Archives for 2010 | Kilburnlad | Fishing | Diary

Kilburnlad

River Wye

A delightful short video of the River Wye.

The Wye won the best river award promoted by the Our Rivers organisation.







Fishing on hold

Having tried some sub-zero river fishing at the back-end of last year and the beginning of this one, and suffered accordingly, I’m holding back during this current cold spell.

I seem to be in good company as I’ve only seen pike anglers on the local drains, and not many of them at that! I’m not a pike man.

Fields End (69)

Foggy all day, cold but no wind. Had hoped for roach but lake was almost dead. Another surprise tench ended the day.

Arrival time: 07.15 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Foggy, no wind and very cold.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 16 hook on 2.5lb line. Insert waggler.
Baits: Breadflake, maggots and pellets.
Fish: Some small roach and perch, and a tench of 2lbs 14oz.

The fog had been forecast but there was a chance it would clear to a bright day; but it didn’t!

I had bought maggots and some soft 4mm and 6mm pellets to give myself some options. On Monday I got lots of bites on bread flake that I couldn’t hit. Today I had very few bites and bread didn’t produce hardly any at all. Neither did the pellets. Maggots attracted small perch and I caught quite a few of these through the day, some no bigger than a finger. I also caught some small roach on maggot but couldn’t seem to keep them feeding. Read Full Report...

Fields End (68)

A cold clear day. No carp but a couple of good roach and a surprise tench.

Arrival time: 07.00 (started to fish at 07.45)
Weather: Bright, no wind and very cold.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn.
Fish: Roach to 1lb 2oz, and a 3¼lbs tench.

The gales of last week had passed and a brief spell of high pressure provided classic cold clear conditions with no wind. I was on my own on the lake until around midday, with just an incredibly brave little chaffinch hopping around my feet looking for some tit-bits. I think he was after maggots but I didn’t have any. It may have been cold but the conditions were otherwise idyllic.

I didn’t really expect carp, and I didn’t get any. It was, in fact, a difficult day. I did get bites throughout the day but couldn’t hit them. I suspect roach and although I’ve scaled down my tackle from the normal carp-beating gear it’s probably still too heavy for discerning roach. Read Full Report...

Fields End (67)

Today’s target species were roach and crucian carp but the big carp had other ideas.

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells, hardly any wind and chilly.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 14ft Shimano Speedmaster match rod, 4lb line, 14 hook. Insert waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and sweetcorn, with hempseed and pellets as attractors.
Fish: Seven carp to 8lbs 14oz and a 2lbs 1oz crucian.

After the frustration last week of not being able to hit many of the bites, today I scaled down my tackle. I bought a match rod a few years ago for use on canals and drains but it hasn’t had many outings. It’s light and fast, and, as I found out today, not lacking where bigger fish are concerned.

As previously I fed micro pellets and hempseed, and this time I also included some sweet corn. Baiting with a single grain of corn I had a few touches and then, at 07.55, a firm bite resulted in a big fish tearing off, with the match rod adopting an impressive curve. I was using a centre pin, which gave me precise control of line tension and this, combined with the light rod, took the pressure off the 4lb line. It probably took about 5-10 minutes to tire the fish to the point where I could safely net it; a 8lb 13oz leather. Read Full Report...

Fields End (66)

Arrival time: 07.10
Weather: Cloudy bright, not too chilly with a fresh south-westerly breeze.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, 12 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake, worms, luncheon meat and pellet.
Fish: A 14oz roach, 1¾lbs crucian and a 6lbs carp.

Back to the Tree Corner to test out my theory that the larger carp patrol this area. As they say, the best laid plans and all that!

Like the previous week it was hard work; perhaps harder. There were touches that either came from roach or cautious crucians. I had taken some worms this time from the composter. Boy did they stink! I tried a worm down the margin in the hope of a bonus perch but nothing took. I then cast the worm out to my baited area and an immediate bite resulted in a fine 14oz roach (photo). I thought I had hit on a winning formula but, as is often the case, this was not to be repeated. Read Full Report...

Fields End (65)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: Chilly but bright; light to fresh south-westerly breeze.
Swim: Tree corner
Tackle: 13ft FishTec multi float, 8lb line, 12 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat with pellet feed.
Fish: Two 15lbs + carp, a 4lbs 3oz barbel, a 3lbs 6oz tench and a 2lb 2oz crucian carp.

After a couple of sessions fishing into a chilling wind on the east bank I decided today to take the soft option and fish with the wind behind me. The tree-corner swim is in the south western corner of the lake and the wind was south westerly. With the added protection of a bank of trees and shrubs behind this was the most sheltered part of the lake. This swim never seems to produce a large number of carp, but it has yielded my biggest fish to date, a 19lb specimen, and I’ve also taken a 17lb fish from the spot.

The swim is flanked by reeds but, unlike the reed swim in the opposite corner of the lake, fishing close up to the reeds is not always productive. With the lake level quite low and the weather chilly I therefore ignored the close margins. Plumbing revealed a fall-off at about two rod lengths out so I fed this area with small pellets on a little and often basis. Bait was bread flake. Read Full Report...

Fields End (64)

Arrival time: 10.00
Weather: Chilly, light to fresh north-westerly breeze.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler and light Arsley leger rig.
Baits: Bread flake
Fish: Two smallish carp, a crucian and a 2¼lbs tench.

What a difference a week can make. Last Thursday it was like spring. Today was very autumnal. Last week I caught fish regularly throughout the day. Today I slogged until 15.30 for my first fish.

Conditions seemed promising when I arrived somewhat later than usual because of a doctor’s appointment. There were about five people on the lake and I got the reed-end swim.

I few early bites were indicative of either small fish or cautious crucian carp. I missed them all but a large scale came back on the hook on one occasion suggesting the bigger carp were in the swim. There was also reed movement. Read Full Report...

Fields End (63)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: Warm, light southerly breeze and bright
It was like a spring day.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle:12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat with pellet feed.
Fish: 16 carp to 10lbs, three tench to 4lbs 3oz and four crucians to 2lbs 2oz. Lost four fish.

Back to the end of the reeds in the NE corner where I fished last week. I was the only one on the lake when I arrived and throughout the day nobody came anywhere near the corner where I was fishing. There were in fact no more than six people on the lake at any time. So, the conditions were perfect; it was quiet and I had a really good day.

The first fish came after only fifteen minutes and I caught throughout the day. Bread flake was again the most productive bait and I took only one fish on luncheon meat if one discounts a small perch that took it. I used small pellets to ground-bait the swim on a little but often basis. Read Full Report...

Fields End (62)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A quiet day after heavy rain the previous day.
Light breeze alternated from W, to NW, to SW, to S and then back to W.
Swim: Reed-end swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 10 hook. Sliding pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon.
Fish: 12 carp to 11lbs and a 3lbs 3oz tench.

Back to Fields End on a pleasant day sandwiched between heavy rain and wind the previous day, and more of the same predicted for the following day.

Today I went to the opposite end of the reed bank that forms the left of my usual Reed swim. A chap was there last week and did well, but more importantly it seemed easier to fish than the Reed swim, which is now a bit awkward since a new platform has been installed. I don’t like platforms and have been sitting to the side of it. However, this makes access and egress difficult with a high risk of stumbling. Also, there is a nasty snag by the left reed bank that has taken more tackle than I can remember, and playing fish is difficult because of the proximity of reeds to both sides. Read Full Report...

Fields End (61)

Arrival time: 07.30
Weather: A foggy start with a very light breeze. The fog lifted around 0830 and then the S-SW wind freshened, becoming quite strong after midday.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Marksman, 8lb line, 12/10 hook. Alternated between sliding pre-loaded waggler and small Arlesley bomb leger.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat.
Fish: 10 carp, best fish 9lb 12oz.

First time at the local lake since the end of July. I eased off in August pending my fortnight’s fishing holiday at Docklow.

A bit late arriving but not many people about. As the wind was forecast S to SW, I went in the reed swim. There was a chap at the other end of the reeds and he was literally pulling them out when I arrived, and continued to do so throughout the morning, losing a few in the process.

I started with the preloaded waggler and, unusually, didn’t get an early bite, as I often do in this spot before the fish get wise. It wasn’t until 08.15 that I got my first fish, a 3lb 11oz mirror on luncheon meat. I continued with luncheon meat on the waggler until just after midday, when the wind caused me to change to a light leger. I caught two more fish on float, at 08.30 and 08.45, both common carp at 5lb 5oz and 6lb 10oz. The second one, while not particular large, was a fine looking fish, so I took a photo. Read Full Report...

Richard Walker

As somebody who starting fishing at the back end of the 1950s, Richard (Dick) Walker was a major influence, as he was arguably for thousands of other anglers. I recently bought his biography, written in 2007 by Barrie Rickards. I’m currently reading it, and have found it revealing in many ways. It also pointed me at other books, one of which was ‘Drop Me a Line’, the publication of letters between Maurice Ingham and RW at a time when many new theories and innovations were being discussed. It was published in 1953, with reprints in 1964 and 1989. The biography was a bit disparaging about the 1989 reprint, so I visited AbeBooks to see if I could obtain a copy of the first or second edition. Read Full Report...

Docklow reflections

Well, our holiday is almost over and today it’s raining, not that we’re complaining as we have had a marvellous two weeks considering the weather that immediately preceded our holiday. As we’ve got to be out before 10.00 tomorrow I’ve forsaken a final evening’s fishing, as I didn’t want to have to try to dry out everything before packing.

Docklow is without doubt a great place for anglers. The lakes are mature with plenty of bank-side features and are set amongst trees. There are plenty of pitches so at no time is there any pressure on finding somewhere to fish, unless of course you have a particular spot in mind. I only fished late afternoon and evening, which is often the most productive time. All lakes seem to have a good stock of carp, as would be expected these days, and a surprising number of barbel. I have not really tried for silver fish so I can’t comment on roach, bream etc., although I did catch some. There are also chub and although I only caught a couple of small ones I saw bigger fish landed. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (9)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Another fine calm evening.
Swim: Match Pool Peg1
Tackle:13ft Multi-float, 6lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 12 hook.
12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best fish 10lbs, a barbel and a small chub.

I was heading for the Mickey Mouse Pool but saw from the road that my favourite spot was occupied. I happened to be next to Peg 1 of the match pool at the time. Now, I have noticed that this peg is very popular and when I had a closer look it was clear that the adjacent pegs were some distance away, making it ideal for margin fishing. There were reeds to the right (photo) and a corner to the left, where the road bordered the lake. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (8)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: A beautiful evening following earlier heavy rain.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Peg19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat and bread flake.
Fish: Two carp, best fish 9lbs, four small barbel and a small tench.

Leather 9lb

Leather 9lb


After a disappointing trip to the River Teme earlier in the day (see previous posting) I went down to Mickey Mouse for a couple of hours. Peg 19 was free so I slotted in there, as I knew it from previous occasions.

I cast out near the lilies and having missed one bite, next cast I hooked what felt like a heavy fish. It didn’t run a great distance but kept deep and circled, occasionally trying to get into the margin reeds. It must have taken about ten minutes to get the fish in but I wanted to play it out rather than risk losing it by applying too much pressure. On the bank it weighed just over 9lb, the best fish so far at Docklow. Read Full Report...

River Teme (1)

Arrival time: 09:00
Weather: Bright after heavy overnight rain. Heavy rain shower at lunchtime.
Swim: Upstream from car park.
Tackle: 12ft Korum Multi Feeder, 8lb line, feeder/leger and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: One unwelcome eel!

I checked out the Docklow Pools’ stretch of the River Teme yesterday. Like the Wye, most of the bank was unfishable. There were three fishable swims upstream from the car park and although I saw a chap fishing downstream I couldn’t work out how he had got down to the river.

Today I arrived and nobody else was there. I went to a swim under some trees, where the water was running off some shallows into a deep glide about 10-15 yards downstream. It seemed a textbook barbel swim. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (7)

Arrival time: 14.30
Weather: Calm and slightly overcast. Light rain later.
Swim: Match Pool Peg12
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
13ft float rod, 6lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 14 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat. Fed with maggots and sweetcorn.
Fish: Four carp, best 7½lbs, and a small bream.

I tried the match pool today for the first time. I went with the intention of using my float rod and not carp fishing. I had assumed that carp would not be the predominant species in the match pool. However, it was soon clear that there were good carp in the lake as they could be seen cruising on the surface. The swim I chose had good margins to the right and a bed of lilies about 30 feet out directly in front. There were large carp around these lilies so I started with the Avon rod and flake casting to the edge of the pads. I had a couple of good bites but at that range it was difficult to connect. I did ‘feel’ one fish that felt quite large.

This strategy having not succeeded, I reverted to my original idea and set up my 13ft float rod. I fed the swim with the maggots left over from my Wye trip, sweetcorn, flake pellets and luncheon meat. My first fish, at 14.55, was a small bream of about ½lb taken on luncheon meat. I tried maggot on the hook but only got tiny roach. At 15.20 I landed a lively mirror of about 1½lb that also took luncheon meat. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (6)

Arrival time: 17.30
Weather: A clear calm evening following a sunny day.
Swim: Figure of Eight pool
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Six carp, best 6½lbs, two small barbel and a small tench.

We got back a bit late today so I went down to the lakes a bit later. I tried the Figure of Eight pool again, this time in the SE corner (I couldn’t find a Peg number). This spot offered two near margins and the option to cast to lilies and overhanging trees on the far bank, about 25 feet away. There was nobody else on the lake.

Things started well. Having seen fish movement on the far bank, I cast flake over and immediately got a take; a 2½lb common. I then picked up a small leather of about a pound. Next I tried a light leger down the left margin, leaving the line slack and watching for line movement. This allowed me to reach part of the corner that I couldn’t fish by float and resulted in two more small carp. Read Full Report...

River Wye (1)

Arrival time: 09.30
Weather: Sunny with no wind at first, although it blew up a bit during the day and then subsided late afternoon.
Swim: Third pitch downstream from hut.
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, quill float and 12hook. Then a small feeder with 10 hook.
Baits: Maggots, luncheon meat, bread flake and pellets.
Fish: Five chub, best 3½lbs.

My first trip to the Wye. As mentioned in the previous posting, an advance recce had shown only a few fishable spots. I fished the third pitch downstream from where you park. It was a good looking spot with trees overhanging and entering the water about 10 yards downstream.

It screamed out to be trotted so I started with a good old-fashioned quill. Plumbing the depth showed there to be about 8 feet a rod-length out. I used a maggot dropper to feed the swim and sent the float down with great anticipation. My reward was small dace and minnows! I also tried a piece of crust, holding it back so it went under the semi-submerged tree branches, but again nothing. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (5)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Sunny and almost calm.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best 6¼lbs, a roach just under a pound, some small barbel and a small chub.

Having tried the Figure of Eight pool yesterday I was ready to return. However both the corner swims were taken today. I therefore went on to Mickey Mouse and set up in my now regular pitch 19.

I dropped in down the left margin and quickly had a small barbel of about 12oz. The margin then went quiet so I tried fishing just off the lilies about 25 feet out. The lack of wind made this easier than on previous days. I used a simple slider float arrangement to make it easier to drop the rig close to the lilies. I caught about three of four more barbel in a short time then lost what was almost certainly a carp in the lilies, but fortunately it didn’t take any tackle. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (4)

Arrival time: 15.30
Weather: Sunny with little to no wind.
Swim: Figure of Eight Pool - Peg 17
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10/12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Four carp, best 7½lbs, a 1¾lbs crucian and a couple of small barbel.

I thought I should try another pool today and as someone was in Peg 19 on Mickey Mouse that sort of forced my hand.

I had seen a good spot on the small Figure of Eight pool, in the NE corner. A bank of reeds stretched away to the left and to the right the bank was inaccessible all the way to the other corner. This made the swim very secluded; just my cup of tea. There were carp cruising the surface, probably up to around the 10lb mark. They didn’t seem to be feeding, just taking the sun. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (3)

Arrival time: 15.00
Weather: Sunny with little to no wind.
Swim: Micky Mouse Pool - Pegs 21 & 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Some small carp, best 4½lbs and a small tench. Lost a few fish.

A bright sunny day with no wind so I went down to Mickey Mouse a bit earlier. For a Bank Holiday Monday it wasn’t that busy, but there was someone at Peg 19 where I had fished on previous days. I slotted in to Peg 21, the spot where the chap on Saturday had had such a good day. I tried shallow-fished flake casting to the edge of the willow trees by the island, only about ten yards. I got a take every cast but couldn’t hit them. I managed after a while to hook a couple of small carp. I therefore changed tack and fished to a lily bed close to the near margin. I got some fiddly bites on luncheon meat and another small carp.

By this stage the family that was at Peg 19 had left, so I moved there. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (2)

Arrival time: 16.00
Weather: Cloudy bright and very windy although the trees kept the wind off my swim.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 13ft Fishtec multi-float, 6lb line, centre pin, pre-loaded waggler and 12 hook
12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, pre-loaded waggler and 10 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: Three carp, best 5½lbs, some small barbel and roach. A story of lost fish!

I walked around all the lakes in the morning and the Mickey Mouse pool certainly attracts me the most. I went back late afternoon with the aim of perhaps fishing the spot where the chap yesterday had such good sport. There were two anglers in the spot in the morning and they were still there when I arrived. I thought they may leave early and give me a couple of hours in the spot.

While waiting I went in the same spot as yesterday. I started with the 13ft float rod with the hope of picking up a mixed bag. I fed bread pellets and luncheon meat and started getting some tentative bites. A couple of roach were hooked and landed. At about 17.00 the float went away and a fish motored out to the centre of the lake, about 20 or so yards. It felt powerful and I could do little to slow it down. I was hopeful that being in open water would give me a chance on the light tackle, but unfortunately the fish turned and went into the dense lily bed to the right, where there were also remains of old tree stumps. All went solid and hand-lining had no effect. I had to break off and lost one of three new floats I had bought in the morning. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools (1)

Arrival time: 17.00
Weather: Cloudy bright with a stiff breeze although the trees kept the wind off the water.
Swim: Mickey Mouse Pool - Peg 19
Tackle: 12ft Hardy Avon, 8lb line, 14/10 hooks. Waggler and pre-loaded waggler.
Baits: Bread flake, sweetcorn and luncheon meat.
Fish: Four carp, best 6lbs, a possible carp/crucian hybrid and an ide.

I selected a pitch with reeds to the left, a fallen tree bough to the right and lilies both to the left and about 15 metres out. Plumbing showed it to be quite shallow, around a couple of feet. I put in some loose feed sweet corn and luncheon meat and started fishing the margin to the left. Starting with sweet corn on a 14 hook I was getting bites that I think were small fish. Changing to luncheon meat I caught a mirror carp of about 12oz, which fought very well for its size. I then got what I think was a 1¾ lb crucian carp, although its colouring suggested perhaps a carp/crucian cross. Two fish were then lost because of failed hook hold, and my float ended up in a tree as the hook parted company with the fish. I changed to a pre-loaded waggler with a single sinker shot and increased the hook size to a 10. Read Full Report...

Docklow Pools


Mickey Mouse Pool

Mickey Mouse Pool


In the unlikely event anybody is wondering why the fishing diary has been silent for almost a month, it’s because we had a holiday booked, a fishing holiday none the less. I have always tried to grab a bit of fishing when on holiday but this is the first time we’ve decided to take a fishing holiday.

Docklow Pools in Herefordshire has a number of lakes, some of which are for residents only, and for Helen they boasted a 9-hole golf course. We arrived about 14.45 and after unpacking and having a bit of lunch walked around the Mickey Mouse pool (photo). The proprietor recommended this pool as a good starter. It is a nice lake, not too large and edged with reeds, as well as having lily pads both at the margins and out in the lake. I fished it the first afternoon: see next posting. Read Full Report...

Fields End (60)

Arrival time: 10.15
Weather: Cloudy bright with a south westerly breeze. Breeze freshened in afternoon and cloud cover increased.
Swim: Reed swim.
Tackle: 12ft barbel rod, 12lb line, 8/10 hooks.
Alternated between sliding pre-loaded waggler, small Arlesley bomb leger and controller float for surface fishing.
Baits: Luncheon meat and artificial 'biscuit'.
Fish: Three carp, best 5¾lbs, and a small roach.

A late night meant that I got up late and arrived at the lake later than normal. I expected the reed swim to be occupied and had set my sights on the reed bed at the southern end of the lake, which is rarely fished. So much for planning; the eastern side of the lake was fully populated, including the swim I had expected to fish. Perversely, my reed swim was vacant, so I went there. Read Full Report...

Tackle Fanatics

In my enthusiasm to get back into angling a few years ago I bought quite a bit of new tackle, being influenced a lot by what I saw around my local lake at Fields End. This included a 2½lb test Fox Warrior feeder rod that I used a couple of times before deciding the bombardier style of angling was not for me. I also bought a Korum rucksack for use on my bike, but it was a bit too bulky and I’ve since fitted panniers, which are safer and easier than carting a rucksack on my back. Also, if using the rucksack when not on the bike it was difficult also to sling a rod holdall over the shoulder, as it kept slipping off. And on the subject of rod holdalls, I bought a Korum total protection two-rod system, which was a good product but really too bulky if, like me, you carry everything and don’t go down the trolley route. Read Full Report...

River Welland (5)

Arrival time: 12.00
Weather: Sunny with white clouds. Very warm but with a strong breeze.
Swim: Roving
Tackle: 12ft Korum light feeder rod, 8lb line, 5lb Fluorocarbon hook length, 10 hook. Used two SG shots on a short link.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Three chub, best 4¼lbs.

I’ve been promising myself a trip back to the Welland since the season opened on 16 June. I went today, over a month late . I had the stretch to myself with only a couple of other anglers arriving later in the afternoon. I started in the swim where I caught two nice chub last July but not a touch today. After about 20 minutes I moved up to the pool below the footbridge where chub can often be seen cruising, and where I managed to catch one last August. I touch-legered with luncheon meat holding the rod with the line hooked over my finger. After a short while a tap developed into a pull and I hooked a fish. It didn’t actually fight that hard and I was surprised at the size of it, weighing in at 4¼lb. (Caught at 12.30) Read Full Report...

Fields End (59)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Cloudy bright with a south westerly breeze. Brighter intervals developed and it became warm with the breeze freshening.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 12ft barbel rod, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Alternated between sliding pre-loaded waggler and small Arlesley bomb leger.
Baits: Bread flake (seedy bread!) and luncheon meat.
Fish: Nine carp, best 11lb 6oz and a roach. Seven lost fish!

An odd sort of day really. The night before I was in two minds whether to go because of the forecast wind. Then I didn’t sleep too well, but as I was awake at 05.30 I decided to go.

The other thing is that due to a bit of bad organisation I only had one rod with me. To cut a longish story short, I decided to sell my Fox Warrior feeder rod (I’m never going to take to heavy feeder fishing) along with my Korum rucksack (bought for use on the bike but I’ve since fitted panniers, which are easier and safer) and my Korum rod holdall (too bulky and overkill for light roving fishing). I ordered a Grey’s quiver system that takes individual rod bags, but unfortunately they were out of stock, and I had already committed to send my old tackle off by courier; so, no rod holdall. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (12)

Arrival time: 16.30
Weather: Bright and very warm with a breeze that dropped during the late evening.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: One carp of 4½lbs.

After the relative ease of catching fish at Fields End on Tuesday, Block Fen brought me back to reality. It had a been a very warm day and even at 16.30 it was very hot. The breeze hardly affected the sheltered corner I fish but there was some line drag. More annoyingly there was a family of moorhens that emerged, tiny chick in tow, every time I cast, obviously looking for tit-bits. Unfortunately they often snagged the line forcing a re-cast, and the whole process started again. Read Full Report...

Fields End (58)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Hazy bright with a slight westerly breeze. Remained bright cloudy and very warm throughout day with wind freshening to south-westerly.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle:
12ft barbel rod, 12lb line, 8/10 hook
11½ft Hardy Avon Marksman, waggler, 6/8lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float 6lb line, pellet waggler, 16hook.
Baits: Bread flake/crust, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: 13 carp, best 7lbs, three tench, best 3lb 10oz, two barbel, best 4lbs 2oz, a crucian and some small rudd.

Because of work on my pond and going on holiday at the end of June, I actually didn’t go fishing during June. Last outing was 27th May. To get me back into the fish I decided to go to Fields End, where catching is almost guaranteed.

The reed swim was available and it now sports a new platform as the old gravel-filled base was collapsing. I hate platforms and after half an hour installed myself at its side, sitting almost in the water in a narrow gap between the platform and the bankside vegetation. It turned out to be a good position as I had a much better sight-line down the reeds to the left and could play the fish away from those reeds more easily. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (11)

Arrival time: 15.15
Weather: Sunny with clouds and a south-easterly breeze that dropped during the late evening.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: One carp 18lbs 3oz

After a couple of blanks at Block Fen I went back today to try my luck. I had been waiting at home for the delivery of my pond liner but as Helen was in for the afternoon I decided to grab a few hours fishing.

My reed corner was free when I arrived just after 15.00. There were a couple of ‘carp’ anglers on the opposite bank; multiple rods, big feeders and rather too much bait being fed in. Read Full Report...

Fields End (57)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky with little or no wind through morning. Cloud cover increased during afternoon although wind remained light SW until about 19.00, when it freshened.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 11½ft Hardy Avon Marksman, waggler, 6/8lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float 6lb line, pellet waggler, 16hook.
Baits: Bread flake, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: Six carp, best 12lbs, two tench, best 3½lbs, a crucian and an ide.

After being outgunned on my 13ft multi-float rod on the last visit I had set up my new Hardy Avon Specimen rod that I bought last year at an offer price. It was its first outing. I had paired it with my Rapidex centre pin and 6lb line. First cast, using bread flake, resulted in a firm bite five minutes later and a fish rushed into the reeds, breaking me easily. The tackle upgrade obviously hadn’t worked. I then lost another fish that slipped the hook as I was trying to stop it getting into the reeds. Not a good start! Read Full Report...

Block Fen (10)

Arrival time: 07.15
Weather: Sunny with a light southerly breeze that freshened during the morning.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: None

I was undecided today as to whether to go back to Block Fen or go to Fields End. In the end as the forecast was for fresh SW breeze, which is always difficult at Fields End, I decided to return to Block Fen after yesterday evening’s disappointment.

I arrived about 07.15 and there was nobody there. The lake is fairly sheltered and the southern end, where I fish, is protected from southerly winds. In fact, conditions seemed ideal and there were signs of fish moving in the reeds. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (9)

Arrival time: 16.00
Weather: Sunny with a light south easterly breeze.
Swim: NW corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits:
Fish: None

After Tuesday’s success I decided to try another evening session. Unfortunately my corner spot was taken by the only other angler on the lake. I decided to fish the opposite NW corner while waiting to see if the other chap left early. Read Full Report...

Block Fen (8)

Arrival time: 17.00
Weather: Alternate sun and clouds but with a fresh northerly breeze.
Swim: Reed corner
Tackle: 12ft Barbel specialist, 12lb line, 8 hook.
Baits: Bread flake
Fish: One carp 15lb 2oz

My first visit to Block Fen this year. I made up my mind quite in the day late to go.

When I arrived there were three anglers on the main bank, which surprised me considering it was early season and mid-week. One was opposite where I usually fish and unfortunately he was casting over to my bank. I apologised but he said it wasn’t a problem. I must admit that I don’t understand why people fish the far bank when the option exists to fish under the rod top, so to speak. Read Full Report...

Fields End (56)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Bright but with a fresh northerly breeze, which blew up during the morning. It was decidedly chilly. The breeze eased at midday and by 16.00 the sky had cleared and produced a ‘perfect’ evening.
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake and luncheon meat
Fish: One carp 11lb 4oz (a number lost), three tench, best 3lb 14oz, four crucians, best 2lbs 2oz, and roach 12oz.

After the previous week’s phenomenal day, today was never going to measure up. It didn’t start well, as five minutes after casting I lost a fish in the reeds. As the float went under it was heading for the reeds and the fish was probably already there before I struck. Half an hour later I lost another fish; my mistake this time as I put much pressure on the rim of the centre pin. I was also missing bites, probably roach or crucians. Up to this point I had been on luncheon meat. Read Full Report...

Fields End (55)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky and no wind
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float, free-line/controller float, 8lb line, 12/16 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat and floating pellet.
Fish: 15 carp, best 12lb 13oz (5 lost), 4 tench, best 3lb 12oz, roach to 1lb 7oz, a 2lbs 2oz crucian and a 3lbs 14oz barbel.

The total weight of carp was just under 135lbs and including the other fish the catch was nearly 158lbs.

Another nice day. Again the lake was calm throughout the morning and although a light SW breeze blew up later, it was on and off and didn't cause too many problems. For the first two hours I was the only one on the lake and when people did arrive they stayed on the west and south banks, leaving me virtually undisturbed in the reed corner. Read Full Report...

Fields End (54)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Clear blue sky and no wind
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
10ft compact float rod, free-line/controller float, 8lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Bread flake/crust, luncheon meat and floating biscuit.
Fish: Ten carp, best 14½lbs, two tench, best 3lbs 14oz, a 2lbs crucian and a 1lb roach.

A really nice day. There wasn't a ripple throughout the morning and with only two other swims occupied it was very quiet. If only all fishing days could be like this.

I started with the 13ft float rod and luncheon meat, and at 07.40 landed a nice tench of 2lb 6oz. I had missed a couple of bites previously that I suspect were also tench. Soon after I had a close-up view of a reed bunting. I had to check the bird book to see what it was; a first sighting for me.

A couple of carp followed at 08.20 and 09.10; a linear mirror of 6lb 14oz and a mirror of 5lb 8oz. I then tried a crust/flake hook bait and at 09.30 landed a lovely 3lb 14oz tench. Read Full Report...

Fields End (53)

Arrival time: 07.00
Weather: Bright but with a cold northerly wind
Swim: Reed swim
Tackle: 13ft multi-float, waggler, 4lb line, 12 hook.
Baits: Luncheon meat
Fish: Four carp, best 6½lbs and two 2lbs crucians.

Back after last Thursday's success. The day started well with three carp before 09.00. These were all on luncheon meat and were not big fish. A 3lb common, 5½lb common and a 4¾ mirror. The last one was in fact foul-hooked in the pectoral fin.

Things then went quiet until just after 10.00, when after striking as the float moved sideways I landed a beautiful 2lb crucian carp, the largest from Fields End and a personal best. Read Full Report...

Fields End (52)

The 16 March trip had broken my winter duck and the weather had warmed up some more, so back to the lake. I arrived just after 07.00 and there was nobody there. I fished the reed swim again, which while difficult is fairly reliable. And early in the year at there is at least half a chance of keeping the fish out of the reeds.

The conditions were good. The lake was calm and although a breeze was forecast things started off perfect; except that the fish weren't cooperating. Bread flake didn't produce a response and although I got bites on sweet corn, they were clearly roach, and I did in fact hook and land a few. I also had what looked like a couple of dace!

I was using the 13ft Fishtec rod again with a waggler and 4lb line. I dropped to a 14 hook and switched to small pieces of luncheon meat. At 09.00 I was rewarded with a 2lb 5oz mirror. Persevering with luncheon meat I got a 4lb 4oz linear mirror at 10.00. Read Full Report...

Fields End (51)

After freezing my what's its off in January, I waited until things warmed up a bit before making another trip to Fields End. The weather had recently shown a marked improvement, with March 14th, the last day of the river season, being really quite nice. By Tuesday 16th the wind has also relented; so I set off.

Linear mirror 9lb 12oz

Linear mirror 9lb 12oz


I got to the lake at 08.00. It was completely calm and there was nobody there. The forecast had been for a westerly / south-westerly breeze, which would blow right into the reed corner. None the less I went to this swim, as I had some good early spring success there last year.

I set up with my new 13ft Fishtec multi-float rod and a waggler with 4lb line. I started with bread and missed a few bites so switched to sweet corn. After a short while (at 08.50) I had a more positive bite and was into something good. A delicate tussle with the light tackle resulted in a linear mirror of 9¾lb. Read Full Report...

Manea Pit (2)

Having caught nothing on the Monday, I returned armed with pellets, biscuits and maggots. This time there was no sign of the carp (typical) so I persevered with bottom-fed maggot on a waggler. The water is deep off the fishing stage; about 6 feet just by the reeds. This is obviously because on the stage you are a few yards out into the lake. After a while I tempted some small rudd. Then came a surprise; the float shot away and a better fish was on. I thought I had cracked the carp problem. However, it turned out it was a small jack-pike (about a pound) that had obviously lunged at a fish and become entangled in my line. It wasn't hooked but a loop of line was around its teeth; most odd. It was surprising that I got it in. Read Full Report...

Manea Pit (1)

My neighbour, Steven, mentioned Manea Pit to me the other day. He has been fishing it since he was a lad, and work is currently under way to improve the banks, access etc. It's only about 8 miles away.

I went for a ride over there on my bike and it certainly has some character. Much of the bank is reeded and there are also reeds across the lake. They have formed some access ways out into the reeds and it was on one of these that I tried my luck. Read Full Report...

Fields End (50)

My last visit was on 23 October 2009, and Mum died the next day, which left me quite distraught. I did try to go later in the year but the lake was closed for works on the access road. Then it froze!

Going in January, just after the lake had thawed, was always going to be challenging; and so it turned out. I fished the reed corner with sweet corn in the hope that I may pick up some roach, at least. I didn't get a touch. Read Full Report...

River Welland (4)

My second winter expedition to the Welland. Unlike last time, when a cold day had followed a warmer wetter spell, today it was very cold and had been so for a couple of weeks. Arrived about 11.00 as I knew that I would not be able to endure too many hours in the cold conditions.

The river looked better than in December. It was flowing well and coloured, but not quite as forceful. But it was really cold.

There was nobody else on the stretch when I arrived, so except for a fruitless cast into a slack below a tree as I was walking upstream, I went straight to the bay swim. Read Full Report...