My first journey out to do 24hrs in really cold temperatures, 18th Jan 2014
The chosen venue was 11 acre lake called Sturges Lake in Selby, North Yorkshire.
We set of having already booked ourselves on for 24hrs with a phone call earlier in the week and two hours or so later we arrive at the Selby 3 Lakes complex where we meet the gentleman who kindly escort us to where we are actually fishing.
While waiting in the car park we chatted to the girl in the fast food van stationed in the 3 lakes complex, we noted there was still a few guys bivvied up on this water anyways so the could weather could not deter the hardier folk.
The snow began to fall when our guide arrived and we followed him in the van as he unlocked the gate to the lake and showed us to were he thought would a good spot to fish.
We were told that it wasn’t and easy water at the best of times with a relatively low stock and being pretty deep also combined with it being winter meant the odds were stacked against us.
Gear unloaded from the van, the bivvy erected as a matter of urgency to stop the snow for soaking everything, bedchair in place covered in a five season sleeping bag as the temperature by now was just above freezing.
The snow thankfully stopped which made getting the rods out ever so slightly easier and we were using three rods each, the idea to put two out into open water with a minimal amount of boiiles and me and my fishing buddy would put one of each close together and spomb a gallon of maggots over them to see if this would prick the carps attention.
The lake itself was wild looking and carrying alot more water than normal, some fix feet in fact and was in the process of getting the all clear to be drained down to the normal level.
Some of the normal fishing pegs stretching out into the water although normally visible were now submerged.
The water reportedly holds carp upto 30lb but finding them was proving difficult.
The day seemed to pass all so quickly but i did managed to find the Eco toilet, which amounted to a shed with a stick pushed across the lock fixture to keep to closed, the toilet itself was a toilet seat placed on a box where you did you business and after your done get to sprinkle wood shaving to cover you “offerings”.
With it being winter darkest started to fall about 3.30 and buy 4.30 it was pitch black.
The stove was set up and we shared a couple of ready made hiker type meals, it very quiet nice but only problem was you didn’t get much!
With the bite alarms staying quiet the whole time with not as much as a beep all evening.
We chatted amonst ourselves before retiring for the long night.
During the night the temperature dropped to minus five, the outside of the bivvy now crisp with frost but thankfully no more snow.
About 8.00am i here a rustling of foots steps coming towards my swim, then my mare tells me “we have a slight a problem”, to which i reply “whats that” and the response comes back “the lakes frozen!”
A reluctantly drag myself from my warm sleeping bag and but my boots on and exit the bivvy, sure enough the lines are frozen in the water.
We sit patiently for a couple of hours hoped when the sun comes up it will melt the lake and we try again for a carp, sadly the hours pass and the lake stays frozen apart from a small area the swans had broken up which they were merry swimming around in.
Waders on my mate gets himself in the water and breaks the ice so we can get our end tackle out, 30 minutes later all the rods are out of the water, we stayed for another couple of hours but although the sun did come up and defrost the bivvies it didn’t clear the ice on the lake.
We packed up ensuring we took all our belongings and rubbish with us.
Sturges Lake is definitely a very nice place to fish, its certainly not commercial fishing by any means
but i’m sure if you put the hours in the rewards are there to be had.