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End Of Year Round Up 2013 by Adam Penning

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2013 has gone almost as suddenly as it arrived and in a few short days it will be another new year.

 There have been many standout memories from Fryerning – a year where once again, many personal bests came true and a serious number of big carp were banked.

The year started, as it did on every fishery around the country, absolutely abysmally! One of the worst winters in many decades held us in an icy clasp from late November through till March, with bitter Easterly winds persisting well into April. I can recall that even in the middle of April, I was still cocooned in more layers that an onion in a bid to stay warm.

As a result, Fryerning gave up only two fish in January, none whatsoever in February (normally a noted big fish month everywhere) and only three in March. Five fish in three months! Those captures were extremely well deserved by those hardy souls who did venture out – well done lads. It was a far cry from the end of 2012 when a short respite of low pressure and Gulf Stream air had persuaded the fish to feed hard over the Christmas period, something they had done two years in a row. Indeed, Fryerning had fast carved out a reputation as a serious big fish proposition in cold weather but even that record could not be sustained into 2013, such was the bitter onslaught of Arctic air. The most notable cold weather capture came in March to Mick Baldry when he caught the Gurm on a zig from the Left Hand Point at over 45lbs.

The general lack of captures lead everyone to expect a spring bonanza and when it came it more than made up for dead winter months. April had arrived and with it came a flurry of fish. One of the first off the mark was the consistent Darren Taylor and I was there when he took a brace of fish in still lingering cold weather, from the Millstone. They were both thirties and stunning fish too – the biggest was 37lbs and looked like something out of Savay.


April saw the lake relinquish no less than eleven thirties and four forties. Things were starting to wake up although it was quite apparent that the severe winter had taken a toll on the weights of some of the fish. This was evident on known big fish from across the country with some fish being more than 3lbs down on previous best weights.

As perhaps expected, May was the month that produced the most fish from the whole year and the number of thirties alone exceeded 25 along with 6 forties. One of the many notable captures was Phil Blanchard who having had a bit of a struggle the previous year, had now got to grips with the lake and proved it by banking the impressive Mommon at over 42lbs.

June was almost as good as May with 20 different thirties and another 5 forties being banked. It also saw the Gurm captured at a superb post spawning weight of 48lbs which made many of us think that a really big weight was possible for this fish later in the year…

Things didn’t slow down much in July and despite the lake was now a bit quieter, there were still 16 thirties and 4 forties banked. It is fair to point out that a lot of the upper thirties caught over the year were the known big forty pound fish, either down in weight from the winter or from a successful spawning.
August and September were also prolific months and it wasn’t until we reached October that things began to slow down. That month saw Phil Blanchard recapture the Mommon at just over 45lbs and in the process set a new record common for the lake. I don’t know about you but I think this fish and it’s enormous frame are capable of much more and I am tipping it to continue growing, possibly hitting 50lbs in the next few years. That really would be something!

October had lived up to its reputation as a true big fish month and on top of 8 thirties and 3 forties it also produced the Gurm to Mark Shildrake at just over 50lbs. Yet another personal best achieved and with the winter months still to come, we all expected the lakes biggest fish to grow even further.

By November, the fishing had really slowed up despite the fact that we had a very soft start to the winter; in fact, as I write there have still only been a handful of frosts. Nonetheless, the fish the lake did turn up were big with a new forty in the shape of Four Scales to the consistent James Ellis and the Gurm again at a lake record equalling 53lbs to Mark Smith! Boy, that fish had been on the munch and the entire syndicate was delighted for long term member Mark and his monstrous new PB!

Looking ahead, things at Fryerning are really moving up a gear. The Christmas period will see the release of the first part of the new fishery video which features tips, advice and big fish action. The film is hosted by myself and my very good friend, Joe Morgan and having seen a few small excerpts I am sure you will find it entertaining and informative viewing. The video will be available on the Fryerning XL YouTube channel shortly.

The Christmas period will also see the completion of the new shower and flushing toilet facilities. This block has been built near the car park and also offers running water.

The New Year will see the launch of a fantastic new interactive website – I have seen the work that has gone into this and it promises to be something pretty special!

The entrance to the lake is now gated with electronic access and CCTV monitors for your comfort and security. Additionally, the management is actively working to reduce the overall membership to further enhance the member experience.

My own personal fishing has been fairly limited but in the year since joining I have managed around twenty five nights, banking a reasonable 6 fish. I still crave a surface whacker and hopefully next year I will get an opportunity to have a go at one.

Not an official award but my ‘Member of the Year’ goes to Darren Taylor who despite being referred to as ‘Pub Chuck’ by some of the other members, has caught more fish than the next two best anglers put together! Despite his success, the really big fish that Darren craves have thus far eluded him. I’m sure we would all agree that he thoroughly deserves to capture his dream fish, the Mommon and we wish you every success for it in 2014 fella.

And so ends another spectacular year which saw an amazing 116 thirty pound carp and 31 forty pound carp banked along with two 50+ captures of the Gurm. Pretty impressive statistics I am sure you will agree!

Have a great Christmas!

Adam Penning