Finally we have been able to get some time to get out on a 24 hour trip! We looked about at a few places but decided on the family run Southcott fishery which is located on the A3079 about 7 miles from Holsworthy.
When we arrived just after 15:00 we parked up and were shown around the lake by the owners dad, where he suggested were some good spots on the main lake that we decided to fish on this visit. He also told us the baits that were working well on the lake at this time which was helpful! The weather was warm but cloudy with a slight breeze.
As it was my son Sam’s first time night fishing we decided to keep it active and fish for all species that are in the lake, namely, Common and Mirror Carp, Bream, Tench, Koi, Roach and Rudd. The older specimen lake holds the larger carp to 25lb and catfish to 30lb plus.
We set up the bivvy (much to Sams annoyance as he thought food was the first thing we needed!) and sorted out the rest of the gear, getting the ledger lines in first; both baited up with Van Den Eynde Betaine Boosted meat cubes. The right hand line was placed a few inches off the lillies that were surrounding the lakes only island and the left hand line was placed down the margin, before setting up a float rod each.
By 16:30 we were ready and raring to go. So no sooner had we got the lines in the water the right hand ledger rod roared off in a flurry of beeps and the reel was peeling off line!! I thought we had hit the goldmine, when I latched into the fish I felt it wasnt that big but still a run is a run. Imagine my surprise when I landed a 1 1/2 pound pristine mirror carp! I was hoping for something a little bigger I can say.
All this time Sam was on his float rod pulling out Commons and Mirrors to about 2lb and having a wail of a time! At least Sam being 8 years old wasn’t getting bored watching a few bobbins swaying around in the breeze! I was baiting up the aforementioned rod when the left hand alarm twitched a little before that too was beeping like mad and we are into another, this one will be better I told myself. Five minutes later a Tench about 3lb was in the keepnet, a lovely Tench but not a hard fighting carp…
For the rest of the afternoon there was no more action on the left hand line down the margins so we moved the line to the far bank to our left, baited with a tutti fruiti Boilie where I thought it could do no harm in trying. I had already decided that we didn’t need more than single hookbaits to latch into the fish as they were totally on the food today. The reason for this decision was because of the action on the float rods which we were having massive fun with pulling out 2-3lb carp, tench and bream, plus the right hand ledger still with boosted meat was working well around the island and the far bank opposite us. The evening, up until it got dark worked wonders for tench on the left hand line over in the margins of the far left bank, we landed Tench up to 4lb until it got dark.
We stopped for some all important nourishment about 19:00 and we were just tucking in when the right hand rod went again, Sam had his real first fight of the session on his hands! Twenty minutes later and Sam had his prize of a 7lb 14oz Mirror Carp on the bank. The obligatory photos were taken and his catch was released.
We continued float fishing after tea, I was using spicy meat as hookbait and getting a bite a cast when at about 20:15 I hooked into something decidedly stronger than what we had been catching, it ended up on the bank a while later and weighed in at 5lb 5oz, a beautifully scaled mirror. I must admit I love catching carp on the float rod with light tackle, feels more pure to me!
The last fish on the ledger that night was a 9lb 9oz common just after 21:00, he had a bit of a mangled mouth on one side which I didnt notice until after taking the photographs. I was really expecting good things throughout the night and eagerly set up both lines with Tutti Fruiti boilies as the margin rod had worked so well this evening.
I float fished after Sam was tucked up in the bivvy with the aid of a mini starlight but as the last of the light left the action seemed to drop off. Looking around in the dark and eventually up to the sky the stars were out in force, something I dont usually see living in a town with all that light pollution. What a beautiful sight all those stars in a belt right across the night sky, I gazed up wondering what the night would hold for us in way of big carp….
Well, 07:30 came about all too soon and I clambered out of my sleeping bag to a gray, overcast day. Rain looked imminent. Not a bite all night so it was a quick bowl of breakfast and get the float lines out again while Sam was getting dressed and fed. The bites started thick and fast so by about 09:00 we had landed approx another 25-30lb of mirrors, commons, bream and tench to about 3lb. Great fun but the big fish just were not biting. Then the heavens opened, into the bivvy went Sam and out with the brolly was I!
The rain lasted until around 11:30 when it began really warming up quickly, the sun came out and the bivvy was dry in half an hour, which is good because I didnt really fancy packing up in the rain! The fishing was still pretty frantic in the afternoon and we had a visit from the lakes owner Lee, we had a good chat about the lakes and thier history and the plans he has for the place which all sound great. We spent a while talking about the baits that seem to work well on the lake with Lee telling me that he and his father regularly visit France and take there own rolled boilies with the left overs being crushed and used to feed there own lakes and the flavour? Tutti-Fruiti! No wonder the boilies I had in my bag were working straight away, what a stroke of luck.
Lee and I spoke for a good 3/4 of an hour and I was missing more and more on the float so we left it at that and we continued to fish the last couple of hours of our session. We landed bream to about 4lb and a good couple of tench to just under 5lbs.
Next time we visit will probably be a 48 hour session on the specimen lake, after being given the lowdown by Lee I feel as though I know the lake pretty well so will be going armed with the right knowledge and the right bait!
I would just like to thank Lee and his family for giving us a warm welcome and some excellent memories to carry us through until our next visit to such a picturesque and action packed venue!
Ashwater Beaworthy Devon EX21 5UX UK
The main lake
£10 per day per person for 2 rods from dawn until 7:00pm.
24 hour session is £15 per person for two rods.
The Specimen Lake
£10 per person, per day for 2 rods until 7:00pm
24 hour session is £20 per person for two rods.
There are more offers, such as staying in bed and breakfast or in their purpose built log cabin and fishing. All prices and offers are on their website mentioned above.