Dynamite Baits

19 February, 2024 | Carp | Angler Blogs | Articles


Michael Poulter: Ghost Carp and Alpacas at Tri Lakes

Michael Poulter recalls a fantastic winter’s night fishing with Ian Russell at Tri Lakes in honour of both their fathers.

Michael says…

The second half of 2023 was certainly a period of time for me to forget as far as fishing was concerned. The syndicate that I was a member of was giving me a right royal beating and all of my confidence was slowly ebbing away.

I really needed to admit defeat but the big question was where to go as January is never a very good angling month but with the sun actually shining for once I chose the shallow waters of Tri Lakes in Yateley as I was hoping that a little bit of warmth would get them moving at some point.

Joining me was good friend and fellow Dynamite angler Ian Russell as we always go out for what we call “Dad’s Day” at this time of year to commemorate both of our dads passing, which in a roundabout sort of way, is how we became friends 11 years ago.


Having the lake to ourselves we chose the point swim, which gave us access to a large amount of both open water and islands. So, with the light fading fast and the temperature dropping to what was set to be a very cold night, we set our traps in likely looking spots.

As we were just sipping on our first cup of Buzzbox coffee, Ian spotted some fish moving just beyond where his right hand rod was, just very subtle movements but definitely carp, so naturally he moved it.

As he was doing this a fish leapt clear to my left so I too moved a rod to that area, a 15mm Sweet Tiger & Corn pop up with a dozen 15mm winter mix freebies (Monster Tiger Nut, Sweet Tiger & Corn and Mulberry Plum) around it.

We sat there talking the usual bollocks for about an hour when Ian’s right-hand rod sprung into life and after a spirited fight I slipped the net under a lovely 27lb common, a good fish for this lake and proof that they have definitely grown since we last fished here 8 years ago.

Photos were quickly done before we released it back into the very cold water, and then we sat back very happy with such an amazing January carp.

Within an hour it was my turn to get a bite and after a very slow-moving fight, I too had a lovely common of 26lb 14oz laying within the folds of my net, a proper winter warmer for me, despite it feeling like a block of ice! But before we could do the photos Ian’s right hander was away again with a nice mid-winter double figure common which was more like the stamp of fish that we were expecting to catch.

The rest of the evening we sat around drinking coffee, chatting about all sorts of non-fishing topics and laughing our heads off.

At about 9:30pm we decided to retreat from the cold to our respective bivvys but before I had even sat down my left hander was away again, this time feeling quite heavy and causing me all sorts of griefs within the dot islands.

As expected, the 19lb Velocity mainline stood up to the job handsomely and eventually after a bit of heavy persuading, a rather large ghost carp popped up next to the net. We put it up on the scales and it went a very respectful 32lb, what a result, especially for January!

The rest of the night passed without incident, apart from a visit from the residential sheep and alpacas that are let out at night to roam the park. The ground was white with frost and my water bucket was frozen so once everything was defrosted and dried off we loaded our barrows and set off for home, both smiling from what was an amazing winter’s trip. Cheers dads!

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