Tom Ward – A Yateley Tale

5th July 2018

At just 20-years-old, Tom Ward has had a great run on the Match Lake at Yateley just recently. However, one session in particular really stands out from the crowd! In just two nights the young carper landed a grand total of six carp including three of the lakes named residents, all topped off by the lakes largest common at over 47lb!

Tom first started fishing Yateley’s Match lake two seasons ago, being local to Yateley it was an ideal choice of water. The lake is around 13 acres in size, steeped in carp fishing history and home to an exceptional stock of fish! Over the years he’s had some great results from the lake, but none compare to that of a recent two-night session! When we spoke to Tom about his session this is what he told us: “After watching the lake closely for a few hours at first light, I eventually chose to barrow up to the ‘Round swim’. I’d seen lots of fizzing amongst the holes in the weed and it was just too good to ignore. Having spent the morning observing fish gently rolling and showing in and amongst the weed, I decided it was time to get some rigs in place.

At around 40-yards range I knew of a super clean gravel hump in slightly shallower water, it was surrounded by an abundance of Canadian and in prime location for where the fish had been showing, a few casts later both rods where clipped up and ready to go. Due to the amount and size of the fish I chose to go down the route of filling it in so to speak. I’d come prepared with 25kg of bait, this consisted of hemp, tigers, 16mm Krill boilies and Krill Clusters. Around 15kg of the mix was introduced straight away and the remaining 10kg was kept for topping up the swim if bites were forthcoming. Over the top of the mix I decided to fish with two Krill Wafters tipped with flecks of yellow foam, these were mounted onto identical Amnesia D-rigs.

Although I was confident of a quick bite, due to copious amounts of liners, it wasn’t until the early hours of the next morning that I received a take. Lifting into it and walking backwards ensured I led the fish away from the weed and the odd gentle nod on the tip confirmed it was still on. After a short fight the fish was netted and instantly recognised as Yateley’s ‘Bum Snag Fish’, over 50 years old and one of the Yateley originals. This truly special fish tipped the scales at 30lb 4oz and luckily hadn’t wiped out the other rod during the fight. Only half an hour later the left-hand rod jumped into life, and after an eventful fight I slipped the net under yet another original, the ‘Big Twin’. I couldn’t believe my luck, a brace of Yateley originals!

After such a manic spell of action I decided to introduce another 5kg of bait before later positioning my rods back onto the hump ready for the night ahead. The following morning I was awoken at first light by an absolutely wicked Redmire strain common of 31lb 2oz, this was then followed almost immediately by a 28lb common. With both rods out the water I quickly repositioned a single hookbait just in case any fish were still present, and sure enough there was, as within no time at all I was netting a mid-twenty mirror.

Again, due to another chaotic morning I applied a further 5kg repeating the process for the final night. Only half an hour later my friend Jack and I noticed fizzing coming up over the right-hand rod, not long afterwards the bobbin flew up into the rod and the line pulled up tight. As I lifted into the rod it was evident that this was a much better fish. For at least 10 minutes she proceeded to slowly plod around the centre of the lake before drifting towards us and then powering off along the base of the marginal shelf. Eventually the fish rolled about 10 yards out, revealing its absolutely colossal size before steaming off yet again. After a few more heart stopping moments the fish was finally netted.

As we looked down into the net we were both blown away, it was absolutely massive and unmistakably the Match Lake’s ‘Redmire’, the lakes biggest common! With a few helping hands we got her on the bank and once on the scales she spun the needle round to an impressive 47lb 12oz! After a few shots in the fading evening light we returned the big common to its home and spent the rest of the night celebrating! Later on that week I returned to the Match Lake once more and was fortunate enough to land the “Dungeness Leather” at just over 31lbs, my fourth Yateley original of the week!”


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