09th February 2024

Dan Savill, with some spare time between tickets, headed down to Yateley’s Sandhurst Lake; in search of a day ticket 40. He tells us what happened on a manic couple of trips!

Time can be a big thing in the day to day world, but making it can be key, with most of us having a busy home life and working full time. It can be hard to find the time to get out, but if you really want something, there is always a way to achieve your goal.

It just goes to show that you can get a ‘fish feeding frenzy’ if you bait and leave the rods out for a few hours! 

Dan told Sticky: 

“Fishing in the Lea Valley, I had given myself until November to capture an Old-English forty (before another ticket was due to start). To cut a long story short, I managed to catch that fish by late July, which gave me some extra time to fish a few of the stunning day-tickets that I had heard about; Sandhurst being one of them! 

At this point, I had just started a new shift work job that meant I was able to fish mid-week, which was my preferred option! Looking on Sandhurst’s booking website, I noticed a 48-hour space had become available from the Tuesday to Thursday. Unfortunately, it fell straight after a 12-hour night shift (not ideal), but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity!  

On the day, I drove straight down from Dunstable, at 7am, I pulled into the car park and immediately saw one poke its head out, right in front of a swim, which I later found out was called ‘Pipes Two’.

Seeing a guy already setting up in ‘Pipes One’, I threw my bucket from a distance, straight into ‘Pipes Two’, loaded up my barrow and headed straight back round! Still half asleep, I chucked my lead out around 13 wraps and, despite it being like a football pitch choked in weed, I managed to get a firm drop! 

I accurately cast 15 spombs of chopped, crumbed and whole Manilla, and a few tins of corn. I then decided to get my head down for a few hours, to catch up on some much-needed sleep!

When I woke, all of my rigs were ready to go. Two were loaded with match-the-hatch Manilla pop-ups and the other one with a pastel pink Mulbz. Within five minutes of casting out, the rod with the Mulbz busted off and I was rewarded with an upper-double stockie. 

I got the rod back out and it rattled off straight away, with a pristine mid-20 common! Unfortunately, it then went quiet for the rest of the afternoon, but I reset the rods ready for the evening. 

At around 5am, one of the match-the-hatch rods pulled up tight, and after a lengthy battle, I had another mega common, only this one was bigger at around mid-30. I also had a few other scaly stockies during that session, but they weren’t much to write home about! Before I left that trip, and knowing that I would be returning, I put out another 5kg Manilla.

Upon returning the following week, I was lucky enough to find that ‘Pipes Two’ was available. I set up, as before, cast 15 spombs to the same spot and slept for a few hours!

When I awoke, two of the match-the-hatch rods and the Mulbz went out. After approximately ten minutes, I caught a little linear and 45 minutes after that one, I had a very subtle take, which barely pulled out the clip! I pulled into the rod, and after getting dragged from weed-bed to weed-bed, I glimpsed a big pair of white lips coughing water, as it approached the net cord.

I slipped the net under it, pulled both arms up and pretty much dropped to my knees in shock, after seeing the big black plated scales on its flank. I then safely retained the fish in the margins and waited for the bailiff to arrive, to help me weigh it. I zeroed the scales and then we weighed her – the arrow swung round, landing dead on 40lb! My first Day-ticket UK-40 and what a fish to be my first! 

I took a few water shots, but only managed to get one side, before it jumped out of my hands and back into the lake. I also caught a mega upper 30+ mirror, before leaving in the morning, which topped off my second ever trip to the infamous Yateley complex!

It just goes to show that you can get a ‘fish feeding frenzy’ if you bait and leave the rods out for a few hours! 

A massive shout-out to Damian, the bailiff, for the shots and great company!”