All the way from Devon!!!!

13lb 09oz mirror for Peter.

14lb 15oz B-2 mirror for Peter.

14 April 2008

Well what a trip - After looking forward to fishing for some time both myself (Dean Hermitage) and my mate Peter Kemp were on the road and managed the trip in 2 hours, good going for a loaded van. Eventually we get to the lakes, following the signs to Brasenose 1 and arrive to find a bit of wind, but looks good. We soon started walking around and with the wind on the water it looked good, but after chatting with the anglers in turned out the whole place had switched off, there were guys who'd been 24-36hrs already and blanking. Had a walk around Hardwick etc chatting with the others same story, its all gone cold.

On our drive around we met the bailiff Chris Blunt an absolutely cracking guy so helpful and full of suggestions, if only more of our bailiffs were like that. Anyway he agreed with everyone else about the lakes, he suggested trying Brasenose 2, it’s full of small stuff with the chance of a twenty but should get a few runs at least. So we headed for the 1st few swims, the wind was right in our face

We set up by 5pm Thursday and eventually my mate got the first run at 2am a nice looking 13.9 mirror, caught on a Spicy Prawn & Shrimp boilie about 60 yards out it all went quiet again till 10.30 Friday Morning when he got another run a 14.15 mirror using same baits etc. Later on at about 15:18 he lost what looked to be an upper double on pop up pineapple. This went on and at 17.20 he had another run resulting in a 9.11 mirror also on a popped up pineapple. As you can guess by this time I’m wondering what’s going on, I’m the one finding areas, baiting, doing my homework, supposedly knowing what I’m doing etc etc. !!!! (Contemplating leaving him and letting him walk with his barrow home, its only 144 miles lol. !!!!!)

Anyway by 7pm the wind starts to kick up blowing a hooley out there. Time to batten down the hatches double pegging in play all round, tension bars all tight and even kicking gravel around the edges of the bivvy so the wind can’t get under it. It made no difference, I happily sat there with coffee in one hand when the wind changes direction, straight in my face, the wind for some reason had shifted about 180 degrees and was giving it full force straight at my bivvy and with the door wide open my extreme skin decides he's off and does a complete disappearing trick behind my bivvy flat on the floor, however luckly for double pegging the panic attack was soon over after probably feeding a full cup of coffee to the gravel. I get myself all set back up again and reinforce my pegging points, there’s no way this is going anywhere now. Door zipped tight shut.

It was 11pm and time for bed. I lay there listening to the wind and slowly drop off. At 1am however I’m soon awake again as I seem to have found the bivvy monster, he’s huge and makes a howling sound and shakes your bivvy like you wouldn’t believe. I thought the wind earlier was bad, no that was warm up, I’m now sitting on my bed looking out at my mate’s bivvy who's also got another one of these bivvy monsters attacking it. Anyway I decide for a cup of tea and a fag, I've been awoken now so I may as well see what’s happening, by the time the kettle has boiled and tea in hand I decide to venture outside, hmmm, no, its got worse again!!!!!!! Wind straight at my bivvy now, I didn’t know the front of my bivvy could come in that far lol, well I do now, the wind was so strong that it was pressing upon the front of the bivvy so hard and then releasing so quickly that my extreme wrap support bars were twanging off. I didn't like this, I use a chub cyfish plus with extreme wrap and I must admit, prob not the most expensive bivvy in the world, but it’s had everything chucked at it and has always been fine, saying that my confidence is dwindling fast. I can
honestly say that I’m sat there actually dreading the noise of the next bivvy monster attack.

It’s now 2 a.m. and the sound of the wind is amazing, I think sometimes we forget what its like out there. I’ve got an interesting situation, not only is the wind still picking up, I can tell because my outer skin is getting closer each time lol. Also the sound of the waves crashing on the bank not 4 feet away from me is getting louder as well, add to that the bite alarms are consistently beeping due to the rods being chucked around in the wind, I’m clipped up as tight as you could be with my fox sensitivity on lowest it can be, yet still they’re beeping all the time.

Now luckily I’m a few feet above the water level so I’m feeling confident that I’m not going to get any wash what I am worrying about is the bivvy itself, I’m pegged down into a gravel swim so my pegs aren’t into what I’d call solid ground. Beep Beep Beep, How am I going to ever actually know if I get a bite lol. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP, trust me even in conditions like that, a runs a run.

It’s now 2.20am, bite alarms sounding, baitrunner spinning, and I’m actually wondering what to do. Normally I’m on the rod in a second, no matter what my attire but now I’m stood there hesitating as to whether actually go out. SOD IT. I run out zip the door up behind me lol and strike. I'm in, waited forever for this and its happened, I feel the weight of the fish for a second and then all I feel the wind on the line, I have absolutely no idea how big this fish is because I can hardly keep the rod still in the wind, imagine it, I’m stood there being blown around like an idiot, I cant keep still the winds that strong, I cant hold the rod properly, the wind keeps trying to throw it all over the place, I cant even see the line as the waves are blocking my vision.

Anyway I manage to get an idea of what direction he's heading and quite quickly gain line, he bait was initially about 70yds, I’m about 1/2 way there so I decide to reach for my landing net as I’d hidden it a bit to stop it being blown away. You think a rod is hard to hold, try a deep 42" landing net. Absolutely no chance, after swinging me in a 180 direction on the first attempt its time to scream at my m8 like a girl. PETER, I’m yelling as loud as I can and the sods fast asleep. Eventually I get his attention as the fish is nearing the bank, I’m thinking ok slow this down he'll be here in a minute, ahhh no, the wind is so strong, the waves so bloody high the fish is being washed up the bank by the tide. I steer him back out to the deeper water as Peter gets to me with the net. At this point my pod decides to throw itself over on the bank. Net in water, and carp slipped into it. I get him on the mat and unhook, approx 7lb mirror, well not what I was after, but it’s a fish, my first linear carp.

All the best - Dean Hermitage and Peter Kemp from Devon.