Carpe diem at Higham

Sam Hurst with a beautiful 'Twenty' that fell to a snowman rig
Sam Hurst with a beautiful 'Twenty' that fell to a snowman rig

I’d been hearing rumours on the angling grapevine of decent carp being banked over at Higham Farm Fishery - so last weekend I managed to call in for an update with some of the local anglers.

It’s a long time since I fished there, but I remember landing a few upper ‘singles’ and a huge goldfish that took a one inch cube of luncheon meat on a size 8, strange how that’s still logged in my mind.

The fishery in Alfreton, is around 9 or 10 miles from Chesterfield town centre, 20 minutes easy driving - Sat Nav DE55 6EH will get you to Higham Farm Hotel, then take the left-hand track as you turn into the hotel car park.

Situated in the bottom of the valley, there are four lovely lakes, all in a woodland setting. Day tickets are available priced at £6 for one rod, £8 for two and £10 for three rods. Night fishing is £20. Barbless hooks only, no bait-boats, no nuts allowed.

There weren’t many anglers on the bank when I got there, probably due to the horrendous night frost - the hail-storm I got caught in didn’t help either, but everyone was catching fish.

A ’dad and lad’ were getting silvers every put-in on maggot, while one of the overnight carpers, Sam Hurst, had a very satisfying session indeed…

Sam, from Woodsetts, is a regular at Higham and says ‘it’s a runs water, well worth a visit.’ He fished two rods to a sunken bed of lillies, using a snowman rig with 18mm and 10mm boilies on a long hair to a size 8 long-shank hook. A very large bait, designed to deter the resident bream he said, though a couple of slabs still managed to hoover up his offerings. A five bait pva stringer and a few freebies catapulted in, attracted the fish into his swim.

Highly experienced specimen hunter Sam, banked nine carp during the session, the biggest going to 21lb 11oz – not bad for a very cold overnighter in mid-April, though he admitted the landing net was frozen solid first thing in the morning!