The one day ticket water that persuaded me to part with my cash again was the famous Cemex water known as Sandhurst. I’ve fished this cemex carp water a couple of times now and on Friday 24th April 2009 I headed back down to Yateley for my third go at this amazing big fish carp water.
The journey to the lake was uneventful, the only thing that crossed my mind on the way down there was how on earth long distance carp anglers ever managed without a Sat Nav!. My trusty Tom Tom took me straight to the lakes gate and at around 3pm on Friday afternoon I met up with 14 of my mates as we’d booked the lake for our exclusive use.
I had a good walk around, the carp seemed to be fairly well spread and the whole lake seemed to be fishing quite well, the only area that looked devoid of carp was the famous swim known as bailiffs, whilst fish showed everywhere else, this normally productive peg looked like a dead duck as far as catching carp was concerned!. Eventually we drew for swims and I couldn’t believe my bad luck, on my last trip to this cemex water I’d drawn last out of the bag and had to watch as all the decent pegs disappeared. This time I came out second to last and suffered the same fate!. I ended up stuck with ‘bailiffs’ and I knew straight away I’d be in for a struggle, what made it worse was the lake fishing very well and I had to watch as my mates banked an amazing amount of big carp, I haven’t counted them all but over the weekend at least 16 x 30’s came to the bank along with an obscene amount of 20’s!.
My own fishing over the weekend was poor, I was right about the bailiffs swim not having any fish in front of it and I struggled big time. The best I could manage was a lost fish in the early hours of Saturday morning, I had a one toner on my left hand delkim which was fished on a silty patch at around 40 yards. I hit the rod quickly and it thumped over nicely as I struck into a solid lump. I was really pleased to be into a fish given how bad my peg was but that happiness lasted roughly 20 seconds before I felt that sickening feeling as everything went slack and the hook had pulled. I wound in and examined the rig and hook point and I could find nothing wrong so I rebaited and recast the rod.
Nothing happened the next day, at 1pm I wound in and went to the barbeque the lads had organised, I wasn’t feeling too good, I had a headache brought on through lack of sleep and I felt a bit sick, with this in mind I went easy on the food, just a couple of burgers and sausages washed down with a bottle of oasis rather than a beer. After the barbeque I took a couple of headache tablets, retied all my rigs and cast them out. As the evening wore on I began to feel a lot better, I had a bit of a sleep and when I woke up I had just one thing on my mind and that was moving asap as there was still no carp around!.
One of my mates was also keen on moving, he’d had 2 fish from peg 11 but he wasn’t happy, the swim he moved to was the second pipe, I’d looked at this swim and hadn’t fancied it so when he left peg 11, I moved onto the road bank and set up again, the move was a quick one, I was only fishing under my stealth brolly so I was packed and round the other side of the lake in no time. Once settled in I got the rods out and just sat watching the water. I couldn’t understand why my mate had moved out of peg 11, there were fish in front of it and the swim looked good for a carp.
I stopped up late that night to watch a film on my Ipod and it was midnight before I got my head down, I hoped for a fish as we got towards first light as this seemed to be a good feeding period on the lake. I didn’t have to wait that long, just an hour after settling down to sleep my middle delkim suddenly burst into life and my line was peeling off my infinity bait runner at a fast and steady rate. There was no way this fish was anything but a carp, the hookbait was a 16mm snowman presentation, a real mouthful that was meant for a carp. I hit the rod and sure enough there was a dead weight attached to the other end. I kept the pressure steady, not too much as I didn’t want a repeat of the hook pull I’d had earlier in the trip. The carp kited left towards peg 12 and I had to drop the rod tip and apply some severe side strain to stop the fish kiting through my mates line next door. I managed this but my heart was in my mouth!, everything held firm and I managed to get the carp close in and ready to net, the fish ploughed up and down the margins for a while and all the time I kept praying it wouldn’t come off. I don’t have many hook pulls, my rigs are extremely efficient and its amazing how one lost fish can play on your mind. I had no problems with this fish and after a long fight under the tip I eventually netted the fish.
I was relieved, despite so many fish being caught by everyone else I’d struggled and this fish had saved me from a blank session. I grabbed my head torch and using the more discreet red led lights I set up my unhooking mat, got my scales ready and sorted out my camera ready for the photos. The carp was a mirror and it was well nailed, no chance of loosing this one!. I weighed the fish at 22lb 14oz, not as big as I’d hoped but it had prevented a blank session and considering how bad I’d drawn, I was well pleased with this fish!.
I rebaited the rod with another snowman hookbait and cast it back out. The rest of the night passed uneventfully and I slept in until well gone 8am. I was due to be off the water at 4pm that day but I wanted to leave earlier to avoid any rush hour traffic. I had some breakfast and began packing up, there were quite a few carp in my swim cruising round in the upper layers, these fish appeared over all 3 of my baits during the morning and I left my rods out as long as I could whilst I packed the rest of my gear away. Sadly nothing happened and at midday I wound my rods in and packed the last of my gear into the car.
Sadly I believe this will be my last trip to Cemex Sandhurst. Just like Linear Fisheries, I believe Cemex are now getting greedy. The introduction of the Cemex plus ticket at a cost of £35 per year has meant a big increase in the price of fishing not just Sandhurst but all Cemex carp waters so for a second time, I’m now retiring from day ticket carp fishing to concentrate on my club and syndicate tickets. In this day and age £25 for 24 hours fishing is just wrong, putting an extra £35 on top is down right despicable and I hope Cemex come to their senses and abolish this fee, one things for sure, I’ll not consider returning until they do.