Liam Ashwell – Sandhurst

Sandhurst trip, March 2022

Slowly coming out of winter, and a very successful one at that, my last winter session of the season was a sandhurst lake exclusive 48 hour session. It’s always been one of my “must visit” waters as the complex in yateley is full of pristine looking carp.


As we arrived we had all met in the carpark, had a quick scan of the lake and the peg draw began, without luck I was one of the last to come out the hat. However after seeing pegs 7-10 not been taken, I put myself in peg 8 to start the session off as having 3 spare swims around me give me the opportunity to have a lot of water to work with.


Leading about found me some really nice spots that I was confident in putting my rods on for the first part of my session. After getting home sorted and the rods in position, I then get my spod mix ready to put out. I decided to keep it at a very minimum on how much I put out only topping my spots up with 2 small spods of bait. In my mix was a mixture of the unbelievable CR BAITS strawberry ice whole and crumb boilie, CR pellet and corn. The go to for each rod was the forever faithful solid bags with the CR bag mix inside and hook baits being 2 pieces of fake wafter style corn. This has been my success throughout all of winter, keep it small and keep it simple.


The first morning and afternoon have passed without any action at all, but as the light starts to go, i see a fish move much further to where I’m currently fishing, so after seeing that it was a no brainier to get a solid bag out there. A couple hours pass with more action than I had all day every half hour or so, the rod I casted to showing fish kept having single bleeps, then out of no where the alarm goes into absolute meltdown and we are away and into the first run of the session. A solid 10-15 minute battle with this fish passes after it kited a long way to the right it finally started to lose its energy and was in the landing net, as soon as I looked into that net, I knew I had landed a very nice looking common carp. Whilst waiting for a friend and the bailiff to come round, I put the rod straight back on the spot. With help from the both of them, I was buzzing with the result, a Sandhurts common known as “The Koi Tail Common” was in my cradle at a weight of 33lb exactly, result as that was my new personal best common carp!


The night goes by with no more to report in the morning, and also a very slow morning and afternoon pass, so it was time to reel the rods in and go to the socials BBQ, which may i add was very needed!
After getting back to my swim, having a scout of the water before making my decision on where to fish for then night, it seemed the carp had moved even further out to where I was fishing, so again I changed my plan of action and put my rods on the showing fish with a couple spods of bait out there too. This was a good decision to make as through the night I had 2 more carp, however they were the new stocked fish only weighing in between 6-8lb but it was a great sign to know fish were actively feeding on my spot.


I set my early morning alarm to get up at 6am, made my coffee and stood and watched the water for about half an hour to see a dolphin show! Fish was all over me and the frustration of not picking up another fish was getting to me. An hour past when again, out of no where, the alarm was singing and absolutely melted off with what was my next 15 minute battle. The fight is was coming to an end and the fish was tired, with help netting from my friend we both knew what I had in that landing net was special. I didn’t hesitate to get this fish out of the water and attach the sling to the scales, with what was a staggering 38.4lb mirror carp and an overall personal best for me. It was an absolutely amazing session to beat my Common carp PB but to then annihilate my overall PB too was a very special moment. After getting some cracking photos I slipped her back and began the pack down to return home.


This session was definitely one to remember and I won’t be hesitating to go back to Sandhurst ASAP!