Solar Team Member Billy Scotter looks back at a succesful but ultimately frustrating season on Pingewood Lagoon.
I was sitting on the bank of a little kent syndicate in the late summer of 2017, when I started to think where I wanted to angle the following year. I had been enjoying myself catching some nice lookers from the syndicate in the couple of months that I had fished it. But I fancied going to fish for a biggun or two again. After thinking of a number of pits that I could join, pingewood popped into mind. It was the obvious choice really, as I had done a few months on there in 2014 when I joined the club with a couple of mates. However, I was unable to carry on in my pursuit for the pits inhabitants, due to financial difficulties at the time. A few fish had sadly passed away over the few years that I was away, and the biggun of the lake, the brute, wasn’t looking so good in the summer of 2017, it had been seen swimming on its side looking a bit poorly. So it wasn’t certain that he would be around by the time I started, but time would tell. However, there was certain others in the pit that I would love to have my time with. Fish such as cluster, The Leney and floppy tail to name a few. Floppy tail is actually one of the younger carp that got stocked into the pit around 2013, but what a carp it is, big apple slice scales covering its flanks and a floppy tail to give it some character. Its grown on really well, doing a top weight of 43lb at the right time I believe. That one I definitely wanted. So my mind was made up, a return to pingewood lagoon it would be. I carried on fishing the kent syndicate for a while, but only really doing the odd session on there at that point. I spent the winter preparing for the return to the lagoon, cooking up plenty of hemp and tigers, and an order put in for solars club mix bolies and up and down mix. I was really looking forward to getting back to the pit. I actually ended up going up for a trip in February, just to get a feel for the place again more than anything, and do some marker work while the banks were quiet. The weather wasn’t actually that bad that trip, lovely sunny days, felling a little spring like, I thought maybe this is it, the weather is improving. How wrong I was, as the next month and half we had freezing cold temperatures and plenty of snow. So, it was mid march when I returned, the weather hadn’t really improved, but I had enough of waiting for it to turn and decided I was going for it, whatever the weather. Was I glad I did, as that first trip back I bagged myself a little original common, falling to a bit of black foam on a zig rig with a couple of spombs of solars up and down mix over the top, in the snow to boot, result. I carried on with this tactic and managed another four bites over the next three trips, another little original common, a little stockie, a 31.8lb mirror and a lost fish I, was buzzing to have had a fish so early on.
I had kept these captures on the quiet, hoping that I could carry on getting in the swim and having a few more. However after another couple of trips in the swim with nothing happening and seeing fish showing in other areas, I decided after that trip in the swim I would start baiting a couple of other swims. There was one swim in particular that I decided would get my attention for a while, as a good friend of mine had done well in the swim a couple of years ago around the same time of year and had a couple of the real nice ones. I baited the swim with a bucket of particle and 10kg of club mix bolies before leaving on a Sunday, knowing I would be back in a few days time, having booked a week off work, which was around the full moon period. The first night in the swim after that bait up produced a little stockie. I then did a couple more nights without a bite, and so decided to up sticks and move to another swim I had trickled a bit of bait into, as I had seen a few shows in the area at first light. The night and the next morning were real quiet, I hadn’t seen or heard a thing, so come midday I was off on a lap around the lake again looking for mr carp. I got half way around the pit, when I found a lot of fish in a corner, of which wasn’t to far away from the swim I had caught the stockie from a few nights before. So that was that, back to the swim, gear wrapped up and back to the original swim. I gave the spots a good helping of club mix bolies and decided I would stay put for the rest of the trip. I managed two more bites from the swim that trip, unfortunately one I lost after it getting down the back of a plateaux and cutting me off. However the next bite I landed, after peering into the net I realised I had got one named the leney, a very special old carp and one that was right up there on my wish list, I was BUZZING.
The following week was a weekend trip, which I spent in that swim again, but nothing had happened. On the Sunday before leaving I decided I would have a lead about in another swim at the other end of the pit, one that I had in my head to also keep a bit of bait trickling into , as I knew in past years it had produced a fair few bites. However, during early spring there was a guy fishing it quite regaurly so I left him to it, by now though he had started concentrating in another swim. I had a good lead about out there and found a nice thirm area covered by a bit of blanket weed, but this had plenty of natural food in so I know it would be a winner. I decided I would start baiting this swim and the other I had been fishing, giving myself a couple of options. The next trip was a five nighter, having booked another week off work. The first two nights were spent in the swim I caught the Leney from, having seen a fair few fish up that end when I turned up, however two nights in, that end of the lake became lifeless, and upon taking a walk up to the other end of the pit and having a watch, I see a few shows out in front of the other swim I had started trickling bait into, so a quick move was in order. In the swim, rods on the spots and 5 kilo of bait was deposited over them. Again the first two nights nothing occurred, but then the next two mornings I received three bites, which resulted in a repeat of a little common, a lost fish and a nice dark 27lb common, “LOVELY TIMES”.
Before leaving the lake that weekend I had a chat with a fella, who informed me he was going to be at the lake for 3 months solid, with him and two others doing solid time, I know i would now be up against it, if being 90 miles away from the pond isn’t enough, when theres a few doing a lot of time it makes things a lot harder, but hey that’s carp fishing these days, you cant expect to bait swims and get in them all the time. So it was back to the good old opportunist angling. A week or so later I had a phone call from a lad that I got to know from fishing there, he informed me that he had found the brute dead, looked like it had been dead for some time, rotting on the bottom but finally popped up and floated in on the wind (RIP THE BRUTE). I done a couple of nights at the end of june , and then was away from the pond for a while, as went on hols. Infact I didn’t do much at all throughout July and august, only managing a couple of trips. The trip in august I actually managed to get back into the swim I had my last few bites from, and would you believe it, I managed a bite off of the same spot on my first morning, however it wasn’t to be and I lost it to a hookpull fifteen yards off of the bank, looked a good fish to, big wide back bobbing about, then ping, out comes the hook, devastated. After that trip I only managed a few more nights over the next couple of months, due to a lot of work coming up that i just couldn’t turn down. So that brings us up to date with my return to the lagoon, lovely times had and a few nice old cyprys banked, maybe I will return again in the spring of 2019 for another go, but then it all depends on the work load, whatever happens, I wil be out and about having a go somehere or other, happy new year to you all, and best of luck in whatever your plans are for the new year.