3rd March 2020

Ollie Ricotti takes a break from syndicate fishing and bags 12-fish from Farlows, including two thirties!

Ollie Ricotti is usually found on the banks of Wraysbury, keeping away from the day-ticket crowds, but on this occasion, he decided to take advantage of working at Farlow’s tackle shop. Keeping his ear to the ground provided the whereabouts of the lake’s stock and helped him have a winter session to remember.

Ollie gave us an overview of how the session unfolded:

“I went down to Farlows Lake One for a session last week. Although I don’t really fish the water that often, I work in the tackle shop onsite, so I am the privileged position of being pretty well informed of what’s happening.

“It’s generally a prolific winter water and given the savage storms and massive low pressures we had the week leading up to the session, I thought it would be perfect to drop on for a night or two on my days off.

“Building up to the session, there were some very capable anglers in the usual winter areas, fishing the spots that I thought would, or more should, have been doing the bites in those conditions. But they were all struggling for bites, with very few fish coming out all over the lake throughout the week.

I fished all three on the deep, smooth areas all on helicopter rigs, with Manilla wafters tipped with a fake maggot.

“I thought back to last February, and remembered the lake doing the exact same thing. I remembered being nets man for a mate of mine, Craig, who absolutely cleaned up from a middle of the pond, no-man’s land swim. With nothing else to go on, and the conditions similar to the previous year’s February, I opted to go in that same, normally unproductive swim. The swim is quite deep and silty up until about 50 yards, where it shelves up and firms up, with the odd dying/dead patch of weed.

“I fished all three on the deep, smooth areas, about a rod-length before it shelved up. All on helicopter rigs, with Manilla Wafters tipped with a fake maggot as the hookbaits. I opted to fish each one with a small mesh bag of maggots, Manilla crumb and matching Active Mix.

“It turned out, the fish were there in numbers, and the bites started after about 20 minutes of getting them out. Between about 8am and 4pm I had 12 bites, landing 11, with a good average stamp of fish. Two of them went over the 30lb mark, and another couple ended up a couple of ounces short. Most were 25lb+ and were in great condition.

“I don’t do loads on day tickets, but it must be said that the stock at Farlows is superb. That, along with sensible and proactive fishery management, makes it in my eyes, one of the country’s leading day-ticket waters. There are not many day-ticket venues where you can fish for such lovely old carp of that calibre.

“After each fish, I put in a few midi spombs of maggot and Manilla crumb over the spot. I nicked one more during the night, then in true Farlows fashion, the fish did the off and I was left scratching my head and blanking for the next 12 hours.”