Since my early fishing days chasing carp and hunting the UK fresh water species, there was one venue I dreamed of fishing. A venue that stocked species that cannot be found anywhere else, that I am aware of in the southwest. So you can imagine my response when I was asked to attend the first ever lure day at Anglers Paradise.
I wasn't sure what to expect, the lay of the land, size of the lakes or the species that would be on offer in the lakes we had access to. What I wasn't expecting was the sheer size of the complex and the number of lakes on offer to its residence. Also the thing that surprised me for such a large complex was the real 'family' feel of the place. Right from the off I felt comfortable and at ease but more importantly ready to fish.
Now the rules for the weekend are simple, no braided mainlines and no trebles also hooks must be barbless.
With a single packet of Vanfook ME-31BLE Minnow Expert Hooks I was able to convert my hard lures into fish friendly lures ready.
With 16 hooks in a packet there was plenty to go round all my favourite lures and after not too long of fiddling they were good to go.
The first stop over the four lakes available was the catch and release trout lake. Now all I can say is, this has to be about the most fun you can have with a fishing rod here in the UK. After a few hours and over 20 takes I had landed two species of trout and a first for me, A tiger trout! Now these have to be the most beautiful fish I have ever caught from fresh water.
Over the weekend I caught a number of trout but Matt has to take the trophy for most trout caught and his blue trout was very special to, check his story out here.
Now as well as the trout there were three other lakes on offer. In these lakes were various species including carp, various silver fish, perch and the mighty catfish. Although a long shot catfish have fallen to lures all over the world and it is only a matter of time before Anglers Paradise has it's first lure caught cat. As well as the silver fish there were a number of golden rud, one of which I managed to winkle out.
Between all the anglers present dozens of perch were caught but the bigger perch although present didn't want to show themselves. I tried allsorts from 3.5in baits down to 1.5in baits but no joy on the bigger perch. Later Saturday I ventured up on to the catfish lake where the bigger perch are said to live and had another go. It wasn't until I scaled right down to lures under an inch I got interest. At first only small perch came out to play but an hour or so later I managed this little beauty.
Now Mr Jones believes he trumped me with his, I'll let you decide with a little game of spot the difference.
For me it wasn't just the fishing that made my weekend. The hospitality of Zyg, Richard and the 5C lads was second to none. From visiting 'Zyg's office' and leaving a little wobbly to chatting and having a laugh in the bar, this place has captured a little piece of my heart and I will be going back and soon.
It's at this point I just want to say a massive thanks to Zyg, Richard and all the staff at Anglers Paradise for making the event what it was. Also a big thank you to Julian Chidgey for giving a very interesting and inspiring slide show. He definitely got me thinking about my own fishing and I'm sure it will lead me down some new paths this year.
I'll leave it there and just end on a few pics from the weekend and I hope to see more of these events in the future and hopefully lots more faces there.
All content copyright of Dean Pilgrim 2014