Following a fair few of my ‘much younger’ years spent fishing on the match scene,  I soon found myself on more carp orientated venues, and for two years I could regularly be found on the banks at Tri-lakes Country Park; Where I enjoyed success both during the warmer months and during the coldest of winters. Managing to land some cracking fish along the way, including some of the larger originals that inhabited the scenic complex.

Following several good years fishing around the Yateley area, by the age of 16 I started camping out for my quarry I’d started on a venue closer to home, in search of the old warriors that occupy the depths of the 35 acre, ultra hard ‘Clear Pit’ venue. In fact, the lake still holds the British Tench Record since 2003. The lake had a very low head of carp (30-35carp) so I knew I had my work cut out. I did as many overnighters as possible during a 5month period during that summer with little to show for my efforts. Id managed several good tench to over 8lb and following the agonising loss of carp number three, I decided I needed to fish a more realistic venue at that time. I think i was more disheartened than anything and my recurrent bad luck had started to grate. After all, I wanted to progress, as I had started developing aspirations of being more involved in the angling industry.

ant ballard with a nice mirrorI’d had a productive winter prior; I’d finally got my driving licence under my belt, and all my studying and exams as part of my apprenticeship were completed. I was raring to go!

The next chapter…

Late that winter I’d purchased a ticket for Frimley pit1 with the plan to start early spring…To cut a long story short, with an estimated stock of 60 carp, I’d gone on to land 54 different fish over the 18months I spent fishing the pit; and the venue only permitted ‘day fishing’. I was doing a maximum of 2 days a week, and for 12months of the 18 I was on the venue, I was fortunate enough to have the lake pretty much to myself. I kept several areas baited with the awesome Sticky Bloodworm Boilies, and before long, the carp in there simply couldn’t get enough. Sticky Bloodworm wafters tipped with the old faithful enterprise fluoro red corn doing the damage time and time again!

On to bigger things…

After carefully considering my options I decided upon a southern syndicate that I’d had my eyes on for a few years previous. After sifting through as many catch photo’s from the venue I could find, and following a few phone calls; my application and cheque were in the post, my targets were set and I couldn’t wait to get started.

This time around I was armed with the latest bait from sticky, the awesome Vortex range. It had proved a real winner in my winter fishing prior and I had total confidence in it. (even more so now!)

ant ballard with 39lb-commonIf the carp god’s were shining on me during my time spent over Frimley, they certainly hadn’t left me yet, as it only took two sessions and 3nights to bag the first of my targets. A stunning old warrior, a fish called the ‘big common’, which went 39lb 4oz!. A new personal best made it all the more special. A large spread of Vortex freezer baits and a 16mm White chocolate pop-up fished on a naked chod rig doing the business. Pukka!
… Following a busy year with other commitments, some angling related, I didn’t spend half as much time over on the new syndicate as I’d of liked. Despite that, I did go on to bag several good fish. I will be back over there this year to hopefully continue where I left off, and tick a few more boxes on the hit list.

All the best for now,
Antony Ballard