things, so with nowhere to
fish for the upcoming season I asked
Ben Lofting, a really good mate of
mine and the well-respected owner of
Cleverley Fisheries, if it was at all possible to have my ticket back on the
mere. There was a fifty pounder and a
fish we call Hendrix in there that I still
dearly wanted to catch. Ben agreed to
give me my ticket back, which I was
over the moon about, so I could start
my new campaign on catching Ringo
and Hendrix.
Seeing as I had hardly fished the
lake in three years and fished a few
other waters, the lake had changed a
lot and the old spots that I had fished
were covered in weed. In a way it was
nice because it would make me work
that little bit harder now rather than
just turning up and chucking a lead to
the spots I knew already. I went back
on the lake with a different approach
for some strange reason, changing my
rigs and hookbaits. I have no idea
why I did this but it was soon obvious
that it wasn’t working. When I fished
it in previous seasons I would stick to
one rig and one rig only! A Mainline
Pineapple pop-up would be my chosen hookbait with around 40 free
offerings of Cell dotted around it. So
with that in mind I changed back to
what I knew best and the results
immediately started getting better.
The first fish I caught was a weird
looking carp called Zeppers; a real
odd looking beach ball. Not looking
very good-looking but a real character. That was first blood, and it pulled
the scales round to 31lbs so I was
more than happy to get off the mark. I
was one fish closer to the big two.
The Last time Ringo had been out it
weighed 51lbs 12oz if I remember correctly, so that would have beaten my
previous PB of 44lbs 10oz. I say beat
it; it would have smashed it! So the
desire to catch it was high and getting higher by the day. I went on to
catch a few more fish in the next few
sessions including one I remember
the most called the Tatty Tail Common, an absolute nutter of a carp
which was a low-30, really dark and
old looking.
With me doing overnighters and
going to work in the mornings early at
around 6.30am, I would compete with
the anglers that finished work before I
did. That meant they were often at
the lake before I was. It’s rarely very
busy during the week and there is
always a swim that gives you a good
chance of getting a bite, but the hot
swims were generally taken when I
To counteract this I thought I
would take a few days off work and
do a couple of nights. I would have a
better chance of seeing more fish and
whereabouts they would be by just
A real character – Zeppers.


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