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03 Aug 2017
by CARPology
Redmire commons
How Josh Green bucked the trend

Growing up in the Yateley area has meant Josh Green has been spoilt when it comes to premium venues. The Car Park, The North Lake - and this year, the Split Lake. The removal of the catfish from this picture-perfect venue has meant the stock has flourished - and now holds 40lb Redmire strain commons. Old and dark with withered, rounded fins which are “just gangster!” according to Josh. And whilst everyone seemed to follow the same trend of fishing single, bright pop-ups, Josh used a different approach: loads of boilies, fed at regular intervals, and once again he proved bucking the trend works - it sure does work…

Ensuring that everything was bang-on for the following morning

Josh, when did you begin fishing the Yateley Split Lake this year?
“The ticket began at the start of April and I made sure to be down for the opening week of the season. I had fished every lake on the Yateley complex in the past at some point or another - being a local lad I have been spoilt for choice to be honest and have been fortunate to fish for some truly epic carp.”

You were pretty young when you were on The Car Park, how did you fair?
“There were six mirrors left in the lake at the time and of course a few commons. I managed to catch a few, with The Dustbin being the highlight for me. It was a proper Yateley carp, with its withered fins and leathery flanks; it was just the one in my opinion.

“I fished The North a few years ago too and caught quite a few of the fish; some have since gone over 50lb! But after The North I came onto The Split, before deciding to get my arse into gear and learn to drive and all that and stopped fishing. I was buzzed to get back fishing, but things were going to be different. I now had a job and my fishing had to fit round that, which I was looking forward to.”

Can you describe the lake for us because it is a spectacular looking carp lake…
“It is around eight-acres - three-and-half one side and slightly bigger than the other, separated by a small split in some islands. Both sides are extremely weedy, up and down with various bars, humps and bumps, along with snags and various islands; it really is a cool lake.”

The lake was split by a small gap
A spring single-chucking caught 37lb mirror
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Was there a specific target fish when coming onto the Split?
“Well, in previous lakes that I had fished, you had targets so to speak. They were low stocked and you were setting traps more than fishing for bites. We don’t really know how many fish are in The Split, maybe 80-carp, which is a decent stock. There are fish I wanted to catch, but I think for the amount of carp in the lake, and the way I chose to fish it, I was playing the numbers game more than anything.”

Was that the plan, feed them plenty of bait?
“A lot of my fishing in the past has been with small amounts of baits, setting traps and so on. When I had previously fished The Split, everyone fished single hookbaits, due the infestation of catfish. You couldn’t use bait, even particles, as the cats used to nail you. I have caught a 70lb catfish from here in late November on a single white chocolate pop-up. You just think, this is absolutely absurd, what do you have to do to avoid them? Thankfully now most of them are gone and it makes the fishing totally different. You knew the cats had held back the carp from being able to smash food, so that is how I wanted to fish it.

“They had never seen it before and a lot of people wouldn’t use a lot of boilies, so it seemed the perfect plan. It was going to cost me a lot of money, but I knew it would work and if that is what was needed to catch some of the epic fish in the lake, that is what I had to do.

“I did do the typical single hookbait spring fishing before going through with the baiting plan once the fish had spawned.”

Did you catch a few fish during the spring single fishing?
“Yeah, I caught quite a few on Naked Chods, casting to showing fish. For the first two weeks loads of fish came out, then it slowed right down. It transpired that it was because they had spawning on their mind and they did it very early this year. I had a few smaller ones and a 37lb 8oz mirror, which was a nice fish. I also had a lovely Redmire common too, which are the fish I really wanted to catch from here. They are all ancient looking things, the perfect example of how a common should look in my eyes.”

The lake was surrounded by snags, pads and safe zones
A classic looking Redmire banger! 5. Josh decided to up the levels of boilies, ready for when they opened it after spawning
It was working and he was catching a number of fish from the off
Not huge carp, but size is irrelevant
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Once the fish spawned and it was time to bait, did you pick a swim or choose various areas?
“It is a weird one because the other side of the lake that I didn’t choose to fish is the much more appealing side. You have islands, pads, bars, snags - absolutely everything and it does draw you in. However, the bigger fish in the lake mainly get caught from the side that I am sitting on now and chose to fish.

“The big mirror that went 46lb this year, in the last five years has only been caught from this side, so it made sense to fish it and pick an area that isn’t overly popular and the fish visit regularly.

“It was so weedy out there when I first came in it, but soon found a couple of spots and baited them heavily. I was making sure there was bait on the two spots every day of the week. I was fishing the weekends and doing the odd worknight, but the nights I wasn’t fishing I would come down and feed them; I reckon I was getting through 20-25kg of Krillper week, which was costing a small fortune, but those carp thanked me for it.”

How did the first trip go after your baiting?
“So they opened it up and I did the night and had a 29lb common in the morning. Then a few hours later they started spawning again. It was only the stragglers, but nobody likes fishing for spawning carp, so that was it until he re-opened it
the following Friday. I couldn’t make the Friday, but I was there Saturday and I think I had five bites over the next 48hrs.”

““You have islands, pads, bars, snags - absolutely everything and it does draw you in. However, the bigger fish in the lake mainly get caught from the side that I am sitting on now and chose to fish.””

You have had some incredible commons haven’t you?
“They are banging aren’t they, just absolutely epic! The main target for me was The Big Redmire, which tends to do one or two bites a year. There are several that go between 35lb and 40lb, and they are all the same strain but each has its own recognisable characteristics.”

What sort of hookbaits were you fishing over such clean spots that are fed with just boilies?
“I do chop and change at times to be fair, depending on the situation. Predominantly I will fish a long coated braided hooklink, with a straight 20mm bottom bait over it. I have never been an angler that fishes a bright one over a baited spot to be honest. If I have them that tuned into a bait, I don’t see the point in putting something else out there. It seems a bit off to have thousands of baits out there and then there is just this great white one sat amongst them. If I were fishing over 30 baits then I may put a bright one over it, but I was putting a lot of boilies out and they were eating it.

“The other rod, which is on a different spot to the main one, I have fished a pop-up, but again a match-the-hatch style. The only thing I have done with them is glugged them up and added the Krill Powder to give them a bit of a coating.”

Josh decided to up the levels of boilies, ready for when they opened it after spawning
Krill pop-ups that had been Krilled right up produced some good fish
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You have had quite a session this trip, what has happened?
“So I got down after work, got in the swim and put the bait out. I then had a mooch, went and saw a few of the lads for a cup of tea and then came back and pinged them out.

“It would have been around 5am the following morning when the rod rattled off, whipping out the other rod which was good fun. It was one of the Redmires, totally emptied out at 31lb 8oz. Around 9am the left-hander melted on a tight clutch. I knew it was a chunk and it was on the surface, stripping line. It battled out in the middle and once it came in the edge she was just beaten. It was The Big Redmire, spawned out at 37lb 8oz.

She was the nuts, what an epic creature and it was the fish that I had wanted so much. We got the shots done and she went back perfectly, ending a special moment for me.

“The following morning I had a 15lb common and again around 9am, the left-hander was away with another banging Redmire at over 26lb. Another incredible carp, not big, but just gangster!”

One of the big commons spawned out at over 31lb
She had been feeding over him for a while
Last look at a lovely old carp
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