A new gravel pit – soon to be open to public bookings – is causing a huge stir in the carp world after a string of incredible captures.
Late last week, Lee Rayner visited the 26-acre venue and banked a new lake-record mirror of 55lb 14oz alongside four 30-pounders in just 18 hours. Arriving at the venue with a 30lb 10oz personal best, Lee baited heavily with PCF Squidly Diddly boilies and broke his pb four times in total.
The site, Holme Fen Fishery in Cambridgeshire, is currently being test fished by a select band of anglers, but will open up this summer to day-ticket carpers.
Run under the Premium Carp Fishing brand, the lake was only flooded in 2008 and is rich in natural food. All the fish are microchipped for identification purposes and one carp, known as The Commander, put on an incredible 27lb in just two years.
Earlier this month, 11 anglers visited for a trial session and came away with 42 carp between them including eight forties to 47lb 10oz and 29 thirties.
Martin Dobson, who runs the fishery with Mark Hawes, said: “We’ve stocked it with some original fish that we had in a stock pond just over the side and some Premium Carp fish from Mike’s.
“The majority of the fish range from upper doubles to mid-twenties and they’ve grown really well. It’s full of naturals and the growth rates of some of the fish have been exceptional.
“We are not sure how many originals are in here but we are guessing somewhere between 30 and 50, and we’ve added an extra 170 fish. We’ve fished it since about last August and about 80 per cent of the fish caught have weighed over 30lb.
“There are some fish in here that have really bedded into the lake and done well. The lake has only been flooded for about seven years and in the first 10 to 15 years of a lake flooding, especially without many fish in, it is going to be full of naturals. The fish are coming in here and they are just eating constantly.
“Every time you pull out a branch or a bit of tree it’s covered in zebra mussels. There’s an abundance of naturals in here for the fish to eat and they’re obviously doing well from it.”
The lake opens on July 15 and bookings can be made online, though availability will be limited to preserve the quality of the fishing. Martin explained: “We are conscious that the fishery hasn’t been fished before and that they are relatively young fish and they’re obviously going to be relatively naïve, so for the first year we are only allowing fishing on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. There’s a minimum stay of two days, or you can book all four days if you want.
“We are limiting it to 10 people per day and we will take a view on how that goes. We are closing the fishery at the end of November and we will be opening again next March or April time. We may increase it a bit more but we are doing it to protect the fish and have a slow start with the fishery so we can protect fish growths.”
Martin Dobson said: “I own Earith Lake Fisheries. This is a new gravel pit which was flooded in about 2008 and a new owner bought it at about the same time I moved into Earith Lakes.
I met Mike Hawes from Fenland Fisheries and between us we looked round the lakes and tried to see what we could do with it. Coincidentally, the owner went up to see Mike at the time and asked him his advice about what he could do with it. So, to cut a long story short, we’ve ended up leasing the lakes off Dave Newman, the owner.