8th April 2020

Darren Walklin reflects on his first session using Sticky, as he looks back fondly to a session at Christchurch.

Darren Walklin has been an avid user of our bait for some time. We asked him to look back in his archives from Christchurch where it all started.

Picking up the story, Darren revealed:

“The start of the 2014 season saw me without a target or ticket after banking the one I wanted the previous year. Not really knowing what to do it was suggested by a friend to have a couple of trips to Linch Hill’s Christchurch, just as a fill in for the time being.

“However, the lake and its inhabitants got under my skin and those couple of trips turned into a few seasons. This was to coincide with my first full year using Sticky products in various forms. Of course, differing times of the year required a slightly different baiting approach, but by far my favourite concoction for Church was a 5L bucket with an equal mix of hemp, crushed Krill, whole 12millers and a handful of crushed tigers all left to soak in copious amounts of The Krill Liquid. I put one of those out to the spot every night whether I had caught or not.

As with many anglers of the 2014 era, he started using Sticky on the Linch Hill complex, on Christchurch Lake.

“The lake was kind to me through that first season and I ended up catching almost as many fish as I did nights, but the last trip of the year, late into autumn sticks out to me, and highlighted just what a rollercoaster of a ride this fishing game can be.

“I arrived at the lake to find only a couple of swims left, one of which was the “End Trees” which over my time there became my favourite swim, lucky indeed! The carp gave the game away by the afternoon and I knew where to put my rigs. I baited with my trusty 5L of mix, before casting two very low lying 12mm White Ones over the top.

“Just before first light one of the rods was away and after good battle, a lovely 38lb mirror was sulking in the retainer, a lovely looking fish called the Baby Plated! As I sat there sipping on a brew waiting for the light, starring at the sling, the unthinkable happened the fish powered upwards and somehow managed to leap out of the retainer right in front of me. I was devastated, I nearly packed up and went home in disgust.

“A few friends stated the obvious, that it wasn’t a lost fish just no pics and get your head together and get back in the game. So, the whole thing was repeated, and I sat back to watch the sun go down, the one thing that was bothering me though was some fizzing two rod lengths to the right. It was a lot siltier and it didn’t feel the one, but the constant bubbling got the better of me and I moved one of the rods onto it.

“At some point in the night the wind really picked up, blowing straight into me and I got out to relieve my bladder. No sooner had I finished, the bobbin pulled up tight on the silt rod and held there but didn’t pull out the clip. I very casually slipped into the waders just in case, but in truth I believed it was just a liner. As I was watching the tip, it gave a little nod and then I heard that sweet sound of the line pinning out the clip.

“I picked up the rod and sure enough a crafty old carp had hooked herself but had refused to run off! Before long the fish was just a couple of rod lengths out and decided that it wanted to fight for its life and not give in. Being stood waist deep in the driving wind and rain with what was obviously a good one on the end was electric, whilst the rest of the anglers lay asleep, my adrenaline was firing on all cylinders!

“Eventually, she relented, and I slipped her over the cord. I borrowed a more secure sling from my mate down the bank and secured her up for the short period of darkness left. We weighed her up at a couple of oz’s over 40lb, which was too close for comfort, so we weighed her on another set of scales and they read 40lb 2oz, which was good enough for me. She was a lovely shaped fish with a real dark mouth, a proper silt feeder.”