Kev Hewitt Live Session- Bluebell Lakes
For this month’s live session, we met up with the ever- consistent, day ticket master that is Kev Hewitt. Kev had set his stall out on Mallard lake at Bluebell lakes for his trip and before we arrived, he had already done a couple of nights on the lake alongside good friend Mark Bartlett. Upon arriving at the lake, the sun shone brightly as the morning mist ascended from the lake, revealing the beautiful Mallard lake- the heavy stocked venue amongst the lakes at Bluebell. With typical spring conditions, cold nights and bright days present, it was going to be tricky, but in true Kev style, he had already caught a fair few fish in the nights previous tour visit. As we arrived, Kev and Bart had a big breakfast on the go! So, over a bacon cob, we were keen to ask how the trip had faired so far…
‘I got down here on Saturday and as you can imagine, it was busy! I had very few options, but before I arrived, I did fancy having a go on Mallard lake, as there is a great stock and a good chance of a bite when the other lakes are still slow going. I dropped into a swim on the road bank that looked good, it commanded a good area of open water, which gave me options if the fish did pass or push out into the middle due to the angling pressure’.
Giving yourself options is important on these busy day ticket venues! Have you fished Mallard in the past and did you know much about this area of the lake?
‘I have fished Mallard in the past, but not from these swims before. I knew the rough depths, but having not fished on here for some time, I wanted to double check the depths and more importantly, where the weed was growing, as this lake can get very weedy! All of my spot finding begins with a good lead around, using a grappling style lead to determine exactly what the lakebed is made up of. I see many anglers using a bare lead for this type of work, but that will simply skim over the top of low weed or debris and give a false reading. A grappling lead will pinpoint those ‘clear’ areas, as you will be able to achieve a drag back without any resistance’.
You mentioned the depth, is this something that you always look for?
‘The depth isn’t always important, in some cases I will just fish and look for a clear area, despite what the depth is; this allows me to fish effectively. One of the main reasons I wanted to find the depth on this occasion is due to the weather and my gut feeling that zigs would be the way to go. I wasn’t going to start on the zigs, but if I had to change throughout the session, I wanted to determine the depth beforehand so I could easily switch without the need to make more unnecessary disturbance’.
You are known for spot fishing with multiple rods on one spot on these types of venue, was this trip any different?
‘On higher stocked venues, such as Mallard lake, I do always try to get three rods on one spot. This is also dependant on how big the spots are that I find, in this instance, it was a strip of clear area at the back of a big weedbed, so it was easy to get three rods on. Some venues that I have fished in the past, the spots have been very small so you can just about squeeze two rods on, but my preferred approach is three rods tight on a spot and accurately baited. On these heavier stocked venues, having three rods tightly presented on a spot, you can get multiple bites very quickly!’
Did bites come quickly and how did the session progress?
‘To begin with, it was slow up until the first evening/ night where I managed a number of fish over the baited spot into the hours of darkness. The following morning, I had a run of Tench and then it all went quiet on the carp front. It was quiet after that for most of the day, but the following morning we made the switch to zigs and then it kicked off again on the carp front, resulting in a good number of fish between us. It is important to adapt and make the changes when you feel necessary; this bright sun certainly encouraged the fish to go up in the water and the zigs scored well. I still try to cover all basis and when having a baited spot, I will always have one rod on that spot throughout the trip’.
During the early spring period, how much bait do you look to introduce during the trip?
‘With the colder nights and frosts still present during the early spring period, the fish haven’t fully woken up and as a result, I do hold back on the bait a little compared to later in the spring close to when they are ready to spawn. The mix I use is very soluble anyway and the fish find it easy to pass through, despite the fact it is cold, so I still start with a few spombs to try and get the swim kick started! My usual mix of Live System, corn, hemp and Frozen Bloodworm provides enough attraction to get them grubbing about without the risk of filling them up in the cooler water temperatures’.
Do you think the Frozen Bloodworm is effective as we move into the summer months?
‘100%! Frozen Bloodworm is a great addition, even as we move towards the warmer months. Firstly, the Bloodworm is very natural, and fish will naturally seek to eat and forage on it at any time of the year and secondly, it pumps out a lot of food signals from the spot, ensuring that your baited area is giving off attraction during your trip. A few handfuls of bloodworm goes a long way and I will always have it in my mix in varying quantities now throughout the year’.
It was evident with the amount of natural present in the weed, that these fish are heavily turned on by natural baits. Do you think the carp take zigs due to their natural, suspended appearance?
‘I guess with Zigs there is some element to their natural appearance and look, especially as they are suspended in the water column like many insects and bugs are. Both myself and Bart fished the zigs at similar ranges, yet all of my bites were on the 11ft zigs in 13ft and Bart’s fish were on 5ft zigs, which tells you that these fish were at varying depths instead of all being at a similar level. With zigs in early spring, I have found the bright colours like yellow to be very effective; the carp’s eyesight is generally still quite weak and those yellow ‘beacons’ certainly catch their attention!’.
Having seen your rig pouch, you have certainly been putting some effort in to prep everything for the season ahead, is this something you always do?
‘I always prep before each session. I am certainly not one to be tying rigs on the bank; my time when I am out fishing is purely focussed on watercraft and getting my baiting/ rods perfect. I always ‘over prep’ at home, tying more rigs than I will need; this always gives me the confidence that I can get fishing and get fresh rigs out to the spots as quickly and effectively as possible!’
The morning we arrived there was slow, the sun shining bright and the clear overnight skies certainly didn’t help with the fishing…
‘The weather has been all over the place this trip- typical spring conditions really. We even had some light snow at one point. The wind is still very cold and when it does pick up, it feels more like winter than spring. After making the switch to the zigs yesterday and things kicking off, it was clear they were up in the layers, but I have the feeling that today they may have just moved out the area completely. We saw a few shows this morning and they were more towards the far bank; it just shows how important it is to be ‘on the fish’ at this time of year as they are still very much grouped together.’
As the session came to a close, Kev began to load the van ready for the trip back down south home. The fish just hadn’t switched on again today like the previous couple of days, but that is spring fishing for you; it can be very hit and miss at the best of times. But saying that, Kev had had a great session, landing a number of lovely Mallard fish both off the bottom and up in the water on the zigs. Until next time…