7th June 2024

Like many of us Ant Perry has a busy life and trips across the channel take a lot of time, money and preparation, so making the most of the opportunity when they come around is essential. So he loaded the van, grabbed his passport and picked up his friend Olly, and they were soon on the road for their annual overseas voyage!

Taking a risk with it being early March and a chance that they may still be in their winter slumber, the stakes were high, but nevertheless, the buzz was real – and nothing could stop them from doing what they love.

"I'm so glad I got to experience the little slice of heaven it really hits home that nothing amazing lasts forever."

Ant told Sticky:

“After a mega trip last year at the back end of September, I couldn’t wait to get back to this particular lake. All winter I had been itching to go and when my mate Olly told me he had some leave to use up before April, a plan was hatched for a 5night trip midMarch. Being so early, we knew it would be a bit of a risky trip, but we hoped in that amount of time we could make something happen.  
After arriving early morning, we were met by a very different scene to what we had left last year. Due to the huge amount of rain the water levels were up a good 2 – 3 foot and it was really dirty. The lake is usually top to bottom with weed later in the year, so knowing this, finding clearer areas amongst the massive amounts of dead weed on the bottom was going to be vital. 
With visibility being poor, even from the boat using an aqua scope, I was looking for subtle changes in colour on the bottom. Once I had located what looked like it could be a cleaner silty area, I’d have a donk around with the H block just to make sure it was in fact fishable. 
With a few areas sorted, I decided I’d go in with my favoured Hinges, but lengthening the boom section to around 12 inches, just as a safety buffer to make sure I always had presentation. When fishing with Hinges, the last thing I want is a tight area of bait, much preferring a bit of a spread. It’s not the usual way of fishing from a boat where you can be so accurate, but I always feel on places dominated by boat fishing this way of angling can actually get better resultsit’s just something a bit different to the norm. 
After a long night of driving, followed by a full day out in the boat looking for spots, I finally had 3 rods out all on my favourite Manilla Yellow Ones, with a spread of Manilla Active over the top we could finally sit back to eat some food, have a beer and most importantly get some sleep!! 
That didn’t last long, because in the early hours I had my first bite of the trip soon followed by another. What a great start! In the morning, after the usual pictures and high fives were done, we decided that a move was on the cards. This was to allow Olly to fish a different section of the lake, because so far, the arm he was fishing seemed devoid of carp. It would still allow me to fish the same areas I had caught from the night before. These trips are all about team efforts and making the most of it for the both of youthere’s no time for laziness or selfishness; that buzz needs to be shared and you do whatever it takes to make that happen. 
After the move and a couple of new areas found, it was just a case of repeating the process. With Olly now on fish, we were definitely feeling very happy with life. Over the next few nights, we managed to consistently get bites including some mega ones, topped by a huge common for Olly which was a new PB for him a special moment shared with a good friend. 
This lake is renowned for its low 20 commons, later in the year you can really rack up a good number of fish, mostly made up by these. Oddly on this trip we didn’t have any of these, maybe it was still a bit early for them to be venturing around the pond, I don’t know. What this did mean though was that pretty much all the fish we had were the (usually!) much rarer mirrors, an absolute touch in my eyes! 
The trip as always came to an end far too soon, the dread of going back to the normal world of work and bullshit set in hard, but we could leave happy with our results and knowing the risk had definitely paid off. 

Recently, I have been told the lake is no longer public, and all access has been closed off by locals cutting down trees to block the tracks. I’m so glad I got to experience the little slice of heaven it really hits home that nothing amazing lasts forever. If there’s something you really want to do… just go and do it!”