As my regular readers are aware I dislike commercial fisheries and the thought of being stuck on a small pond with loads of other anglers was a horrible vision however on arrival the lake was so packed that we had to head elsewhere. I would like to state that although I dislike commercial fisheries they do have there place for children to learn the trade and can produce some other specimen fish not targeted regularly such as Perch and Eels. It is however so sad to see fully grown men bivyed up next to each other like sardines on a tiny pond with all the kit trying to catch a pastie. If only they realised what was out there in the form of fishing large wild secluded gravel pits with some beautiful fish that challenged you thoroughly.
03/10/14 – 05/10/14 My partner asked me what I would like to do for my 28th birthday and with no hesitation I responded “lets go fishing together like old times”. The kids were sent with nanny to Eastbourne and we set out to Beaver Farm Fishery to target the large cats in Tuscany Lake. Now I would like to state that the only reason for going to Beaver Farm was because I was targeting catfish and the amenities present at the venue including toilets etc. would be ideal for my partner. As a specimen hunter I feel I should target all species and this was a new adventure for me having never caught a catfish before.
The next venue on route to Eastbourne was Tanyards Fisheries in Uckfield but on arrival the bailiff stated that Danielle had to pay £40 for just staying there? Out of principle we left the horrible open looking venue and the small muddy ponds that were packed to the brim with fish aiming it impossible not to catch. Even when standing by the lake edge numerous large carp surfaced feeding of the top. The two fishermen on the lake were fishing on the bottom unaware the fish were asking to be caught down the other end of the lake. “Look around” I though as we jumped into the car and head up to Eastbourne. Is this really fishing?
Our trip was now in jeopardy and we were heading to pick the kids up from their nans. We were sad that our holiday wasn’t on the cards when Danielle looked up from here iphone and stated “Wylands Fishery in Battle has a catfish lake”. With a quick call to the bailiff who said it was ok to come down we turned direction and head for Hastings. They even lent us a larger unhooking mat. We arrived got set up quickly with the rods out just as dark was falling and better still we were the only ones on the lake.
I fished a swim that gave access to some reeds that lined the lake and I felt that this would be a patrol route for the cats. I fished simple hair rigs on both rods with a size 2 barbless catfish hook. This was baited with nearly half a large tin of luncheon meat on a 6″ hair. That would sort the kittens out from the tigers I thought. The first night passed without a fish and it wasn’t looking good for a take. It was during the afternoon at about 5pm when my left hand rod let out a few beeps and the began to whip round. I grabbed the rod before any line was taken on my tightened up clutch and the battle commenced. I couldn’t do anything with this fish at fist and run after run it ended up surfacing on the other side of the lake.
Ten minutes later my arms were aching and fifteen minutes later she still was beat. Eventually after nearly half an hour she was in the net and looked massive. The scales read 49lb 4oz and not only was it my first catfish but it was a lump. I was really pleased and the trip was made worth wile. I found out from the bailiff that the biggest cat out to date was 52lb so it was nearly a lake record. I think I will leave the cats for a few years now and the venues they reside in, Tight Lines.