Farlows surface fishing
Alex – Throughout the whole of the winter and early spring, I have been begging for some warmer weather. Finally it’s come along and Carl and I feel like we’ve made the most of it! I have done plenty of quick sessions stalking carp at some of my local ponds, but we have also taken the time to travel up to Farlows Lake to target some of the incredible carp it’s know for. The main reason for heading up to Farlows was for the grand opening of Eric’s new angling shop and we were kindly invited as guests for three days. We have fished Farlows in the past but it’s annoyingly never been surface fishing conditions, but we were pleased to see the forecast showing sun all weekend! It was on, time to catch a Farlows carp off the surface. Well, that was the plan. The weekend came and the bright, warm sun had brought pretty much every carp in the lake to the surface layers and we saw so many big carp as we walked around. In particular we found a large group of fish in a reedy channel between a couple of bays and soon had the occasional fish taking mixers. Carl was on it in an instant and quickly tied a freelined set up and simply side-hooked a fake mixer so that most the hook was still showing.
It took a while to get the fish competing, but Carl did manage three fish in the few hours we spent in the reedy channel. One was a low 20lb, dark-as-you-like common and the other two were mirrors. All were big, beautiful carp, one being a near 30lb heavily-scaled mirror. Exactly what we came for and Carl was chuffed to get off the mark so quickly. I, however, didn’t manage a single bite. I think this was because I opted for a controller float that wasn’t really needed because it was only a very short cast and I spooked the fish away from my bait every cast, unlike free-lining where it is possible to cast with minimal disturbance. That evening the fish moved out of the shallows and so did we, round to some deeper water in peg 61 where there was still a couple of fish cruising on the surface. After getting a couple of rigs presented on the bottom with boilies, I catapulted out some mixers to the islands to the right and soon had a couple taking confidently. I kept the bait going in little-and-often until more and more fish joined in the feed. I cast my controller float to 40 yards in between a gap in the islands and, 10 minutes later, I had a beautiful big common in the net! The next day we had a couple more from Lake 1 but, because some of the swims were being closed for the open day, we moved to Lake 2 where we got the fish feeding really confidently. We fished a number of different swims, mainly the weedy areas where the fish were sunbathing and over the next two days we landed a total of 15 more carp, mostly scaly mirrors with the odd common mixed in. Alan Blair from Nash even turned up for the open day and was desperate to catch a carp. He asked us where his best chance of a bite off the top would be so we walked round to a weedy bay on Lake 2. It didn’t take Alan long to hook and land a low double mirror and he was over the moon to catch his first ever Farlows carp. Every take we had was awesome! Seeing the fish swim up to the hookbait, slurp in the pop-up and then watching as the float whipped across the surface. We loved every minute of it. Even better, all the fish were caught using cheap Tesco mixers as feed and a trimmed down TGActive pop-up as hookbait. A simple, cheap way to fish, and proper exiting! After that session we felt the need to make the most of the warm weather and return to Farlows. The next trip was just a day session but we still managed to get a few fish feeding on Lake 1. We were in peg 7 next to a large weedbed where the fish obviously felt very safe. We kept a constant drift of mixers going over the fish hoping to draw them away from their safe sanctuary in the weed. Carl and I landed two fish that day, again both 20lb+ scaly mirrors that fought like trains. We were amazed at the average size and quality of Farlows’ fish, which not many other places can beat. I would definitely recommend a session there if you want to have some great surface action. Just choose the right day when the wind is light the sun is out. Good luck!