IN SESSION | Mark Pitchers’ Session Pack Mission

Having fished the other lakes on the East Delph complex numerous times, whether that be for tuitions or for filming, Mark was keen to have a go on the Front Lake; he’d only previously fished it once in the past, so fancied a chance of catching a few of its scaly residents.

We arrived at the complex in the late afternoon so a quick couple of laps were in order to figure out where the fish seemed to be situated and then it was time to get some tackle sorted. We wanted to know what he was looking for on the location side of things…

Mark Pitchers: “All of the lakes on site are quite silty in places, so you will often see them sheeting up, sending big plumes of fizz to the surface, which can be a great indicator of where they are. You generally won’t always see them show so sometimes it’s worth looking out for those more subtle signs; sometimes the fizzing can just be gas being released from the lake bed so being vigilant of what the bubbles look like or if they’re moving is key. Sometimes you will also notice trails of fizz coming up off the bottom in a line, this can be the carp swimming low to the deck, just disturbing the sediment that is present, which can often cause bubbles to erupt.”

East Delph was the venue of choice.

Mark had just a Session Pack to use as bait for the session ahead - would it be enough to produce the goods.

After doing a lap of mainly looking at open water we noticed Mark was now checking out overhanging trees and reedy areas.

MP: “Carp love cover, even more so on pressured day tickets such as this one; anywhere they can tuck themselves away, out of sight of any angling pressure they will often do so. I don’t think we’ll see them in the water as it’s quite coloured but again I’m looking for any subtle fizzes or even a vortex on the surface. As for the reeds, they often make them twitch as they’re moving through them, which is always a great indicator that there are carp present.”

That makes total sense. Mark had decided on a quiet secluded corner of the lake where he noticed lots of fizzing but also a lack of angling pressure.

MP: “I think this is going to be my best starting point; this whole end of the lake has no lines in so I think naturally a lot of fish would have migrated down here. It also opens up a lot of stalking opportunities, should I need them. I think it’s time to get some kit and get some rods in the water.”

Watching and waiting - Mark made sure he was on fish before setting up!

Mark primed some spots in likely looking areas to give him a back up plan.

Before he went to get his bait out of the van, we told him not to bother. We’d sorted it for this trip, offering him a Pacific Tuna session pack… it was time to put Mark to the test. Everything needed bait-wise for this trip was in there and to set a little challenge he couldn’t use anything else.

MP: “Okay, that doesn’t seem like an issue, it has 2kg of pellets, 1kg Pacific Tuna boilies, some matching pop-ups and matching Bait Booster. Everything you could possibly need for a 24-hour session like this one. Right then, let’s get to work and try to get a bite or two!”

Mark wasted no time in knocking up some rigs ready to get out there and we were keen to find out what sort of presentation he would be using.

MP: “The nature of the lake is quite silty, there are lots of trees on the complex so leaf litter on the lake bed is to be expected. Now a lot of people will opt for rigs popped up above the silt in these situations, but judging from my success on the other lakes here a wafter style hook bait can certainly get you more bites. Because I’ve got no wafters in the session pack you gave me, I can improvise and make my own critically balanced bait with the use of the pop-ups and a bottom bait; using half of each will give me a semi-buoyant hook bait.

“I’m going to couple that up with a Camotex Soft hook link to ensure the rig doesn’t kick up off the bottom if it lays over any debris. I’m still going to use a lead clip, but a smaller lead than normal, no bigger than 2.5oz, just so the rig doesn’t plug into the bottom too far, which would hinder my presentation.”

The rig of choice, a balanced bottom bait, made using half a Pacific Tuna boilie & half-a Airball pop-up - very crafty Mark!

While he was tying up his chosen rigs for the trip we wanted to know if there were any areas he was going to target in particular.

MP: “I think I’m going to cast a single rod over towards a bush that is overhanging the water’s edge, but with the second rod I’m going to leave that out for the time being until I feel an opportunity presents itself. In the meantime, I am going to prime a few areas in the edges, which I can keep an eye on throughout our trip.”

Mark made sure to keep the line nice and slack so the fish don't bump into it, potentially spooking them out of the area.

He positioned a single rod just off the bush where he felt a bite could happen and we wanted to know how he was going to make the most of the free offerings that came with the session pack.

MP: “I think what I’m going to do is add the Pacific Tuna Bait Booster to the boilies; it will really crank up the food signals and attraction levels of the boilies. It’ll also help keep out the smell of any stinky silt that may be on the bottom. Due to the boilies already having liquid on them it’ll push out flavour, rather than drawing in the stench of the bottom. I’m going to introduce a handful or two of both chopped and whole boilies and then a couple of handfuls of pellets just to keep the fish in the area a bit longer if and when they decide to visit and feed on the spots.”

Mark put a few handfuls of bait over the rod in play and introduced some into likely looking areas. We then sat back and enjoyed a brew while ‘chewing the fat’. The evening was drawing in and his rod positioned off the bush indicated a few beeps and it was game on!

MP: “This rod actually went a lot quicker than I expected, after giving them a good few handfuls of bait spread around the area I was expecting maybe a night bite or first light take off this rod but out of the blue the bobbin pulled up and we’re in!”

Mark chose to add some of the Pacific Tuna Bait Booster, giving them some extra punch to combat the silt.

A mixture of whole and chopped baits would keep the carp guessing.

After quite a brief battle Mark bundled his prize into the net and it was a wonderful scaly fish.

MP: “Look at that! An epic scaly of just over 20lb, this is one of Tony Campbell’s stockies that fishery owner James has introduced into the lake and what lovely carp they are! Let’s get a couple of stills and get the rod back into position for the night ahead.”

First bite and its a cracker!

He slipped the unique carp back and got the rod back in to position for the night ahead. Unfortunately, the night passed uneventfully and we could see the look of frustration on Mark’s face.

MP: “I expected another bite last night for sure but unfortunately there was a fish trailing line in the swim which wiped me out six times through the night. Eventually I managed to hook the line properly and the fish came free, which is grea; however, it did ruin any chances of a bite I may have had throughout the hours of darkness. I think it’s time to go and check some of the spots I prepped yesterday, see if there is any feeding activity as I think the chance of a bite here now is gone.”

After a walk down the bank we approached a corner where Mark had previously baited and it was like a witch’s cauldron, froth all around the spot. We could see his face start to light up.

MP: “This is an opportunity not to be missed, they’ve obviously got on that bait this morning and are turning the bottom over looking for the pellets and chopped boilies. The tricky part now is getting a rig in play without spooking any feeding fish. Fortunately it’s only within a rod length of the bank so I should be able to swing one out there without making much disturbance at all.”