Bob Nudd Masterclass - Decoy Lakes, Whittlesey, 16th July 2011

40th birthday present from my Mum and Step Dad, Mike, a day with Bob Nudd MBE and 4 times World Champion.
What a day!  We had everything, pouring rain to sunshine, ambulances, the AA turning up and non-stop fishing action!

The Venue
Mark and I met Bob at Decoy Fisheries, Whittlesy near Peterborough at 9am.  The fishery was very busy, but the owners at Decoy had allocated one of their strip lakes, Elm, for myself and Mark to fish with Bob.  So, firstly a big thanks to the owners at Decoy for the cracking venue it is.

Arriving at Elm, Bob walked us down the side of Elm explaining that he had never fished this lake before, that the fish will follow the wind in this weather and that a bit of surface ripple was needed.  As the wind was blowing a gail at the end pegs on Elm, we settled on Pegs 4 & 5.  As I was leading the "Mark vs Mark" battle, the person behind has choice of peg, so Mark took Peg 5 and I set up on Peg 4.

Bob advised that we wanted to be fishing towards the bottom of the shelf, approx 9-10m out.  Rig for the day was a Malman Carp Thicko 4x16, on Shimano Silkshock 0.14 (4.1lb) with a size 14 Drennan Barbless Carp Maggot, using my Power Kits loaded with Black Hydroelastic.  Bob advised on shotting, keeping it simple, bulk 3/4 the way down with a single dropper just above the hook length.  Plumbing up revealed approx 6 foot depth and my target point was the platform opposite.

Bob was kind enough to bring along all the bait we would need for the day which consisted of Van Den Eynde 4mm & 6mm Carp pellets with both natural and halibut jellets for hookbait

Potting in 6mm Pellets
Bob explained that we needed to make noise, noise of the pellets going in to bring the fish into the swim.  Kicking the swim off I potted in two small pole cups of 4 & 6mm pellets.  Shipping out I started to catapult 7-10 pellets at a time every 3-4 minutes.  Bob told us to up our rate of catapulting to every minute or so.

It wasn't long before knocks on the float and I hooked the first fish of the day a lovely mirror carp of around a 1.5lb.

The fish weren't settling and I'd foul hooked a number of fish, so Bob suggested that now the fish were here we needed to get them settled on the bottom as "up in the water" fishing in these conditions didn't look like it would work.  Bob changed my small pole pot for the largest and we potted in a full pot of 6mm pellets.  After 5 minutes the fish settled on the feed and it was game on...

I started on the natural jellets while Mark started on the Halibut Jellets and his fish were of a better quality, so I switch to the Halibuts and that did increase the catch rate.

The Session
Bob and Mark retrieving the infamous Umbrella Fish
Despite the rain, the fish were feeding well, it wasn't long before either Mark or myself were into fish, normally one would hook up and then the other.

I was suffering from more foul hookers than Mark, which resulted in a couple of lost fish.  Mark landed a lovely carp of around 6lb and the Barbel were running well in my swim.

Bob was excellent, almost school teacher like keeping his eyes on the two naughty boys in the class, reminding us to feed if we hadn't already, watching the bites and giving a running commentary of what was more than likely happening below the surface.

Lovely Koi/Ghost Carp
Every 10 minutes of so, one of us would land a fish.  Towards the afternoon the sun came out and gave us a rest from the weather, the fish turned on too, but not before Mark decided that pellets weren't enough to feed his swim... a gust of wind blew and his umbrella went straight into the lake between us... action stations for us all as we watched it sink.

I quickly pulled out the pellet waggler rod and attached a 1oz bomb to it.  Bob used this to hook the brolly, with both Mark and myself using a landing net each we eventually saw the umbrella coming back from the depths... it was hilarious.

Just as the umbrella was out of the water, Mark's top kit went flying in the lake at high speed.  It wasn't baited but did have a Carp Maggot red hook on it... Bob calmly used the rod he had previously retrived the umbrella with to recover the top section, fish still attached.  The culprit?  A small barbel, which I landed and Mark then put in his net ;-)

As the day progressed the stamp of fish got better.  I landed two nice barbel at 4lb each and a lovely Koi/Ghost Mirror carp.

With the better weather, Bob managed to get some more action shots for us.

The Weigh-In
Mark gets the victory with a 100lb net
So, Mark trailing me by half a point, had he done enough?  Bob thought it was pretty even between us.  We used the tried and tested Bob Nudd experience scales... so, at the end of the day, Mark had over 60lb of carp and 40lb of Barbel so he hit the magic ton and I had around 50lb of Barbel approx 40-50lb of Carp.  I shook Mark's hand and gave him the point, well done matey.

The day with Bob was the best days fishing that Mark and I had experienced.  Bob's knowledge, passion for angling and the thrill of seeing the fish for the first time shines through, he is a true gentleman of the sport.  He gave us lots of little tips, coaching and guidance throughout the day mixed in with amusing stories and of course the banter between Mark and myself. 

For any readers thinking of booking a day with Bob, I can tell you it's a fantastic experience.

Finally thanks to Bob Nudd MBE for a very memorable day and to Mum and Mike for the present.

Link to Bob Nudd's website

More pictures...

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