A couple of month's ago I was in the shop working away with my lad when my phone rang. It was James, my Nash rep, asking what are you doing May 1st to the 5th? My answer, working and slowly getting everything set in place with the shop because my fishing trip to France was fast approaching. Then the words he said made me stop in my tracks and listen. You've got a week on the Church Lake if you want it? My first words were, I can't and then it went silent. What do you mean, you can't, asked Jim. Then I explained, if I went for a week on the Church it would only leave 3 weeks till I'm off to France and I have no problem with it but the wife might and all I got was, yeah I know what your saying but it is the Church Lake!
That evening I locked up the shop trying to come up with a very good reason why I really need to fish the Church Lake. I think one of the reasons I wasn't that bothered is because I'd like to say I'm pretty good friends with Kevin and he'd said I could fish it whenever I wanted to and just to ask. So that evening I sat around the dinner table, I just said, Kevin has invited me to fish on the Church Lake but I'm going to say no because its too close to my French trip, and awaited the reply. My wife's reply, idiot, why aren't you going?? Then she said, it doesn't bother me, you know it doesn't and then, you know I love having the king size bed all to myself without you snoring ( been married too long now lol ). So that was it, within seconds of her saying that, the text was sent, I'M GOING ON THE CHURCH!!
The weeks flew by as the shop was busy and I still had to sort my gear out from my last french trip and get new line on my reels. Then I realised, I had a week to get my gear looked at so I re-spooled my reels with 15lb Daiwa Tournament ST and thought, do I take the scopes or my 13ft Free Spirit Hi'S Ive's. Anyone that knows me knows I just fish - I don't get involved with whether I follow a fashion or not. To me, it's about using tried and tested gear that I know won't let me down. Like the old saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it! 13ft rods it was then.
Once I'd sorted all my gear out it was down to bait. To me bait is one of the most important parts about fishing, other than hooks which are equally as important. I have people come into my shop spending a lot of money on rods, reels and other gear, then ask me what's the cheapest bait I sell. I just don't get it! No, bait doesn't have to be expensive, using pellets, particles, bread and things like that but I like to think the boilies I use are a very good food source for the carp and that they are going to love it once they've picked it up and fed on it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no bait expert and I once got onto one very well known bait that at the time was meant to be ripping lakes apart ( so I read ) and I got on it thinking, just because it was an expensive bait it must be good. I put around 80 kilo of this bait into the water I was fishing but not one run or fish to account for it. I thought, it can't be the bait because I'm reading its catching a lot of fish, it must be me and my approach, rigs etc. So I changed everything except the bait and still never caught.
Then one day I turned up to the lake and set up on the spots that I knew were catching for other's and started fishing, put the kettle on and couldn't find my cup, so I delved right to the bottom of my rucksack and pulled out, not my cup but half a bag of shelf-life Nash Bait Scopex Squid Liver. I can't remember how long they had been in there but I had nothing to lose as I was catching nothing on the other so called wonder bait so I put one on and a handful of free offerings around it. I sat back after finding my cup with a nice hot cuppa only to be alerted by my right hand alarm, a fish was on. I shot up because I wasn't expecting it, spilling most of the hot tea down me but I didn't care, I had a fish on and landed a common of around 20lb. That then got me thinking, so when I packed up I went to a tackle shop and got a fresh bag of Scopex Squid Liver and put two rods on it on my next trip with my wonder bait on only one rod. That session I had two fish but only on the Scopex Squid, hence my next trip I only took the Scopex Squid and threw the wonder bait away.
I have used many bait's over the years like, Nutrabaits Big Fish Mix with Cranberry, Trigger, Carp Companies Icelandic Red, CC Moores Odyssey xxx and more but the one I've always came back to is, Nash Bait Scopex Squid or when I used a lot of it, it was called Scopex Squid Liver. So if you are on a bait that catches wherever you take it or its caught you lots of fish and your confident in it, WHY change it just because a company in a magazine say's its bringing out the new wonder bait? Because I bet you will only sit there questioning yourself when the runs aren't happening and it's more than likely not you but the bait!
Getting back to the Church Lake, that was it my mind was made up - it had to be Scopex Squid but I added some of the Nash Bait Sweet Corn liquid because of its sweet taste and its buttery scopex smell and I knew it would go great with my chosen bait and it did!!!
LOOK OUT FOR CHURCH LAKE PART 2