Tag Archives: tough water

Blakemere, 2nd December, By Barry Smith

Baptism of fire- Blakemere 8/10 difficulty

How about my first ever full on carp trip out, let’s make it a rock hard 8/10 rating venue, the mighty Blakemere!  Oh and let’s drop the temperature overnight to -5°C.  I dare you to freeze half the lake overnight just to add to the difficulty.  Nothing like a baptism of fire.


The good news is it can only get easier from here on in, and that’s exactly how I intend to reflect on this experience.  Do I have a choice?  Not really.


The idea for this trip was for myself and Brian Coakley, my partner in crime, to fish for silvers in the day and carp at night.  Pretty simple idea you would think yes?  Wrong!  ……. And hindsight is the most amazing diary reminder you could possess.  This trip is well and truly in my diary reminder and not because our idea was a bad one, on the contrary, but because Blakemere felt like asserting its dominance on us and showed us just how impractical that approach can be on some waters.  With a healthy walk involving steep hills, it made getting both sets of gear to the pegs a complete nightmare ….. that experience is now stored and Blakemere will not fool me again.  Don’t serve two masters on Blakemere or it will bite you!

Ok I am going to cut to the chase here and put it on the table from the get go.  A selection of team members fished Blakemere over the week ending 2nd December and we all struggled, with a few runs had but no fish on the mat.

This trip was not just about the fishing for me and Bri ……… it was our first carp trip so we were like kids in a sweet shop because we had bivvys to put up, a stove to cook on, beds to make, rod pods to set up, alarms to set, measuring sticks to set up, captive back leads to set, rigs to modify, and silvers to fish for (which didn’t show at all over the two days) ……… but we loved it.


We really enjoyed the experience of these two Fox Royale small footprint brolly systems.

This is what I did with my two carp rods ………opting to fish old school with one rod on a method feeder at 8 wraps and set my timer for each hour to recast and create a bed of bait for the carp to investigate, using a multi rig and an Aurora pop up.  Bloodworm based groundbait with an added binder to ensure this went right to the deck.


Second rod was 12 wraps with a lead clip system and a 2oz lead, multi rig and 16mm Mussleberry Red with an Adjusta Plug of PNBA to critically balance this bait.

For the record, Adjusta Plugs were something I learned about on our social at Larford and if you want to add more than cork to balance your bait, then why not add a PNBA that is sending out the signals constantly once in the water.  Check out the video here for more on these versatile little baits.

Brian fished two rods with pop ups, left hand rod close in  and second rod at 8 wraps.


I owe Blakemere a revisit, but I will be more prepared next time and maybe I will show Blakemere a little more respect on my return and serve one master only.


It was cold, the fishing was rock hard, the water froze over, the stove froze at times, the walk was a killer, the silvers were on vacation, the carp messed with us but to flip it on its head we learned so much me and Bri ….. we spent time with the lads in the team, we had such a laugh, we ordered a curry which was delivered, we had a lovely breakfast, we practiced loads of casting, I got my head around captive back leads, I did my own PNBA Adjusta Plugs, our bivvys kept us warm in -5°C, and the scenery was absolutely beautiful.

Put this all together and I would definitely call this trip fishing on the edge!  Would you!?

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Blakemere we will meet again……….

Tight Lines all, and stay on the edge!