Free Shipping on all subscription orders
Arriving at Farlows is always exciting as the lake is full of cracking scaley mirrors, and the style of fishing is so diverse. You can never arrive with a set game plan (other than using tonnes of boilies and no small stuff as the bream are an absolute nightmare) - it is best to have an open mind because the fish can be absolutely anywhere in the intricate lake.
We arrived at the lake at around 3:30pm and did the ritual - ask the baliff how it was fishing, and where the bulk of the fish seemed to be coming from. He immediately pointed us towards peg 33 which had just become free. Knowing that this peg always holds fish, and the fact that some huge hits had come out of the peg that week, we bolted towards it! Thankfully by the time my Dad and I got round there it was still empty, so we sat there for a while looking for signs. It didn't take long until we saw our first show, and only 15 yards out directly in front of us. We sat for a little longer before unloading the car and saw a jet black common stick it's head out on the exact same spot. Now convinced that the fish were here we wasted no time and unloaded the car.
So as not to scare any fish that were in the area, I flicked a small 1oz lead towards the area that we saw the fish. It instantly locked up in thick weed - not a great place to present a bait. Begrudgingly I made a few more casts, hoping that I didn't scare the fish too much in the process. But it is integral to have a lead about at Farlows before fishing, as the majority of the lake is thick with weed. I eventually found a small clear-ish spot with a light covering of silk weed. After bumping a lead across the spot, and picking up a few strands of weed, it measured only half a foot in length - perfect for presenting a solid bag on. It was only a small spot, big enough for two rods maximum, so we both flicked a rod each out that thankfully fell inches apart first cast. The fish were clearly patrolling up and down the margin, so all of our other rods were spread out along the same kind of line on reasonably firm spots.
After a few hours passed and no action we decided to introduce a bit of bait, as the fish in Farlows are renowned for loving it! We started with around a kilo and a half on each spot - a mixture of Baitworks Atlantic Heat & Royal Marine soaked in their Fish Liquid, and a dusting of Himilayan rock salt. As the sun dipped, the liners started and the fish continued to show despite the disturbance made from baiting up, so we went to bed brimming with confidence. Surprisingly I woke up at 5:30am and nothing had happened, but as this was prime time for a bite I just sat and watched the water. A few popped their heads out in midwater which gave me confidence, and at about 8am the liners started again. Half an hour later the rod on the small clear-ish spot bent over and the Siren screamed into life. The fight was crazy - the fish took me from weed bed to weed bed and would not give up. There was a large weed bed, about the size of two snooker tables 10 or so yards behind the spot that it really got stuck in, but with consistent pressure it eventually came free. Blinded by the weed I slipped it in the net quite easily & peeled the weed apart revealing a red bellied mirror. On the scales it went 22.8lbs - perfect start! I got the rod straight back out, and it wasn't long before the liners started again. No more than half an hour later I was locked into battle with my second carp, but unfortunately this time it made it's way into the exact same dense weed bed and it would not budge. After 20 minutes or so the hook unfortunately popped out. No carp angler takes a loss lightly, but with the session still being young I had hope of a few more chances.
The rest of the day passed uneventfully for both of us, and even coming into the evening we only saw one or two show. Going bed thinking that the fish had moved off, I was surprised when the Siren went into melt down at 2am. Scampering to get out the bivvy, with the thought of the lost fish still in my mind, I lifted the rod only to be greeted with that familiar feeling of being locked up in dense weed. I stood there with the lights of M25 illuminating the swim, praying to the carp God's that this one would come free. Unfortunately this was not the case, and after a while the hook popped out again... I had to make a rig change just to see if it was something I was doing wrong rather than bad luck. I swapped the 360 rig with a size 4 curve shank hook and Baitworks scent from hell pop-up to a German rig with a size 4 wide gape hook and 15mm wafter. After falling back into a deep sleep I awoke again at around 8am to a viscious liner - they were back on the spot. Exactly the same as the previous bites, the middle rod ripped off 15 minutes later, and I was attached to another angry Farlows carp. I was extremely conscious of this weedbed so put a fair bit of pressure on the fish initially, but thankfully it kited left away from the weed bed. After a relatively short but spirited fight I slipped the net under a cracking scaley mirror. Initially I thought it was a scraper 20, but as I lifted it out it got a bit bigger & went 25.14 on the scales. I was so relieved after loosing two, and the pressure was now off a bit. Not even 10 minutes after slipping the fish back, my right had rod fished a few yards from a tree that had fallen into the water bent round, and after again weeding me up a few times I netted a lovely 16lbs almost linear.
By this point I was feeling bad that my Dad hadn't had one yet, so I let him fish two rods on the clear spot out in front and the margin spot that I just had that fish off. No longer than half an hour had passed and the same margin rod signalled a take, and it was Dad's turn to do battle with a Farlows carp. It felt scrappy from the start, so we knew it wasn't huge, but again it was safely netted. This one went 19lbs, and he was elated to have his first Farlows carp on the bank (albeit poaching my spot)! Now that he had had one I flicked a couple of bags back onto the middle and margin spot. About an hour passed and it seemed as if the morning bite time was over, but I was wrong! At around 11:30am I had another ripper of a take on the middle rod. The carp God's were certainly still shining on me as thankfully this fish kited left on the take. The fish was moving a lot slower than all of the others had, so I instantly knew that it was a bit bigger. It wallowed about for a few minutes and went on a coupe of surging runs, but was soon out of energy and slipped over the net cord. Turning the fish on its side in the water, it was certainly a little bigger than the rest, and tipped the scales round to 27.12lbs. I slipped the cracking mirror back hoping for one more before the dreaded pack up began, but unfortunately it was not be.
It was a session of highs and lows, but I guess I can't grumble too much - as you can see by the pictures I bagged a few crackers!!