Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary

Kilburnlad

River Welland (28)

An unusual blank.

Arrival time: 09.00
Weather: Very warm and humid.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: None

I made the mistake of visiting this stretch on the first day of the season back in 2015, there being rather too much angling activity on that occasion. This time I left it a few days, but I still wasn't the only one there. In fact, there was another chap who had obviously arrived long before me, and was roving the stretch, clearly after chub. Not good news, as having the first cast into a chub lie is preferable, after which subsequent attempts become more challenging.

My first stop was at what I call the beach, where the dogs are taken for their daily rampage. One had clearly recently left as the water was cloudy from the sandy bottom. There were, however, three chub in plain site. At this point I should have moved upstream and cast down to them, but foolishly I set up on the beach, expecting them to drop back downstream, based on previous experience of where the chub lay up in this location. But I got it wrong, no bites were forthcoming from my downstream casts. The chub had faded away.

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Fields End (94)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A bright day that started quite calm with little wind, but light clouds came over in the afternoon with a freshening SW breeze..
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 12 hook.
10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 8 hook.
Bait: Tulip Bacon Grill, bread and bread crust.
Fish: A barbel, two carp and a few small roach.

The pleasant surprise when I arrived was the absence of anglers. When I first started fishing this lake in 2006 there was one small field for touring caravans. Now it's a complex, with multiple caravan fields and more recently lodges. And the latest addition, which categorically confirms the venue's holiday credentials, a small café on the East bank, complete with a terrace, tables and chairs. Fortunately it's closed on Fridays, so today it didn't add to the bank-side activity. The fact that I was, it seems, the only day visitor perhaps shows that the local anglers, who once made up the bulk of the anglers, have decided to leave the lake to the holidaymakers.

Being so quiet I made my way to what I call the reed-end swim. After a strong westerly the day before, and a continuing westerly breeze, this seemed to be the place to be. Fishing into the wind, as they say. With high expectations I dropped a light leger down the side of the reeds with meat bait, a tactic that has in the past been an almost dead cert for a carp or a tench early in the morning before there is too much movement on the banks. On this occasion, however, not a touch, save small fish having a nibble. After a while I decided to change to the float, only to suffer bite after unhittable bite on bread flake. The few I managed to hit were small roach. I changed to meat bait only to be broken by what I assume was a carp as I tried to stop it careering into the reed bank. I also hooked a couple of other fish, by the feel of them both probably crucian carp, but they shed the hook very rapidly.

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Fields End (93)

I was adding permalinks to this diary earlier in the week and it reminded me just how often I used to go fishing. So today I went.

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A cloudy bright day that alternated between a fresh breeze and calm humid conditions.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 10 hook.
10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on chopped pork & ham.
Fish: Two carp, two crucians, eleven roach and a couple of tiddler perch.

It was over a year ago that I was last at Fields End Pit. The place doesn't change much, although I noted that steps had been added to access many of the platforms, which sit at the bottom of sloping banks. The caravan park seems to have grown, and I wasn't surprised to find tackle in many of the swims when I arrived, but no sign of anglers. When I first went to Fields End in 2006 there was one small field for touring caravans and most of the anglers around the lake were locals. Now I rarely see a local. Everybody else on the lake seemed to be carp fishing; the obligatory two rods neatly set up while the anglers in some cases were lounging at the top of the bank waiting for the fish to hook themselves. To me that isn't fishing, but it now seems to be de rigueur on commercials.

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River Welland (27)

First trip for an awful long time.

Arrival time: 08.40
Weather: Misty and calm and little warmer than of late.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub, best 2lbs 8oz

My last visit to the Welland was on the first day of the season in 2015! My New Year's resolution was to go fishing more often and I've been waiting for the freezing conditions to ease a bit. The conditions today were almost perfect. The river was high but not flooded, with some nice deep glides. There was no wind to speak of and while still cold (it's January), it wasn't bitter. There was, however, an awful lot of mud!

River Welland - 30 January 2017 - Chub 2lbs 6oz

Chub 2lbs 6oz


I started at 'the beach', a popular dog-dunking spot, but fortunately there weren't too many dogs around. Three years ago I took seven chub from this swim, so it's always my first port of call. I cast across and downstream and got a pull almost as soon as the bait had settled. A beautifully conditioned 2lb 6oz chub (09.00), not big but a good start to the day. I weighed and photographed it, not because of its size but because it marks a long awaited return to the river. A recast and again almost immediately got a touch and a second chub was on. This one was smaller at 1lb 11oz (09.15).
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Fields End (92)

Back to Fields End after a four year absence.

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A bright day that warmed up a bit as the sun got higher in the sky, but the northerly wind was always there.
Swim: Reed Corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Two carp, three crucians and a roach.

The last time I was at Fields End was unbelievably in May 2012. The Pit hasn't changed, although there are apparently now more swims on the Pool. The owner, Charlie, was in the shop and was surprised to see me. He thought his wooden platforms (which I dislike because of the noise they generate) had scared me off, but I assured him that this wasn't the case, and that my interests had expanded, with golf and French now taking a lot of my time.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the lake wasn't too busy. This was not good for Charlie, of course, but certainly more relaxing for me. Mine was the only car in the visitors' car park, although a disabled badge holder was parked on the far bank, unfortunately next to where I had planned to pitch. Rather then sit next to him, like those people who park next to you in car parks when you've left the car in a remote corner hoping to avoid door dents, I decided to fish what I call the reed corner. This was once my favourite swim but it's risky to fish, as the larger fish make a beeline for the reeds as soon as they're hooked.
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Rookery Waters (1)

Finally back to having a fishing rod in my hand.

Arrival time: 13.00
Weather: Bright with passing clouds
Swim: Pitch No. 38 Magpie Lake.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Bait: Bread flake
Fish: 13 carp, best around 5lbs

I gave up my membership of the syndicate water because I wasn't going enough, so I needed to find another local venue. I like the Welland but it's quite a long trip and these days I find that a half-day is a better option than a whole one. I decided to explore Rookery Waters, which is a bit further down the lane from where I play golf. I had looked in there a couple or so years ago but didn't pursue it.

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River Welland (26)

First day of the season - perhaps it was a mistake?

Arrival time: 09.20
Weather: Started warm and cloudy but became very hot when sun broke through.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat, cheese
Fish: Three chub and a small jack pike. Best fish chub 4lbs 5oz.

I can’t remember the last time I went fishing on the first day of the season. Probably when I was a lad. Actually we’re often away in June but this year we weren’t, so off I went. Read Full Report...

River Welland (25)

Last trip before the close season. Managed three chub but it wasn’t easy.

Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Sunny with a few clouds and a fresh light breeze
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 6lb line, 8 hook tied direct. Two SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub. Best fish chub 4lbs 7oz.

I just haven’t done enough fishing this year. I’ve bemoaned this fact before and I must plan my time better to fit in a lot more trips.

With the river season ending on Sunday I decided I must get down to the Welland for one more attempt at the chub. It was a glorious day after the variable weather we’ve been having. Surprisingly the river was very low, my last trip having been thwarted by the river being in full spate. In fact it was at what I would say was summer level, although more coloured. Unlike in summer, however, I couldn’t locate any fish visually.
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River Welland (24)

With the mildish weather continuing I decided to take a trip to the Welland.

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Bright and certainly not too cold for mid-November. It had clouded over by midday.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat.
Fish: None

I’m getting over a persistent cold and regretted not feeling well enough to go to the river last Tuesday, as it was a glorious day. Today wasn’t that bad either, but when I got to the river it was racing down and muddy brown. It must have been at least four feet above the summer level. I started at what I call the beach, but the beach wasn’t there today as it was under water. However, the beach is on the inside of a bend so there was some slacker water near the edge. I also knew the bottom was gravel so it seemed a good place to start. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (18)

Grabbed a few hours over the lake. Very quiet!

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Very warm for time of year. Windy but lake not affected.
Swim: Lily pads and SW corner.
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: One roach

Fishing has definitely taken a back seat to golf this year. On the plus side my golf has improved greatly, but I really need to rebalance things a bit.
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Back to basics

To cut a longish story short, I bought a used Mercedes SLK last year as a ‘special’ car to be used on high days and holidays, as they say. Unfortunately Helen, my wife, wrote off her Clio earlier this year and the end result was we bought a new car by trading in my Qashqai. So we ended up with the new car, which Helen uses most days, and my SLK, which I now have to use for fishing!

This has caused me to rethink completely what I take when I go fishing. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (17)

Second time at the lake this year. Hard work but managed one carp.

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Warm, bright and cloudy with a light southerly breeze.
Swim: SW corner, Lily pads and east bank.
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec Compact Float, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat & sweetcorn - all fish on luncheon meat.
Fish: A roach and a 9lb carp.

Today I had planned to fish the SW corner. A tricky swim that requires you to clamber down a steep slope, with about ten feet of water over the edge should you fall. Overhanging trees make it even more difficult to fish but I have had past success with carp on the couple of previous occasions that I’ve fished it. I took my compact float road, a 10ft 2-piece that punches well above its weight, so to speak, in terms of handling bigger fish. It’s ideal for this corner swim because of the low tree branches overhead.
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River Welland (23)

First trip of the new season to the Welland and best ever catch of 10 chub, including a PB.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Bright start with a light breeze but rain was forecast for later in the day
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits - Luncheon meat and cheese (all fish caught on luncheon meat)
Fish: 10 chub. Best fish chub 5lbs 2oz.

I can’t believe that it’s almost exactly 12 months since I last visited the Welland. Only one trip last summer and with the horrendous winter I didn’t manage another trip. It was good to return. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (16)

First time out fishing for over 6 months - unbelievable!

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Warm, bright and cloudy with a north-easterly breeze.
Swim: Lily pads, NE bay and east bank.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 8/10 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Small pike and a roach.

I can’t believe that I haven’t been fishing since last October. Where has the time gone? To be fair, I usually try to fit in some trips to the River Welland over the winter, but with all the rain we had, the river wasn’t a particularly attractive proposition, even assuming that it would have been fishable. But that’s really an excuse and I must try to get out more this year. It’s the damn golf that’s getting in the way, and I’m not particularly good at it, so I should put fishing first. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (15)

Perfect afternoon but only two bites, and two carp.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather:Very warm for early October with just a light breeze.
Swim: Lily pads & SW corner
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 10lbs 0oz.

With the forecast for colder weather arriving at the end of the week I grabbed a few hours over the lake this afternoon. I’ve been letting the fishing slip a bit lately and must really try to get out more often. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (14)

Hard work due to heat but 3 carp caught.

Arrival time: 11.00
Weather: Very hot with no wind to speak of
Swim: NE bay.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Three carp, best 9½ lbs

My neighbour’s father, Mick, was house-minding for them and we arranged a trip to the lake. He hadn’t been before as he usually fishes Fields End when he’s up here. We arrived at the lake at around 11.00 and I showed him to the Lily Pads swim, being probably the easiest to fish of the few swims that are not totally overgrown. I settled into the NE Bay. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (13)

A beautiful summer evening so I thought I would grab a few hours at the lake.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Warm but not too hot after the recent very hot spell.
Swim: NE bay and Lily Pads.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: One rudd 1lb 5oz.

Too much going on recently and I was surprised to note that my last visit to the lake was back in June!

There had obviously been a working party as the brambles had been cleared back and more swims were actually fishable. There are rarely any ‘return’ slips in the hut so I really don’t know how many people fish the lake. There were signs that anglers had been there, witness the fishing-related litter. I don’t know why syndicate members would leave litter so I suspect some of those fishing may be there as unofficial visitors. A pity, but it’s the way of the world. Read Full Report...

Drennan Specialist Twist Lock landing net landle

I have been using a two-piece landing net handle for a few years but have always been a bit nervous of the way that the end piece is just a slide-on fit. It’s the type of handle where one piece fits inside the other and to extend it you remove the inner piece and push it on to the outer piece. The short separate end-piece has the screw boss for the net. My fear has always been that if I tried to lift a heavy fish from below, with the pole more or less vertical, the end piece might have become disengaged. It did happen to me once.

This problem is particularly relevant when I fish the River Welland where the banks are very high and I’ve had to pull up chub of over 4lbs.

I decided, therefore, to treat myself to the Drennan landing net handle and tried it for the first time yesterday. I was very impressed with the build quality. It’s not a cheap handle, but the quality shows through. The carbon fibre exhibited far more rigidity than my former handle and the twist lock mechanism made life much easier for a roving style of angling. With my old handle I either had to carry it fully extended, or mess about breaking it in two. With the twist-lock, a half-turn allows you to un-telescope the handle to a manageable length.

Drennan Twist lock landing net pole

Yesterday I fished a spot where, because of the height of the bank, I had to use the full extent of the handle to land a 4½lb chub, and I must say I felt far more reassured than I would have done with my former handle.

River Welland (22)

First trip of the new season to the Welland and rewarded with 7 chub.

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Bright start with a light breeze but rain was forecast for later in the day
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat and cheese
Fish: Seven chub, best fish 4lbs 7oz.

I’m always amazed at the transformation of the river bank between the last trip in March and the first in June. Bare banks replaced by four foot high vegetation comprising predominantly nettles. Great cover for stalking although casual walkers do have a habit of coming up behind you as you’re crouched behind the vegetation screen, and while standing bolt upright ask how you’re getting on. Dogs also find it amusing to seek you out and today one actually peed up against my bag and coat. The owner assured me that it wouldn’t smell as the dog was a male. Warped logic if ever I’ve heard it. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (12)

Bit of a disaster!

Arrival time: 18.00
Weather: Very warm and humid with some rain
Swim: NE bay.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: None

I had been waiting indoors for a delivery that never came. I also had a headache, not helped by the stormy weather. Come five o’clock I decided to go over the lake. The conditions were good and I thought some air may clear my head.

I had arrived and set up two rods by six o’clock. Unfortunately in my haste to get out I had left my coat behind, and I didn’t have a brolly with me either. Sod’s law prevailed and it started raining just after I had tackled up and cast. I sat it out and fortunately it was short-lived, but my shirt had got wet and my headache wasn’t getting any better. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (8)

My visit was cut short by rain but the ‘skimmer’ bream were active.

Arrival time: 17.00
Weather: Cloudy with rain threatening, and actually arriving, thus cutting short my stay
Swim: Far corner
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Rova Float rod, Speedia centre pin reel with 3lb line, waggler, 14 hook.
Baits: Sweetcorn & bread flake.
Fish: A number of small bream and one small tench.

The weather forecast wasn’t great, but I took a chance and arrived at 17.00 to find an empty lake. Obviously nobody else was brave enough to chance it. Read Full Report...

Kilnsey (2)

A bit of fly fishing

Arrival time: 12.45
Weather: Overcast with some light rain
Swim: Fished from between lakes, trying each.
Tackle: Sonic SK3 9’6” #6/7 rod, Sonic SK3 reel, floating line, leader of 7lb & 5lb flourocarbon with 4lb tip.
Lures: Selection of nymphs.
Fish: Four rainbow trout. Best fish approx 3lbs.

My second visit to this nature park. Last time I hired a rod but I now have my own fly rod, so was able to get a catch and release 4-hour session for £13.50.

There were about five people on the lake and there didn’t seem much action, although a chap to my left landed a fish shortly after I arrived. I went and had a word with him about choice of fly, but he said he had tried a number of patterns since arriving about three hours earlier. Read Full Report...

Stake Hill (7)

Another visit to this Yorkshire fishery

Arrival time: 18.00
Weather: Bright evening clouding over towards dusk, when the temperature dropped rapidly.
Swim: Far corner
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Rova Float rod, Speedia centre pin reel with 3lb line, waggler, 14 hook.
Baits: Sweetcorn & bread flake.
Fish: Mixed bag of small bream, tench and roach, with a carp of about 2lbs.

A week’s holiday near Ilkley provided the opportunity to re-visit Stake Hill Fishery. I first went there in 2007, which I think was the year it opened. The fish have always been quite small but on light tackle provide a good evening’s sport. Although there were more people this time than on previous occasions, I don’t think the fish receive anywhere near the ‘feed’ that would be put into the water on a more popular commercial lake. This probably accounts for the fairly slow growth rate, plus average temperature in this ‘high’ lake is probably lower than in lowland areas. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (11)

Evening didn’t turn out exactly as expected.

Arrival time: 15.45
Weather: Sunny at first but wind became cold and even colder when the sky clouded over.
Swim: Lily pads and NE bay.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Baits: Bread flake & Luncheon meat.
Fish: three carp, best fish 11lbs 10oz.

In my last report I said I would return and have a go at the roach. Unfortunately fishing rarely pans out as you would like. Whereas on the last occasion I was getting a bite a cast from roach using my heavier tackle, today I could hardly tempt them with a nibble using a much more appropriate set up. However, let’s start at the beginning. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (10)

Better weather but no luck with the carp.

Arrival time: 12.30
Weather: Cloudy and warm becoming hot when the sun broke through (20 ℃).
Swim: Lily pads and NE bay.
Tackle: 12ft Drennan Barbel Specialist, 8lb line, 10 hook.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: A few roach.

After some unseasonal May weather the forecast was for a warm sunny day and it didn’t disappoint, although the fish did! Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (9)

First trip to the lake this year and a bit of luck.

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Cloudy with drizzle, brightening later.
Windy but this didn’t affect the sheltered lake.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 10ft Fishtec compact float rod with Shimano ST5000 reel, 6lb line and 16 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat , worm and sweetcorn.
Fish: One nice carp, 11lbs 6oz, a few roach and a small pike.

The first bit of good news was that the undergrowth hadn’t yet taken hold so I could actually get to what I call the lily pad swim without too much trouble. There were, however, no lily pads at this time of year. They’re obviously awaiting spring/summer like the rest of us. Read Full Report...

River Welland (21)

Although not as high as on my last visit the river was still running strongly, particularly over the shallower stretches. Managed two chub but it wasn’t easy.

Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Bright and although chilly when I arrived, it warmed up when the sun gained some strength.
Hardly any wind. A perfect day in fact.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Two chub, best fish 3¾lb

With only a couple of weeks of the season left and a favourable weather forecast, I decided to fit in a visit to the river. Read Full Report...

River Welland (20)

River still high with strong flow. Managed just one chub.

Arrival time: 10.45
Weather: Bright and frosty on arrival (3)
Later it was quite warm in the sun - no wind.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: One chub 3¾lbs

With all the recent snow and high winds it’s been a few weeks now since I visited the river. It was still running high and a lot of water was coming down. Read Full Report...

River Welland (19)

River recovering after floods. Three reasonable chub.

Arrival time: 10.45
Weather: Bright cloudy.
Moderate westerly wind.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Three chub, best fish 4lbs.

It’s been nearly two months since my last visit, although the lead up to Christmas accounted for the best part of December.

The river had obviously overflowed the meadow during the last deluge. There was a lot of flotsam laying around and the bank-side trees were decorated with various litter that had washed down with the flood water. Considering the banks are normally about six feet above water level, there must have been a lot of water! Read Full Report...

River Welland (18)

Second trip to the Welland this season. Must try harder.

Arrival time: 10.45
Weather: Bright morning clouding over in the afternoon.
Light south-westerly wind.
Swim: Roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Four SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Luncheon meat.
Fish: Three chub, best fish 4½lbs

Only the second time on the Welland this season. The forecast was for a mild day and they were right. About 13º C, which is good for November. The river was running quite strongly, which was good to see, as I can’t remember the last time that I saw a decent flow on this stretch. Hopefully it will clear out some of the debris and dead vegetation. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (8)

A glorious October day but nobody told the fish.

Arrival time: 11.30
Weather: Sunny / cloudy.
Hardly any wind. Very mild for the time of year.
Swim: Lily pads and SW corner
Tackle: 10 ft Fishtec compact float rod with Shimano ST5000 reel, 6lb line and 12 hook.
Baits: Used luncheon meat on the hook and sweetcorn as an attractor.
Fish: One small roach

On arrival I went straight to the lily pads swim. Since my last visit somebody had cleared a lot of the bankside growth, exposing another platform about ten yards further along. I didn’t even know it was there. I’m always a bit suspicious when I encounter ‘clearance overkill,' my inclination being to retain as much cover as possible. I was also a bit worried that whoever had been fishing there might have overdone the ground-baiting, a tendency that often goes hand-in-hand with over exuberant vegetation clearance. I’m stereotyping again, but I’ve witnessed this sort of ‘fishing’ in the past. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (7)

Steve, my neighbour, came as a guest today. He fished the lily pads while I tried a couple of new spots.

Arrival time: 11.00
Weather: Sunny / cloudy.
Hardly any wind. Very mild for the time of year.
Swim: NE Bay and SW corner
Tackle:14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Used luncheon meat on the hook and sweetcorn as an attractor.
Fish: Two carp and a nice roach. Best fish carp 8lbs 4oz.

My neighbour Steve accompanied me today and I suggested he fished the ‘lily-pads’ spot, as it was the most accessible place, and I had caught there previously. This left me to find another fishable spot - not that easy! Read Full Report...

River Welland (17)

First trip to the Welland this season.

Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Sun and clouds.
Strong westerly wind.
Swim: The large pool and roving.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Cheese and luncheon meat.
Fish: Two chub, best fish 3lbs.

Unfortunately I hadn’t managed to get to the Welland so far this season, so I missed my summer chub stalking. However, the river was low and there were still opportunities. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (6)

Today tried for roach and got a couple of bonus carp.

Arrival time: 11.00
Weather: Sunny / cloudy.
NW wind was behind me but it caused sideways drift, making it difficult to control a float.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage 1000RC reel with 5lb line and 14 hook.
Baits: Sweetcorn and luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp and 16 roach. Best carp 11½ lbs. Best roach 1lb 2oz

Today I decided to try for the roach. I started with sweetcorn and took two roach with the first two casts, the biggest around 4 oz. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (5)

No carp today, but a nice rudd and roach.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Clear blue sky and very warm.
Breeze not affecting lake.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: One rudd and one roach, each weighing 1lb 4oz

Back for another crack at the carp, but I was to be disappointed.

I was fishing by about 16.00. Light ledgering with luncheon meat. For the first hour I didn’t get a touch. The meat had been nibbled by small fish but nothing even lifted the bobbin indicator.

As the sun disappeared behind the trees at the back of me I started to get bites. Most were tentative affairs, with the bobbin rising and falling. Probably smaller fish trying to mouth the largish piece of luncheon meat. A couple were fast positive takes that I thought might be carp, but I was doubtful. I missed all of them. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (4)

Two good carp.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Overcast, brightening into evening.
Light wind not affecting lake.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: Two carp, best 11lbs, and a rudd just under a pound.

I decided on a late afternoon / evening visit. The brambles had grown back, so the first job was to clear a few hanging tendrils that were both an annoyance and a hazard. It’s certainly back to nature at this lake. No freshly mown banks and spacious platforms.

It was a slow start but at 16.10 a good indication on the bobbin resulted in a nice rudd of 15oz. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (3)

Another nice rudd but lost a carp.

Arrival time: 08.30
Weather: Cloudy bright with no discernible wind.
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: A couple of rudd, best 1lb 4oz, a small pike and a small roach. Broken by a carp.

Today I tried a morning session. My main reason for doing this was to avoid the mosquitos in the evening (I’ve been eaten alive this year), although it did also mean I could grab a round of golf later in the afternoon.

The lake was very enticing when I arrived. A mirror surface with the only noise being that of bees and other insect workers among the overgrown banks. Some of the blackberry thorns had re-established since I had cleared them on my last visit. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (2)

Back to the syndicate water.

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Bright sun and clouds with hardly any wind
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: A couple of rudd, best 1lb 2oz, and a lost carp.

Second trip to the syndicate lake. This time I took some shears and cleared the blackberry thorns from the path. I also opened up a route round to the east bank. However, I fished the same spot as last week. An Environment Agency chap was there checking licences when I arrived. Only the second time I’ve been asked in 50 odd years! Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Coarse) (1)

First trip to the coarse lake on my syndicate water.

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Bright with a light wind
Swim: Lily pads
Tackle:13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
11’6” Hardy Marksman, Shimano Exage 4000RC reel, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Bait: Bread and luncheon meat. All fish taken on luncheon meat.
Fish: A couple of carp, best 7lb 12oz, and a couple of roach.

As mentioned in my last diary entry, the coarse lake on this syndicate water is hardly fished. So I’ve found what for me is an ideal location. One could imagine it as one of those lakes mentioned in carp fishing books, with all the mystery of possible whoppers. But perhaps I’m romanticising too much. In fact the lake was wildly overgrown and just getting to the water was a challenge. Lots of blackberry thorns and thistles to negotiate. It seemed that without a machete there was only one swim that I could get to, and that wasn’t easy. I had looked at the lake in April, when the syndicate membership was mooted, and at that stage I walked around it without too much difficulty. I think I need to return with some shears and secateurs and carry out some management. Read Full Report...

Syndicate Lake (Fly) (1)

Syndicate trout lake.

Arrival time: 12..00
Weather: Warm with light breeze.
Swim: Roamed the lake
Tackle: 9’6” SONIK SK3 fly rod, floating line, leader of 7lb & 5lb flourocarbon.
Lures: Selection of flies.
Fish: None

I was offered membership of a syndicate in my area that comprises a trout lake and a coarse lake. The majority of the members fish the trout lake leaving the coarse lake almost unfished. This appealed to me and I will report on the coarse lake later. However, I thought this was the opportune time to take up fly fishing properly. I had been on a course a few years ago, and another one this year at Rutland Water, but I needed to acquire some decent fly fishing tackle. I ordered this once my membership had been confirmed, and this was my first visit to the water. Read Full Report...

Greys Prodigy Travel Rods

Prior to going on holiday this year I bought two travel rods.

I had always doubted the performance of such rods, based on the telescopic variety that I had seen but had never actually used.

Greys sent me their 2012 product guide and it included their Rova range, which are six-section carbon rods that bear no comparison with the older telescopic models. As you would expect, the guide praised these rods and importantly made the claim that they performed as well as two or three section models. I checked some independent reviews and these were also positive.

There weren’t many on sale but I picked up a discounted VX 12ft Rova Specimen and tried it over my local lake. I caught a few carp and must say that the rod handled exceptionally well. I was waggler fishing on that occasion and it was perhaps a little heavy to hold for prolonged periods. Being a six-piece blank there are obviously more sockets requiring thickened wall sections. That’s not to say it’s a particularly heavy rod; just a bit too weighty for continuous holding. Read Full Report...

River Indrois (2)

Fishing in France.

Arrival time: 18.00
Weather: Warm with light breeze.
Swim: River walk at Montrésor
Tackle:12ft Greys’ Rova Float rod, 5lb line, waggler, 14 hook.
Bait: Bread flake and spam.
Fish: None - one carp lost.

I had been reluctant to return to the Indrois after the mauling I received from the mosquitoes the previous time. In fact I started off by visiting a lake at Chemillé. I had checked it out a few days earlier. It was a big lake and part of a holiday complex, with pitches set aside for night carp fishing. I prefer smaller waters and had decided to try the end of the lake by the road bridge, where it narrowed and there were lily pads. Having arrived and set up I found the water was less than 2 feet deep by the pads. I fished for about 45 minutes but wasn’t feeling very positive about my chances. I French chap who arrived at the same time as me had only one small roach out of a side stream.

I decided mosquitoes or not, I would head back to the Indrois at Montrésor to have another crack at the carp. Read Full Report...

River Indrois (1)

Fishing in France.

Arrival time: 16.00
Weather: Warm with little wind.
Swim: River walk at Montrésor
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Rova Float rod, 5lb line, waggler, 14 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: One carp of 6lb 5oz and a very small catfish.

We were in France for three weeks so I took some tackle. I had bought two rods from the Greys’ Rova range and on this occasion used the float rod.

We had walked along the river the previous evening and I spotted a couple of carp under the lily pads. It always helps if you know where the fish hang out. Read Full Report...

Fields End (91)

A glorious day after weeks of awful weather.

Arrival time: 13.30
Weather: Clear sunny sky and very light easterly breeze.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 12ft Greys’ Prodigy Rova Specimen, 5lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
Bait: All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Three carp, best 10lb 12oz, and a tench.

It was the end of March when I last went fishing. The weather has been somewhat wet, to say the least, but I have also been doing other things that have kept me away from the water.

It was also an opportunity to try out a newly acquired Greys’ Prodigy Rova Specimen rod. This is a six-piece 12 foot rod designed for travelling. Now in the past such rods have not come anywhere near matching the performance of two or three piece blanks. However, this had good reviews and I wanted something I could pack in the car when going on holiday that didn’t need to be laid through the car boot and into the space between the front seats. Read Full Report...

Fields End (90)

First trip to Fields End since last October. A few carp and one good fish.

Arrival time: 14.10
Weather: Clear sunny sky and very light E/SE breeze.
Swim: Reed End
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, waggler, 12 hook.
Bait: bread and luncheon meat. All fish taken on bread flake.
Fish: Three carp, best 13lb 2oz, and one good crucian of 1lb 11oz.

A spell of unseasonably warm and calm weather saw me off to Fields End. I had already set my sights on the north eastern corner, to shelter from the forecast easterly breeze. There were about six people on the lake and the spot I was after was free. I set up in what I call the Reed End swim, situated at the other end of the reed bank that forms the Reed Corner.

I had taken luncheon meat and a small cut loaf. I started with bread flake and flicked in some free offerings, fishing close to the reeds, no more than about 15 feet out. The water level in the lake was well up, suggesting that Charlie had filled it since my last visit in October. Read Full Report...

River Welland (16)

Last trip to the river before the close season. Managed a couple of nice chub and a bonus jack pike.

Arrival time: 10.20
Weather: Overcast, calm and damp.
Hardly a breath of wind.
Swim: The large pool and roaming.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese and luncheon meat.
Fish: Three chub, best fish 4lb 5oz

I didn’t manage to get to the river last week, so this trip was my last before the close season.

I was hoping that I could end the season with a good day and things certainly started well. I catapulted some loose pieces of cheese and luncheon meat before I tackled up. First cast was with luncheon meat and after a minute or so the top twitched and then pulled round. The first fish was on. A brief battle, during which the fish repeatedly tried to get into the dead bankside vegetation to my left, ended with a fine 4lb 5oz chub on the bank. It was only 10.40. Read Full Report...

River Welland (15)

First trip for ages. One chub but nice to be back.

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Bright, still and pleasantly warm.
Mist was just clearing as I arrived.
Swim: The large pool.
Tackle: 12ft Korum multi-feeder, Shimano bait caster, 8lb line, 6 hook tied direct. Three SG shots on a short link.
Bait: Cheese and luncheon meat.
Fish: One chub of 2¾lb

At last, my first fishing trip since October. After posting in January saying I would be going out there was the snow, and then I caught one of these viruses that just don’t seem to go away.

I set up in my normal spot and catapulted some bits of cheese and luncheon meat into the flow near the far bank. Things looked perfect; calm and quiet, although the river was a bit low and judging by the debris, in the form of dead vegetation, it didn’t seem to have benefitted from a good winter flush through. Read Full Report...

Not been fishing

I haven’t been fishing for over two months, thus the lack of postings. Obviously we’ve had Christmas and the weather on occasions hasn’t actually been very welcoming, especially the high winds. I really do not like fishing in the wind, particularly here in the Fens where even a light breeze has the ability to literally create waves.

I’ve also got a bit hooked on golf recently, which has eaten into available time. But the fishing bug hasn’t gone, I assure you, and I will get down to the river again in the near future.

I’m sitting on the fence a bit over commercial lakes. When I started fishing again a few years ago the commercial lake experience was entirely new, and it was a very convenient way to get back into catching fish. In fact, it offered opportunities that were just not there when I fished as a lad. However, I have become a bit disillusioned with the whole modern fishing ethos. Read Full Report...

Fields End (89)

Disappointing day.

Arrival time: 09.30 (started to fish at 10.00)
Weather: Bright and sunny. Reasonably mild.
Very light SE/S/SW breeze.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line,
16 hook on 5lb flourocarbon. Insert waggler.
Baits: Sweetcorn and luncheon meat
Fish: One carp of 2lbs, an ide and a couple of roach

Today was full of promise. Very mild for late October and no troublesome wind. However, nobody told the fish!

I arrived a bit later than usual so may have missed an early bonus fish or two. I had decided to go for roach with the hope that a tench or carp may turn up.

Sweetcorn was the chosen bait, with luncheon meat in reserve. I may have tried maggot but the shop was closed when I arrived. I was feeding small pellets. Read Full Report...

Fields End (88)

A bit quiet but some reasonable fish.

Arrival time: 07.15 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Overcast with some light drizzle on occasions.
Light E wind swung to SE later in the day.
Swim: Tree Corner.
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, Shimano Exage reel with 5lb line, 12 hook tied direct. Insert waggler.
Baits: Lunchion meat
Fish:
Three carp, best fish 9¼lb, two tench and a roach.

Various things have conspired to keep me away from fishing over the past few weeks, so it was good to get back to the bank side.

It was quiet at the lake with probably only about five people there at any time during the day. I had the tree corner to myself. While the relatively mild period prevailed it wasn’t the best of days, although the overcast conditions should have helped the fishing. It was calm when I arrived but the easterly breeze proved a bit irksome later in the day. Read Full Report...